journal logoThe following manuscripts come from Volume 1, Issue 2 (Summer 2014) of The Journal on Best Teaching Practices.  The theme for this issue was simply Best Teaching Practices. You can download a PDF of the entire issue here (759 kb).

Author Title
Alex Andre-Knudson Eliminating the Tip of the Tongue
Everyone at some point in time has racked their brain for the answer to a question, only to discover it awaiting merely imminent retrieval rather than being easily accessible. This common “tip of the tongue” phenomenon has been around for generations and means that the brain recalls some related information, but is unable to recall a particular portion of the information (Brown & McNeil, 1966). However, this is useless when one cannot determine the specific answer on an exam. In education, students are traditionally taught and then assessed afterward, making long-term memory retention essential. So what can teachers do to improve the retention of information in their classroom? In order to answer this seemingly simple question, we must first examine how our students remember information. PDF (190 kb)
Jordyn Tansom Learning Communities
“Founded on a philosophy of operations that encompasses respect, team work, creativity, and trust between participants” (Rutledge, 1996). Is the author referring to a fraternity, work group or sports team? Actually, this statement is referring to Learning Communities. So, what are they, how do they work and what do they add to the academic experience? Download PDF (185 kb)
Emily Hudson Peer Learning
With such high competition for acceptance rates into colleges and few jobs available, being an independent learner is a necessity. One of the ways that teachers can help encourage students to become independent learners is to incorporate peer learning into the classroom. This allows students the opportunity to solve problems with their peers instead of relying on their teachers for answers. Peer learning has been proven to improve grades, and boost the confidence and attitudes of the students by allowing them to work together, as a team, to actively solve problems. Download PDF (112 kb)
Tyler Cloud Cooperative Learning in the Classroom
From the beginning of time teachers of the world have been trying to figure out the best way to teach their pupils. Different practices have been tried, many have failed and others have succeeded. One teaching strategy that continued to be questioned by teachers is that of cooperative learning. When group work is announced in a class room many teachers might hear sighs, complaints, or possibly, rejoicing. Cooperative learning is a teaching practice that breaks students into groups of 3-4 with each student having a particular role within the group (Johnson-Johnson, 1999). Download PDF (114 kb)
Autumn Ruddy We Need the Real-World!
Within the high school classroom many of us were told that we would be using the given material or curriculum in our everyday lives, also known as the real-world. The real-world refers to the time after students graduate from high school. To some extent this has been true however, most of what was taught to me in high school I have not yet used in the real-world. Download PDF (113 kb)
Anna Head Teaching Current Events: A Catalyst for Social Change
Teachers are the catalyst for global change and kaleidoscopic innovations. By educating students in a non-biased, informative manner, and raising awareness on social injustice, teachers pave the road for a future absent of ignorance and unfounded bigotry. Teachers are responsible for informing their students on national and global current events so that their students may gain critical literacy, and form unique perspectives on the world that they can utilize in their educational endeavors and in their contributions to humanity. Download PDF (112 kb)
Samantha Hiller Grit: Perseverance Against All Odds
People tend to strive for intelligence, to be the smartest they can be, and often, teachers encourage that goal in ways that do not favor a student’s education. Although most people prefer being told how smart they are, studies have shown that praising a student’s intelligence can cause harm to a student’s overall education. Rather than solely praising a student’s intellect, teachers need to find a balance between encouraging hard work and making sure the student knows he or she is intelligent. Download PDF (114 kb)
Katy Cook Reviewing Previous Learning
In today’s society, schools require a great deal of curriculum jam packed into a single school year, thus forcing teachers to rush through material simply to get every topic covered. In the long run, this is often not helpful for students and ultimately will not allow them to absorb as much knowledge as they can. In an effort to ensure that students are learning to the best of their ability and retaining the information, teachers should be considering spending an adequate amount of time reviewing previous material before they jump ahead into more complex lessons. This one simple step may seem repetitive and unnecessary, but it has the potential to make a noticeable difference in one’s learning. Download PDF (186 kb)
Samantha Thomsen The Importance of Classroom Design
The first thing you notice when walking into a classroom – especially an elementary classroom – is how it looks and how it is set up. Although it may not seem very important, the design of a classroom is crucial to a student’s education. The design of the classroom affects student behavior and work ethic. There are many elements to consider when designing a classroom, but three very important ones are the effects of furniture arrangement, the opportunities activity centers bring, and the importance of a literature center. Download PDF (112 kb)
Sierra Hawkins Classroom Design
Every elementary classroom has the same basic things; desks, lights, displays of children’s work, etc., but nobody ever thinks about how important these items really are. The layout of a classroom can be determined by numerous things and it is important to consider all of them. Whether there are physical perimeters such as the room size or uncontrollable factors like how many kids are placed in the room, there is always a solution to make the room work in the teachers favor. Download PDF (198 kb)
 About The Authors