December 2016 - Mary Kienstra

Two Words: Small Group

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 31, 2016  in: assessment, differentiation, Engagement, feedback

So many teaching strategies come and go.  There’s always a new idea or the latest gimmick to engage kids in learning.  We have endless lists of buzz words and terms that describe various aspects of teaching and learning.  Of all the strategies I’ve employed, the one that engages my students the most consistently is two words: […] Read more


Breakout!

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 30, 2016  in: #tlap, student engagement, teamwork, thinking

It is all that.  Breakout is the best new gimmick in student engagement.  Give a group a series of locks and puzzles and watch them go to work problem solving as a team. My class of 4th and 5th graders recently read The BFG as part of the Global Read Aloud 2016.  (See my post about […] Read more


Math Talk with 24 Cards

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 14, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, math discussion

The first few minutes of class are the most important for learning.  This is the time to hook your students and get them in the MATH frame of mind.  24 Cards are the just the thing to draw them in.  Students’ math talk with 24 cards shows their understanding and gives them the opportunity to […] Read more


Global Read Aloud for the Win

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 3, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, reading

I have to thank Pernille Ripp and the Global Read Aloud crew for the inspiration!  One of the picks for this year was  The BFG, one of our curricular novels.  That was a perfect fit!  Find out more about The Global Read Aloud here.  It’s fabulous! My students and I embarked on our read aloud […] Read more