Teacher to Teacher

March 17, 2011

Writing and Thinking

If people cannot write well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.

George Orwell

We are more than a decade into the 21st Century and Orwell’s quote is as relevant as ever.  Information and misinformation travel at the speed of megabytes per second via text messages, Facebook status updates, blogs, tweets, etc. In addition to these online sources, we have television and radio news networks trying to fill up much of their 24 hour schedules with speculation masquerading as news.  When it comes to the clutter and clamor of the omnipresent media, our students need to be able to separate that which is reasonable and true from all that is questionable and maybe even preposterous.  Helping our students further develop their critical thinking skills is one way to help them deal with the multitude of messages coming their way.

When students become better writers, they also become better at examining how others develop and defend ideas.  They become better critical thinkers.  I didn’t fully appreciate this concept until I went back to school to work on an administrative endorsement.  Every course involved a lot of writing.  Some of the courses were online, and because of the nature of online courses, a great amount of writing was required.  The more I wrote for my classes, the more I began to realize that becoming a better writer was also making me a better thinker.  Writing forced me to have a good understanding of my subject in order to effectively communicate my thoughts,  research, and conclusions to my teachers and classmates. I also had to be able to defend my ideas, because writing also exposed me to scrutiny and challenge.  I came to appreciate the importance of being my own devil’s advocate.

It is possible for people to be good writers, and their messages turn out to be intellectually bankrupt.  Political speeches and propaganda are possible examples of this type of writing.  The writing sounds reasonable and maybe even inspiring, but turns out to be as substantial as a soap bubble when pricked by the slightest scrutiny.  It is important that we challenge the thinking behind our students’ writing.  We need them to be able to defend their positions and cite their sources of information.  We also need to teach them to establish the validity of their sources.  In addition, students need to critique the writing of others in order to discover how the writers develop their arguments, and to discover the writers’ biases, assumptions, or examples of lazy thinking.  These challenges will take them beyond just writing and on to deeper thinking.

This type of writing requires students to take big risks.  In order to prepare students for the challenges that will be directed at their ideas, they need to be able to trust their teachers and their classmates.  Teachers need to develop a safe and trusting environment in which discussion of multiple viewpoints is encouraged and no one feels personally attacked when asked to defend his or her position.

Orwell’s statement, found at the beginning of this blog entry, provides direction in helping our students become the critical thinkers they need to be.  In order to help our students think for themselves, and keep others from thinking for them, we need to have them write often in every subject while also challenging their assumptions, arguments, and conclusions in a safe and supportive environment that allows for risk-taking.

For additional information, see the links below.

Foundation for Critical Thinking

http://www.criticalthinking.org/

What is Writing?

http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/pdf/writing.pdf

An excerpt from the book How to Write a Paragraph

http://www.criticalthinking.org/files/SAM-HowtoWrite.pdf

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January 17, 2011

Twitter and Professional Development

It took me awhile to become a Twitter user.  I had heard a lot about Twitter, but I was never sure why I would use it.  Then, about two years ago during a meeting with several techies, Twitter was mentioned several times.   I finally turned to someone near me and asked, “Why would I ever want to use Twitter?”  She answered, “It’s a great resource for personal professional development.”  That answer was good enough for me to decide to check into it.

I signed up for a Twitter account and started following a few of the people who were at that meeting.  They tweeted many useful resources and ideas on a variety of educational subjects.  I began to see the power of Twitter as a personal professional development tool.  I began to follow other educators, and my personal professional development community began to widen.

After about a year, I discovered Tweetdeck and hashtags.  Tweetdeck is an application that not only displays tweets from the people I follow, but also shows me updates from my LinkedIn account, Facebook page and any hashtags I want to follow.  I can also tweet from Tweetdeck and have those tweets also go to my Facebook page.

I still feel like a novice.  Other people have written excellent articles about Twitter and teachers, so I will refer you to their writings.  To learn more about using Twitter as an educator, visit Justin Tarte’s blog at http://justintarte.blogspot.com/2011/01/10-steps-for-educators-new-to-twitter.html .  To learn more about hashtags, visit Chris Messina’s blog at http://twitter.pbworks.com/w/page/1779812/Hashtags .  You can follow me at http://twitter.com/mpruter.

December 15, 2010

Preparing Your Students for Differentiation

Students may wonder, “What is going on?” when a teacher begins differentiating instruction—especially when differentiation hasn’t been the norm.  A student might question why he is required to do something that seems much more difficult than what another student is doing.  It’s best to address this issue right away before any differentiation occurs.   Today’s entry explains how I try to develop the concept of “fair” with my students so they will be more likely to accept differentiated instruction.  It’s not original to me, and unfortunately I don’t remember who first gave me the idea to try this.

I wanted my class to be ready for differentiated instruction right from the start, so on the first day of school I asked them to tell me what the word “fair” means.  I wrote a few of their definitions on the board.  Usually the definitions were mostly about equality—something like “everybody doing the same thing the same way” or “everybody getting the same amount.”

Then I said something to the students like, “So, let’s say Mary breaks her leg and needs a cast and has to use crutches.  Then it is only fair that each person in our class gets a cast and uses crutches.  Is that right?”

The class responded that of course it’s not right.  I then reminded them of their definitions of fair by saying, “But you just told me that fair means everybody getting the same thing or everybody doing the same thing.  So to be fair, we all need to have casts and crutches, right?”

“No,” they responded.

“Then why is it ok for Mary to have a cast and crutches, but not the rest of us?”

“Because she needs the cast and crutches so she can get around.  The rest of us don’t need a cast and crutches.”

“So, would you say that it is fair for Mary to have a cast and crutches even though we all don’t have casts and crutches?”

“Yes.”

I continue with another example,  “Joe has glasses so he can see better.  Therefore, to be fair, we should all wear glasses, right?”

“No.”

“Why does Joe get to have glasses and the rest of you don’t?”

“Because he needs glasses to see and we don’t”

“So, it’s fair for Joe to have glasses, but not the rest of us.  Let’s look at the definition of ‘fair’ that we put on the board.  Do we need to redefine fair?”

“Yes.”

I then led students to define fair as everyone getting what they need in order to do their best.  I also said that as a teacher, I’m kind of like a doctor giving out prescriptions.  “I give students what they need in order to learn in the way that is best for each of them.  Sometimes Joe needs to do this paper because, just like a doctor, I know what Joe needs.  I may see that Sally needs to do something different than Joe, so I give her a different assignment.  Does that sound fair?”

My classes always agreed that this sounded fair.  If your class doesn’t agree, you might have to work the scenarios a bit more or maybe try a different analogy, such as a coaching one.  The coach assigns different drills to different players based on what each one needs to perform well in the game.

I finished with, “In this classroom this year, you will sometimes be doing something different than other students in the class.  This is because I’ve decided, like a doctor, that some of you need to do things a certain way in order to learn in a way that is best for you.  So, in this class, you might be doing something different than your neighbor, but it is because you each have different ways of learning or different skills to practice.  Does that sound fair?”

My classes always responded, “Yes.”  If yours doesn’t, you might give more examples or analogies to help drive the point home.  Also remind students of this definition several times through the school year—and when you hear someone complain, “That’s not fair,” review it with them again.

Hopefully, addressing the issue of “fair” early in the school year will help your students be more accepting of differentiation in your classroom.  I’d be interested to hear any strategies you have for developing the concept of “fair” in your classroom.  Please share in the comments section.

November 23, 2010

Communicating With Parents

There are several benefits to parent-teacher conferences.  Parent-teacher conferences help build relationships, making it easier for parents and teachers to initiate contact.  Conferences provide parents with ideas to help their children.  Conferences help teachers to better understand their students.  All of these benefits are realized through effective communication.

Sean Covey, in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens (1999), reminds us that communication involves much more than what we say.  As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”  Only 7% of what is communicated is in words. 53% of the communication comes from body language and about 40% comes from the tone and feeling reflected in our voices.  These statistics remind us to be aware of the messages we may be communicating beyond our words.

These statistics also remind us of why email is not always the best choice for communicating.  Email messages are easily misconstrued because recipients are missing the supporting information that our facial expressions, body language, and voice inflections provide.  Email should only be used to communicate information with no emotion.  Whenever there is the potential for emotion to become a player in the communication, pick up the phone or schedule a face-to-face conference.

Stever Robbins, the Get-It-Done Guy, provides a sample list of messages best delivered face-to-face:

  • Any judgment about a person or the quality of their work.
  • Any topic where you think the other person might lie.
  • Any message that manages the relationship itself.  In business, this would be layoffs, demotions, promotions, or hiring offers.  In school this would be student behavior issues.  In personal life, breakups, proposals, making up, etc.
  • Positive evaluations and “Thank you”s.
  • Politics, religion, or other issues where people have few facts but lots of opinions.

The flip side of talking during a face-to-face or phone conversation is listening.  Covey (1999) identifies five types of listening:

  • Pretend listening—We aren’t really listening to what the person is saying, but we act like we are by making comments at critical junctures and by nodding as if we are listening.
  • Spaced out listening—Someone is talking to us, but we don’t hear because we are caught up in our own thoughts.
  • Selective listening—We only pay attention to the parts of the conversation that interest us.
  • Word listening–We are actually hearing what the other person is saying, but ignore their body language and the tone of their voice.
  • Self-centered listening—We listen to what the other person is saying, but from our point of view.  We wait for a break in the conversation to tell our story.

It is important that the listener hold up his part of the conversation by truly listening to the other person and trying to understand his point of view.  Covey (1999), suggests:

  • Listen with your eyes and your ears. Listen to the person’s words, but also to what they are not saying.  Pay attention to the other person’s body language and tone of voice.
  • Stand in their shoes.  Effective listening also includes trying to see the situation from the other person’s point of view.
  • Practice mirroring.  A mirror reflects.  Repeat back in your own words what the other person is saying and feeling.  A few sentence stems to help you mirror are:
  • As I get it, ….
  • So, as I see it,….
  • I can see that you are feeling….
  • So, what you’re saying is….

When you understand where the other person in the conversation is coming from, then you can try to make yourself understood.

A key to successful home/school relations is regular, two-way communication.  As a teacher, what can you do to make sure this happens?

References

Covey, S. (1999). The seven habits of highly effective teens.  New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Robbins, S. (2009, December 1). Which form of communication should you use in the workplace?  Retrieved from http://getitdone.quickanddirtytips.com/communication-skills-in-the-workplace.aspx.

September 7, 2010

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Although the school year is just getting underway, it’s not too early to think about parent and teacher communications as well as the upcoming parent-teacher conferences.  Here are a few tips and resources to help you communicate with parents and help them become your partner rather than remain a bystander or become a foe.

Debbie Fly, an experienced teacher, writes about a mnemonic she uses to help her with conferences in an ASCD Classroom Leadership article:  “The ABCs of Parent-Teacher Conferences.”

A—Always begin and end a conference on a positive note.

B—Be courteous; don’t talk negatively about other students or teachers.

C—Chairs should be arranged so that there are no barriers between you and the parents.

I think Debbie was wise to add a fourth letter to the list:  T for Treat parents the way you would like to be treated.  If we keep this idea in mind in our interactions with parents, as well as with students, co-workers, and anyone else we encounter, we’ll be well on our way to establishing great working relationships with one another.

Debbie also uses email as a way to communicate with parents.  Parents sometimes feel less intimidated through email and are more willing to express their thoughts.  It also might provide an alternative to face-to-face meetings.  However, I would add a caveat to this way of communicating.  Email messages lack the body language and voice inflections present in face-to-face communication.  Sometimes the sender and the recipient of an email might be in different emotional states of mind at the time they are interacting with the email.  Since the email lacks body language and voice inflection, it’s easy for a recipient to read more into the email than is actually there.  This can lead to confusion, anger or hurt feelings.  Therefore, read your email before you send it to look for possible words or phrases that could be misinterpreted.  Then read it again.  Then read it one more time.

When reading emails from parents, give parents the benefit of the doubt.  Try not to infer negative intentions from the emails.  However, if there is no doubt that the message is meant to be insulting or inflammatory, remember that your response needs to be professional.  Remember:  we need to treat parents the way we want to be treated.  In fact, it is probably best not to answer the email with another email, but instead arrange for a face-to-face conference with the parent.  Email is never the way to work through a disagreement.

Addie Gains has an informative powerpoint about parent-teacher conferences at EducationWorld.  Addie reminds us that the purposes of these conferences is to provide the opportunity for communication between parents and the teacher, to build cooperative relationships, to provide parents with ideas to help their children’s school performance, to allow the teacher to understand the child better, and to establish a relationship that makes it easier for parents and teachers to initiate contact with one another.

So, what do parents want to know about you?  Addie tries to remember three Cs:  Competence, Confidence, and Compassion.

Parents want to know that you’re competent.  If you show you are competent, parents will trust and respect you.  In order to show parents at a conference that you are competent, think through these questions:

  • Are you organized and prepared?
  • Do you have student work examples?
  • Are you knowledgeable?
  • Are you on time?
  • Do you have helpful materials?

Parents want to that you’re confident.  If you exude confidence, parents and students will have more confidence in you.  Consider these questions when thinking about conveying confidence:

  • Do you feel comfortable conducting the conferences?
  • Are you relaxed, thereby putting parents at ease?
  • Are you a willing, active listener?
  • Are you in a problem-solving, “teamwork” frame of mind?
  • Did you leave defensive words and responses at home?

Parents want to know that you are compassionate.  Here are some questions to think about when it comes to showing your compassion:

  • Do you show that you genuinely care about the child?
  • Are you warm and welcoming?
  • Are you smiling?
  • Are you friendly?
  • Is your room arranged comfortably?

I’ll continue with this topic next week with information on effective communication.

Resources to help you prepare for conferences:

Preparing for a Parent-Teacher Conference:  A Teacher’s Checklist for a Successful Parent Meeting

http://www.suite101.com/content/preparing-for-a-parentteacher-conference-a71880

Parent-Teacher Conferences:  A Checklist for Success

http://www.d158.net/ParentsPage/Parent-TeacherConferences.pdf

Parent-Teacher Conference Outline/Checklist

http://www.homeofbob.com/cman/tchrTls/parntTchrConf.html

A Parent’s Checklist from Scholastic

http://www.scholastic.com/familymatters/parentguides/schoolinvolve/pdf/ParentTeacherConference.doc.pdf

April 26, 2010

Six Principles Needed for Schools to Be Successful

Filed under: Education — Mike @ 1:43 pm
Tags: ,

I recently heard Luis Cruz speak at the Nebraska Excellence in Education Conference. Dr. Cruz is the principal at Baldwin Park High School, located about 30 miles east of Los Angeles. He spoke to our group on the topic of Graduating In Spite of the Odds. During the lecture, Dr. Cruz related six principles for school success as identified by the Beat the Odds Institute.

1. Clear the bottom line. Emphasize the achievement of every student in every classroom and take responsibility for that performance. These schools have a mission, vision, values, and goals that are essential. Schools have a plan for transferring that mission, those values and those goals into their day to day operations.

2. Ongoing assessments. Teachers and administrators assess student achievement early and often and use the information to drive improvement rather than to assign blame. In these schools, teachers and principals are collecting and pouring over any metrics and measurements, catching problems as they arise.

3. Strong and steady principal (leadership). The job of the principal is to spread the leadership. Create a team atmosphere. These principals keep pushing ahead.

4. Collaborative solutions. When you bring people together, incredible things happen. First of all, we face the facts (confronting the brutal facts—i.e. not ALL of our students are graduating). Ask, “What can we do to see that this changes?” Collaboration vs. CoBLABoration: If you begin to talk about the big game last Friday, you’ve begun to engage in coBLABoration. Collaboration is a process by which teams work interdependently to achieve a common goal.

5. Stick with the program. We tend to move from one program to the next. There is no magic bullet. Find a good program with a strong track record over time and then stick with it.

6. Build to suit. Customize instruction and interventions so they fit exactly what the student needs. Strong instruction only exists if students are learning.

And an additional principle provided by Dr. Cruz: patience is essential. Change is going to take time.

March 4, 2010

Physical Education (PE) Teacher Links

I’m preparing a job-alike day for PE/Health teachers. During the day, I plan on having them explore a few online resources. Below, I’ve listed the PE websites I have found. I do not necessarily endorse all the information found at these sites.

Nebraska Department of Education Health and Physical Education Page
http://www.nde.state.ne.us/PEHealth/

PE Videos at PE Central
This page has videos for teachers on a variety of physical education and health topics.
http://www.pecentral.org/mediacenter/videos.html

National Association for Sport and Physical Education
This site contains resources for teachers, administrators, parents, and students.
http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/

Physical Education Teacher Evaluation Tool
All teachers benefit from meaningful, ongoing assessment and evaluation. The NASPE-developed Physical Education Teacher Evaluation Tool identifies the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to provide sound instruction in the K-12 physical education classroom. Its purpose is to assist principals, school district curriculum specialists, and others who evaluate physical education teachers as well as to guide physical education teachers in reflection and self-assessment, and serve as an instructional tool in college/university physical education teacher education programs.
http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/publications/teachingTools/upload/Physical-Education-Teacher-Evaluation-Tool-2007.pdf

Classroom Energizers
Energizers are classroom based physical activities that integrate physical activity with academic concepts. These are short (about 10 minutes) activities that classroom teachers can use to provide activity to children which corresponds with the request from the North Carolina State Board of Education’s Healthy Active Children Policy for elementary teachers. There are energizers for Kindergarten through middle school.
http://www.ncpe4me.com/energizers.html

Through A Child’s Eyes Brochure
A great learning tool for parents and coaches that provides useful tips and advice for promoting sportsmanship and fun.
http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/publications/teachingTools/upload/TACE_brochure.pdf

The Difference Between Physical Education and Physical Activity
With heightened attention on childhood obesity prevention efforts, there seems to be some confusion between the terms “physical education” and “physical activity.” Often the words are used interchangeably but they differ in important ways. Understanding the difference between the two is critical to understanding why both contribute to the development of healthy, active children.
http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/publications/teachingTools/PAvsPE.cfm

Top Ten Reasons for Quality Physical Education
When they ask “why,” this is what you tell them.
http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/publications/teachingTools/upload/top10reasonsforQualityPE.pdf

Physical Education Update Blog
Monday Morning Musings on the World of Sports, Coaching & Physical Education
http://www.physicaleducationupdate.com/peblog/

More Students Taking Physical Education Online (news article)
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/08/25/online-physical-education/

PE Links4u
Large set of physical education links.
http://www.pelinks4u.org/

MrGym
You will find a wide variety of physical education games; cooperative games and activities, sports games, lead up activities, and much more. Also, ideas on physical education assessment, field day, cheap or free physical education equipment and more.
http://www.mrgym.com/

PE Central
Provides information about developmentally appropriate physical education programs for children. Contains over 1800 published lesson ideas.
http://www.pecentral.org/

February 1, 2010

Keep Growing As An Educator

Filed under: Education — Mike @ 11:12 am
Tags:

The following came to me in an email from Cynthia Bahler, a colleague of mine at ESU 15. I appreciated the message and asked if she would allow me to share it with the readers of my blog. She graciously said yes. Her words are below.

“I was taking a moment in my day to inhale a cold lunch when I peered up
and read this amazing poster on the wall of the teacher’s lounge:

Coming to school every day can become a hopeless task for some children
unless they succeed at what they do. We teachers are the sentries against
that hopelessness.

In this month of expressing love and appreciation, I too wanted to thank
you for going the extra mile for kids! It hardly seems possible, but we
are into 2010 and new changes and challenges await for us around the
corner- whether we are ready or not. I don’t know how you feel about
resolutions or even what your success rate is on keeping them. Incase you
are up to it, take on a new challenge to grow as a professional. Now, if
you are knee deep in coursework for your own degree advancement then
ignore this. If not, try finding various resources at your fingertips.
Right here on our very own ESU #15 Website we have a teachers blog where
you can talk to various teachers- ask questions, leave tips and more. In
my profession things are constantly changing. I can’t even claim to
remember half of what is thrown my way, but the stuff I do remember is the
stuff I shared with someone else and actually put into action. About
every 5th article I stumble on I heed it’s advice, attempt it’s
suggestion, share it’s finding. I find myself constantly open to new
ideas and seeking them as well. Perhaps you have an email junkie friend.
Ask them to surf for you and email sites. Check out the NE Dept. of
Education website, a journal for psychology or ask your principal to
suggest one. As always, your librarian would be happy to recommend a
magazine or two to you.

So, with love, I have something for each of you. It is not chocolate to
go to your hips, pop to rot your teeth, flowers to die or money-I’m a
teacher, you know I don’t have money:)
Instead I thought I would share a few great websites with you. ENJOY!

www.behavioradvisor.com
www.quia.com

Art Teachers’ Websites

I’m preparing a job-alike day for Art and Music teachers. During the day, I plan on having them explore a few online resources. Below, I’ve listed the Art websites I found. I do not necessarily endorse all the information found at these sites.

Managing Arts in the Classroom
http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/3336/
This How-To offers guidance for managing arts-related classroom projects.

National Art Education Association
http://www.naea-reston.org/
Sections on lesson planning, some online publications.

Increasing Arts Demand Through Better Arts Learning
http://www.naea-reston.org/research/increasing-arts-demand-better-arts-learning.pdf
A Wallace “Knowledge in Brief” summarizes new research on how some cities are working to reverse a decades-long decline in arts education in ways that could also lift demand for the arts overall.

Education at the Getty—Resources for the Classroom
http://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/classroom_resources/
Lesson plans and lesson guides for K–12 grades and adult ESL learners.

Education at the Getty—Resources for Students
http://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/student_resources/
Online games, videos, and activities for students.

National Gallery of Art—Classroom for Teachers and Students
http://www.nga.gov/education/classroom/
Access lessons and resources by curriculum, topic, or artist.

2-D Design Notes
http://daphne.palomar.edu/design/
This site contains the design notes for Jim Saw’s Art 104: Design and Composition class at Palomar College. The notes contain design theory as well as the assignments for the class.

Art Studio Chalkboard
http://studiochalkboard.evansville.edu/
These pages are a resource for artists and art students that focus on the technical fundamentals of perspective, shading, color and painting.

The Incredible Art Department
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/
The name of the site says it all.

Arts Edge
http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/teach/
the National Arts and Education Network — supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience. ARTSEDGE empowers educators to teach in, through, and about the arts by providing the tools to develop interdisciplinary curricula that fully integrate the arts with other academic subjects. ARTSEDGE offers free, standards-based teaching materials for use in and out of the classroom, as well as professional development resources, student materials, and guidelines for arts-based instruction and assessment.

Ursus Wehrli tidies up art
http://www.ted.com/talks/ursus_wehrli_tidies_up_art.html
In this comic video from TED, Ursus Wehrli shares his vision for a cleaner, more organized, tidier form of art — by deconstructing the paintings of modern masters into their component pieces, sorted by color and size.

Education Blogs by Discipline
http://movingforward.wikispaces.com/Education+Blogs+by+Discipline
This is a place to list subject-specific P-12-oriented blogs.

Americans for the Arts Public Awareness Campaign
http://www.artsusa.org/public_awareness/default.asp
In partnership with the Ad Council and local and state arts agencies around the country, Americans for the Arts have created promotional ads to encourage parents to ask for more. This site we gives them the tools to do so.

Protocols for Learning from Work, Text, Dilemmas, and Classroom Visits
http://www.nsrfharmony.org/protocol/protocols.html
A collection of protocols to help groups examine texts and work. Some of these can be adapted for use with students.

Music Teachers’ Websites

I’m preparing a job-alike day for Art and Music teachers. During the day, I plan on having them explore a few online resources. Below, I’ve listed the Music websites I found. I do not necessarily endorse all the information found at these sites.

The Development of Western Music
http://www.datehookup.com/content-the-development-of-western-music.htm
The composers listed on this site provide a resource on how the development of western music took place. Some of these composers’ careers extended beyond the general historical periods they’re listed under.

Chorus Teacher Resources
http://www.fva.net/ctr/
Contains information on music advocacy, informational articles, classroom aids, classroom management, clinic/workshop handouts, concert program templates, curriculum, field trip permission slips, sample chorus handbooks, lesson plan templates, and much more.

Owning the Stage
http://www.owningthestage.com/
In this comprehensive blogsite, barbershop quartet champion Tom Metzger explores performance from many different angles.

Foundations of Effective Practicing
http://www.jtimothycaldwell.net/blogs/?page_id=25
Tips from J. Timothy Caldwell, author of Expressive Singing: Dalcroze Eurhythmics for Voice. Explore the links on the right side of the webpage for other information.

The Director’s Face
http://www.choralcoaching.com/wst_page7.html
A short article on facial expressions of directors as they direct. Explore the links on the left side of the webpage for other information.

Music Classroom Management

http://www.mtmusiced.org/MgtExtended.pdf
Contains an pros and cons of various classroom management philosophies, the top 10 classroom management sins, recipes for successful choir and instrumental rehearsals, choir and instrumental rehearsals evaluation tools, music student self-evaluation form, rehearsal “tricks,” etc.

The Twin Foundations of “Pindrop Quiet” Band and Orchestra Rehearsals
http://www.midwestclinic.org/clinicianmaterials/2004/david_newell.pdf
David Newell’s plan for managing band and orchestra rehearsals.

The Happy Classroom
http://www.keynotesmagazine.com/article/?uid=169
Suggestions to help encourage students to stay in music programs year after year.

Arts Edge
http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/teach/
the National Arts and Education Network — supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience. ARTSEDGE empowers educators to teach in, through, and about the arts by providing the tools to develop interdisciplinary curricula that fully integrate the arts with other academic subjects. ARTSEDGE offers free, standards-based teaching materials for use in and out of the classroom, as well as professional development resources, student materials, and guidelines for arts-based instruction and assessment.

MENC—Band Archive
http://www.menc.org/a/band/
Articles related to working with school bands.

MENC—Chorus Archive
http://www.menc.org/a/chorus/
Articles related to working with school choirs.

Lead Like the Great Conductors
http://www.ted.com/talks/itay_talgam_lead_like_the_great_conductors.html
An orchestra conductor faces the ultimate leadership challenge: creating perfect harmony without saying a word. In this charming talk, Itay Talgam demonstrates the unique styles of six great 20th-century conductors, illustrating crucial lessons for all leaders.

Education Blogs by Discipline
http://movingforward.wikispaces.com/Education+Blogs+by+Discipline
This is a place to list subject-specific P-12-oriented blogs.

Americans for the Arts Public Awareness Campaign
http://www.artsusa.org/public_awareness/default.asp
In partnership with the Ad Council and local and state arts agencies around the country, Americans for the Arts have created promotional ads to encourage parents to ask for more. This site we gives them the tools to do so.

Music Education Madness Site
http://www.musiceducationmadness.com/downloads.shtml
Check out this section for some great free downloads, including teaching aids and musical gizmos!

Music Tech Teacher
http://musictechteacher.com/
Student work, pictures and music compositions are on this site. The site is also used to provide music technology links, quizzes, resources and information to all music teachers interested in using technology to enhance music instruction.

Ricci Adams’ Musictheory.net
http://www.musictheory.net/
Collection of lessons, trainers and utilities.

Protocols for Learning from Work, Text, Dilemmas, and Classroom Visits
http://www.nsrfharmony.org/protocol/protocols.html
A collection of protocols to help groups examine texts and work. Some of these can be adapted for use with students.

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