Friday, July 22, 2011

Brains Are Fun

There is what appears to be an universal quest in education. This is: What makes a Master Teacher?
This website Brains Are Fun has some very good insights about the fundamental principles accompanying being a Master Teacher. This website created by Rory Donaldson has good advise clarifying some important principles like: Start on Time,
Keep Focus and Get to the Objectives.
The following list is also included in Rory Donaldson's paper:

"Master Teachers share many common elements. With these elements in place, any lesson can be turned into an effective lesson, all teachers can become masters of their trade:

  1. Teacher behavior is recognized and accepted as the critical variable to student success.
  2. Master Teachers have stopped confusing teaching with learning.
  3. Placement tests assign students to appropriate skill groups.
  4. Behavior is established before academic instruction.
  5. Rules for behavior are taught and drilled to mastery.
  6. The curriculum is recognized as a critical variable in effective instruction and is continually evaluated against results.
  7. Skills and information to be learned are broken down into their component parts and the component parts are drilled to mastery.
  8. The teacher accepts responsibility for student learning.
  9. Lessons follow a prescribed format and are explicit about what is to be learned.
  10. Reading mastery is recognized as the core academic competency.
  11. Teachers and students are required to perform quickly and accurately.
  12. Errors are corrected immediately.
  13. Good behavior is regularly rewarded (rarely with candy.)
  14. Low-performing students are never ignored, and are never tricked by questions to which they haven't first been taught the answers.
  15. Phonics and sound blending skills are the basis for reading.
  16. Computation is the foundation of mathematics.
  17. Carefully rehearsed scripts keep teachers and students on task.
  18. All students are regularly tested to insure mastery of the material.
  19. The class does not move on until proficiency or mastery is achieved by at least 70% of the class. Appropriate interventions are developed for the remaining 30%
  20. Mastery is evaluated by specific, regular testing.
  21. Quick and easily managed interventions are readily available.
  22. There is a principal who has the time and resources to devote to being the academic leader of the school.
  23. Teachers receive ongoing training, in and out of their classrooms, and regular evaluations.
  24. Classes are not allowed to be disrupted by students who choose to sharpen pencils or engage in other "off task" behavior."

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