Best Reader Trophy

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Do you give out recognition for your top readers? I do. We run Accelerated Reader at my school which makes it easier to run reports and identify who is passing their comprehension tests. In other words, we know who the top readers are. It’s important to publicly recognize these kids and on doing so let the school know that reading for meaning is worthy of reward. Continue reading “Best Reader Trophy”

Create Specialized Focused Expectations

tumblr_ngffqvCqX71tpmr3io1_1280Teachers are valuable for their critical thinking skills. Just giving a teacher the materials and saying “Go teach!” is not enough. The professional can synthesize the common core standards and create focused expectations the students can meet. Only a teacher has his “ear to the ground” and truly knows how the kids learn. Teachers are the best to decide what the lessons should consist of. Getting there to set those expectations requires teaching, assessment, and analysis of the assessment. When all that is done, we can create focused expectations based on our professional assessment. Politicians can’t create focused expectations because they aren’t with the students every day. Parents can do it but it won’t reflect what the majority need as well as what the developmental learners do. Administrators can’t do it because they are caught up day to day in the social and physical aspects of running the school. This leaves us with teachers, the best ones to create expectations and measure progress toward goals. Continue reading “Create Specialized Focused Expectations”

To Teach Same Kids or Rotate, that is the Question

Teaching groups that rotate has advantages. Staying “self-enclosed” with one group of students all day can also be helpful. Which is right for your teaching goals and learners’ needs?

I’ve written a few posts on what might be called the single subject intervention model for elementary school. Up to now I have always heralded the strengths of the single subject intervention. To recap, this is simply a model where students rotate into specialist teachers who teach a single subject rather than all core subjects in the same classroom all day long. I have learned this year for the first time in 5 years that I have been doing this that behavior and maturity levels should be considered. If the students are unable to behave, the single subject intervention model might not work. In fact, it may cause the year to be less effectual and much more taking on the teachers. Immature students will take advantage of not having a single teacher in charge. In the single subject models, whicl curriculum varies, must unclude a uniform and progressive class-to-class system of consequences.

This is something to definitely consider in your grade level collaboration as you discuss this intervention as a possibility. The single subject model or “specialist” model is a good one for many reasons. For example, each teacher can focus more time and energies on one subject. In theory, this will produce more interesting, weathered lessons that get better over time. In a self-enclosed “multiple subject” model, one teacher must create and innovate lessons on all subjects required in the district core curriculum. I hope to go into more detail as to what worked for us last year and those before. There were many positives. I plan to publish an article here over the Summer on single subject teaching as an intervention and why this might or might not work for your school and your palette of students. A lot worked and some didn’t. Mostly, what held the intervention back most were student behavior problems.

As part of my preparation for the article, I appreciate any comments on the topics. Tell me your opinions and your experiences.

Avoiding Procrustes’ Bed

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If you haven’t heard the myth of Procrustes and his bed, it’s the story of a man who invited weary travelers to lay in his guest bed. Once in, if they were too tall he lopped off their feet and if too short, he’d stretch them to fit. Horrifying I know and yet aren’t we as educators often guilty of trying to get our students to “fit” the curriculum? Continue reading “Avoiding Procrustes’ Bed”

Classroom Expectations – Take Your Time, do it Right

Most teachers I talk to agree the beginning of the year is the time to establish authority, rules, and expectations. What they don’t all agree on is how to do it.

Classroom management and expectations are a teacher’s best friend or worst enemy. 

It depends on how well a teacher conveys them to the kids. Research I’ve read shows that the beginning of the year is the best time to declare your classroom rules and expectations.  If you fail to get the point across at that time, you have exponentially less control in the classroom until year’s end. You might say it is the most crucial learning objective you’ll have.  Most teachers I talk to agree the beginning of the year is the time to establish authority, rules, and expectations.  What they don’t all agree on however is how to do it

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I knew one teacher who believed in passing out a handout with the rules and not going over them.  I knew another who would would take the entire first week of the school year modeling, explaining, and getting the kids to act out every scenario imaginable.  He actually used puppets and the kids would “ad-lib” scenarios with him such as: “Hey, imagine the puppet is a kid outside and he says: ‘Your momma is ugly.'” The kids would horse around and make the puppets fight.  Then, that teacher would take the teaching opportunity to talk about how silly it is to fight over words. What he’s really doing is setting the stage for child discipline. I feel the second teacher had a much better approach. Believe it or not, puppets are excellent classroom management tools.

I don’t focus solely on behavior management the whole first week, but I use most of it to set the curriculum aside and teach rules and expectations.  I had kids the first week holding up crossed fingers and I had no idea why.  I found out their teacher last year used that as a signal to go to the restroom.  This is an example of why teachers should take time establishing new “grooves” of activity in the classroom.  There is something called the “affective filter” that hinders kids from feeling comfortable learning and taking risks in the classroom.  When the rules are unclear, an anxiety permeates the room.  This anxiety can keep kids from learning to their potential and cause all sorts of mayhem.

I don’t recommend an entire week of nothing but rules and expectations but I think at least half a week with time for followup is a must. You can look into the classroom management books on this one.

Last week I noticed on Thursday that my kids were still not quite sure how I check for understanding.  My method is different from many teachers as you may know if you’ve read my pieces on that.  To summarize it, I say the question, wait, and then call on a random non-volunteer.  This breaks with the traditional method of checking for understanding by forward questioning. I decided I would review and practice it until the kids were “awake” and answering when their number was called.  They eventually did get it and we are ready to start the year strong. When things like this work, I share them here as teacher tips.

Have you thought about your style of class management? Is there a way you could convey it more clearly at the beginning of the year?

My Comments on a So-Called “Teacher Bill of Rights”

On Facebook this evening, I found this “teacher’s bill of rights.” This comment may sound rude but I hate blue-sky, irrational posts like this that complain on behalf of us teachers in the trenches. I would like this if it were meant as humor but I think they are being serious.
1891061_10152303771788708_1428955988_nI don’t need them to plead my case as a teacher. Here are my corresponding comments: #1 Is subjective. #2 Is subjective #3 Copy paper, pencils, and soap are provided (though I could use more pencils than 30 a month) #4 My school has fairly advanced technology #5 ok #6 Ridiculous. Highly subjective statement and completely impossible to grant to any teacher.#7 WTH are they talking about here? Colleagues evaluating us? Hopefully not some I know #8) Ha. Go into the business world. Teaching will always be a medium paid job, which is not bad. There is more security in teaching than most jobs of the same pay. #9) A dream, but a good one. #10) We get this already.

I agree with the direction of these rights but the way they aim to get there is bordering on absurd. “Think Big” they say out there in the world. I say, be the change you want to see. Little by little, you’ll affect big changes.

Why You Should Get Accounting Homework Help

Why You Should Get Accounting Homework Help

Homework is considered as a positive activity for students to continue learning and recalling the lessons for day. It also gives them a glimpse of what will be discussed the following day by trying to answer questions or problems of the lesson in advance. Students develop their skills, gain knowledge, becomes responsible and disciplined when they have assignments to do when they get home. Although it lessens their time for play and television viewing, assignments are still considered as an essential requirement to assess the students’ academic development. Assignments also cause stress and weariness among students especially when they have to deal with difficult subjects such. Lack of proper accounting homework help can bog down students and make them lose interest in studying.

Seeking Homework Help Online

Students who are feeling distraught with their load of assignments in different subjects can seek help from websites offering homework help and assistance. They can assist students in completing assignments on a variety of subjects such as Geometry, Biology, Accounting, Calculus and many others. You can even seek help in completing your essays, book reports and other writing requirements. In the recent years, many students have proven the benefits of seeking online help for their homework. They can find registered tutors to assist them through effective methods of teaching, tutoring or coaching.

Academic Development

Seeking online help for your assignments is not just searching for ready answers to your problems. At learnok.com you will have a team of tutors and mentors to help you find the right answers by analyzing, evaluating, teaching and explaining things about your homework that you do not understand. These people are proficient in various subjects so you can find experts in specific fields of study. Homework help should not only be a question and answer program otherwise you will not learn anything from it.

Competent tutors can solve your accounting problems but they will opt to teach you how to solve them first. Homework helpers could find a better approach to clarify concepts and subjects so that you can understand them better than the way it was discussed in the classroom. If you find the subject difficult, then there must be way for you to like it first so that you can understand it and be more motivated in dealing with your homework. These activities are geared towards improving your skills and knowledge on the subject thereby giving directing you towards better performance in school and higher grades.

Although you can find free answers to your homework, it is still a great option to have a personalized mentoring or tutoring for you to really get a grasp of your lessons in accounting. It is a subject that you can use in the corporate world so while you are still a student, you have to understand and be able to solve problems on your own. Online tutors and mentors provide individual attention to students seeking help for their assignments. They address the students’ weaknesses by focusing on what bothers them the most. Some student-tutor relationship also go a long way wherein tutors can monitor students’ progress and create personalized programs to cater to his or her specific needs, capability, learning style and academic requirements.

 

Questioning Authority Trend

pencilsAs an educator of 10 year olds, I have noticed a trend in recent years that is half good and half not. There seems to be a defiance of authority more than ever before of varying degrees. Of course with children, rules are often broken and then reviewed individually or with the class. This is normal but it seems many kids of today live to break the rules. Have parents forgotten the importance of teaching allegiance to teachers and schools? It sure seems that way. It may even be because parents themselves have lost trust in our system. I find that sad. I work everyday to prove myself worth of family trust. In my life, teachers were the most trusted people I knew, even more than the local news. So now that I know this exists, how can I handle it as a teacher. I have a hard time teaching kids to pay blind allegiance to anything, even the teacher. In this manner, you can see their questioning of authority as a positive. Unfortunately, they are too young to be doing this much. I guess that’s where I’d like to see more respect. Not blindly following a teacher’s rules but paying respect to the position of leader that the teacher holds in society. Follow rules, even when they may seem silly.

An example: when my class walks somewhere in a line, I have them all put their hands behind their backs. I do it because it choreographs them in a certain sense. It gets them flying in formation in at least that one small way. Other expectations follow suit but the hands behind the back is something I have chosen as my signature “Riley line” feature. This also keeps their hands to their selves which is an added bonus. Still, after weeks and months, some kids still refuse to do it without me telling them. When I remind them, they do it right away. This is the sort of questioning authority I am talking about. If my teacher asked me to do this in elementary school, I would do it without question. Maybe there is a little too much questioning of authority for our own good in elementary schools these days.

Teach How to Play

In teaching, it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of the day and the district, and your principal, and the pacing guide … it can feel like too much sometimes. If you feel like that, as an educated adult, imaging how it must feel for your students. I think it’s important for a teacher to know how to have fun. I know teachers who do it through giving out MnMs. I know others who show a science video once in a while and have their kids write about it. I know a few games I like to play with my students to help them learn their multiplication, and then of course, there’s kickball. The point is, these little guys don’t know how to have proper fun. They look to you to not only educated them but expand their thinking through play. Continue reading “Teach How to Play”

How Internships Help You Get a Job

Most students at colleges and universities understand the importance of higher education. While having your high school diploma can help you get a lot of different kinds of jobs, a college degree might be necessary to get the higher-paying jobs. In recent years, the poor economy has had people returning to school in order to broaden their experiences and help them find new jobs. For college or university students in a study program, having access to internships can do wonders for getting a job once your education is complete. Internships like those found at Endeavorup.com are much more than a degree, they allow potential employers to see you in action, and may make access to job offers even easier.

More Than a Degree

Degrees are important to have. When you are working toward your college education, the thought of having that degree in hand might be the only thing that keeps you going at times. Once you have that degree, what’s next? While it’s important to focus on completing your coursework and getting your degree, it is also very important to work on gaining experience. Many students find that once they have their degree, they still lack the work experience that many employers require. EndeavorUP can help connect you to businesses that offer internships as a way for you to gain work experience before you receive your degree. This allows you to build up experience so that once you do graduate, you are really ready to step into a career.

Potential Employers See You in Action

Not only do internships help you get valuable experience in the work force, but they also help potential employers to see how you work in various environments. If you decide to participate in more than one internship over the course of your studies, you could get experience in various fields and put your name out there to several different companies. It’s also important to note that many internships offer paid positions, which means that your internship is really a job where you can make money—all while continuing your education and gaining the work experience you need to step into a career.

Job Offers are Just Around the Corner

Although some students might look at internships as a temporary position, sometimes these work-study positions end up turning into full-time careers. If you find an internship that is the right fit with the right company, and the company is in turn impressed with your work, you might just find that you have a job offer later down the road. The great news is that job offers can come from anywhere—not just the companies with which you decide to intern.

Internships serve many different purposes. They offer students the opportunity to gain more than just a degree by the time they are finished with their higher education. Internships help to provide work experience to students before they put themselves out into the working world. Potential employers are able to see these students in action and find potential employees that would be a great fit for their company. If you are looking for an internship to help supplement your college education and pad your resume, check out the options that are available.