Chalkboard tips

I work with a lot of instructors, many of them teaching for the first time. We talk about the design of the course, what active learning techniques to use, things like that. I often forget about the basics, though, like how to use the lav mic, managing the classroom, and (the subject of this post) how to write on the chalkboard.…

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Any Questions?

(Image shared by db Photography on flicker CC-BY)

(Image shared by db Photography on flicker CC-BY)

In the terrific book, How People Learn, [1] the authors describe 3 key findings about how people learn, what teachers should do with those findings, and what it might look like in the classroom:

  1. Students come to the classroom, each with their own pre-existing knowledge, experiences, skills, motivations, and resources, that the teacher needs to draw out and work with through student-centered activities.
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Think-Pair-Share meets Peer Instruction

This Summer, my center is supporting a cohort of 24 graduate students who are teaching for the first time. They’ve participated in our teaching and learning class, The College Classroom, and we strongly encourage them use evidence-based, student-centered instructional activities in their classes.…

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PI in LA

I’m excited to return to Cal State University Los Angeles (CSULA) to give a couple of workshops on peer instruction. My thanks to Beverly Bondad-Brown in the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning for the invitation.

My first workshop is about writing good peer instructions.…

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You’re only a 2-minute pause away from peer instruction

No matter what course you teach, one of your course-level learning outcomes should be that students will think more like experts in your field. They won’t be experts yet, not after one course or even an undergraduate degree, but they can think in more expert-like ways.…

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If all you have is a stick, every student looks like an ass*

If you read something Wednesday morning and it’s still bugging you on Friday afternoon, don’t keep having a conversation in your head, write about it.

A few days ago, yet another hand-wringing, oh-dear-what-shall-we-do-about-it post about students and their phones came through my Twitter feed.…

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Learn your students’ names. No, really.

I have a thing about learning my students’ names. And it’s not a good thing.

I think I have a fixed mindset when it comes to learning people’s names: I believe I can’t do it. So whenever someone introduces him- or herself, a piece of my brain shuts off for a couple of seconds and the name go in one ear and out the other.…

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