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Ernest wants to branch out

Ernest left his mid-year evaluation with his principal feeling frustrated. Although Mrs. Blakely complimented his management skills, she suggested that Ernest work to make his teaching more exciting and more focused on the district's learning goals for students. For some time, Ernest has wanted to do more experiments and group-work in his chemistry class, but by the end of the day, it’s all he can do to grade his student’s papers, read the chapters he’s assigned and prepare notes for the lectures in his three preps. He just doesn’t know how he’s going to find the time to start branching out, and he thinks, “Maybe next year.”

Questions to talk about

Tools for unit planning

Are Mrs. Blakely’s expectations reasonable for a beginning teacher? What standards should new teachers have to meet?

What’s keeping you from doing the kind of teaching you want to be doing? How can you address these problems, or will they just go away?

How might unit planning help Ernest teach in new ways without feeling overwhelmed?

Identifying Big Ideas

Exploring content expectations

Planning one content area

Planning across content areas

Knowing students culturally and linguistically

Responding to culture and language

What kinds of "smart" are my students?

Responding to multiple intelligences and learning styles

Examining ways to differentiate