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November 28, 2015
This Week: Thanking Our Mentors
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Leah Alcala shows how she turns kids’ mistakes on tests into whole-class learning moments.
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How do you build a classroom culture of growth mindset? Chana Stewart provides three tips highlighting what has worked for her and her students.
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Erika Nielson Andrew, Chief Academic Officer at Tch, encourages us to take a moment to give thanks to those who've mentored us as educators.
Notes from the Tch Laureates

I’ve had numerous opportunities recently to reflect on my practice and as a result to grow professionally. Through both video-based and in-classroom observation, I’ve become aware of moments when I might consider fine-tuning my instruction and my response to students. I’m beginning to wonder, though, about ways I can help my students become reflective learners, too. Am I providing a structure that allows my students to analyze their work, identify areas of growth, seek out resources, and revise their thinking as I’ve been doing for myself? As I watched Highlighting Mistakes: A Grading Strategy, I immediately noticed the conversations going on between the students when — and perhaps because — Leah Alcala did not make sense of their work for them. The students themselves sought out peers who could assist with error analysis. I also noticed that the absence of a grade provided focus as students made sense of the highlighted feedback. And the opportunity to retake the test appeared to be a classroom norm — a process to ensure students embraced their mistakes as an essential component in their learning.

By engaging in a reflective cycle of learning as a teacher, and encouraging a similar process in my students as Leah Alcala has demonstrated, I’m hoping to establish a new culture where my students and I are both able to value mistakes as learning opportunities.

Sean Sig
Teaching Channel Laureate
Tchers’ Voice
Img LeftTch Laureate Sean McComb describes three strategies he uses to make feedback more efficient and more relevant to students.

Img LeftIf you’re looking for something to read during the holidays, check out Sarah Brown Wessling’s ideal professional library for ideas.

Img LeftWe’re seeking feedback from you, our thriving and engaged Tch community, on what we’re doing well and what you’d like to see more of. Please take a moment to complete this brief, 3-minute survey.
Q&A: Answer These Questions
Q: What are some strategies to get parents involved, or at least keep them in the loop?
Q: How do I teach the boring topics (the purely theory/memorization topics) to students?
Q: What have you found to be the best incentive for middle school students, such as homework incentives or good grade incentives?
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