What Works in Teaching–Vocabulary

What Works is to . . .

Relate vocabulary words to what children already know and to experiences children are already familiar with.


Quickies on What Works in Teaching — adprima.com/whatworks.htm
Image — WP Clipart.com


What Works in Teaching–Writing with a Purpose

What Works is to . . .

Provide students with a clear sense of purpose for any writing assignment.

This leads to more student-interest and better quality writing.

Quickies on What Works in Teaching — adprima.com/whatworks.htm
Image — WP Clipart.com

What Works in Teaching–Writing

What Works is to . . .

Teach writing as the following process:

1. Brainstorming

2. Composing (Drafting)

3. Revising

4. Editing

Quickies on What Works in Teaching — adprima.com/whatworks.htm
Image — openclipart.org

What Works in Teaching

Below are some tips for teachers on what works in the classroom. This list can save new teachers a lot of trial-and-error.

  • Brainstorming, composing, revising, and editing is an effective way to teach writing
  • When the words students study are related to familiar experiences and the knowledge they already possess, children learn vocabulary better
  • For young math students, physical objects are used in their lessons helps them learn more effectively
  • Teachers who ask questions that require students to apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information in addition to simply recalling facts increase student understanding and achievement

Read the complete list here: Quickies on What Works in Teaching

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[Teach the Teacher] Visual Instruction Plans

Visual Instruction Plans

VIPs are a way to present new information to students who don’t seem to understand what to do after you have just finished explaining the material.

VIPs present instructions to a student in “picture” format one step at a time.

The purpose of a VIP is to reduce the amount of time you (the teacher) spends in one-on-one “tutoring” mode. It also helps students to become more independent workers.

First read Weaning the Helpless Handraisers, Part 1 . This will prepare you for the Visual Instruction piece Weaning the Helpless Handraisers, Part 2

And finally, read A More Detailed Article on VIPs with Sample Lesson Plans.

Then, work on creating Visual Instruction Plans for your students.

[Summer Assignment] Prepare Your Welcome Back

All students should be welcomed back into the classroom. Home school classrooms as well.

While you have a little bit of time this summer, develop and finalize a welcome back. Not sure how to do this? Here are a few ideas:

  • Hold a First Day of School celebration
  • Go out and greet them when they arrive at school/homeschool
  • Be visible in hallways
  • Mark your classroom clearly with your name and room number
  • Assign hallway guides and hang directional signs
  • Hang a welcome banner in the classroom —

Harry Wong, author of The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher,  says that effective teachers (and schools) welcome students back after their summer breaks. And that everyone –teachers, parents, school administrators, principals, janitors, business people, and the community at large– need to be involved in this.

If schools do not begin with the proper, positive expectations, there may not be a Graduation Day for a student.

[Effective Teachers] 5 Concepts of Positive Expectations

Words and actions increase positive behaviors. There are five key concepts to this:

  • Name
  • Please
  • Thank You
  • Smile
  • Love

Use a student’s name when addressing him or her. Be respectful and friendly when addressing someone. And never use a person’s name in an angry or condescending manner. Correctly pronouncing someone’s name is important.

Children model their behavior on the people around them. Kindness includes using the word “please”. It shows you are well-mannered. Include the word please on assignments, worksheets and other class papers that you hand out.

When you want to express gratitude, respect, and appreciation use the words thank you. Using thank you along with a student’s name makes it easier for students to comply. Include the words thank you on assignments, worksheets and other class papers that you hand out.

No matter what a person’s language is, everyone understands what smiling conveys: peace, understanding, harmony. Smile when approaching a student even when you feel upset. You don’t need a fake smile, or show all of your teeth. Learn to express a controlled but well-timed smile.

Show that you care about your students. Listen to them. Be caring and loving. Give your students more than just simply conveying the subject areas you teach.

Take out your Teacher Control Journal:

  • Set a personal goal to include these 5 things in your teaching day. Explain how you will accomplish this goal. Identify 3 things you need to do.
  • Create a poster titled “I Want to Be a Better Teacher”. Include the 5 key concepts. Hang your poster in your classroom for your students to see! They will hold to your promise. And insha’Allah they will be inspired to change too.

Up Next, insha’Allah, Classroom Management
Previously, [Effective Teachers] Dress for Success (how-to)

Wong, Harry. The First Days of School. 2001.

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