"Topics for Teachers" 2020

Here are the links that have been shared in monthly resource emails (most recent links are listed first):


December 2020: Consultation email with Resources you can use

Resource #1: Learning Menus for Remote Learning - I shared this link back in August, but it has been updated with a NEW set of menus for ALL grades! Each topic contains activities for ALL content areas. CLICK HERE to visit.

Resource #2: SERP (Strategic Education Research Partnership) Website - Yes, it's a weird acronym, but their "stuff" is pretty good. Mostly for grades 6 - 8, but much that could be adapted up or down for your use.  CLICK HERE to visit.

One more thing: I wrote back in July about the importance of MISTAKES. Another article came across my Twitter feed last week on this topic and it has suggestions for classroom action in it as well. CLICK HERE to read it. 


November 2020: Consultation email regarding Pedagogy Resources

Resource #1: PAD-agogy (Yes, it's a bad pun, but also a good resource!) This wheel takes the Pedagogy Wheel that we've all seen before and puts the technology many of us use on there. An easy way to see if you're really asking students to use a piece of tech for higher level thinking! CLICK HERE to look at the infographic.

Resource #2: Factors of Academic Performance CLICK HERE for the article. I thought this list from Terry Heick was eye opening - especially #4 and #6 - as a way to think about how my students are progressing. If you stop at #4 (like I did) and want to use the suggested strategy, a great printable example is HERE

Resource #3: Metacognition Questions  Metacognition is something we hear a lot about, but sometimes it seems more theoretical than practical. Here is a great list of questions for you to use to assist your students in "thinking about their thinking." The questions are listed by content area. CLICK HERE to see the list. 

Resource #4: A Nice Introduction to the Concept Attainment Model  Maybe you're looking for a way to introduce a more inquiry-based model of learning in your classroom. If so, you might consider using the Concept Attainment Model. CLICK HERE to read all about it.  


October 2020: Consultation email regarding Challenging our high-level learners

Resource #1: A Rationale You've heard me talk (probably ad nauseum) about Growth Mindset and its importance for all learners and for high-level learners in particular. I include this rationale today for those of you who are newer to teaching or who haven't been lucky enough to sit in a convo with me where this came up.  I know this topic may seem superfluous in a challenging time such as this and I will be the first to validate the many trials we are encountering in this current educational situation, but since we are asking students to be more independent than ever with their own work, it seems to me that some reflection about our instructional practice is also a timely topic for teachers.  

One of the biggest barriers for our GT students in developing a growth mindset is when they are repeatedly asked to complete work that they can do with ease and with a high rate of success. Having a high rate of success with tasks that do not require effort leads to a fixed mindset and an aversion to future challenge. This leads our high-level learners to future failure - when faced with challenge, they lean immediately towards giving up or refusing to try because they have been programmed to believe that success does not require effort. Many times, I hear teachers talk about this and it seems to be a big mystery...why won't the gifted learners embrace the challenges I am offering to them? The answers may lie in the everyday teaching practices of the most well-meaning teachers. 

If you have students who repeatedly "finish fast" or seem to always need extra enrichment, please consider that the tasks you are asking them to do might be too simple or lacking in challenge. If this is the case, there are many ways to adjust a task to make it more challenging. Many ways that do not require lots of work for you - simple tweaks will often do the trick. And will GREATLY benefit your high-level learners down the road. If this is something you are interested in looking at, please let me know and I'll be glad to assist you in looking at some of the work you have coming up. There are also content specific documents with teaching resources on my webpage (listed at the bottom of this email. 

And, if you want to hear from a nationally recognized expert about this topic (prepare to get fired up - he's a true colleague and practitioner), visit THIS LINK for the last 20 minutes of Ian Byrd's keynote address at the Tennessee State Gifted Conference. Ian Byrd's website is www.byrdseed.com 

Resource #2: Use Teaching Strategies that Promote Critical Thinking Here are two articles which contain several simple suggestions for encouraging thinking rather than just task completion. A great way to promote some effort and struggle for our high-level learners. CLICK HERE to read the first and HERE for the second. 

Resource #3: Model your own love of learning  This list of books - many of which would make a stellar read-aloud for many content areas and classrooms of all ages - came across my Twitter feed last week. You might find something that you could use within it. CLICK HERE to take a look.


September 2020: Consultation email regarding CRITICAL THINKING resources


August 2020: Three Real Resources for Enrichment and Two content specific links



July 2020: Two Timely Tweets about MISTAKES


June 2020: SENG Digital Library - resources for emotional support of students 


(March - May 2020: no emails because of COVID-19 situation)


February 2020: Differentiation


January 2020: Growth Mindset