Step Away from the Book…

I did something I normally don’t do: I had students read from the text book and then fill out the provided worksheet (gross). It was toward the end of the day, and I watched their eyes glaze over and shoulders slump. When that day ended, I decided I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I needed to find a way to take this by-the-book science curriculum, and make it engaging.

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Janis Joplin Moments

No longer shy, and free to be herself, this child lost herself in the moment and became someone entirely different—her timidity vanished in an instant as she found her moment to shine.

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It’s Time to Do Away with Timed Tests and Times Tables

The way Americans have traditionally learned math can be likened to cooking a Betty Crocker cake. I learned math as a set of steps to take—rules and facts to be memorized—a recipe to follow.

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40 Book Challenge

To be honest, when I was a kid, school turned me off to reading. Book reports and assigned books made reading boring and tedious. The good news is that there is a better way!

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Relationships > Rules

I don’t subscribe to the classroom management strategy that says, “Don’t smile until Christmas.” I’m going to smile when those students walk through the door on the first day. I’m going to tell jokes and laugh with them, and I’m going to tell them a lot about myself and my life.

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Empathetic Reading

As I thought about these two questions, the answers were enlightening and a bit unnerving. No, over the past two years of teaching, I was not reading enough children’s literature to make solid recommendations to my students. No, my colleagues and I have never (to my knowledge) got together to discuss matching kids and books. Ouch.

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