Do you remember studying for the ACT or GRE? Did you buy the vocabulary flashcards or make your own? I remember the summer of 2009 as “The One With the GRE Flashcards” because I took them everywhere and reviewed them in every spare moment. Whether it was by the pool, in the DMV, at the doctor’s office, or at my kitchen table, my anxiety about memorizing the vocabulary words continued to increase. I remember wishing I had received better vocabulary instruction in school. The reality is, in many places, we still aren’t YET teaching vocabulary, or word study, well. The key word here is: YET.
I entered the teaching profession hungry to learn how to be a great educator and ready to become the next National Teacher of the Year! I watched Stand and Deliver, Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me, and Dead Poets Society, just to name a few. I was ready!
With 2019’s March Madness set to begin on March 19th, educators have more than their basketball brackets to prepare!! With my last few posts focusing on literacy, it is time to give math some love! Similar to cultivating a culture of reading in your classrooms and schools, it important to create a culture of math: to make math cool! It just so happens that March gives us, as educators, the perfect opportunity to do so.
As LeBron James says, “Nothing is Given. Everything is Earned.” Regardless of your feelings on LeBron, it is important for our young people (well, all people) to internalize this life lesson.
Teachers give assessments so that they can find out what students understand, what needs to be reviewed or retaught, and where differentiation needs to happen. Because the goal is to determine if student learning has occurred, it’s important for assessments, especially summative assessments, to be true indications of what students know.
At any moment of the day, a variety of stimuli are vying for our students’ attention. Video games. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Texting. Facetime. The list goes on and on. Thus, in order for a kid to choose a book over all the other competing options, we must cultivate a culture of reading. Reading must be equally as “cool” as Fortnite. Period. Here are three tips for cultivating a culture of reading in your classrooms and schools.