January 11, 2014See All Newsletters
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Hi Member,
I really hate disappointing people. In fact, I’ll usually go to great lengths to avoid doing so, but there’s one occasion I just can’t escape. It’s when someone – a teacher, parent, policy maker – comes up quietly and gently and asks me about teaching. “What’s your secret?" And they're disappointed. Every time. The secret is that there isn’t a secret to good teaching. The secret is that I’m not a great teacher every single day, that sometimes I’ll toil for a whole year and see very little growth with a student. But if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I’m deliberate, I’m tenacious, and I look at every student with infinite hope. The secret is that I’m never satisfied, that I’m always trying to get better, that I’m always looking for new tools to help me question, try, get feedback, try again.

Some of my favorite tools are right here at Teaching Channel. This week we’re launching a new series called “Tch Insider Secrets,” which introduces features on our site that can help you with your own process of getting better. Start by checking out Notes, a tool that lets you timestamp your comments while you watch our videos so that you can both save your own thoughts and then share them with colleagues. Just like teaching students to annotate, “marking” your viewing will help you dive deeper and get clearer.

Once you start annotating, I suspect you’ll find yourself asking more questions, the kind that push you towards analysis and insight. This week’s videos will help your learning parallel that of your students’ as you consider using these strategies to enhance their questioning skills. 
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel

P.S. Don't forget that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is January 20th. Get 8 great service-learning resources for your classroom! 
3 Videos on Questioning

Grades 9-12 | ELA | Evidence | CCSS (Downloads)
Join Ms. Goodman as she offers her method for getting students to ask their own thought-provoking questions.
Grades 9-12 | ELA | Literature | CCSS (Downloads)
Ms. Schaefer uses a sequence of questions that not only makes sense for teachers, but would also be a great way for students to craft their own.
All Grades | All Subjects | Scaffolding
Seeing questions as ways to make connections, Ms. Thomas shows us how she stair-steps three question types to help learners uncover more about a text.
Students gain confidence by reading texts at their level that present challenges, but are still accessible. Blogger Elizabeth Weiland gathers great resources on guided reading to help you implement this strategy in your classroom.
Teacher Dale Eilers has an easy and useful method for getting student feedback using a 0-5 (Fist to Five) scale. Learn how to gather immediate feedback as an assessment and reflection strategy.
Are you attending the FETC National Conference in Orlando, Florida from January 28 - 31? We would love to meet you in person! Find our booth and enter our raffle for a chance to win a SWIVL™. And attend a session by Teams customer Jennifer Magiera, a Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership. Get a full schedule of our sessions.
Great Questions!