TVAC (Teacher Visitation and Collaboration) is now open and accepting requests for classroom visitations!

TVAC (Teacher Visitation and Collaboration) is a great way to enrich your professional practice and positively impact your students’ achievement. Take advantage of this great opportunity to obtain a one-time four-hour sub to cover your classroom while you visit the classroom of another outstanding Bethel educator. Your learning target is to observe exceptional teaching, collaborate with your host teacher, and reflect on your learning as you apply the skills into your own professional practice.

Please follow the link to apply:

2016-2017 TVAC

On this site you will find a list of teachers from all grade levels, all buildings, and various specialties offering you a vast field of expertise. The TVAC scheduling window will close by spring break or when the opportunities are gone (whichever comes first). Don’t hesitate to sign up now.

If you have any questions about the process or anything else regarding TVAC please contact Kelly Leguizamon:

Teachers often need to create teams or partners for different assignments.There is a strong body of evidence that peer relationships have a powerful influence on academic achievement. Therefore setting up purposeful partners is a key to success in the classroom.  Conducting Purposeful Partnering means teachers deliberately assign or randomly choose teams, groups, or partners AND teach students how to cooperatively work together. Simply partnering students doesn’t guarantee success though. It takes instruction, practice, and monitoring. For now, let’s focus on different ways to partner students. Look for a future post on teaching students to work together once they are partnered.

Deliberate partners have been structured so students are as heterogeneous as possible. Creating a mix of different learning strengths, needs, and achievement levels increases equity and excellence for every student. Students do not know how you created these groups.



Below are some deliberate partner strategies you may want to try in your classroom:

  • Groups of FOUR-SIX:  
    • Jigsaw – teacher creates a diverse group of four to six students
      • Each student is assigned a number and a topic
      • After learning the topic students disperse to similar numbers/topics and discuss the topic in this new group so they become “experts”
      • Students go back to their original group and teaches their topic
  • Partners of TWO:
    • Reading – teacher creates partners who are a little below or a little above their reading level so students are not at “frustration” level

Random partners are selected by chance. Your students see it in action; they know they have not been “singled out.” In this low-risk setting they are more willing to participate. Randomly choosing groups can create a positive and cooperative classroom environment.  

Below are some random partnering strategies you may want to try in your classroom:

  • Groups of FOUR:  
    • Get a standard deck of playing cards for creating “four of a kind”   
  • Partners of TWO:
    • Use flashcards to partner up facts showing the commutative property
  • Click HERE for more ideas

 Try these strategies in any content area.  You will be surprised how quickly it becomes part of your regular classroom routine.

Everyone learns in a high performing classroom. As teachers, we hold students accountable and maintain the expectation that it is not ok to not try. In Teach Like a Champion 2.0, Doug Lemov states, “Students in your classroom should come to expect that when they answer incorrectly, say they can’t answer, or decide not to try, there’s a strong likelihood that they will conclude their interaction by demonstrating their responsibility and ability to identify the right answer.” Below are a few ways we can assist students in believing in their ability to answer, thus building a culture of validation and success in our classrooms:

Four “No Opt Out” Formats:

  1. You provide the answer; the student repeats the answer
  2. Another student provides the answer; initial student repeats the answer
  3. You provide a cue*; the student uses it to find the answer
  4. Another student provides a cue*, initial student uses it to find the answer

*Cue-the place to find the answer, the next step in a process, another name for a term, an identification of the mistake

You can also use the “No Opt Out” technique to stretch students’ thinking and to give students a chance to show how much they know. Asking a series of similar questions, stretching the question by asking more challenging follow-up questions, having the student identify the error in an initial answer, and celebrating perseverance all result in greater rigor and increased confidence for students in your classroom. If a student in your class is unable to answer, try one of the “No Opt Out” formats above to give that student another opportunity to answer the question and experience success.

For a No Opt Out Cueing Tool Kit, click here.

Take a minute and seven seconds to check out an example of “No Opt Out” in the video below.





OKThe evidence is clear…when students actively participate in class (Eliciting Responses) they are more engaged in learning. However, it is not just a great strategy for garnering more involvement, reducing off task behavior, and allowing teachers to check for understanding. It can also improve memory and retrieval of information. Encouraging action responses by attaching physical motions to content (gestures) can help students connect new learning to a physical motion that aids in retention of the learning. For emerging bilinguals, adding gestures that represent concepts or ideas can help make learning more comprehensible.

Active Engagement is a simple addition to classroom instruction that yields a big impact for all students. Reach out to our instructional leaders to find more ways to incorporate active engagement into your teaching: SALC teachers Debbi Holte and Gina Clark, your principal or assistant principal, district administrators, or district TOSAs.   


To find practical ideas for using gestures in your classroom, read this great article: Using Gestures to Enhance Language Instruction

Also, see the Math Tool Kit (It’s not just for math teachers)

Other resources:
Teach Like a Champion 2.0 by Doug Lemov
Total Participation Techniques by Persida Himmele and William Himmele
Explicit Instruction by Anita Archer and Charles Hughes

googleclassroomGoogle Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools using Google Apps for Education (now called G Suite) that simplifies creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. Google Classroom is easy to setup, it saves time and paper, improves communications and integrates all the Google Apps you and your students use.

Using Google Apps with your students outside of the Google Classroom environment can be confusing and time-consuming. With Google Classroom you can quickly assign work to your whole class, communicate electronically with the class or individual students, have assignments automatically turned in on a defined due date and time, and have assignments automatically graded.

Google Classroom is being used by a variety of Bethel teachers in grades 3 to 12. Most teachers use Google Classroom for Continue reading

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