Monday, January 21, 2013

Energizing Teaching Tools

I just finished this book. I'm excited about this book because it will help students participate with you in their learning.  It is a call to student action in the classroom.  The first section of the book deals with measuring student engagement.  The second part of the book deals with specific tools to build student engagement.  You can view the table of contents below for the topics that will be covered.  ENERGIZING TEACHING TOOLS is an easy reading book that any teacher can open to find some valuable tools.  It is a spiral bound flip book that is full of quick, practical ideas to increase your class participation.  It has a laminated front and back cover with 75 card stock pages.  Pictured on the front cover is the Engagement Wheel which is a self-evaluation tool to help measure the engagement level of your students.  There are also 50 teaching tools to help build a positive classroom environment and to involve your students.  Energizing Teaching Tools includes sections on the Engagement Wheel, Questioning, Classroom Climate, Classroom Activities, Physical Changes in your Room, Attitude Adjustments and Dealing with Parents.  50% of the author’s profit will go to a Chicago Public School.  To purchase the book please go to to the website  To purchase the book please go to to a website   Amazon  Corwin Publishing  Barnes and Noble 

Other Resources by David Sladkey

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Having Your Students Set Goals

Today was a good day.  I really enjoyed talking with my students about the goals that they have set for my class.  I was proud of the things that they wrote down.  I was encouraged with their vision of what they want to do.  It just affirms to me that the more we INVOLVE our students in their education, the more they will OWN it.

Here is what I did.
1.  I gave my students a page of questions to answer regarding goals. (see below)  One of the questions was what was their word for the semester.  It was their homework assignment.  There was no other assignment besides this.  That was yesterday the first day of the semester.
2.  Next, I met with my students individually and talked about their goals. I first asked them what their word for the semester was and why.  Then that started them talking and I just scanned the rest of the goals and asked them to elaborate on a few.  That was today, the second day of the semester.  For your information, I had the rest of my students working on a technology assignment with a school set of iPads.

POSITIVES:  I had One on One contact with each of my students.   I could affirm some of my students directly instead of through assignments or assessments.  Grades were not a focus of our meeting.  I gained a deeper appreciation for my students.  I addressed some issues with students like a lack of homework completion or low test scores.

DRAWBACK:  It used a full day of class.

SOME WORDS FOR THE SEMESTER THAT MY STUDENTS CHOSE:  Focus, Tests, Determined, Study,  Finish, Consistent...

I'd love to hear how you have used goals to help your students stretch towards excellence.

Here is what I handed out.

Goals for Precalculus Semester 2    Name_____________

Homework Completion
I hope to complete what percent of all the assignments in the course.    _______%
I am planning on doing my homework in this location.   _________________________________
I plan on spending this much time per night working on homework:  ________
Other Homework Goals?

Homework Questions
I plan on taking these steps when I’m frustrated and can’t complete my homework:

Procedural and Conceptual
Math Teachers try to get a balance of 50% procedural understanding and 50% conceptual understanding. 
Where are you now?  Where do you hope to be?

The first 2 chapters of this course are extremely difficult.  (High Dive and Chapter 6 Trig functions)  However, once through these two chapters, the remainder of the course uses these concepts over and over.  How do you plan on mastering the first two chapters? 

Studying for math tests is difficult.  Besides studying the review homework, I plan on doing: 

Only for Seniors
Inevitably, seniors lose a little focus and passion for the course as May gets closer.  How do you plan on battling this?

Word for the Semester
Some possible words:  check, effort, preparation, tests, grade, excellence, understanding, believe, thorough…
My Word for the Semester is:  ______________   The reason I chose this word is…

No Easy Roads to Excellence
If you hope to do well in something there are no short cuts.   What are your thoughts on this? 

OPTIONAL:  Comment on your hopes for a overall % in this class

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Aim of Education is ACTION!

Here are some words that I associate with ACTION:

My goal this year is to have a classroom full of ACTION.

Do you have any words to add to the list?  Please comment.