Saturday, January 16, 2016

HOTS HIgher Order Thinking Skills Are Important

Whenever possible, find a way to promote Higher Order Thinking Skills into your daily lessons.

Students must do more than just memorize and retell information. They have to think about what they have learned and not just play back information like a tape recorder does. 

They will more easily retain the information they learn if they have to use those facts or manipulate them.

Examples of the ways they can reach higher thinking levels are to predict, estimate, define, evaluate, diagram, construct, order, classify, identify, etc.

Encourage your students to think!

Click here to purchase a HOTS Classification Exercise from my store. 

Thanks for reading,

Friday, January 15, 2016

Emergency Substitute Plans Are a Necessity

One of the biggest worries for teachers is what to do when you have an unexpected need to be absent. Sometimes you just don't feel like writing out a lesson plan that incorporates the lessons you have been working on in class. At other times, during a family crisis, you don't have time to think about a lesson plan at all. You have to pack, or go to the hospital, or rush in to help a family member who needs you. 

At such times, I always relied on a folder that I kept in my desk. 

Emergency no prep lesson plans Charlene Tess
I would call a teacher friend at my school and tell them to get the folder out of my drawer and put it on my desktop. In addition to the lessons I had prepared, the folder contained my schedule, my seating charts, notes about my class rules, information about the teachers' lunch room and break room, and any other helpful information I thought a substitute might need.

My go to lesson was a short story that students would read in class and worksheets they would use to analyze the story. In the folder were printed copies of the story and worksheets. You will find that lesson here.

If I had to be absent for more than one day, I had my teacher friend pull out a second folder in which I had prepared a different lesson that could take up to a week to complete. You will find that lesson here.

Short Story Analysis graphic  image

I learned that if you take the time to prepare these two folders at the beginning of the year, they will often be a lifesaver later on. Take a look at all of the fantastic ideas for substitute plans prepared by the Secondary Teachers of These lessons are classroom tested and ready to print and use. Why not download them and get your folders ready? Enjoy!

Thanks for hosting the linkup, Pamela Krantz and Darlene Anne Curran.

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