I’ve long believed that names and dates should consume a minimum of our time and energy in history class. Yes, some of this instruction is necessary, but only to the degree that it truly aids understanding of the past. Regarding dates in particular, I consider them important mostly for helping us to understand how events are situated in time…[Read more]
I was afraid someone would ask that. 🙂 This is something I don’t feel like I have a good handle on yet. Drawing largely on some things I’ve read here on the forum, I emphasize active engagement of the memory rather than passive reading and rereading. I give students review sheets with questions and tell them to write the answers using information…[Read more]
This is a problem that I’ve also struggled with over the years. Ultimately, the solution is for students to value knowledge as they ought, and that’s a battle I continue to have my ups and downs with. But there are a few things I’ve found helpful for encouraging timely test preparation and discouraging those last-minute lingerings over the…[Read more]
I recently wrote a blog post about cultivating class discussions, and thought I’d start a thread for asking questions and sharing ideas on this subject.
What have you found helpful for promoting good discussions?
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. I also do not believe that every problem a person may have is a sign of mental illness that needs to be labeled and treated. It can be difficult to untangle symptoms of mental illness from the normal flaws of human nature, and hopefully this student merely has excessively high standards and needs to…[Read more]
I use a secular text called History of a Free Nation, published by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. It’s about 20 years old by now, but I don’t mind because most of US history happened more than 20 years ago. 🙂 It’s a reasonably well-written, comprehensive text. It is very evenhanded towards religions and ideologies, with an obvious and pretty successful…[Read more]
Regular contact with sticks and stones would probably tear them up before too long, but I think they’d hold up fine if used in grassy areas. And they might absorb moisture if used in wet grass, taking some time to dry out.
Byron, that sounds amazing! I’ll have to tell my administrator about this.
I’ve been using Gradekeeper for several years. It has a few idiosyncrasies, but it works very well for me. It has some reporting capabilities that I’ve never really used; from what I’ve seen, they’re pretty basic (then again, I just noticed that I’m not using the latest…[Read more]
Sorry for the late reply. The balls we have are at least a couple years old, and some are older. Almost all of them are still in excellent condition. It is worth noting that they’re mostly used indoors. But yes, they should last a few years.
We had the year’s first reading time in my 9th and 10th grade US history class on Monday. I’ve assembled a nice selection of nonfiction books related to history from the school library and my own bookshelves. My plan is very close to what I outlined in my June 16 post above. Every Monday students will spend the first 20 minutes of class reading.…[Read more]
It’s nice to see such a vigorous discussion here. I’ve very rarely allowed students to retake tests, and when I have I’ve usually given a grade averaged from the two attempts, but Brian’s argument is highly persuasive. It’s given me a lot to chew on.
Are you familiar with the texts used by Canadian public schools? They might be worth a look. While I wait for CLE’s upcoming 11th-grade US history text I’ve been happily using one of the common secular texts published by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. It’s about as neutral as possible towards religions and ideologies. I strongly prefer it to the US history…[Read more]
We have a bunch of these Voit Softi coated foam balls, and they really improve dodge ball and its variants. They’re very soft, and can be thrown hard without stinging. Much safer and less scary for the timid than rubber playground balls. They’re also a good size, in between a softball and a volleyball.
At the end of the 2016-2017 school year I was exceedingly weary of students forgetting to bring things to class. Grades 7–12 students at our school have lockers for their stuff and move from room to room for their various classes, and the forgetting of books, pencils, paper, etc. was much too frequent. So at the beginning of last year I b…[Read more]
I’m not sure how this would apply to elementary students, but when my high school students fail to get something like this done in a reasonable amount of time they’ll generally have to stay in the classroom during lunch until it’s finished.
I tracked down a copy of our school supply list for this year. Here it is, lightly edited.
Small pencil box and pencils
Small nap blanket and pillow
Glue stick (no liquid glue, please!)
Crayons (8 basic colors only)
Small box of tissues
Grades 1 and 2
Small pencil box and pencils
My wife gets credit for this one: When there is a dispute between children, create an opportunity for them to find their own resolution instead of acting as a judge between them. It works very frequently both at home and at school, making each child responsible for getting along with others instead of trying to convince an adult to take his…[Read more]
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