Posted tagged ‘Constructivism’

F is for Formative Assessment

May 12, 2017

We often focus only on what we do not know and perhaps it might be beneficial to also know what we do know. We developed two products to facilitate formative assessment by creating fun and fast exit slips and fast formative assessments. These two products are grounded in our own practice as well as research.

Exit Slips and Tickets Out are fast formative assessments that you can use daily to see how you and your students are doing. The novelty of these exit slips will catch your students’ attention. They will also give you ideas for creating your own. This product includes:

  • One-Minute Write
  • Muddiest Point
  • Ticket Out
  • Exit Slip
  • Admit Slip
  • One Thing I Learned Today
  • Halftime Report Basketball and Football Themed

Fast Formative Assessment Strategies: Checking for Understanding is a packet of mini-assessments ideal for closing a lesson or unit for grades 6-12. These mini-assessments get students focused on showing what they have learned in clever and engaging ways. This product includes:

  • Stick it With 6
  • Hey Granny Did you Know?
  • Resume of a Leader/Portrait of a Character
  • Scene Rewind
  • A Poetic Moment
  • Fact Checker Quick Check

SALE 20% off May 14-15 Exit Slips and Quick Formative Assessment Strategies

HOMEWORK: Show What You Know

July 25, 2016

I like a teacher who gives something to take home to think about besides homework.human-face-with-flower

Lily Tomlin

If you have looked at the research about homework, it generally does not support a connection between time spent on homework and grades (Kohn, 2012). The challenge for teachers is the expectation of homework from both families and students, but not all homework is created equal. Homework is appropriate for preparing, checking for understanding, practicing, rehearsing, and/or processing including analyzing, evaluating, and/or reflecting (Vatterott, 2009).

Meaningful homework assignments should:

  • allow for student choice and personalization;
  • provide opportunities for students to share things about themselves;
  • tap into emotions, feeling, and/or opinions; and
  • be aesthetically pleasing (Vatterott, 2007).

Meaningful homework assignments should engage students and be fun to do. We have compiled various homework assignments that can be easily adapted to a variety of subjects for intermediate and upper level grades. And, there is a list of alternative homework assignment ideas. Check it out on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Homework: Show What You Know includes:

  • Name Lists
  • Rounding Up: Adjectives
  • Rounding Up: Adverbs
  • Survey. Note. Conclude! Homework Assignment
  • Using Graphic Organizers to Show What You Know
  • 8 Alternatives to Traditional Homework Assignments with Mini-Activity Slips
  • Teacher Bookmarks with Homework Quotes (Something to share with colleagues and start a conversation about homework.

References

Kohn, A. (November 25, 2012). Homework:  New research suggests it may be an unnecessary evil. Huffpost.

Vatterott, C. (2007). Becoming a middle level teacher:  Student-focused teaching of early adolescents.  New York:  McGraw-Hill.

Vatterott, C. (2009). Rethinking homework:  Best practice that support diverse needs. Alexandria, VA:  ASCD.

We Love Bookmarks!

June 14, 2016

We love bookmarks. Students love bookmarks.  And so, in many of our products, we include bookmarks.  We even offerIvan Bookmarks free bookmarks to teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers.

7 Ways to Use Bookmarks

  1. Form pairs, trios, and/or quads. Distribute the number of different bookmarks equal to the number of pairs, trios, or quads you want to form. For example, to form quads, reproduce four copies of each individual bookmark. Distribute bookmarks and direct students to form a group of four by finding three other students who have the same bookmark they have.
  2. Use as a writing prompt. Distribute bookmarks. Direct students to read and ponder the quotes. Next, ask students to write a short reflection on what the quotes means to them. Invite students to share their reflections with an elbow partner.
  3. Investigate the speaker. Use the bookmarks to form student trios. Direct trios to read and ponder the quotes. Ask trios to answer the following questions: What kind of person would say this? To whom would this person address this quote? What kind of situation would be appropriate for this quote? Invite trios to share their quotes and their responses to the questions.
  4. Review the text. After students have read the novel, story, or play, distribute a variety of bookmark quotes. Direct students to read their quotes and jot down the incident in the text connected to that quote. Next, direct students to find another student who had the same bookmark quote and compare responses.
  5. Choose a favorite. On a table, lay out bookmark quotes and as students enter the classroom, invite them to choose a favorite bookmark quote. Ask students to jot down a few notes on the back of the bookmark quote what this quote means to them. Invite students to share their responses. Consider this activity for a morning meeting or talking circle.
  6. Make your own bookmark. Distribute blank bookmarks and direct students to write a favorite quote from a text you are currently studying in class. In addition to the quote, ask students to include a graphic or illustration that connects to the quote they chose. Invite students to share their quotes with the class. Consider collecting the bookmark quotes and displaying them on a bulletin board in your classroom.
  7. Use as a bookmark

We hope you love our bookmarks!bookmark this

Free bookmarks for The One and Only Ivan

Free friendship bookmarks

Free bookmarks for Esperanza Rising

Constructivism as a Learning Theory

March 21, 2013

QuoteBill 2nd Grade

A community of learners is established by hearing student voices.  It is a deliberate process orchestrated by an effective teacher to ensure that every child has that access to powerful learning experiences and potential academic success.

Linda Carpenter, Jennifer Fontanini, and Linda Neiman

This past weekend we attended the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) convention in Chicago (and yes, we saw the Chicago River dyed green!).  We were honored to present, “Orchestrating Student Voices to Build a Community of Learners” and this the above quote is how we ended our presentation.  We were pleased that our participants were engaged and enjoyed an interactive, constructivist presentation.

As we also volunteered to host other presentations, and in talking to conventioneers, one theme emerged—that although we talk about interactive, constructivist learning, most presentations were lecture mode—sit and get.  Constructivism isn’t a passing fad, constructivism is a learning theory that is supported by educational and cognitive neuroscience (See Constructivism as a Learning Theory) and it applies to all learners.  As my colleague, Linda Carpenter remarked at the beginning of our presentation, “Kids and adults like to have fun just like elementary students. Sometimes that means music and colored paper and even crayons.”

All in all, it was a wonderful conference, highlighted by Maya Angelou.  We were in the sixth row thanks to Tammy from Alabama, who guided and glided us through the process of getting awesome seats.  It was a privilege to be in the presence of someone like Maya Angelou.

In our work for Teachers Pay Teachers as well as the presentations and workshops we do, we intentionally plan that work around the principles of constructivism.  We learn more, deeper, and better, when we construct our own meanings within a context that provides a positive and safe learning environment and relevant content.  Effective teachers teach in ways that ensure that every child has access to powerful learning experiences and potential academic success.

Check out the products we are developing for Teachers Pay Teachers.  Each month we are adding more products that employ a constructivist, student-centered approach.  It’s not your average workbook pages anymore!  Kids deserve better!

Resources

Orchestrating Student Voices to Build Community (Click to download)

Constructivism as a Learning Theory (Click to Download)


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