“Content Corner” releases second round of instructional improvement articles

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to release the second collections of 2015-2016 articles in the “Content Corner.” These resources are designed to support teaching and learning in Maine classrooms and make connections to classroom applications and research. The articles prepared for 2015-16 focus on instructional strategies to support educator understanding of effective practices in … Continue reading “Content Corner” releases second round of instructional improvement articles

Mathematically speaking, what is fluency?

This is the second in a series of instructional articles to support teachers in implementing the 8 Effective Teaching Practices outlined in the book Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. This article discusses teaching practice 6: Build Procedural Fluency from Conceptual Understanding. Ensuring students have a deep understanding of mathematics ideas and number … Continue reading Mathematically speaking, what is fluency?

Assessment strategies for the theatre classroom

Assessment is part of the educational process. However, assessment can become an afterthought in the theatre classroom due to educator concerns that theatre is too subjective to assess successfully or that traditional assessment tools are not applicable to a performance-based discipline. Fortunately, theatre gurus, Susan K. Green and Stephen Gundersheim, have identified the following six … Continue reading Assessment strategies for the theatre classroom

The why and how of thematic units in the world language classroom

The December 2015 article on the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do statements guided world language educators on using the resource for identifying learning targets relative to proficiency level. This article builds off of that idea, and it looks closer at thematic units in order to understand why and how they best empower educators to teach to language proficiency. … Continue reading The why and how of thematic units in the world language classroom

Instruction in preschool programs

“Instruction” is not a word that rises to the top in a preschool teacher’s vocabulary list. In fact, some teachers hear the word and envision “instruction” as equal to inappropriate practice.  It is a word that often connotes preschool becoming too “academic,” a “push-down curriculum from kindergarten,” or taking the fun out of young children’s … Continue reading Instruction in preschool programs

Social Studies: questions are as important as answers

Humans are naturally inquisitive. Young children tend to ask an abundance of questions, yet the volume of questions posed by students often dwindles in middle and high school. Learners at all grade levels benefit from the opportunity to devise questions and seek answers.  If students are taught how to ask questions they will learn how … Continue reading Social Studies: questions are as important as answers

Academically productive talk in science

There is no shortage of talking in classrooms, yet academically productive talk is far different from the standard teacher-directed questioning strategy to elicit singular correct responses. In the academically productive talk classroom, the teacher serves as facilitator for discussions that help the students grapple with concepts and reasoning that will deepen their understanding of topics. … Continue reading Academically productive talk in science