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Volume 4 Number 4

No matter how many hundred of millions of dollars are spent, school reform initiatives will continue to produce unsatisfying results until we unflinchingly address the critical problem of teacher quality.
We're Still Leaving the Teachers Behind...
The Effective Substitute Teacher Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Approaches of Outstanding Teachers Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
Considering a Reading Basal Series? 4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Living La Vida Reading: Great Picture Book Biographies Postcard from Planet Esme - News from the world of children's books by Esmé Codell
10 Ways to Actively Involve Every Reader Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Teachers: Want to Learn? Then Learn to Risk! Teachers As Learners by Hal Portner
Getting Started on Your eBook eBook Authoring by Glenn F. Dietzel
Effects of Red Food Dye on Children Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Two Lists of Ten - Giving Directions for Lengthy Assignments and Preparing for Everyday Instruction The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
I Retired From 'Teaching' Back in 2009 and Now I'm Back! - Reporting from the future Ed-Tech Talk by Dr. Rob Reilly
English As a Second Language (ESL) Sites The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
April Articles
April Regular Features
April Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Ginny Hoover...
Ginny Hoover took an early retirement after 31 years of teaching in Kansas public schools. Her experience spans the 5th through 8th grades. During the last ten years she has functioned as a trainer of teachers in a variety of areas in her district, surrounding districts, professional organizations, and teacher service centers. At the state level Ginny is a state trainer for the KS State Writing Assessment (based on the Six Traits Writing Model), a member of the Kansas Social Studies Committee for writing the social studies standards, benchmarks, and indicators, and the lead trainer for the state in government and civics.

Recently, Teacher TimeSavers published a variety teaching units and tutoring hookups that Ginny wrote and designed. These include a Six Traits materials, literary unit for Taming the Star Runner, Hookups for Language Arts, Transcripts of Trials for Goldilocks, The Wolf, and Mr. Dad, and Tactile/Kinesthetic Activity Patterns.

The Gifts of Children by Hoover and Carroll Killingsworth, a book about recognizing, acknowledging, and refining the gifts of children, is scheduled to be published some time this year. Visit Teachers Helping Children--The Gifts Project for additional information.

Joyce McLeod, Jan Fisher, and Ginny will soon have a classroom management book to be published by ASCD. It will cover managing time and space, managing the classroom, and managing instructional strategies.

The Gifts of All Children
by Carroll Killingsworth and Ginny Hoover

More information

The Eclectic Teacher
by Ginny Hoover
Two Lists of Ten -
Giving Directions for Lengthy Assignments

Preparing for Everyday Instruction

Giving Directions for Lengthy Assignments

Getting students ready to do a lengthy project/assignment can be a challenge. The following are guidelines that may prove helpful.

  1. Create a checklist of tasks/steps to be completed.
  2. Carefully define each task/step.
  3. Consider due dates (timeline) on tasks/steps to keep the process moving at an appropriate rate.
  4. Take steps to gain student attention before starting any lengthy directions.
  5. Provide quality, well-planned oral directions supplemented by written support (i.e., checklist).
  6. Encourage students to take notes on the checklist.
  7. Provide rubrics that help clarify how a successful end product should appear.
  8. Provide opportunity for questions to clarify. Address issues to the whole class or address the issues individually---whichever is more appropriate.
  9. Make notes on how to improve directions when weaknesses are identified in the plan.
  10. Instruct students to reference the checklist as they move through the project/assignment and self-assess (using rubrics).

Preparing for Everyday Instruction

  1. Know your curriculum and know it well (content and level of mastery).
  2. Understand how the mandated assessments are administered and how the information is applied.
  3. Know the abilities and skill levels of your students.
  4. Assess levels of prior knowledge before you teach the lesson.
  5. Consider learning styles and multiple intelligence surveys to provide information for selecting the best teaching strategies for your students.
  6. Refine your "directions" skills. Think about including specific checklists along with rubric or a scoring guide.
  7. Monitor and adjust your instructional strategies according to data revealed through assessments (may be very informal assessments).
  8. Seek student input. "What don't you understand?" "Where do you need help?" "Why do you feel this assignment has been problematic for you?"
  9. Remember, the question is not whether you taught the curriculum, but instead…what did the students learn.
  10. So, allow assessment to DRIVE your instruction. Teach until they learn. Finally, if one approach does not work, have backup strategies to help them learn.

For a printable version of this article click here.

Visit Ginny's Educational WebPages!

Gazette Articles by Ginny Hoover:

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