In case you haven’t heard, NAEP scores are out, and they’re not good. I won’t bore you with a lot of wonky analysis…mostly because I’m not smart enough to.

But, lucky for us, I know people who are. So click here and here for that. (Go ahead…I’ll wait.)

OK, clearly not good news. After two decades of steady progress (if still low scores), we can’t stay stalled or continue to lose ground.

We need new thinking, new strategies, new pedagogical approaches. (which maybe could include an end to calling them “pedagogical approaches”?)

Maybe we need to start looking for teaching methods more aligned to the way kids these days absorb information. Like gifs. Maybe instead of allegedly “teaching to the test,” we should consider “teaching to the gif.”

So here are some gif-based suggestions to improve teaching and get scores headed back in the right direction.

1. For a sure-fire attention grabber, you can’t beat a perfect circle.



perfect circle


2. Partner with local businesses in the community to feed students’ appetite for learning.



spicoli pizza


3. Understand the out-of-school challenges that may affect your students’ attendance patterns.





4. Share your students’ enthusiasm when they actively participate in classroom discussions.





5. Set clear expectations for your students.





6. Share personal life experiences with students to enrich the classroom curriculum.





7. Six words: Channel the awesomeness that is Chuck Norris



chuck norris


8. Ensure all classroom equipment is functioning properly.





9. Always be encouraging, even when students give an incorrect answer.





10. Body language matters. Be a distinguished and commanding presence at the front of the classroom.