John Hattie, a renowned researcher in the field of education conducted a study in which he put forward his findings on those parameters that make the most dramatic impact on the learning of students. Read it HERE.
Needless to say, giving kids effective, precise and timely feedback lies right there almost at the top. One facet of doing this is to make ‘learning visible’ by showing students the process of learning through self-reflection.
I have taken the most popular self reflective exercise completely free for you to download.
They are pretty self-explanatory.
So enjoy. Download them by clicking on the picture below, completely free!!
Building a growth mindset in kids has been all the rage for a while now. It fosters grit- the voluntary choice to improve performance through a long term dedicated work ethic.
When children are taught that set backs do not have to define them, that hard work and perseverance will get them to places they want to get, they develop the will, the passion to succeed.
Whereas there are wonderful Pinterest boards and plenty of sites honoring this revolutionary concept, I felt there was a lack of resources that showed appreciation whenever a child made an effort to act accordingly.
It has always been my belief that the energy a teacher carries into the classroom is radiated and absorbed by the students.
A passionate teacher is the most effective motivational factor there is, that kind of drive is not lost upon the children.
However, is there anything else that can be done? Yes. Lot’s has been written about it , and lots of tips and tricks are out there that can be googled in an instant. But by far, teaching kids about the Growth Mindset- a method that teaches kids that failure is not a permanent condition since the brain (just like muscles) can become better at its job provided it is exercised consistently and vigorously.
Taking that into account, a child needs to be constantly reminded about the traits that make a student grow into life-time learners, certain habits that can be inculcated slowly and gradually into the work ethic of each student.
For the longest time, my sister had been pulling her hair out trying to get her four year old son to recognize the beginning sounds of random things around the house. Although he could tell that a certain letter was in play, he was still not making the connection between the letter and the sound.
Reading the alphabet book was not cutting it since upper case letters had not been introduced (thank God) and things were getting confusing because many pictures did not depict the accurate beginning sounds (although there are a few close calls for the sake of vocabulary enhancement in this document too).
So she did what any amazing mom would do (I have to say she is amazing), and took matters into her own hands. She designed a bunch of flash cards to do just what she wanted.
This is a free resource for one and all. Creative writing is perhaps, one of the most challenging tasks for a teacher. In my experience, without proper structure and scaffolding, it just isn’t as productive as it could be.
That being said, I decided to pour all my own creative juices into planning and designing this resource which I believe will literally do the job for you…
While we are busy printing, cutting, pasting, laminating and planning the first day of school, how many of us teachers take a minute to reflect upon what could essentially be the most important 5 minutes of the entire year… those first moments when your student sets his or her eyes on you.
As the children come into the classroom one after the other with their inquisitive minds, peering eyes and wary of their surroundings, I can safely say that at this point, most of us are politely standing on the side waiting for the kids to get seated or maybe guiding them to empty seats- helping them settle down so to speak.
As we watch the emptiness being filled in the classroom, we underestimate how each and every one of those little ones have already formed some sort of impression about their teacher.
Once we have an inkling on how those first few moments could shape your future relationship with your students, perhaps we could take a minute ourselves to make the most of the situation:
A good while back I did a ‘stationery haul’ blog post on my other blog, though I was on the fringe about it thinking what type of a crazy person goes bonkers over a bunch of pens and cute pieces of sticky bits of paper. Click HERE to read that.
If it’s the one thing that I perceive as total eye candy, it’s the pictures of dollar store hauls and classroom decorations. Well, that’s two things. Anyhow, here in Karachi where I live, we don’t have dollar stores, but we do have stationery shops and the locally made products are pretty good and not too heavy on the pocket.
Regardless, my family knows the way to my heart is… well, through fancy pens, chevron themed anything and all things neon coloured that also go click.
I often struggle with children’s conversational skills. Granted that these are kids who are learning English as a second language, I feel like there is more of a hindrance than simply the language barrier.
The children just don’t engage in reflective and imaginative conversation like I would like them to. They have a tremendous imagination and we all know how kids can create entire scenarios during play.
I started thinking along terms of how to facilitate the imaginative thought process to come out of their brains onto their tongues and into my ears.
I am not a highly experienced teacher, but I like to think what I lack in experience, I make up in an unbridled passion to learn as much as I can from any source available.
Although I write for a well known educational magazine that caters to the entire MENA region (though I no longer reside there), hands-on exposure in the classroom has made me more wise and even more motivated to gain and spread teaching know-how all around me as far as my reach will go.
Over the past year and a half, I have had the good fortune of learning from very experienced teachers at my school and have had the privilege of leading a team of highly skilled English Teachers as well. In addition, following educational blogs and teachers, picking up on their tips and tricks is also a great self-indulgent hobby of mine.
I came across this idea several times, and I must say I really think it’s out of the world.