Online Differentiation

This type of differentiation is not the same thing as meeting special education requirements, although the two may overlap. Meeting special education requirements is a legal obligation, unique to each student with an IEP, or Individualized Education Program. One finding from education research is that within-class ability grouping often has negative effects for low-ability students,Continue reading “Online Differentiation”

5 LMS Features I Don’t Use

Automated Attendance Many LMSs permit automated attendance checking for synchronous sessions, and have features that permit it to be a percentage of the final grade. This also applies to tardy students. Seating charts can be created as well. In my experience, these features are often buggy and not recommended. Even when implemented, privacy concerns shouldContinue reading “5 LMS Features I Don’t Use”

5 Things I Don’t Do in Synchronous Classes

Use photos for slides. In a good LMS, screen reader users can access text from OCR-capable PowerPoint and PDF files shared in the session. Slides should not be crowded, with a goal of no more than five lines of text per slide, and no more than five words per line. Slides should be high contrastContinue reading “5 Things I Don’t Do in Synchronous Classes”

How do you schedule the work?

When planning to teach online, we should always make sure our students know what we want them to do. When teaching online, provide a written, posted schedule weeks in advance. I also repeatedly assign the same types of assignments. This is true whether I’m teaching in a blended class, or all online. I am notContinue reading “How do you schedule the work?”

why I don’t use lessons from 3rd party sites

and you shouldn’t either I do not recommend the regular use of materials from third party (whether for-profit or not-for-profit) lesson sharing websites. While teachers may sometimes run across a good supplement for an individual unit, using these sources as a major part of a course has several issues. Copyright Many public school teachers areContinue reading “why I don’t use lessons from 3rd party sites”

Don’t Make Up Your Own Curriculum

When I search for a curriculum, I want one written by experts. Experts understand the “deep structure” in a content area. Because experts organize knowledge differently, we want their expertise when deciding what is important to include in class. For example, a non-expert who writes curricula might wrongly interpret the Slave Narrative Collection at theContinue reading “Don’t Make Up Your Own Curriculum”

curriculum design

In my experience, there are two main types of curriculum designs: mastery – each concept is taught only once, but thoroughly; students are not taught the concept again. Ex: Math-U-See, many penmanship programs spiral – concepts are reviewed throughout the year, more depth of knowledge is added at each visit. Ex: Saxon Math, many foreignContinue reading “curriculum design”