This post is sponsored by Wondershare PDFelement. Regardless of sponsorship status, we don’t share or recommend products, services, or tools that we wouldn’t recommend in a non-sponsored status. You can read more about our sponsorship policy here.

by TeachThought Staff

Why should students publish their writing?

While there are some pitfalls we will get to, there are many benefits to having students publish their writing. It allows them to share their work with a wider audience, receive feedback from others, and improve their writing skills.

Publishing also gives students a sense of pride and accomplishment. Seeing their work published in some way, shape, or form can motivate them to keep writing and improve their craft.

How Can Students Publish Their Writing?

There are a number of ways to publish student writing, such as through online platforms, student newspapers, or literary magazines. Whatever the method, publishing provides students with an

Read more
Read More

Direction Instruction Versus Project-Based Learning: Which Is More Effective?

by Drew Perkins, Director of TeachThought PD

One of my favorite things about leading TeachThought PD is that I get to host The TeachThought Podcast.

On our podcast, I get to engage with interesting thinkers, and often their books or other published works, in long-form heterodox conversations meant to help educators better prepare students for the modern world.

I try to find and host guests who are diverse in their thinking, (thus the description, ‘heterodox conversations’) and sometimes that means guests who might disagree with my views. The point isn’t to win an argument or to ‘own’ the other side. The point is to uncover the nuance and complexity of important issues ranging from pedagogy to social concerns and more.

As a staunch advocate of inquiry and PBL, I regularly find myself engaging and pushing back on those who, in

Read more
Read More

What is the purpose of assessment?

The purpose of assessment depends on a range of factors, of course. Broadly speaking, the purpose can be whatever the teacher wants it to be. Like pacing guides, apps, books, and more, an assessment is a tool a teacher uses to help students learn.

There are other forms (e.g., multiple-choice, performance-based, etc.) and types of assessment–benchmark, criterion-based, and norm-referenced assessments like the ACT and SAT, for example–whose purpose is often beyond the classroom. Many of these forms communicate to the families of students how that student compares to other students. These are usually age-based in K-12, so all third-graders can be compared. The utility of this form of assessment is fairly limited, useful primarily as a general ‘sense’ of how that student’s development compares to ‘what should be expected’–the expectation (or ‘standard’) being the performance of other children.

The trouble with these forms

Read more
Read More
Inconvenient Truths About Assessment Of Learning

by Terry Heick

I. In terms of pedagogy, the primary purpose of an assessment is to provide data to revise planned instruction. It should provide an obvious answer to the question, “So? So what? What now?

II. It’s an extraordinary amount of work to design precise and personalized assessments that illuminate pathways forward for individual students–likely too much for one teacher to do so consistently for every student. This requires rethinking of learning models, or encourages corner-cutting. (Or worse, teacher burnout.)

III. Literacy (reading and writing ability) can obscure content knowledge. Further, language development, lexical knowledge (VL), and listening ability are all related to mathematical and reading ability (Flanagan 2006). This can mean that it’s often easier to assess something other than an academic standard than it is knowledge of the standard itself. It may not tell you what you want it to, but it’s

Read more
Read More

Snow is falling, sleigh bells are ringing, and winter is here! These winter and holiday classroom doors are full of cheer and frosty joy. Find inspiration here for a holiday door-decorating contest, or choose one of these to make your students’ winter days a little bit brighter.

1. Vincent van Snow

Classroom door decorated with a snowman in a Van Gogh style (Winter Classroom Doors)

Turn your door into a Snowy Starry Night with this super-fun door idea. It’s perfect for art rooms or anyone who loves Vincent van Gogh’s art.

Source: @doubleloadedpaint

2. Adventure to Narnia

Classroom door decorated with a streetlight and snowy pine and a sign showing the way to Narnia

Fans of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe will respond to the inviting nature of this door. It would be fantastic for a school library.

Source: Stephanie Kiesewetter/Pinterest

3. Chill Out With a Good Book

Classroom door decorated with snowmen reading books. Text reads Chill Out With a Good Book.

Speaking of book lovers, how cute is this door? Have each student make a snowman, personalizing the book cover with one of their own favorites.

Source: The Classroom Creative

4. Green

Read more
Read More