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from the desk of @SoperWritings

Date: February 16, 2017

Building Time Management Skills in a Differentiated Classroom

Differentiating instruction for students based on readiness, interest, and learning style is a powerful way to make learning personal and effective. Research shows that giving students options in how they engage with content and skill practice often results in an overall increase in engagement and growth.

When I made it a point to shift my middle school classroom to a fully differentiated model, I put in the hard work to create student-driven activities and experiences for my diverse population of learners.

There were exploratory projects, fascinating articles, student-created podcasts, curated video clips, gamified practice, and even virtual field trips. My classroom literally had something for everyone. But there was a problem: students were struggling with the time management skills associated with a choice-driven learning environment.

 

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Using Classroom Debates to Engage Students

Any teacher or parent of adolescents will tell you, kids love to argue! With some effort, you can harness this natural inclination in your classroom as a way to improve your students’ content knowledge and literacy abilities.

Two of the targeted initiatives in the Common Core standards are a focus on developing students’ speaking and listening skills and a focus on developing students’ abilities to support claims with evidence. Debating is a way to address both of these concepts in a fun and engaging way.

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