One of the problems teachers often complain about is the lack of student motivation. According to this experienced educator, part of addressing this lack of engagement is always answering the "why" question.
Sometimes the best source for fresh ideas is a school that is experiencing the kind of success you seek. This article explains the collaborative methodology behind the success of a model school. Maybe you will find something that could work in your classroom or school, too.
While this article is a lot to chew on, it might be worth your time to consider how teachers can work together to integrate thinking and learning skills across the curriculum. And while it might take a lot of collaboration and commitment to pull it off, the benefits to student learning and performance could be significant.
This type of instruction is driven by big ideas, giving an authenticity to the learning of content knowledge and skills. The starting point, as detailed on this STEM document, is presenting students with the big ideas that create connections to students' background knowledge, and proceeds through active learning of relevant skills and knowledge.
When you ask students to chime in without applying the kind of pressure that accompanies tests, you can gain valuable information about what students truly know and understand. This brief article explains, and provides a few examples of self-assessment items you can create easily.
Students will often have difficulty assessing their own learning without help from you. This article provides suggestions regarding several strategies for helping students to better monitor and evaluate their own progress and learning.
We know that the more choice students have in what they study, the more engaged they are, but probably most of you aren't ready for the concept of student-centered education to take over in your classroom. It's pretty scary for most teachers, to be honest. Still, we need to take a close look at what one school is doing, and ask ourselves if we can learn anything from their approach.