Free Spirit Publishing Blog

By Patrick Kelley, author of Teaching Smarter

Kelley-Patrick-Free Spirit author1. Need an idea for your next class project or assignment? Have students write a half page description of “The absolute best assignment a teacher has ever given you to do!” Or try this prompt: “Of all the assignments that you have ever done since you entered school, which one was the most fun? Why?” Or this: “Of all the assignments that you have ever done in any class, which one did you learn the most from?” Collect the work, and you’ll likely find at least two ideas worth trying. All you need is one!

2. Use Socratic Seminar discussion cards. Some students have difficulty participating in a group discussion. Sometimes the discussions lack insight. I have about forty 3 x 5 cards printed with suggestions for improving a discussion or helping a student enter it. For example, one card might say, “I…

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