Sometimes a donkey needs a carrot, sometimes a stick. Carrots work better because the donkey moves toward what it wants, not away from a punishment. According to Dr. Marzano (and, apparently farmers would agree), providing praise (a carrot) is a very effective teaching element.
It's not just highlighting A's and B's though. Recognize those, but really emphasize student growth. Maybe a student who got an F last time worked their butt off for a D. A D is still not proficient, but it is improvement; a step in the right direction. Recognizing that hard work and building that student up (especially if they are one of a very small number of students who were not proficient) is a very powerful tool that can really motivate lower achieving students.
But what about those high achievers; those students who seem to get A's or B's regardless of apparent effort? Recognize their achievement, but celebrate and honor areas they show real growth in. Praise them for making deeper connections during class discussions or for asking great questions or for being a great leader and facilitator of learning in class. Proper praise goes a long way with most students; achievement is great, but don't forget to always highlight growth.
This week's Marzano post is universal, and can be applied to any resource or lesson, so I won't highlight any specific ones this week. However, remember to follow this blog and visit and follow my store for great Social Studies resources!
When I got hired into my new district about four years ago, they were just starting the process of shifting to a Marzano approach to teaching and learning. Everything from our evaluations to lesson plans to daily instruction was ideally supposed to be Marzano aligned. Fortunately, I'd been making this transformation in my own classroom for several years and was a bit ahead of the curve. Anyway, that first year we were getting a lot of professional development about the various Marzano design questions and elements, and it got me thinking.
How many Marzano elements could I meaningfully fit into one resource?
At least six.
My reading response journals have students generating then revisiting their hypothesis, identifying critical content while reading a selection, summarizing the main points, creating a non-linguistic representation of the content, recording critical content on the worksheet, and identifying similarities and differences in just one quick and easy activity!
This week I'm highlighting my FREE Early Human Reading Response Journals. This resource comes with three reading response journal activities that cover a variety of topics relating to Early Humans. There is no key provided because the answers should and will vary widely from student to student.
So, click the link below for my FREE Early Humans Reading Response Journals which is also offered as part of a bundle of World History Reading Responses, and be sure to check out and follow my store for other great World History activities!
Are you looking for a quick and engaging way to teach your students about a lot of different European explorers in a way that reaches students with many different learning styles?
Well, if you are, I've got you covered!
My Age of Exploration Biography Task Cards are the perfect activity to expose your students to many of the most famous figures from the Age of Exploration while they work in cooperative groups to match, sort and group the explorers based on a variety of criteria they create. You'll be amazed by the discussions, spirited debates and compromises your students will make while doing this one simple activity.
One of my favorite sayings is "Goals without a plans are just wishes." To achieve any goal, you need a plan, and all good plans have way points. Think of a diet or exercise program. If you don't weigh in every so often, how will you know it's working? You won't. How will you know if you need to adjust your plan? You won't.
Marzano's second element is to track student progress. The concept is the same as with dieting. If your students don't monitor their progress, how will they know if they are learning properly? They won't. As importantly, how will you know if your teaching strategies and methods are being successful? You wont. The more frequently you monitor and track the success of your instruction, the quicker and better you'll be able to adjust to meed the needs of your learners.
In my classroom, I monitor and track student learning very frequently in both formal and informal ways. Informally, I ask a lot of questions or have my students quiz each other verbally. Listening to their responses gives me an idea of what misconceptions I need to address on the spot. The Learning Logs my students keep daily tracks their progress (or , at least perceived progress) more formally. The real measure of their learning, though, is how they do on assessments. Students record and graph their personal progress in the "Data Section" of their Social Studies binder, and class-wide progress is graphed and posted in my classroom as well.
This element is heavily built in to both the pre and post level of understanding rating in my Interactive Notes resources and in the unit overview days and each individual day in my Complete Units and Assessments resources. Click the links below to check them out, and don't forget to follow this blog, and my store for more great Social Studies teaching ideas and resources!
There is so much history to cover and so little time to do it! It can be really easy to put geographic skills on the back burner, isn't it? Fortunately, I have a product that both supplements core Age of Exploration instruction while providing an opportunity for students to practice some geography skills!
There are many theories about who discovered America. For decades, the answer was Columbus and Spain, then evidence for earlier Viking settlement came to light, and historians grudgingly acknowledged they were wrong. The Vikings beat the Spanish by at least half a millennium!
But was there anyone else? With my Who Really Discovered America? activity, your students will find out! This activity has your students find and label several controversial archaeological sites on an easy to read map, then come to a conclusion as to whether the Vikings were truly the only others to come to and explore the New World before Columbus.
So, click the link below for my Who Really Discovered America? activity, and be sure to check out and follow my store for other great American History products!
I'm a 14 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.