Tag Archives: teacher tips

4 Easy Tricks for a Quieter Classroom

Music teachers have an amazing tolerance for noise. All primary school teachers deal with the calling out, the obliviously loud voices, and all that, but the music classroom multiplies that. After all, we don’t usually sit at desks—maybe not in … Continue reading

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Don’t Teach

I’m trying to incorporate more singing games and play parties into my music lessons. They are a great way to teach not only singing, but beat, pattern, form, etc. They also develop social skills, like eye contact, holding hands, taking … Continue reading

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Dynamic Displays

Do you find it difficult to display all the things you’d like to for your many classes? Try using your interactive whiteboard or projector as a dynamic display for each of your classes. Create a desktop-sized graphic that can be … Continue reading

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Metacognition and Student Reporters

These ideas can be used in any class, or any subject, but arose as a solution to a specialist situation. Specialist teachers have such limited time with students—and so many students—that getting an overview of students’ learning becomes a perpetual … Continue reading

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Tweet Your Learning

A great “exit ticket” for older students: At the end of class, give your students a few minutes to tweet a summary of the lesson (in 140 characters or less) using a designated hashtag, like #<CLASSNAMEdate> or #<schoolabbreviation>music<date>. Encourage them … Continue reading

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Instead of “I don’t know”

Okay, the title is a ruse. Children say, “I don’t know.” You can’t stop them. It’s a go-to response, it’s natural, and it’s fine. But what we want is for students to not stop there. “So you don’t know (or … Continue reading

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Context, Not Drills

There is a lot of debate about homework these days. When I was in school, homework was pages of multiplication problems, or reading a text and answering simple recall questions (usually worded identically in the question and the text, so … Continue reading

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Getting started with (or checking in on) inquiry

When I first started working with PYP, I was beyond overwhelmed. I came with a lot of knowledge and ideas, and now I had to do everything a whole new way. I didn’t need convincing; obviously it was a great … Continue reading

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Feedback, Not Tests

In the culture of standardized testing, it’s difficult to escape into meaningful assessment—usually because of lack of time, not lack of desire. But as we think about assessing, we need to remember that it is central to our teaching and … Continue reading

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What’s on your Walls?

Many PYP schools have guidelines about what should be on the walls, but it is worth stopping to reflect once in a while about what you are doing with this valuable teaching space. That’s right: teaching space. I’ve found that … Continue reading

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