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NOTES FROM
The Thoughtful Classroom

THE THOUGHTFUL CLASSROOM BLOG

How a High School Science Team “Raced” to Raise Student Engagement

by Ella Perini | Contributing Writer | April 4, 2024

Low student engagement is one of the most common challenges that educators across the country face, especially at the secondary levels. Of course, engagement is key to successful learning, because “tuned-out” students don’t think deeply about content, don’t commit to persevering when learning gets tough, and don’t build memories that stick.

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Active Meaning Making: How to Make Sure Your School Improvement Plan Is Worth Its Salt

by Rick Fisher, MS | November 7, 2023

At our home, fall means it is time to finally close the pool. As I reflect back on the great times we had this past summer, I also think about some of the struggles I experienced to keep the water crystal clear. The water went from clear to green, back to clear, then cloudy again. I tried this chemical and that chemical with the same result: clear for a few days, then green again. What was missing?

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Building a Successful Classroom Foundation

by: Harvey F. Silver | June 1, 2023

Look at these two structures. What’s the difference between the Great Pyramid of Giza, built more than 4,500 years ago, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which started tilting five years after it was built? Clearly, a key…

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How to Accelerate the Learning of New Teachers

by: Harvey F. Silver and Matthew J. Perini | August 8, 2022

”Clearly, the need to prepare a new generation of teachers is critical—especially since many who will be entering the profession this year may have received less training than the previous generation…

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PUBLISHED ARTICLES

5 IDEAS for Developing Real-World Thinking Skills

Infusing five processes into assignments can help students hone the skills they’ll need to address complex problems. by: Harvey F. Silver, Abigail L. Boutz, and Jay McTighe | ASCD Educational Leadership® magazine | May 2022 | Volume 79, Number 8

If we want to prepare our students for this modern world full of unpredictable, complicated problems, we can’t just arm them with information. We must help them become sophisticated and flexible thinkers who can handle whatever challenges come their way…

Learning Loss: Are We Defining the Problem Correctly?

by: Harvey F. Silver and Jay McTighe | May 17, 2021

Let’s stop trying to “make up the distance” by teaching more content faster and instead use this opportunity to lay strong foundations that will propel our future efforts. How we define a problem has a lot to…

3 Strategies for Promoting Deep Learning Virtually

by: Matthew J. Perini, Harvey F. Silver, and Jay McTighe | ASCD EXPRESS | December 10, 2020 (Volume 16, Issue 7)

Learning is learning, whether it occurs in a classroom, at a library, or within a virtual environment. But regardless of the venue, learning can…

Integrating Literacy Across the Curriculum: An Easy Way to START

All teachers can create content-rich lessons that simultaneously develop core literacy skills.
by: Harvey F. Silver, Matthew J. Perini, and Abigail L. Boutz | ASCD Educational Leadership® magazine | December 2023 | Volume 81, Number 4

Developing core literacy skills is crucial for student success, both in school and beyond. Although schools and teachers have been working to achieve this goal for decades, their efforts have not always been successful. This is because the work of building reading and literacy skills…

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5 IDEAS for Developing Real-World Thinking Skills

Infusing five processes into assignments can help students hone the skills they’ll need to address complex problems.
by: Harvey F. Silver, Abigail L. Boutz, and Jay McTighe | ASCD Educational Leadership® magazine | May 2022 | Volume 79, Number 8

If we want to prepare our students for this modern world full of unpredictable, complicated problems, we can’t just arm them with information. We must help them become sophisticated and flexible thinkers who can handle whatever challenges come their way…

read more

Learning Loss: Are We Defining the Problem Correctly?

by: Harvey F. Silver and Jay McTighe | May 17, 2021

Let’s stop trying to “make up the distance” by teaching more content faster and instead use this opportunity to lay strong foundations that will propel our future efforts. How we define a problem has a lot to…

read more

3 Strategies for Promoting Deep Learning Virtually

by: Matthew J. Perini, Harvey F. Silver, and Jay McTighe | ASCD EXPRESS | December 10, 2020 (Volume 16, Issue 7)

Learning is learning, whether it occurs in a classroom, at a library, or within a virtual environment. But regardless of the venue, learning can…

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Instructional Shifts to Support Deep Learning

by: Jay McTighe and Harvey F. Silver | ASCD Educational Leadership | September 2020 (Volume 78, Number 1)

Do you want to promote deep and lasting learning? Of course you do. All educators want their students to learn deeply and well. And yet evidence shows that such…

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Transform Homework into Home Learning

by: Harvey F. Silver and Matthew J. Perini | ASCD EXPRESS | August 27, 2020 (Volume 15, Issue 24)

Far too often, students view any schoolwork that they need to do at home as an imposition—something to get through, or worse, avoid completely. This age-old problem has…

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Effective Communication Needs Common Language and Goals

by: Lindsay Vieira and Dean Auriemma | ASCD EXPRESS | April 9, 2015

Where has the magic gone? In my travels as an education consultant, I have worked with hundreds of educators in hundreds of schools who are doing hundreds of great things on any given day. The…

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Helping Students Climb the Common Core Staircase

by: Harvey F. Silver, Matthew J. Perini | ASCD Educational Leadership | March 1, 2014 (Volume 71, Number 6)

To prepare students for demanding assessments, we need to teach them how to examine and refine their own work. What’s one way to reflect on the challenge…

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Tips for Engaging Students in Scientific Thinking

by: Claudia M. Geocaris, Rochelle Green | ASCD EXPRESS | July 18, 2013 (Volume 8, Issue 21)

“I hate science. We never DO anything!” We often hear this lament from students, and if their science classes amount to lectures, textbooks, and worksheets, who can blame…

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Reading for Meaning

by: Harvey F. Silver, R. Thomas Dewing, and Matthew J. Perini | ASCD EXPRESS | December 6, 2012 (Volume 8, Issue 5)

Reading for Meaning is a research-based strategy that helps all readers build the skills that proficient readers use to make sense of challenging…

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The Balancing Acts of Teacher Evaluation

by: Cindy Weber | ASCD Educational Leadership | November 2012 (Volume 70, Number 3)

In creating evaluation systems that promote teacher growth, school leaders must attend to three challenges. Sometimes, when you’re handed a new, many-sided responsibility, it’s…

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Creating a Differentiated Mathematics Classroom

by: Richard W. Strong, Edward J. Thomas, Matthew J. Perini, and Harvey F. Silver | ASCD Educational Leadership | February 2004 (Volume 61, Number 5)

Recognizing different mathematical learning styles and adapting differentiated teaching strategies can facilitate…

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Boredom and Its Opposite

by: Richard W. Strong, Harvey F. Silver, Matthew J. Perini, and Greg Tuculescu | ASCD Educational Leadership | September 2003 (Volume 61, Number 1)

An understanding of natural human interests gives teachers tools for overcoming students’ reluctance to…

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Making Students as Important as Standards

by: Richard W. Strong, Harvey F. Silver, and Matthew J. Perini | ASCD Educational Leadership | November 2001 (Volume 59, Number 3)

Educators can align curriculum, instruction, and assessment with both standards and students in mind so that standards serve teaching…

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Keeping It Simple and Deep

by: Richard W. Strong, Harvey F. Silver, Matthew J. Perini, and Basho, Issa, Onitsura | ASCD Educational Leadership | March 1999 (Volume 56, Number 6)

What do Japanese haiku have to do with innovative school reform? More than you might think.

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Integrating Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences

by: Harvey F. Silver, Richard W. Strong, and Matthew J. Perini | ASCD Educational Leadership | September 1997 (Volume 55, Number 1)

What does it mean to express kinesthetic intelligence in an interpersonal way? Integrating styles and intelligences can help children…

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Thoughtful Education: Staff Development for the 1990s

by: Richard W. Strong, Harvey F. Silver, J. Robert Hanson, Robert J. Marzano, Pat Wolfe, R. Thomas Dewing, and Wende Brock | ASCD Educational Leadership | February 1990 (Volume 47, Number 5)

For a group of staff developers, working together to create a framework to…

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New Strategies, New Visions

by: Richard W. Strong, Harvey F. Silver, J. Robert Hanson | ASCD Educational Leadership | October 1986 (Volume 44, Number 2)

Skillful teachers use a variety of strategies to meet the demands of diverse students, content, and goals.

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