Category: strategies

Mar 19

Authentic Audiences Purpose: Engaging Students in Learning that Means Something

Authentic Audiences Purpose: Engaging Students in Learning that Means Something by John McCarthy, Ed.S. Follow on Twitter: @jmccarthyeds – When my kids get excited about school it’s a wonderful moment. This is especially true as they are teenagers attending a Project Based Learning School. Those moments occur “only” (yes I’m being absolute) when the topics …

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Jan 26

3 Tools to Help Learners at THEIR Pace (Guest Post)

I recently wrote an article for Edutopia, 50+ Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media. I asked readers to share more online tools that could support learners through differentiation. I would add these to the 50+ list. Kimberly Hurd offered three tools that address the most important needs: Assessment and Readiness. These 3 did make the …

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Oct 27

RAFTs – Engaging to Differentiating Writer’s Voice

In a previous series of posts I wrote about RAFTs, a powerful strategy that engages students into writing, a means to coach students to improve writing, and an approach that when differentiated helps students at varying skills to success at a respectful pace. By popular demand, what follows are all 3 articles in one blog …

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Aug 25

40+ E-Portfolio Resources

40+ ePortfolio Resources e-Portfolios empower students to be reflective about their learning. Sifting through their work, they find artifacts that best represents their deep understanding academically, personally, and professionally. There are different uses for e-Portfolios: Demonstrate learning targets from a unit. Reflectively monitor their academic growth in a course or regarding skill-sets. Archive quality experiences …

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Jun 24

3 Degrees of Connecting to a Real World Audience

Day one at PBL World, the educators I’m working with explored designing Project Based Learning units. A major detail, and concern, is identifying a real world audience, and then getting in touch with them. Engineers, mechanics, university professors, authors, or __________________ –Where do you find them, and enough of them, to work with students? Most people are …

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May 05

RAFTs – Differentiated for Learner Success

In the previous two articles, we explored RAFTs (Role, Audience, Format, and Topic + Strong Verb) as an instructional strategy, and how to use RAFTs for coaching writers on writing. RAFTs can ignite engagement and context for learning. Planned with forethought, students can explore a need or problem that exists in the world beyond the …

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Apr 14

RAFTs: Coaching Writing Tips

During workshops, I sometimes survey the teachers in the room: Rate yourself on a 5 pt scale. A five equals, “I can write for publication with confidence.” A one equals, “I do not like to write, preferring to avoid it when I can.” Yes, I know… rating scales should avoid an odd number range because …

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Apr 07

RAFTing the Writing Rapids

How do you get students engaged into writing? Sometimes this question feels like an exercise in futility, used as for abstract debate for the sake of venting frustration. But there are times when the answer to this question is simple: Make the writing interesting and meaningful. Some people like to write. Lots of people like …

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Mar 03

Collaboration: Virtual & Instant with Tagboard

During a PLN twitter #satchat[i] session on a Saturday morning, Charity Stephens[ii], a teacher, shared her use of with her students. The students studied grammar—different elements of pronoun usage. When Charity introduced hashtags to support the work, one of her students introduced the idea of Like any excellent teacher, Charity naturally welcomed the …

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Feb 02

Writer’s Block Breakthrough

There comes a time after a lesson when the students are directed to write on a topic. An enlightened teacher will give students choices or let the learners choose their own topic. But often times, there are students, sometimes most, who can’t seem to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. The reasons for …

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