Forum Posts

Ken Ehrmann
Feb 23, 2021
In Instructional Strategies
A great colleague of mine helped me understand a great strategy for teaching higher-level reading skills. She said, when the reading skill, such as inference, is a higher-level thinking skill, the reading comprehension must be lower. Use a text that is easy for the student to read and understand so they can focus on the more challenging thinking skills. One of my favorite activities was using the story of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss to work on inference skills. We would read the book as a class and I would have plenty of extra copies around the room for the partner work. The students would have to use inference skills to try to interpret what the Once-ler was and was not thinking. I've attached the graphic organizer we used, here I will explain the four columns. Self Talk: these would be comments and thoughts the once-ler was saying to himself that were not included in the book. For example, was he ever thinking "should I stop?". Peer talk: comments other characters would be saying to the Once-ler. The book is only dialogue from the Once-ler and the Lorax, what about the others? Were his family members in the business enabling him and encouraging him? Was there a family member who ever spoke up to support the Lorax? Example: Comments the Once-ler was saying to other characters not already included in the story. Non-example: These are comments the once-ler definitely would never have stated to other characters. This activity was used in fifth grade. Most students by then had heard or read the story before so it was familiar to them. The comprehension and understanding of story was not the focus, but the expansion of the ideas in the story. Please use, modify, and share the attached resource however you would like to benefit your students and colleagues! The Lorax Inference Worksheet
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Ken Ehrmann
Feb 11, 2021
In General Discussions
My district has used a few snow days to keep everyone home and safe but made it asynchronous learning. This is a great way to keep the students engaged in the content, not add days in June for teachers, and utilize the resources we have available. What are you assigning to students on these days? Something new and related to snow? Similar content to what they would be doing that day in class? Also, what is your strategy to judge how long it will take students to complete?
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Ken Ehrmann
Feb 09, 2021
In Instructional Strategies
How can we better engage students who are learning virtually? It seems like such a struggle at times to get kids enthusiastically involved in lessons. Has anyone found any good strategies, tricks, or fun games to help motivate students to be more enthusiastic about learning virtually?
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Ken Ehrmann
Jan 13, 2021
In Instructional Strategies
What are your strategies and/or tools for using exit tickets in the classroom? If a teacher wants to more consistently assess students to gauge understanding, what strategies do you use? It doesn't necessarily need to be at the end of class. Please share both tech and non-tech ideas!
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Ken Ehrmann
Jan 12, 2021
In General Discussions
I think screencasting is one of the best tools that are so underutilized by EVERYONE in education. We can leave flipped learning out of the conversation and they still serve a huge purpose. Sixty-five percent of learners are visual. Written directions just don't cut it. Additionally, spending time in class or in a meeting to show "how" to do something is just another misuse of time. SCREENCAST IT! People who struggle with written directions will be much better served with a screencast. People who do well with written directions will still succeed with a screencast. Instead of using your valuable time with students/staff, screencast the "how-to" so you can spend your time discussing why. Bring more why into your classroom or faculty meetings and less how. The screencasts do not need to be perfect, they just need to convey a clear message. Keep them short, keep them simple. Remember, your audience can pause and rewind, so just keep a consistent pace. Here is an example of a tutorial on how to use master slides in Google Slides. Now, when I meet with teachers we can brainstorm lesson ideas for why this tool will benefit the teaching and learning experience.
Got Screencasts? content media
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Ken Ehrmann
Jan 05, 2021
In Grants
Have you every heard of Donors Choose (www.donorschoose.org). It is a fantastic company that supports educators in creating online crowd funding campaigns to gain supplies for their classrooms. This post is not intended to push anyone away from using it, but there is another great website out there to also accomplish the same goals. PledgeCents (www.pledgecents.com) provides teachers with the same experience, just some additional perks. - If you do not fully fund your campaign, you will receive the funds you did raise and still be able to purchase some of the project. - You can choose from the vendors supplied, Amazon, or any other vendors your district is already partnered with to give you total freedom in your products of choice. - You can overfund your project and purchase more! - They do not collect a percentage of your campaign, it all goes to your classroom! There are many other perks, but those are some of the key highlights. This is just one way to gain funding and supplies for your classroom outside the traditional grants.
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Ken Ehrmann
Admin
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