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Providing Meaningful Feedback

One of the most challenging—and most rewarding—aspects of being a teacher is the on-going process of giving meaningful feedback to our students. We know that good feedback can be one of the most powerful tools to incite student learning;[1] however, most of us face the dual struggles of knowing just what sort of feedback to give, […]

Maximizing Learning through Instructional Videos

Videos and video clips can serve as excellent instructional and supplementary tools in the classroom. From introducing new material to re-enforcing concepts that have already been covered in class, videos are a useful way to help students interact with and deepen their understanding of the subject matter. Whether you use video as a tool in […]

Fostering Imagination

So often in school we focus on the rational, intellectual aspects of what it means to be human. In our quest to teach our students the material that needs to be mastered, and the processes of how to think well, do we overlook—or at least underemphasize—the wonder present in the created world? Do we inadvertently […]

Proactive Classroom Management

“The number one problem in the classroom is not discipline: it is the lack of procedures and routines.” –Harry Wong, author of The First Days of School In his teaching on classroom management, education guru Harry Wong emphasizes the importance of teacher preparation as the best means for preventing problems before they arise. Students entering […]

‘Tis the Season for Reviewing

In school settings, December frequently signals the end of the first semester. Whether the semester actually ends prior to the Christmas holidays or shortly after students return in January, many teachers find themselves using the time to help students review what they have learned over the course of the semester. This week’s OnPractice is devoted […]

Thinking Biblically About…

As the holidays approach, I thought it would be a good time to share some of my favorite resources about thinking biblically about specific disciplines.  If you are anything like me, a good book—especially one that challenges you to engage with both your faith and subjects that you love—is a treasure.  Here are some of […]

Keeping your Head Above Water

Ask any teacher, and they’ll tell you the same thing: teaching is complex. It is far harder than it seems at first glance. There are so many different activities to stay on top of: lesson planning, classroom management, testing, differentiation, field trips, record-keeping, communication, faculty committees, professional development, oh—and loving each one of the youngsters […]

Teaching to the Test

Tests. The very word inspires dread in the heart of many a student. Who among us doesn’t remember sitting at a desk, staring down at a thick packet of paper knowing that how well we remembered the answers to the questions could significantly affect our grade in a given class. The bigger the test, the […]

Vocabulary Instruction: It Really Does Matter

As teachers, we all know the importance of helping students develop strong vocabularies. This is true no matter if we are teaching first and second graders or seniors in high school. It is also true across disciplines. In fact, the research shows that there is a strong correlation between increased student vocabulary and greater reading […]

Unstringing the Bow

Several years ago, at an ACSI school administrator’s conference, I heard ACSI’s regional director for international schools (and former BFA head) Tim Schumann speak about the principle of unstringing your bow. Essentially Dr. Schumann was encouraging school leaders to take the time to step away from the battle—the stress and the busyness that comes with […]