Tips and Tricks

Check out teaching strategies straight from the classrooms of Rose High teachers.

Deliberate Practice

November 14, 2009

“Expert performers…are nearly always made, not born.”

Natural Talent
In their book Superfreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner tackle a vast array of intriguing topics, from the economics of prostitution to the algorithms that identify terrorists. Citing Dr. K. Anders Ericson, they write, “The trait we call natural talent is vastly overrated.” What determines success, according to Ericson, is deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice has three key components: setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback, concentrating as much on technique as on outcome.

Deliberate Practice
What does this mean for teachers? Keep reading »

The 29th Strategy

October 19, 2009

When we talk about effective instructional strategies, we talk about cooperative learning, simulations, graphic organizers. We talk about projects and Socratic seminars and problem-based learning. But on Pitt County’s list of 28 strategies for effective instruction, you won’t find the word lecture anywhere.

In Will Wiberg’s African American History class last week I was reminded just how effective a good lecture can be. Keep reading »


September 29, 2009

One Tool Short
In the middle of a geometry lesson, Marie Lewis showed her students an angle bisecting two parallel lines. Before she even asked them, she knew they wouldn’t be able to calculate the angle, because they didn’t have the tool they needed.

Then she introduced the tool, an auxiliary line. Bingo. Keep reading »

Every Answer Correct

September 24, 2009

Thanks for checking out the icblog. I hope you find its contents useful. 

A Teaching Phenomenon
A couple weeks ago I observed Mr. Dameron’s standard Algerbra I class, where I saw something practically surreal. The students reviewed a quiz and then moved on to study basic algebraic equations. Mr. Dameron helped students contrast expressions with equations, gave them notes—with Dameron Definitions—and guided them through solving some equations.

That all seems pretty normal to me. Here’s the phenomenon: in that 30 minute span, Mr. Dameron called on—he seldom took volunteers—26 of over 30 students, and EVERY student he called on provided a correct answer.  Keep reading »