Tying Depth of Knowledge and Text-Dependent Questions Together

Students answering text-dependent questionsThe right question at the right time can have a monumental effect on student understanding and comprehension. This is why we have been hearing so much about both text-dependent questions and depth of knowledge (DOK) through the rollout of Common Core. However, not everyone is able to see the bridge that these two new resources can create for our students.

Text-dependent questions are those that rely on scholars revisiting and/or referencing the text in order to appropriately answer the question. This guarantees a dedication to close reading strategies and a separation from opinion-based answers. DOK questions are those that provide both a foundation and a more nuanced level of understanding for any text.

These two resources should be used in unison in order to achieve the maximum level of comprehension and meaning from a text. The next six levels of questions correlate with the DOK chart5 and when implemented, will create a strong foundation for students to work through a text.

General Understanding

These questions lay the foundation for deeper level of thought to be built upon. Before one can begin to analyze or apply levels

Classroom Problem Solver

Lack of Motivation

A motivational problem is not always easy to define, although teachers usually have no trouble recognizing it: The unmotivated student is the one whose attitude toward schoolwork screams, “I don’t care!”

The unmotivated student actually is highly motivated when it comes to schoolwork — he’s motivated to avoid it. He puts more work into avoiding academic challenges than he puts into tackling them. Although his test scores often convey high potential, his classroom performance suggests something else. When given an assignment, the unmotivated student will shrug his shoulders and complain, “Why do we have to do this?” He gives up at the first sign of a challenge. He is content with just getting by.

When working with an unmotivated student, you face two challenges. The first is to change his thinking so he comes to believe that, if he puts forth effort, he can be successful with academic tasks. The second is to figure out what does motivate him — to identify the settings, situations, and conditions that he responds to and that can be used to foster his interest.


Interrupt the cycle of failure.

Do Texting and Facebook Belong in the Classroom?

In this information age, we can now talk to each other in ways we never imagined. Teachers and administrators face a new challenge, however, as they try to find a way to safely incorporate this technology in the classroom.

“Schools are scared about this stuff,” said Elliot Soloway, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. “Whatever they do, [schools fear that] parents will be upset, money will be inappropriately spent, they will draw the ire of the public. They’re scared of all of this, so there is an extra layer of conservatism to protect the kids. But we can’t let it paralyze us from taking steps into the new.”

Experts like Soloway and Cathie Norris, Regents Professor at the University of North Texas agree that the fear is there, but that isn’t going to change the fact social media and other communications technology is invading our schools.

“People want to use these mediums for collaboration,” Norris said. “Kids can get together online and work together.”

“Technology is bigger than ever in schools,” added Soloway.

Both recognize the dangers of such technology, however.

“Schools are banning Facebook and all apps that have access to Facebook,” Norris

How To Get Benefit From Installments Loans

Sometimes, unlike other months, within this particular month you have to pay more than you used to. The reason can vary, that being said people who hold bad credit loan will deal with the same problem. Bank is not your friend as you have to provide excellent credit rating. No worry, installment loans are alternatives for people whose credit score far from perfect. In case you ask, your credit score turns severe at the moment you fail to pay your responsibility due date. The worst you get the score, your chance is lower to obtain loan from traditional money lenders.

Even your credit score is adequate, if you look financial assistance from banks or some other traditional money lenders to deal with urgent situation, considering the loan procedure to comply, applying the loan request is pointless. Online installment loan is different, the loan application process is hassle free. Not to mention that you can apply the loan online that make it possible for you to immediately proceed the loan in almost any places. After you apply for the loan online and your lender approves the loan, within some minutes, you have the money that you need

English Grammar and Essay Writing Tips

If you have paper writing in your future, chances are, you could use a few solid English grammar and writing tips. Even if you’ve written so many essays you could probably write a dissertation in your sleep, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on the basics, right? Here are a few paper writing tips that many experts at services like papertrolling.com find extremely useful.

Let’s start with the always-controversial Oxford comma. While grammarians debate its merits, it’s up to you to decide if you’ll use it or not. For the sake of continuity in your paper writing, decide as you start writing whether to use it, then stick to your decision throughout your essay.

Another sticky grammar issue is the apostrophe ess. It’s important to remember that it’s never used to form a plural, only to show possession or make a contraction. For example, “chairs” is more than one chair, while “chair’s” means something belonging to the chair. There are a few exceptions, of course; “Its” means “belonging to it” while “it’s” just means “it is.” As you can see, English grammar can be tricky, but again, the apostrophe ess is never used to form a plural, ever.

There are

10 Maths and Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

One of the best things of toddler play is that every fun activity can become a tiny science or a maths experiment. Some simple activities can help your child learn while playing.

Let us now have a look at some of the Maths and Science activities that are ideal for Toddlers and preschoolers.

  • The Float Activity: This is one fun activity where kids can create their own hypothesis. Just fill a tub with some water and add various items to it. You can now ask your child to see if each one of those objects floats or sinks. You can as well take two bowls with Sink and Float written on it and ask the kids to sort out the objects.
  • The Tree Trunk Explorations: One can cut around 10-12 tree blocks of 1 or 2 inches in size. These blocks can be used for various purposes, like to stack, measure, sort or place them by size or kids can also use a magnifying glass to explore the tree trunk more and count the rings in it.
  • The Color Theory: Parents can take 3 different colors in different bowls and give an empty bowl and an eye dropper

What exactly is a fine art degree and what can you do with it?

If you came here to read about fine art and fine art degrees, then you are most probably interested in getting such a degree. What makes this type of degree stand out is the fact that not only does it provide an immense value, it also brings in front some great results and the experience will be amazing because of that.

Simply put, fine arts are referring to visuals that are created for meaning and beauty. These include things like drawing, graphics, sculpture and painting. Many universities all over the world have dedicated programs and majors that are specifically designed to help people harness their talents and become professionals in this industry.

Do you have passion for art?

If you have a passion for art as a whole, this is certainly the type of degree that you might want in the first place. Usually, this would be a very good idea but the reality is that this type of career can be quite demanding. There is a very high unemployment rate for the fine art students and this is why you have to acquire more and more skills that will help you find a job

Online Vocational Education Training

If you ask me what today’s way of the world is, I would undoubtedly come up with one word and that is -Internet. From chatting to shopping and banking almost everything is possible on the World Wide Web. The latest in this long list of things is, distance education. The concept has been there since several years, but not many people were familiar with it. Now it is gaining popularity as an internet connection, an e-mail account and a computer is all you need to earn an online vocational education training degree. From an initial degree to a complete AA degree, all are offered through distance education programs.

Various top accredited online schools offer online vocational education training programs. These are taught in random fragments in opposition to academic training which is typically progressive. Collaborating with union apprenticeship training programs, online vocational education training programs are developed. These career development distance education programs can be taken up by just about anyone. However there remains a serious point of concern and that is how a learner puts together such learning sessions together. Does an online learner gain both confidence in acquired skills and team-building expertise? Because for some of the online vocational

Loans for Bad Credit

Well, if you are interested to use this kind of loans, then, you have to choose the best lenders that will help you out of your financial problems. If this is not the time for you to use the lenders, it is okay if you find out first the best lender that is more suitable for you and whenever you want to use their services, you just have to contact them directly. As example, you can consider about this lender, on this website http://www.loansforpeoplewithbadcreditranking.com/interest-rates-for-loans-for-people-with-bad-credit, that will help you in facing the problems.

Whenever you need the money easily, the first think that you thought in your mind is exactly the bank, right? The place is to lend you some money? Well, if you do not need the money for the short time or days later, you can use it in bank loan, but if you need the money urgently, will you lend it to bank? Are you ready for waiting about a month to get the money? If you do not want to wait so long, so you can change your mind first. You should know that

Starting School Tips for Parents

Attitudes about starting school can vary widely from age to age. Use these tips to help your child feel more confident at each stage.

This may be the first time your child attends school, or if he has been in daycare or playgroups, the first time in a more formal school setting.

Preschoolers are often worried about practical issues such as, “When are you coming back? Where is the bathroom? What if I can’t open my lunchbox? What if I don’t want to nap?”

Plan to stay around the classroom for a while for the first few days to help with any transition issues, if you can. If your child doesn’t want you to go, look for something you know your child likes to do. Young kids often like physical materials like play dough that they can work with their hands.

Turn to the teacher or guidance counselor for assistance if your preschooler won’t let you leave. Many preschool teachers have been dealing with separation issues for years, and if you picked the right school, you are leaving your child in good hands. You can often call later to check on your child.

Some preschoolers may have trouble eating or sleeping and melt down

Why Neodymium Magnets Are So Famous – Get To Know The Actual Facts

Neodymium magnets are also known as rare earth magnets. This is because these are naturally found in the earth’s crust. Chemical decomposition along with mineralization forms this superior quality magnet.

Neodymium magnets are made up of strong alloys, which have good magnetic and attraction properties. Their magnetic field along with the magnetic lines are very strong and are extensively used in a lot of industries.

Neodymium magnets are very costly, and so manufacturers use some percentage of it for making permanent magnet. This rare earth metal is often mixed with iron and boron in an artificial magnetic compound.

Later, they are used in industrial uses where permanent magnets are required. Artificially made permanent magnets loose magnetic properties after few years and needs to be replaced or needs to be yielded from time to time.

Historical records

Neodymium disc magnets were invented in 1980s, where the discoverers discovered three strong compounds in a strongly formed co-bonded chemical pairing. After scientific experiments, the strength of these magnets was found to be exceptionally stronger than any other magnets.

Before this invention, artificial mixed alloys were used as permanent magnets and the costs were also very high. After this discovery, certain industrial processes became much easier because they are

Creating a Musical Home Environment

Your child spends more time at home than any other place. This is especially true at preschool age, but even after kids begin school, home is still the predominant source of most experiences. It’s the parents’ responsibility to create the environment in the home, so it’s important that you include music in a meaningful way. Start by incorporating any of these simple steps into your daily routines.

  1. Immerse your home in music. Whenever appropriate, have music playing in the home. It really doesn’t matter what type of music. Ignore the media hype that suggests only Mozart enhances your baby’s intelligence. There is no evidence to support that claim, and it limits other musical genres that your child may find particularly meaningful. Play music—any and all music.
  2. Actively listen to music. While having music playing in the background is extremely helpful, it is also important for your child to attend to and interact with music regularly. You can do this by moving his or her hands or legs to the music with a young child, and sparking conversation and asking questions with an older child. Even preschool children can be responsive to topics such as, “How does this music make you want to

Boost Memory and Learning with Music

When we hear a familiar song, we are often able to recall a moment from our past that is connected to that tune. Favorite songs tickle our memory in various ways; your child may even complain of “getting a song stuck in her head,” which shows that music is easily ingrained in our memory.

Music has been found to stimulate parts of the brain, and studies have demonstrated that music enhances the memory of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, including a study conducted at UC Irvine, which showed that scores on memory tests of Alzheimer’s patients improved when they listened to classical music.

It’s possible, then, to use music to help your child retain information and enhance learning. Chris Brewer, founder of LifeSounds Educational Services and author of the new book Soundtracks for Learning, says sounds can help to hold our attention, evoke emotions, and stimulate visual images. “Students of all ages—that includes adults— generally find that music helps them focus more clearly on the task at hand and puts them in a better mood for learning,” says Brewer.

Brewer calls the use of music throughout the day “positive mood management” and suggests that various styles of music are appropriate for different types of

The Benefits of Music Education

Whether your child is the next Beyonce or more likely to sing her solos in the shower, she is bound to benefit from some form of music education. Research shows that learning the do-re-mis can help children excel in ways beyond the basic ABCs.

More Than Just Music
Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music.

Making music involves more than the voice or fingers playing an instrument; a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously. For instance, people use their ears and eyes, as well as large and small muscles, says Kenneth Guilmartin, cofounder of Music Together, an early childhood music development program for infants through kindergarteners that involves parents or caregivers in the classes.

“Music learning supports all learning. Not that Mozart makes you smarter, but it’s a very integrating, stimulating pastime or

30 Tips to Cultivate Soft Skills in Your Students

Preparing students for successful careers is a major part of every educator’s job, but most preservice and professional development programmes don’t cover the skills employers are currently seeking–things like “emergent” leadership, adaptability, humility, and ownership.

At Google, hiring managers don’t care whether a candidate received perfect grades, served as president of the chess club, or even finished university. What they do care about–and what a rapidly increasing number of organisations care about–is soft skills like the ones mentioned above.

“Too many colleges don’t deliver on what they promise,” says Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, in an interview with the New York Times. “You generate a ton of debt, you don’t learn the most useful things for your life. It’s [just] an extended adolescence.”

We need to be giving students more than a sum of knowledge reflected by a piece of paper. We need to be giving them the tools they need to be resourceful in a socially perceptive way, to innovate not just alone in a lab but with a group of colleagues, and to adapt when new requirements arise.

Which Soft Skills Do Students Need Today?

At Google, there are five main soft skills hiring managers look for. The

Laptop Computers in the K-12 Classroom


Over the past decade, many schools have investigated the educational possibilities of mobile computing. More recently, an increasing number of K-12 schools are implementing the use of laptop computers. Improvements in portable computing technology and examples of successful pilot programs using laptops and other portables have inspired many K-12 schools to consider laptops for their students.

Emergence of Laptops in Schools

Organized laptop programs in higher education date as far back as 1988 when Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, began providing notebook computers (paid for from tuition) to all incoming freshman. Now more than 50 postsecondary institutions worldwide require at least some of their students to use laptops (Brown, 1999). Throughout the 1990s, a number of private schools in the United States and abroad began requiring ownership of laptops. In 1996, inspired by the successful use of laptops in Australian schools, the Microsoft Corporation and Toshiba began one of the most high-profile programs now underway, currently known as Microsoft’s Anytime Anywhere Learning (AAL) Program (Healey, 1999). Technology corporations, such as NetSchools (http://www.studypro.com/), NoteSys Inc. (http://www.notesys.com/), Apple (http://www.apple.com/education/), and others are promoting the use of laptops in K-12 education, providing hardware packages for schools, and in some cases, software

Teaching tips: Behaviour Management

Tip#1: Redirecting negative behaviour

A very powerful technique for redirecting negative behaviour is to remind young people of their previous good behaviour as you tackle their present actions. For example, ‘Ashraf, do you remember when you helped me clear up the classroom and handed me that excellent design and worked with Darren … that is the Ashraf that I need to see today.’

In the middle of gentle castigation there is a moment of positive reinforcement, a reflection of a better time, a splinter of self belief. For the student, there is nothing to argue with, nothing to attack. For the student, considering their next move it is irresistible.

Tip#2: Use positive notes properly

Personal positive notes are the simplest, quickest and most effective way of getting a good message communicated well. When all staff use positive notes, the impact on the children, community and the conversations around behaviour is significant.

Positive notes are for sustained effort, behaviour that is over and above what is expected.

They should not be used to reward Kelvin for spending 10 minutes without issuing threats of violence.

Encourage students to collect these notes and put them in their record of achievement so that they have value beyond the fridge door. Use

What Is the Most Serious Problem Facing Earth?

In this special Earth Day WebQuest, student teams vie for funding from the fictional Help Our World (HOW) Foundation. Each team builds a case for a critical environmental concern. Which threat is the most critical? Which team should be awarded the foundation’s $1 million grant? Included: student work sheets, lots of Earth Day resources, more.


What is the most serious environmental problem facing Earth today? In this special Earth Day WebQuest from Education World, students work in teams to construct presentations that focus attention on some of Earth’s most serious environmental threats. In the scenario for this activity, each student team is vying for $1 million in funding from the fictional Help Our World (HOW) Foundation. As members of the HOW Foundation, all students will vote for the team that makes the best case for its environmental issue.

Environmental threats students will consider include:

  • vanishing species.
  • overflowing landfills.
  • air pollution.
  • rain forest destruction.
  • water pollution.
  • energy depletion.
  • other problems as desired.

If your students will have Internet access during this project, click here for a page full of resources they can use as they explore each topic above.


  • access to Internet and/or library resources
  • miscellaneous art supplies
  • WebQuest Internet Resources
  • What is the Most Serious Problem Facing

Free Ways to Engage Students in Computer Science for Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science Education Week, and there are many different kinds of resources out there for you to utilize in the classroom to emphasize the subject. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a science teacher- many of the activities have ties to subjects like social studies and art, too.

Hour of Code, Code.org

As one of the most participated-in Computer Science Education Week events, Hour of Code sponsored by Code.org provides students with an hour of coding that includes tutorials for every age and skill level (ages 6-108, as the website says.)

A major plus is that Hour of Code also genuinely interests students because of its use of Star Wars, Minecraft, and Frozen in its tutorials.

More than 190,000 learning events in over 180 countries have been scheduled through Hour of Code, and you have until the eleventh to join, too.

See more here.

Hour of Code, Khan Academy

Also participating in the Hour of Code idea is Khan Academy. Through its website, the company offers activities for different ages and grade levels that include drawing with code, learning how to make webpages, learning SQL, and more.

Check out Khan Academy’s resources here.

My Robotic Friends, Thinkersmith

Not every school has the same technological access that other

Teachers Use Tech to Find Professional Development Solutions, Avoid Burnout

Reports of teacher burnout, especially new teachers reaching their limit, have been have been covered frequently in the media lately. Some experts point to a lack of professional development as a main cause for the high rate of newer teachers leaving the profession.

A recent Deseret News article stated that within four years, Utah has lost nearly 1,000 new teachers of 2,417 new hires, with 42 percent finishing their careers before their second year of teaching was over.

“I think what we’re finding with the lack of resources that we have is that the mentor programs are the first things that go. Professional development goes, and those are all the things that brand new teachers need,” said Utah Education Association President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh in the article. “We’re hoping to fill that gap and provide them with an opportunity to connect with another educator that can help them.”

Dan Callahan, a training and professional learning specialist for the Massachusetts Teachers Association described his induction as a new teacher to the Massachusetts school system after teaching in Philadelphia for eight years as “basically all stuff that you should have learned in undergrad or grad school,” noting that technology was almost excluded entirely from the induction process.


Seven Approaches to Teaching Literary Genres

What is the difference between realistic fiction and historical fiction? Autobiography and biography? Fairy tale and fantasy? Understanding the genre of a story or passage can lead to increased comprehension of the text. Teaching genre can be difficult; here are some strategies that have worked for me.

1. Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed

This picture book2 introduces genre with five monkeys who read several different types of books after their mother has told them to go to bed. After the monkeys go to bed, they begin to read a variety of books. Following each one, they react in a way that draws their mother’s attention. Naturally, they get in trouble each time. A short book, it is ideal for an introduction to a genre unit. For younger students, it can act as an introduction to genre.

2. Flip Books3

To introduce the various genres, create a flip book with the class that students can use for reference. In it, include what each genre is, its key features, and a reference to a story that each of them will recognize.

3. Genre Flowchart

With your students, design a flowchart of questions that they can ask about