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Favorite Portals for Pedagogical Planning (and a new curation tool)

In prepping for my on-campus course this semester I felt the need to freshen up my face-to-face discussion strategies. Digging around, I discovered some fabulous pedagogical portals well worth visiting for educators, both newbie and veteran.  Take a look if you and your partner teachers seek a little inspiration for engaging learners in meaningful conversations and a few new activities.

1. Cult of Pedagogy: Through her series of cleverly illustrated videos, podcasts, explanations of educational jargon, lists of helpful resources, rants and pep talks, advice on classroom management and syllabus writing, Jennifer Gonzalez gathers together a seriously useful toolkit for every educator–from newbie to veteran.  Check out her descriptions of a few strategies:  think-pair-share, chat Stations, reciprocal Learning, and crumple and shoot.  Her videos on Instruction and Assessment,Classroom Management, Technology, Presentation, and Design,

Here’s Jennifer’s article and her explainer video of the Jigsaw cooperative learning strategy:

2. The K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma offers a K20 YouTube Channel. The Center’s goal is to promote innovative learning through school-university-community collaboration.

The Center offers a searchable lesson library, a lesson editor, and a theoretical model.  I kinda love this interactive page of instructional strategies.


The K20 Learn playlist, features such videos as Whys and Norms, Grouping Strategies, Supporting Arguments, CUS and Discuss, Four Corners, Gallery Walk, and Commit and Toss.

Check out this Two Voice Poem Strategy for encouraging critical thinking.

3. The TeachingChannel is all about community, sharing and video-enhanced professional learning.  On the Mission page, the team shares:

We believe teachers should have opportunities to learn from each other… whenever they want; and teachers tell us that video has become essential to helping them see a broad range of approaches for working with students and for fostering self-reflection.

TeachingChannel deep dives are expertly curated collections of content that encourage you to look closely, ask questions, make connections to your own practice, and learn from and alongside inspiring educators and thought leaders.

Deep Dives dig into such topics as: Growth Mindset, Class Culture, Setting Up Your Classroom, New Teacher Survival, Formative Assessment, Next Generation Science Standards, Deeper Learning, Science and Innovation, and Success at the Core (about school leadership). More than 1000 TeachingChannel videos are browsable by subject area, grade, and topics such topics as: assessment, behavior, class culture, differentiation, digital literacy, engagement and so much more!

Here’s one on evidence-based academic discussion

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4. Faculty Focus: Although aimed at the university teaching crowd, Faculty Focus most definitely examines topics of interest to K12. A series of Free Reports are organized into the broad interest areas of: academic leadership, instructional design, teaching with technology, online education, and teaching and learning.

5. TeachLikeThis is a collection of two-four minute videos created by teacher Alex Maslak to introduce teachers to a variety of teaching strategies. Videos are divided into two playlists Instructional Strategies  and Assessment Strategies

Here’s Alex’s video on hosting a fishbowl conversation.

6. Fairfax County Public Schools offers a YouTube playlist on Best Practices for Teaching and Learning, designed to improve student engagement and achievement in the K-12 classroom.

This video on promoting critical thinking and analysis through document based questions (DBQs) will be helpful for high school teachers in a variety of disciplines, especially in history.

 7. Knowledge Delivery Systems, a provider of professional development, provides research-based, blended-model strategies for teachers, coaches and school leaders in collaboration with several other educational organizations. Among their very helpful short Making a Difference, District-Wide videos is this one on Courageous Conversations About Race.

8. Common Sense Media has long been my go-to resource for instruction and reviews relating to ed tech and digital citizenship, as well as reviews and tech-rich lesson planning.  Their section on Teaching Strategies offers materials in three areas:

Among Common Sense Media’s Featured Videos is this one on creating Lesson Flows.

Also check out

Using these portals, I curated some of the specific strategies I am planning to use with my own grad students in this Wakelet, a handy tool I recently discovered for creating a menu of options.

(Please share some of your favorite pedagogical portals in Comments!)













Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


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