Cooperative learning tips

This is my second time featuring the content-rich blog of Brown Bag Teacher. I just love her detailed posts and lesson descriptions. Today I am highlighting her Kagan Cooperative Learning materials and tips. Check out the visuals she has created to teach students about group work, the bins she has assembled for discussions and the grouping cues she has affixed to student desks-genius!

Cooperative learning is such an elegant way to differentiate in the K-12 inclusive classroom. Groupings can be changed to accommodate interests, abilities or needs; peer and adult supports can be built into [read more…]

Getting dramatic about the arctic

To end a week of recommendations related to drama, I am linking you to a great little post about creating readers theater scripts from informational text. This piece comes from the folks at Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears and it is a gem. The authors discuss a rationale for using [read more…]

Drama across the grade levels

Click over to Child Drama, the site of artist Matt Buchanan to see dozens of ideas for using drama to teach, support and inspire students of all ages. You will find improv, pantomime, and skit ideas galore. Pick something new to use today. Have students try guided imagery, let them act out a story or have them act out a newscast to learn about current events. These lessons allow [read more…]

Improv ideas

Continuing with my drama theme, today’s post relates to using improv in the classroom. Check out some really creative ideas from Katie McKnight on on this topic. This short article provides a rationale for using improv
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Drama in the upper grades

Hope you all had a nice long weekend. We had four days off here, but I am back today to pick up where I left off. I am posting about the process of differentiation this month. Week 1 was a focus on learning menus. Week 2 was a study of projects. This week, I am going to feature another way to meet the needs of all learners in your daily lessons: drama.

To kick things off, check out this ASCD Educational Leadership article from Katherine Blake on using Readers Theater with [read more…]


Project-based instruction is one or the best ways to address diverse learning objectives in a classroom. Projects allow us to provide enrichment as we provide feedback and direction, we can help students practice IEP objectives such as reading, writing, or communication skills, and we get to see students work “outside the box” of seat work and class discussions. The featured post on Stump the Teacher, however, is not just another look at project-based instruction. This version asks students to take on ongoing “passion projects”; learners get to explore topics of choice in depth and they get to do it for long periods of time. I cannot imagine the long term benefits of this type of learning, but it is clear that it would be both [read more…]

Projects with “warts and all”

Paul Barnwell at The Center for Teaching Quality has written a great post on using project-based learning in a standards-based classroom. His description of using digital storytelling with his students is sure to answer some of your questions about using PBL in [read more…]

All about PBL

In keeping with my theme of focusing on the process of differentiation, I am going to highlight posts on project-based learning this week. I’m kicking this off with a fairly detailed description of PBL that can be found on one of the very best education sites out there—Edutopia. Click over and read it if [read more…]

Menus for special days

Today, I am featuring a post that includes several free downloads. The blog it comes from, Teaching with Simplicity, is filled with print-and-use materials including several tools for the differentiated classroom.

In a short blurb, blogger Mandy Neal provides a rationale for using [read more…]

A glimpse into the co-taught classroom

Have you seen this video from the University of Virginia on co-teaching models? It is one of the best free clips on the topic available and it is wonderfully short and to-the-point.

If you are responsible for providing professional development in your district, you will also appreciate the discussion questions provided on the same page. Questions include:
For each of the 5 co-teaching formats, what components of co-teaching did you [read more…]