Is your creativity lacking? Are you feeling less than inspired? This happened to me recently, and it stinks. How do you get that mojo back?
One of the advantages of planning the materials and lessons for the quarter in advance is that you begin by plugging in those favorite lessons that can sometimes be forgotten when you get caught up in a myriad of job requirements minutia.
It can be too easy to fall back on worksheets and boring lectures. You begin to think, “I’ll just control the lesson by talking. Now, not only have I bored my class to death, I’m bored, too.”
One of the sure-fire ways to get inspired is to peruse some of your favorite teaching resources to remind yourself of some of the gems you have discovered and used in the past to inspire students as well as yourself.
The following are a few of my favorite resources:
Hollas, Betty. Differentiating Instruction in a Whole-Group Setting: Taking the Easy First Steps Into Differentiation. Peterborough, NH: Crystal Springs, 2005. Print.
The activities in this book get students moving, talking, and thinking. I love the step-by-step instructions and the way the author describes each activity, accompanied by an explanation of how the activity is differentiated.
Burgess, Dave. Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, 2012. Print.
The title says it all. Gathering ideas from this book is a shot in the arm. I have reread parts of this book when I want to re-energize my teaching.
Gallagher, Kelly. Write Like This: Teaching Real-World Writing Through Modeling & Mentor Texts. Portland, ME: Stonehouse, 2011. Print.
This contains great writing lessons that engage students and get them excited about writing for a variety of purposes.
Medo, Mary Anne and Marko, Jane Elizabeth. Classroom Strategies for Dynamic Teachers. Milwaukee, WI: Stone Cottage, 2007. Print.
This is a great reference guide when you’re looking for practical strategies to teach a variety of skills for a variety of contents.
Serravallo, Jennifer. The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2015. Print.
This is what the author calls “…a book of ‘reading recipes’… a clear, concise cookbook is a great model for what on-the-go teachers might need to pick and choose strategies, to target what each reader needs, and to support their differentiated instruction”
Letuchy, Sargy. The Visual Edge: Graphic Organizers for Standards-Based Learning. Print.
This resource contains comprehensive graphic organizers that are great visual tools for teaching the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Sometimes the descriptions of the CCSS can be difficult to understand. Letuchy’s descriptions that accompany each graphic organizer are very helpful. Personally, I have found these graphic organizers to be useful formative assessment tools. You can obtain a copy of this book through our website: www.TeachersPlanningPartner.com