All Posts by Todd Finley

Brain Blast: Reduce Classroom Commotion

Causes of Classroom Management ProblemsReduce Classroom CommotionWork is too Hard or EasyIf work is too hard, kids resist. If it’s too easy, they become lethargic and crabby.Moving into GroupsWhen transitioning from independent work to group-work. Students should know which direction they should move, how fast, whether they are trading seats or moving their own chairs, […]

Continue reading

7 Reader Response Journal Prompts

Here are 7 reader response journal activities that work for either narratives or expository texts. “Reader response is a school of literary criticism that ignores both the author and the text’s contents, confining analysis to the reader’s experience when reading a particular work,” according to Chegg.com. Wolfgan Iser’s explanation is deeper: “This is how it […]

Continue reading

Brain Blast: Nervous Presenter Hacks

I used to be a nervous public speaker. That’s what happens when your aims exceed your abilities. After many years, I discovered some ways to feel more relaxed and effective. These tactics are identified in today’s Brain Blast.  The link below is an “affiliate link.” If you click on the link and buy the product, I will […]

Continue reading

Brain Blast – How to Curb Non-Academic Smartphone Use in the Classroom

One of the wonders and frustrations of the 21st century classroom is the ubiquity of cell phones. Students are addicted to them, which makes focusing on (non-smartphone related) academic work difficult. Today’s Brain Blast lists a few strategies you can implement to help students follow your classroom smartphone rules.  The link below is an “affiliate […]

Continue reading

Brain Blast: How to Model the Tough Stuff

Modeling concepts, skills, beliefs, performances, or dispositions is a major component of 21st century teaching.  This brain blast notes some of the fundamentals of explicit modeling when you expect students will find a lesson challenging.  The link below is an “affiliate link.” If you click on the link and buy the product, I will receive […]

Continue reading

Index Card Journal Options: Structured Reflection or Sketchnote

I like to give my college education majors options for how they reflect. Such is the case of the Index Card Journal assignment–which can be turned in as structured reflection or sketchnote.The post also provides models and rubrics.​ Also, feel free to copy and modify the handout for your own purposes.Insta-ResponseHere’s how I am setting up my responses […]

Continue reading

Brain Blast: 5 Practical Index Card Activities

As enthusiasm for classroom technology increases, we can forget how tactile, useful, and shareable index cards are. The brain blast below describes 5 activities that can be done with notecards. When a stack of 100 3×5 notecards (affiliate Amazon link) are dirt cheap, what are you waiting for? The link below is an “affiliate link.” If you […]

Continue reading

The Greatest Gift: Teach Students To Fight Fake News

William (“Bill”) Perry, an educational psychologist and researcher at Harvard, developed a cognitive model in the 1960s. Among other takeaways, the model suggests that 12th graders reasoning abilities fall in the category of dualism (There is a right answer. Knowledge is black and white.) or multiplicity (Once the “right” answer is found, there is no need […]

Continue reading

Our Atticus Finch Moment

“There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.” – Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mocking BirdSince the election, hate and violence have slithered out of their holes. Before the election, those snakes–snakes meaning rage, not people–followed the unspoken rule for the most part: express all […]

Continue reading