Praise for the first edition:

“Mandel has written a very practical, informative manual for new teachers. His examples for classroom standards, incorporating a variety of activities for diverse students, and teaching test-taking skills are right on target. For answers to fundamental questions and stress relief, Mandel's manual is a must!”

—Johanna K. Lemlech, Professor Emerita

University of Southern California

“An extremely practical and user-friendly time-saver. Rather than beating around the bush with pages of statistics, philosophies, best practices, and methodologies, this toolbox cuts to the heart of real questions burning inside new teachers. New and experienced teachers can benefit from the quick fixes presented in this plentiful toolbox.”

—Leslie Gaillard, First-Year Teacher

Pacoima Middle School, Los Angeles, CA

A one-stop resource for all your first-year teaching needs!

This second edition is a concise yet complete guide for novice teachers, covering all the essentials for getting off to a good start. With new tips for everything from establishing an ideal classroom environment to making it through teacher evaluations, this revised edition helps you plan ahead with confidence, keep your perspective, and prepare for the unexpected.

The author introduces techniques by grade level, making the book easy to read sequentially or as a reference for specific situations. Written in a conversational tone, this completely revised edition includes an expanded section on Internet use and provides field-tested strategies on how to:

Encourage student participation and critical thinking; Establish fair grading practices; Modify instructional methods and curriculum for students with special needs; Increase parent involvement; Manage stress and maintain sanity

Fairness and Critical Thinking in Classroom Discussions

Fairness and Critical Thinking in Classroom Discussions

Fairness and critical thinking in classroom discussions

Aliya's mentor came in to observe her class. Although the evaluation was positive, the teacher noticed that Aliya always called on the same five or six students, who continually raised their hands during the classroom discussion. In addition, most of the questions she asked were low-level critical-thinking questions. How could she raise the level of her questions and involve additional students?

Grade Levels



All year, but especially during the first two months of school as you become comfortable with your teaching

The Issue

How can I treat students fairly in classroom discussions and get them to think critically?

The Idea

There are two basic issues in questioning techniques:

  • Fairness of questioning, involving all students equally
  • Promoting the use of ...
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