Teaching Success and Active Listening

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, verbal communication had fallen into a degree of disfavor. With social media ever popular, written communication had already replaced spoken word in many settings. With the the need for schools to resort to distance learning and for us all to suspend much of our social calendars to avoid … Continue reading Teaching Success and Active Listening

Designing Instruction for Effective Teaching and Learning

I have written elsewhere in this blog, and most educators agree, that the best learning takes place when instruction is, among other things, planned, intentional, and measurable. One of the most useful models for planning instruction is Understanding by Design (UbD). One of the authors, Jay McTighe, explains UbD in this video. In this article, … Continue reading Designing Instruction for Effective Teaching and Learning

We’re Back…Now What?

Some school districts in the United States have announced that they are re-opening for in-person instruction 5 days a week beginning in January. While some parents will choose to continue some remote learning, many will welcome the return of sending their children to school. In my area, a recent survey found that sixty percent of … Continue reading We’re Back…Now What?

Navigating Conflict with Conversations

I'm sure we have all experienced being sidetracked in our lessons by students' emotional flareups. Sometimes they come without warning, other times we see the knarled brow and clenched fists from the moment a child enters our classroom, communicating to the observant teacher that the child's emotional condition is volatile and that the child could … Continue reading Navigating Conflict with Conversations

Rethinking How We Teach Chorus

Chorus in many ways is the perfect means for providig music making opportunities to non-musicians. After all, except in rare cases, we all have voices and we all can use those voices to sing. Actual inability to sing in tune is extremely rare, and most people in a safe environment free from judgement and negative … Continue reading Rethinking How We Teach Chorus

What Are Ways To Improve Remote Learning As Schools Re-open?

Many teachers, having struggled to deliver effective remote learning to students when their schools were abruptly closed last spring due to cover-19, are now faced with schools re-opening with remote learning still in place, either alone or in combination with face to face instruction. Some school districts have provided professional development aimed at equipping teachers … Continue reading What Are Ways To Improve Remote Learning As Schools Re-open?

Best Practices for Distance Learning

As teachers prepare for the start of a new school year, there is plenty of uncertainty and controversy over just what that re-opening will look like. One thing that does not seem to be much in doubt is that some measure of distance learning will still be needed. Whether districts decide to keep all students … Continue reading Best Practices for Distance Learning

What Will It Take To Allow Children to Return to School During The Pandemic?

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists into the next school year, most districts are facing the question of whether or not they should re-open schools, and if so, how to accomplish a re-opening that is safe for students, their families, and teachers. An examination of this issue raises many questions, all of which are difficult to … Continue reading What Will It Take To Allow Children to Return to School During The Pandemic?

Social Justice in the Classroom: What Is It and How Does It Work?

During the present time, one can hardly avoid hearing the term "social justice" on a daily basis. People in great numbers are demanding it, apologizing for avoiding it, and expressing anger at being denied it. The phrase contains two words, both important to understanding its meaning. Social refers to friendly, mutually beneficial relationships. From the word … Continue reading Social Justice in the Classroom: What Is It and How Does It Work?