Blog

All teachers think the grade they teach is paramount in importance.  In part because every grade is, and in part because we get so attached to our content we can't imagine life without it.  So, what is the truth?  What grade is most important? Every day!  Everyday is important.  Not any grade, but every single day of every grade. Chronic attendance issues are costing children a priceless...

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The Common Core is new but the learning we are looking for is not new. Teachers have always wanted their students to acquire skills and concepts that will serve them in the future. The quizzes and tests were just the way to track progress and communicate to parents students achievement. At least in my classroom. I have been required to give grades, communicate with parents...

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When I step up to support a new teacher it is typical we spend a fair amount of time discussing class rules.  Not classroom management which implies the teacher as a facilitator or manager of behaviors or lessons, but rules.  This has not changed in 20 years and too many times a new teacher is mistaken as to what happens with a list of rules. 1. If there...

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We have all heard this sentence.  What we may or may not have noticed is that kids generally have more questions in the subject we enjoy most.  Now this isn't a scientific fact but having moved from a K-5 site to a high school the antidotal evidence is overwhelming. Why would this be?  I think I know.  When we have a favorite subject as children we...

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Having a welcoming classroom can be tricky.  Some people love smells.  Sometimes fragrances make other people sick.  So, I am not going to give you any advice on what to do about that but . . . I will say no one has complained about my room when it smells like fresh brewed coffee.  Lucky for me. Now, back on topic.  Are there things you can...

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I recently read that if a teacher has students that tattle it is because the child doesn't trust them.  It was suggested that the tattling child thinks the teacher doesn't follow through and that they are uncertain of the rules. I agree children who are uncertain, may check with the teacher by informing them so and so is doing this and that.  However, children do not...

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