journal logoThe following manuscripts come from Volume 1, Issue 1 (Spring 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
Tyler Christensen Creating an undergraduate academic journal: A Message from the Editor
The Journal on Best Teaching Practices was created for preservice teacher candidates by preservice teacher candidates.  The inaugural issue being presented here is produced by students at the University of Wisconsin River Falls as an authentic activity designed to provide more quality (and free) resources to teachers everywhere.  Each short article describes a “best teaching practice” relevant to K-12 teachers and includes a short literature review, examples, and information about where to find additional information. PDF (190 kb)
Kara Mallizzio Teaching is no laughing matter
It is no secret that one of the biggest issues teachers everywhere deal with is getting students’ attention. And if teachers are not getting, and keeping students’ attention, then students are not learning. So how does one captivate a disinterested audience? Humor. At least this is one tactic suggested by numerous educators to encourage students to be more attentive in class. But does it really work? PDF (202 kb)
Erin Dailey Authentic Teaching
A popular complaint in high school is “Why do I need to learn this, I’m never going to use this outside of school?” however, this is something that teachers struggle with at every grade level, not just high school. One way to minimize hearing this complaint is by using real-world application in the classroom. This can help kids focus on the topic at hand and give them a better understanding. PDF (200 kb)
Hannah Zurn Classroom Design
A first year teacher is walking into their classroom for the first time. All the desks are pushed to one side and it’s up to them to pick the “perfect classroom design”. There are many possibilities, however which would best suit the environment being taught in? PDF (223 kb)
Ashley Dewitz Classroom Designs to Accommodate ADHD and Learning Disabled Students
Franklin never paid attention in class and seemed to move around more than all the other kids. He was always staring off into space or kicking the chair in front of him. Franklin has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and because of this his classroom needs to meet special requirements. As teachers we must accommodate our room designs to fit our students. The educational experience for all the students in our classroom begins with the attention to details of learning styles and with the teacher’s desire to make that experience the best it can be for every student. If you had an ADHD student like Franklin, or any other learning disabled student in your classroom, how would that influence your classroom design?  PDF (186 kb)
Stephanie Norlin The Importance of Feedback
The use of feedback has become an important practice by teachers in the classroom. Though research has proven it to be beneficial, it is not always practiced by teachers. The type of feedback, timing of its use, and way it is used can have positive effects on students in the classroom.  PDF (120 kb)
Carlie Melstrom Come on, Evaluate Me
The simplest description of a teacher is a person who performs the tasks of teaching by showing or explaining how to do something. They explain ideas, concepts, guidelines, and ways to accomplish assignments or specific responsibilities to their students. It seems simple enough. All a teacher has to do is figure out what they need to explain to their students each day, teach it the best way they see fit and go on worrying about the next class plan afterwards. But is it really that simple? PDF (124 kb)
Joseph Ian Lee Grinols Effective Classroom Discussions = Engaged Students
Typical lecturing in a classroom setting has its place and time, but its overuse can be hurtful to a healthy learning environment. Many teachers are perceived by their students as overly attached to the standard lecture format. Whether that is true is a subject of teaching philosophy; however our focus should be on helping teachers improve students’ perceptions of them, by encouraging diversity in their teaching styles. One practical solution to this problem is increasing the usage of classroom discussions. PDF (120 kb)
Rebecca Hartung Active Learning: Producing Enthusiasm in the Classroom
In today’s society, for current and future teachers, an active learning approach to teaching is essential for students’ success in the classroom. Learning that contains student-based inquiry versus teacher-based inquiry allows the students to develop their own understanding of the content with little facilitation from the teacher. Unfortunately, active learning in many classrooms has always consisted of the teacher directing the learning, which inhibits each student’s growth and potential. PDF (121 kb)
Kaitlin Hastings Engaging Students in Rich Content Through Play
Academics today are introduced earlier in American school curriculums. The world is changing and children are expected to know more and reach higher standards to move on to different grade levels. Teachers are so focused on academics that there is less time and chance for play than students in former generations. What some educators do not realize is the importance play has in the developing mind. PDF (122 kb)
Tamara Glenz Learning Students’ Names
Knowing and using a students’ name during and outside of class recognizes that a student exists and is important. In an article by Professor Kent Syverud (1993), he challenges educators to “ask yourself: who is the one teacher in your entire life who made the biggest difference for you–who taught you so well that you still think about him or her as your best teacher. I bet that for almost all of us, that best teacher was someone who knew you by name” PDF (210 kb)
 About The Authors