Category: classroom management

    7 Ideas to Increase Student Motivation

    This year I am teaching Algebra I to students who have already failed (some more than 3 or 4 times).  I teach it differently to these students because they have already seen it before.   They think there is nothing new in math.  They are wrong.  Here are some ways I get these bored students interested in math again. 1) Tell a good story. I can get really worked up about girls having the right to study math and be really good at it.   Did you know that Pythagoreas (father of the Pythagorean Theorem) had a secret society and allowed both […]

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    Unsolicited Advice for New Teachers (or how not to make the same mistakes I did)

    All of us began as new teachers so every teacher has stories that will curl the hair of even the baldest person. And despite all the advice new teachers are given—most of it unsolicited-New teachers will have their own stories by their fifth year.  I have been a coach/support provider for the last 10 years, helping teachers who are in their first two years of teaching avoid some of the obvious pitfalls that all of us have experienced.  1) Ask More Questions You are not going to know everything, so you need to ask questions.  Asking questions does not imply […]

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    6 Musts to Starting a New School Year

    Starting the school year is exciting.  It is also stressful.  I understand the student anxiety really well because I have the same fears: “What if no one likes me”, “What happens if I am bullied”, “What if I don’t know anyone”.  Yes, I have those same thoughts and I have been in school—for one reason or another- for over half my life. So if I am still stressed and worried at my age, imagine how young students feel—whether you have elementary students or high school. Here are 6 ways to get the year started successfully and if you are struggling  […]

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    Solutions for Fidgety Students

     There has been a lot of brain research in the last 10 years that has really informed teachers about what is happening with students who fidget a lot (or those who don’t but are sleepy and not engaged).  Brains today are not the same brains that existed 1000 years ago.  I wasn’t there 1000 years ago, but neuroscientists tell me so and I believe them. There are many aspects of brain development that are of interest to teachers, but today I want to emphasize just one part.  The brain and physical body are interconnected.  Physical activityeffects how the brain works. […]

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    Stress Free Chrome Book Use in the Classroom

    I have used a chrome cart in my classroom on a regular basis for the last 3 years.  Before that, I was trekking to the computer lab (we wasted a lot of class time, but we got some exercise). I have used a variety of Internet activities in my classroom ever since my third year of teaching. Over that time, aside from the focused tasks that we accomplish online, I have learned some basic rules that now part of my classroom rules procedures that I print, share with students and have them paste in their notebooks.   If you would like […]

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    3 Tips for First Day of School

    The first day of school is coming.  Ok, it’s still a while away, but I want to do some different things this year and it begins with the first day.  Three ideas beginning the first day that will change the entire year. Do the Unexpected 1.  Don’t read rules/syllabus the first day. Unless you are at the elementary level– I know adminstration expects this.  Students expect this.  Even parents expect this.  So I guess that’s why I’ve decided against it.  I like to do the unexpected. Look at it this way:  You have just met someone on an important interview […]

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    New Year, New Decor

    This year I wanted to not only decorate my room but work on organization as well.  Usually I am surrounded by a mountain of papers, supplies are in several different areas and when I get overwhelmed I start stuffing the file cabinet full.  Then I have to buy more supplies because I can’t find anything. students who are not proficient in English, I have the words displayed in both English and Spanish and either a word definition or a picture illustrating the word or phrase.  I had well over 100 words or phrases, but left space in case I had […]

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    Cut and Paste Puzzles Again

    I have often used cut and paste  puzzles  in my classes either as collaborative work or partner work to reinforce math concepts. Usually the puzzles of 16 pieces their squares sometimes I use the 12-piece rectangle depending on my whim or mood. the first time I use a puzzle in the classroom students take a little bit longer to complete them,  just as they do with any new idea or activity.  I don’t think I’ve ever thought about using smaller puzzles to help them understand how the puzzles go together.  I have  also written about using puzzles before here on […]

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    Sprinkling Happiness

    This school year, we began to implement PBIS-Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports across the campus and district.  As part of back to school, staff has proclaimed the first day and each Monday of the first month of school to “Sprinkle Happiness”.  Staff welcome students and other teachers in the morning, hold signs with positive messages and cheer when the bus arrives.  I admit, I thought it was a little corny, but then I got into the swing and created my own messages on the sidewalk. Outside my classroom in front of the bus gate, where I was stopped by security […]

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    Back to School Frenzy

    Summer vacation is almost over and I am beginning to stress over the first few days of class.  Our school starts on a Minimum Day Wednesday (Every Wednesday is a minimum day) so that first day, with all the new names and faces will only have 38 minutes.  I will already have my hands full, but thinking about an activity that is both quick and fun has been difficult. I hate to give rules on the first day, hate going over the syllabus or classroom routines.  Students have just been off for 7 weeks and this is not the first […]

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