RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS
Each UsPlus package comes with a learning plan, a scope and sequence, anchor charts, and worksheets.
The best part is...it's all free.
Do you ever wish your students would listen to each other more carefully? This resource breaks the act of listening into clear steps that kids can easily understand and remember. This resource is primarily an exercise in listening that also builds student ability to hear what someone is saying and to respond appropriately. Over time with repeated practice, you will see your students paying more attention to what their peers are saying both on the playground and during guided reading. Using this resource will help your students develop their listening muscles and they’ll soon have the confidence and skill to engage in respectful and balanced conversation without prompting or guidance from their teacher.
Every student has ideas to share. Equitable Participation provides strategies to promote equitable idea sharing to ensure all voices are heard and acknowledged. When you teach students how to agree, disagree, and build off their peers’ responses, they grow in their abilities to continue conversations independently. Through practice, students will understand the importance of speaking up when they have something to say, while also stepping back in order to balance their speaking and listening contributions.
GROUNDING AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS
We all know how good it feels to know you are loved and supported by those in your community. Oftentimes we forget to focus on community and relationship building once the school year gets into a routine. This activity gives you the opportunity to go deeper with your students to develop strong, lasting peer relationships.. Using questioning and group discussions you, and your students, will develop strong relationships and trust. In addition to developing feelings of safety and love in your classroom, you will also see more productive group work, student communication, and problem-based learning activities. In months you will see students and teachers engaging in honest discussions about their ideas and feelings.
PARTNER PROBLEM SOLVING
Before our students can successfully work on projects in teams of 4 or 5, we need to give them a chance to practice collaboration skills in a low stakes setting. Arranging students in pairs is the perfect way to begin building the teamwork muscle. This protocol gives your clear steps to follow when tackling a tough problem. More importantly, it teaches students how to support their peers, and teams, in the process. Within a few weeks your students will have the confidence and communication skills to gradually work in larger groups and teams. Within a month, you will be able to use Partner Problem Solving in your academic lessons.
Productive Disagreement gives students five clear steps for managing a conversation in which they disagree with their conversation partner. By using this strategy, students are more likely to be calm and understanding in the face of opposition. Your long-term goal is for students to handle disagreements with poise and control. They will have the confidence and skill to engage in productive disagreement without reminders from the teacher and without becoming angry or upset.
SHARING MEANINGFUL FEEDBACK
In many classrooms, it’s typical for the teacher to be the individual who provides students with feedback. We believe in the power of peer-to-peer feedback, and Sharing Meaningful Feedback provides you with tools to make this happen. Through warm and cool feedback, students will give and be given actionable feedback to improve their skills. They will develop the confidence to provide feedback to their peers and their teacher as well as the humility and skills to accept and implement feedback.
THOUGHTFULLY SUPPORTING PEERS
A classroom community that’s genuine, honest, and reinforcing of students’ humanity is one that we all strive to cultivate. The stronger the bonds between classmates, the more set up for success they will feel as they tackle school and life challenges. Thoughtfully Supporting Peers teaches students how to give behavior-specific praise to each other. Behavior-specific praise is specific, positive feedback indicating approval of social or academic effort behavior. Thoughtfully Supporting Peers, in conjunction with Grounding Authentic Relationships, will help to promote constructive and encouraging positivity between classmates.
REFLECT ON YOUR PRACTICE
At UsPlus we believe the most powerful tool for development is self-reflection. Use our quick one-page worksheet to reflect on your teaching practice and student performance.