Thoughtful Teachers Handbook

Why do you teach the way you do? I recall a mentor of mine telling me once that the biggest change in education in her 40 years of teaching was the arrangement of tables. Children use to sit in rows, now they sit in groups. They are still doing exactly the same things as before, […]

Scientific Method

In my classroom I used the strategy described in this blog entry to teach students scientific method and how to plan an experiment. In any science lesson one of the important over-arching outcomes is to teach students to behave like a scientist – to use the scientific method to ask questions and come to valid […]

Persistence does not equal failure

Sometimes students think that if they need to persist at a task in class then they must not be smart enough. They learn not to value persistence because they see it as a sign that they are not smart enough to “get it” the first time. Of course that’s a generalization, but there’s more than […]

No More “Think, Pair Share”!

Thoughtful teachers don’t ask students to “Think Pair Share”! OK, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but stay with me on this one. I really do believe that there’s a very good reason for not asking students to “Think, Pair, Share” and I’ve got a more powerful alternative for you. A while back I […]

Manage Impulsivity with Scissors

Scissors are a great way to help students to better manage their impulsivity. And no, I’m not talking about not running with scissors, or being careful not to cut yourself – although they are both important things to learn! Managing Impulsivity includes being planned. The ability to organize and prioritize. To sequence and work out […]

Learning To Plan

One of the characteristics of people who are good at Managing their Impulsivity is their ability to plan. They are good at establishing goals and then planing out the steps required to reach that goal. However, in many classroom situations the planning is being done for the students. Teachers routinely plan out the learning path, […]

Don’t say “Think”!

It may seem counter intuitive, but the word “think” is something that should only rarely be used in a classroom. The reason: students don’t know how to think, and you can’t teach them to do it! The word “Think” is a very vague one. It describes a wide range of cognitive actions. Consider some of […]