Pedagogy Perspectives

About Being a Teacher

Cooperative Learning tips and strategies

The show not tell approach to learning

Planning for instruction

Diversity and Differentiation Resources
Kids in my class-Delta.pdf
Students with diverse needs in regular classrooms- from Delta School District.
A listing of characteristics of students with diverse needs and suggestions for support.

For Reading and Behaviour support. books by Dawn Reighaug.
Ask for her books from your LAC or resource person. All districts will have at least some of her books somewhere.
If necessary as your principal to check with other schools or buy it. $80 ea. Here is the order form so you will have the titles and her contact info. Order_Form_for_Books_by_Dawn_Reithaug_-_2012_02_01.pdf
Her materials are encyclopedic and practical with many blackline masters. You will use the reading one regularly even if you are a classroom teacher.-Ray

2008 Fall Conference notes:
F25 Teacher Modeling-The Show Not Tell Approach to Learning

Workshop Handouts:
Cooperative Learning Tips and Strategies

Getting Groups to Work: Creative Problem Solving in the Classroom:
MI Inventory
Broken Squares activity
Real Estate pictures for problem in handout

The TC2 Consortium– which focuses on creating supports for teachers in the area of critical thinking.
One of the things they are creating are ‘strategies’ that can be used in many situations.
These materials include graphic organizers and other charts to help students organize their thinking and rubrics for assessing student achievement.
Support Materials can be used as-is, or saved and manipulated to suit individual needs.

You can access some of the activities on the Alberta Learning website:



The Show Not Tell Approach to Learning


Kyla Williams &

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I attended the Teacher Modeling the “show” not “tell” approach to Student Learning seminar presented by Lorraine Hoodicoff.
Oct 24- PITA Fall Conference- Kelowna

She used power point in her seminar and we were given handouts of the power point slides. Unfortunately the handouts were not in the same order as the power point so there was considerable flipping and looking needed. Teacher modeling is a recommended method for teaching Language Arts as per the IRP. It is important to show the students what is going on in our heads, how we process what we are reading and what connections we are making as we read. After that we then scaffold the students and then they do independent work. This is called GRR or Gradual Release of Responsibility. Reading happens in your head, this is comprehension, and not just saying the words with no meaning attached. In grades 7 and 8 the IRP requirement for oral language is 25%. Meta-cognition is thinking about thinking. Students need to pay attention to what is going on in their minds. Once they know what is going on in their head they can gain comprehension and articulate their strategies. Strategies for before a read aloud, during a read aloud and after a read aloud were given. They included (before) establishing focus, providing background information and remind students about appropriate behavior. (During) Teacher reads the text modeling good phrasing, intonation and volume and stops at strategic points to think aloud (make connections). (after) take talk time to discuss the strategies and behaviors and to share insights and clarify thinking. Other points mentioned: technical words such as inferring need to be used repeatedly to get the students used to it and so they understand the meaning. Illustrate when you are thinking and when you are reading. Ensure you leave time to discuss what was read. We do not realize all we do when we read and we need to teach the students about this. We all make connections in a different way. What we have experienced in the past influences the connections we make with new material. The connections must be meaningful, not I am wearing a blue shirt like the girl in the story. Before beginning to read aloud predictions should be made about the story from the title and cover. An activity to practice inferring is to take an idea like nervous and write a paragraph about being nervous without using the word nervous. Another inference activity is to mime emotions and have the students guess the emotion. Inferences can be made from pictures.


Cooperative Learning Tips and Strategies

Top Tips for Cultivating a Caring & Collaborative Community
Written by Elaine Jaltema, Intermediate Teacher
Meet basic needs: Plan to meet people’s needs for belonging, power & recognition, freedom and fun (Restitution Theory by Diane Gossen). One example is to teach students different fun ways to show recognition of another’s achievements, e.g.:
• A “round of applause” – clap in a circle
• WOW – make a W with each hand and an O in the middle with your mouth
• The standing “O” – stand and make a large letter “O” with arms
• Crocodile clapping – stand and make large clapping arms like jaws
• Seal of approval – clap arms like flippers
• Drum roll – drum on desks
• Self-ovation – standing, bring elbow almost to opposite knee & yell “Yes!”
• Deaf clap
• Quiet clap: finger snapping
• Self high 5
• “I’m so bright I have to wear sunglasses!”

Use Cooperative group learning structures: Remember to include all 5 elements and to coach students often on what cooperation looks like (sitting at the same height in a circle, leaning in) and sounds like (encouraging comments and solicitous questions). The 5 elements are Positive Interdependence, Individual Accountability, Face-to-Face Interaction, Social Skills, and Group Processing. Assign social tasks concurrent with academic tasks. Whenever new groups are formed, it’s important to give them a short group-building task to help them become comfortable with one another. Low-risk activities work well such as: describe your favourite dinner or your dream vacation.

Use name cards to call on students: Print each student’s name on a small card. By using these cards to call on students to answer questions, you don’t fall into the trap of calling on only those who continually raise their hands. If a student doesn’t know the answer, they call say “help” and pass the question on to someone who raises their hand. Put the card back into the middle of the stack rather than on the bottom so that students don’t figure they can count on a free ride once they have been called on. You might choose to keep track of who calls for help rather than giving their own answer by putting a check mark on the back of the cards when they call for help.

Use name cards to divide students into groups: Once students are used to seeing you continually shuffle these cards to call on students and place them in random groups, they don’t notice that sometimes you have pre-loaded them so they fall into the groups or partnerships that you have secretly selected.

Hold class meetings: Have students take turns chairing weekly meetings that include thank-yous between students, opportunities to bring up problems, and planning something where students can make genuine decisions such as games for P.E., an event, topic or method for learning, or new system for organizing room.

Number desks: If students are routinely sitting in pods, you can easily refer to each desk position by number, regardless of where each student is sitting. For example: Your 6 pods are numbered 1-6. Each desk position within the pod is numbered 1-5. In this way, directions are very quick, e.g.
• In the gym, even pods are on this side and odd pods are on the other
• Person 3 picks up the hand-outs
• Start your discussion by listening to person 4 first
• Persons 2 & 4 move one pod over and share your group’s ideas

Make it safe for kids to tell: Every couple of weeks, give students a writing topic for a 10 minute silent write. Give them the choice of writing instead an anonymous note about what you should know, e.g. who is being picked on, how people are feeling, a change they’d like to make in the class, etc. At the end of the writing time, everyone turns in their papers with no one knowing who wrote on the assigned topic and who has given you other information. If you do this early in the day, you can read the comments and address them in an appropriate way in a class meeting.

Establish leadership teams: Divide your class into 5 mixed-ability teams who are responsible for the leadership one day a week, e.g. setting up gym equipment, cleaning up the room, handing out supplies, making decisions about activities, etc.

Keep Repeating the Tribes Trail to maintain a collaborative community:
1. Inclusion (a sense of belonging)
2. Influence (valuing differences)
3. Community (working together creatively)