Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Standards-Based Grading: How to Start the Journey

Nicole Naditz on episode 478

Standards-based grading — where students are assessed by specific standards — is being discussed or implemented in many districts. Today we talk to an award-winning French teacher turned Instructional Technology Program Manager who can help us understand the pitfalls and possibilities of successful implementation. Nicole Naditz will also give us advice for getting started with standards-based grading as well.

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Listen to Nicole Naditz talk about Standards-Based Grading

Nicole Naditz – Bio as Submitted

Nicole has been a Program Specialist in Instructional Technology at San Juan Unified School District since 2018. Prior to that, she taught French for 25 years, winning numerous awards for her work designing authentic relevant learning experiences for her students. Her most notable awards include finalist for California State Teacher of the Year, 2012 and ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year, 2015.

Nicole is a sought after speaker and facilitator of professional learning on the topics of literacy, student voice, social justice, standards-based grading and more. You can see her 2015 acclaimed “TOY Talk” on standards-based grading here:


Twitter: @NicoleNaditz

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

11 Essential Chrome Extensions (And a New Browser)

Vicki Davis on Episode 477 of the 10-Minute Teacher

Extensions can be useful, helpful tools for parents and teachers. There are pitfalls and pluses from each extension and ways to use them in the classroom. In this show, I’ll share eleven essential chrome extensions and information on the new web browser, Brave, and why people are using it. In the show notes, I share the links. Enjoy!

11 chrome extensions for educators

Learn about the 11 Chrome Extensions Recommended in the Show

Chrome Extensions and Software Mentioned In This Show

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Monday, 22 April 2019

I And You And Us: 30 Inspiring Messages For Students

I And You And Us: 30 Inspiring Messages For Students by Terry Heick The premise is simple enough here: What are the kinds of messages that inspire students? We’ve talked about student engagement and motivational videos for teens, in addition to ‘good class rules.’ This is similar but not intently meant to ‘inspire.’ Rather, the […]

The post I And You And Us: 30 Inspiring Messages For Students appeared first on TeachThought.

Tackling the Trickiest Exam Question

Tackling the Trickiest Exam Question

In one of your child’s exams, there’s unfortunately probably going to be one question that they ‘dread….’

It’s likely that there’s one question that sticks out in your teen’s mind as the question that always seems to leave them stumped and, however many times they’ve tried it in class, they still don’t seem to pick up the marks for it!

So, what can be done?

Well, the first thing to do is for your teen to go and get some honest feedback. They need to know exactly what’s going wrong- and how to work on it with a fresh set of eyes. It’s your child’s teacher or tutor who will be able to give direct and specific feedback on a question, but the support doesn’t need to stop there.

Tackling the Trickiest Exam Question

As a revision provider, we offer ‘Grade Booster Classes’ that are ideal for helping your child with the final ‘squeeze’ when it comes to their examinations. Sometimes, it takes someone else to guide you for ‘it’ to click. In this case, our experienced school teachers (who lead our Grade Booster Classes,) may be the ones to help!

How can we help?

We run these specific sessions intensively, and we place each Grade Booster Course on the weekend before the exam (3 x 2-hour sessions in one day,) so we’ve got everything covered! Not only can we stand your child in good stead for improving their overall grade, but it may well be the solution they need to help with any tough questions still catching them out!

It can be easy for your child to get to a point whereby they ‘resign’ to the idea that they’re ‘not going to do well on that question.’ However, with a Grade Booster Class, this doesn’t have to be the case!

The other advantage, of course, is that even if your child still ends up finding that tricky question troublesome, the tips and intensive delivery experienced on a Grade Booster Class may lead them to pick up additional marks in other areas of the paper. This would take the pressure off the question your child may be worried about.

In 2011 we introduced our revision courses, designed to focus specifically on preparing students for the SQA examinations. These courses deliver an intensive revision program to support students and help to boost their end results, attaining the success they want to take them into further education. Every year, we grow in popularity, testimony to our own success.

Confidence is crucial

The other thing to consider here is your child’s confidence. The more they dwell and worry about the ‘tricky bit,’ the more likely they may be to get wound up over it or try and ignore it altogether! If you can give your child any advice, it’s to try and give every question a go (provided their timings are on track!) Missing questions will always lead to a no-mark answer.

Trying a question- and giving it their best shot- is usually rewarded! Examiners mark schemes usually specify a positive approach to marking and aim to seek out all levels of knowledge and understanding. Therefore, it’s important your child tries to get their head around every question- including those challenging ones- in order to have the best chances of success! If they can attempt every question- even the ones that niggle at them- then your teen will be on to a good thing!

Grade Booster courses last for 6 hours. During the sessions, students will revise and further enhance their subject knowledge.

Originally Published Here: Tackling the Trickiest Exam Question

‘Fight or Flight’ – Managing Exam Stress

‘Fight or Flight’ – Managing Exam Stress

Exams may be one of the toughest things your teen has faced thus far. The pressure that they experience during this time can visibly impact their thoughts and feelings- and can sometimes impact on your family life, too!

However, whilst you may feel tired of an increasingly grumpy or agitated teenager, there is a level of ‘good stress’ come exam time.

Our bodies are designed to ‘fight or flight.’ Therefore, when adrenaline ‘kicks in,’ your teen may feel the desire to run away from revision (or avoid doing it altogether!) In contrast, this adrenaline may actually fuel determination: it is this ‘fight’ response that is good for your teen. Nerves- to a certain extent- are healthy.


When your teen is in this position, encourage them to maximise on the feeling of ‘fight!’

When their adrenaline is rushing, they are more likely to feel alert and productive: they are more likely to take action. The days leading up to exam may well be the point at which your child starts to experience an increase in these sensations.

Acting on it

Consequently, a great way to utilise this ‘buzz of energy’ is to sign your child up to one of our Grade Booster Classes. These take place just the weekend before the exam (per subject.) This is an ideal way of your youngster being able to maximise knowledge, skill and revision right before they walk into that exam hall!

Our Grade Booster Classes are intensive: these are one-day sessions (3x 2-hour sessions,) led by experienced school teachers. Our experts will guide your teenager through all the key aspects of their SQA examinations, as well as help them to know how to maximise marks in their final exam.

By the end of the Grade Booster day, students are well-prepared, know what examiners are looking for and instantly recognise different exam question styles.


Grade Booster Classes can also be a good solution for teenagers who start showing signs of ‘flight mode’ (those wanting to ‘stop’ revision or ‘runaway’ from it at the very last minute!) For some students, as the exams get closer, their confidence wobbles and their nervousness leads to negative feelings (rather than ‘drive!’) Our classes are an excellent way of boosting your child’s confidence in those few days before the exam.

For a few teenagers, however, we need to be wary of intense levels of fear or anxiety- to the point at which it hinders productivity and success. A minority of students can experience overwhelming feelings of panic or cloudiness.

If you notice this frequently happening to your child, it’s best to seek support as soon as possible. Teachers and other professionals can help with this, or heading along to your GP might be wise if your child’s stress levels become all-consuming!

There’s no doubt that these final weeks are going to seem like a rollercoaster of emotions: the best thing you can do is encourage your teen that some stress levels are ‘normal’ and to be ‘expected.’ Watch out for any signs that worry you.

Where possible, encourage your teen to maximise on the ‘good stress’ energy that they may feel and snap up one of the spots on our Grade Booster Classe

See More Here: ‘Fight or Flight’ – Managing Exam Stress

5 Tips to Help Students Feel Valued in the Classroom

Crystal Willis on episode 476 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

Students need to feel valued. Today’s featured educator Crystal Willis from Instagram and TpT as “SunflowersandSped” shares five important tips to help students feel valued. From noticing strengths to not making a simple mistake that makes people feel dumb — Crystal has practical tips to help all of us better make children feel loved.

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Listen to Crystal Willis talk about promoting student value

Crystal Willis Bio As Submitted

First day of year 10Crystal from SunflowersandSped is an educator with more than ten years of special education classroom experience. Her credential is in mild to moderate special education with a certification in ELA. She has taught in both public and private school settings for elementary, middle, and high school grades, and is currently helping to oversee the implementation of a special ed program at a private school in Southern California. Crystal uses her IG account to connect with other sped teachers, parents, and students. She has a passion for making sure all special ed students feel seen, valued, and loved. As a student who struggled with dyslexia herself, she shares her story to build connections and community with her students and their families.

What’s next? Crystal is releasing her very own SunflowersandSped podcast in May. The podcast will give multiple perspectives on special education from the students, teachers, parents, and community. She’ll be interviewing people representing each perspective, as well as sharing stories, strategies, and resources. The goal of the podcast is to inspire hope and community building.


Instagram: @sunflowersandSped

Glimpses from Crystal’s Classroom

The TeachThought Podcast Ep. 162 What Do We Really Mean By “Deeper Thinking And Learning”?

The TeachThought Podcast Ep. 162 What Do We Really Mean By “Deeper Thinking And Learning”? Drew Perkins talks with Dr. Tim Simpson about classical and constructivist education and how both rely heavily on inquiry in order to get to deeper thinking and learning. Links & Resources Mentioned In This Episode: Tim Simpson – Morehead State […]

The post The TeachThought Podcast Ep. 162 What Do We Really Mean By “Deeper Thinking And Learning”? appeared first on TeachThought.