Teaching Learning Leading K-12
Reflecting at the End of the Day - 189

Reflecting at the End of the Day - 189

March 29, 2018


When you finish your day of teaching do you take time to reflect on what happened? Do you take time to say this worked and this didn't and I think I will try this next time?

You should.

Yes, I know we all have so much stuff to get done plus we sponsor activities and have families...I know.

But this doesn't take hours.

Find about 30 minutes...get your daily and unit plans. Find a quiet place and think about what you were trying to do for the day and where you are trying to go and ask yourself some questions...plus write it down.

Here are my thoughts about reflecting at the end of the day:

1. Get a journal.

2. Set aside time.

3. Grab your daily and unit lesson plans.

4. Find a quiet place.

5. Reflect on the day:

Ask yourself these questions...

-What were you trying to do?

-What worked?

-What failed?

-What could you have done differently?

-What will you do next?

-What individual challenges did you have?

-Were there specific group challenges?

6. Put in writing what you will try to address these challenges.


Happy reflecting!


Length - 17:08

9 Thoughts for Successful Daily Lesson Plans - 188

9 Thoughts for Successful Daily Lesson Plans - 188

March 21, 2018


Planning is important. Being successful in the classroom requires planning. Planning means taking time for reflection and a focus on what needs to be done and how you are going to do it. Last episode, I shared my 10 Secret Ingredients for Better Unit Planning. Today, I am talking about my:

9 Thoughts for Successful Daily Lesson Plans

1. What are you trying to accomplish each day?

2. Block or Chunk Time

3. Think engagement - How?

4. How will you know if they are getting it?

5. Specific activities for expanding understanding of the content vocabulary.

6. How you will begin/close.

7. Be flexible.

8. Use small group activities and learning centers to provide opportunities for practice.

9. Daily plans should always be driven by individual needs.

Remember - planning is important and an essential tool for helping us assist kids in achieving their dreams.

Thanks for listening.

Other Resources:

Lesson Plan Templates

(As with anything find what works for you but work to include what I talk about in the episode.)

Dave Burgess and Teach Like a Pirate

Assessment Strategies (Stickies, mini-whiteboards, and more)

Laura Robb's Vocabulary is Comprehension

My interview with Laura Robb about Vocabulary is Comprehension

Learning Stations

Length - 17:55

10 Secret Ingredients for Better Unit Planning - 187

10 Secret Ingredients for Better Unit Planning - 187

March 17, 2018


Better instruction requires planning. Planning comes in two main types for the classroom: unit and daily.

Today, I discuss my thoughts about 10 essential elements that need to be included in your unit planning:

1. Start with the end in mind.

2. Create a time frame.

3. Identify what you will teach (content).

4. Develop how you will teach (instructional strategies).

5. Identify resources you will need.

6. Identify essential vocabulary.

7. Develop how you will teach the vocabulary.

8. Create opportunities for learning what the students know and don't know.

9. Make notes about student individual needs.

10. Create a system for identifying what can be eliminated to create more time. 

Unit planning is essential for staying focused on what you want the kids to learn. Use these 10 ingredients with your unit planning and you will have better results.

Happy planning.

Links for Resources:

Vocabulary is Comprehension written by Laura Robb

My Pinterest Board focused on Teaching Vocabulary

My Pinterest Board focused on interactive Word Walls

My Pinterest Board focused on Assessment Strategies

 Length - 22:31

Barbara Blackburn & Rigor and Assessment in the Classroom - 186

Barbara Blackburn & Rigor and Assessment in the Classroom - 186

March 9, 2018

Rigor_and_Assessment_in_the_Classroom_262.jpg Barbara_Blackburn_250.jpg

Dr. Barbara Blackburn returns to Teaching Learning Leading K12 to discuss her book, Rigor and Assessment in the Classroom.

What I like about the way Barbara writes is simply this: easy to understand, easy to use, and plenty of free resources to help you implement.

By the way, plenty of free resources is an understatement! She has a treasure chest full of support for you!

You can read today, plan tonight, and put into play in your classroom tomorrow.

The book is divided into ten chapters from Best Practices to Working Together to Improve Assessment in Rigorous Classrooms. Today, we focus on just a couple like Linking Instruction and Assessment to Improve Rigor (Chapter 3) and Grading (Chapter 8), as well as a couple others.

Lots to learn.

Thanks for joining us.

By the way...

Here is the special page for the discounts that Barbara talked about:



Contact Barbara and learn more:





Length - 55:17


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