One of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer Gonzalez of the Cult of Pedagogy, posted an e-article titled, The Big List of Classroom Discussion Starters and I couldn't help but find a few that I can translate into protocols (that can easily be used in secondary or collegiate classrooms). Please note that I do not take any credit for the development of these strategies. Let me know what you think by commenting below.
TEACH-OK! (Discussion, Feedback, Collaboration)
Description: This popular fast-moving protocol integrates classroom talk within the framework of other learning experiences such as lecture or direct instruction. Credited to Whole Brain Teaching (www.wholebrainteaching.com) it is a meant to help students become more comfortable talking to each other with a stated purpose.
Application: Use this as a re-teaching platform for students in all subjects.
Process: Prior to the lesson, provide guidelines for Teach-OK. (Students will work in partners. Within a lecture or direct instruction and after teaching a key point or concept, the teacher claps once and says, “Teach!” students respond by clapping twice and saying “OK!” Partner #1 will teach Partner #2 the concept or key point, taking no more than a minute. At the next Teach-OK opportunity, the partners switch and #2 teaches #1.) At appropriate time, employ strategy. Listen to students’ discussions, being prepared to clarify or reteach concept if responses are incorrect or just surface learning.
Moving Out and Moving In
In 2016 I posted an article titled "Moving Day" and I reminded myself and others that moving is a drag, but can also be an opportunity to do some much needed clutter cleaning (as well a new lease on life's personal and professional purposes). It recently happened again to me and what I discovered is this . . .you can't fit 5,000 sq. feet of "stuff" into 2,500 sq. feet! I began to really look at objects with the popular outlook of do you really love it, need it, have a space for it, and does it bring joy to your life?
I have tubs and tubs of teacher materials, but I don't work in the classroom anymore.
Should I keep it? No. (But I can ask other professionals if they could use them)
I have wonderful trinkets, yearbooks, and school wear (from schools I do not work at anymore). Should I keep it? No. (But I can take a digital picture of the item and offer my teacher colleagues my trinkets for free)
Take the opportunity to look at your stuff and see if you can digitize the contents or give away that which you no longer need. I promise it will bring much joy and relief and isn't that what every teacher needs and deserves?
Alison Thetford, M.Ed