“Content Corner” releases final round of instructional improvement articles

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to conclude the 2015-16 “Content Corner” collection with this third release of instructionally-focused articles for Maine educators. The third collection of articles completes this year’s focus on effective practices that support student learning in the content areas. The third collection includes: Early Childhood: Using calendars in preschool, why or … Continue reading “Content Corner” releases final round of instructional improvement articles

Creating a discourse community in the world language classroom

For students to have adequate opportunity to acquire language and develop proficiency in a language other than English, maximum use of the target language in the classroom by teachers and students is critical. While the research-based recommendation is that target language use represents 90% of teacher and student discourse in the classroom, many teachers struggle … Continue reading Creating a discourse community in the world language classroom

Clear learning targets and feedback strengthen social studies and science learning

How do we know that students understand and are learning what we intend in our classrooms? When do we adjust our instructional sequence or delivery of content to meet student needs? To answer these questions, we first must answer this question: What is the role of formative assessment in our classrooms? First, let’s be clear … Continue reading Clear learning targets and feedback strengthen social studies and science learning

Using calendars in preschool, why or why not?

Walk into a circle time in preschool in September and in June when the teacher is “doing calendar.”  It’s Wednesday. The teacher asks the children, “If yesterday was Tuesday, today is……?” The cacophony from the children includes the answers, “Saturday,” “Friday,” “Monday,” and pretty much any other day of the week.  It doesn’t change whether it is … Continue reading Using calendars in preschool, why or why not?

Close reading with text-dependent questions: conducting a text investigation

Making meaning of a complex text is itself a complex process. When students flex their literacy muscles to read something that is challenging for them, they grow as readers, as thinkers, and as writers.  Helping students develop stamina and supporting a productive struggle with challenging texts through routine practices provides the foundation for strong writing … Continue reading Close reading with text-dependent questions: conducting a text investigation

Feedback: A Valuable Teaching Strategy for Health Education and Physical Education, Part 2

The health education and physical education article focused last month’s Content Corner instructional improvement article on student feedback. This month’s article examines student feedback to the teacher. There are many sources for feedback about a teacher’s instructional practices. Administrators, peers and students can all provide valuable feedback to teachers that benefits all by responding to … Continue reading Feedback: A Valuable Teaching Strategy for Health Education and Physical Education, Part 2

Individual assessment in the large group ensemble

You can’t enter a school in Maine today without hearing conversations about proficiency-based diplomas and standards-based grading. Given this focus, arts educators have an interest in ensuring that they are using standards-based assessments to evaluate a student’s growth and development. The information gathered through assessment should be used to determine whether or not students understand … Continue reading Individual assessment in the large group ensemble