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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    August Sampler Freebie Available

    How did it get to be August 1 already?  I am going back to school tomorrow and have mixed emotions, sorry to be going back while it is still sooooo hot and excited to meet my new students and try out some new activities with them.  Students are returning on this Friday (I know, who has students start school on Friday, right?) and one of the activities I am going to use is my conversation starters.  I really want to focus on student conversations this year, improving vocabulary, and learning to express ourselves mathematically. There are 27 cards which I […]

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    My New Solution to New Students

    Last year I will be the first to admit that I was really worn out and frazzled by the constant stream of  new students floating through my classes. I have read a lot of blogs and it appears that other teachers do not have this problem. The students they begin the year with are the same set they end the year with–I am jealous.  I understand that there are always a few schedule changes. With balancing class counts, and schedules that had errors, all of these little changes were completed by the third week. Since I use interactive notebooks, the […]

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    I Have Postiphobia–There I’ve Said It

    Postiphobia–the fear of running out of Post-It’s– is a real problem. I should know, I suffer from it.  My Postiphobia is so bad that I have begun to hoard them, and last year I am embarassed to admit that a perfectly lovely student asked for 1 (a single post-it, not a pack) and I gave her the most horrified look and said “No, these are MY post its”.  She looked at me like I was insane.  A few minutes later I was forced to admit–I am insane where Post-its are concerned. I gave her a pack and apologized for my […]

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    I Have Postiphobia–There I’ve Said It

    Postiphobia–the fear of running out of Post-It’s– is a real problem. I should know, I suffer from it.  My Postiphobia is so bad that I have begun to hoard them, and last year I am embarassed to admit that a perfectly lovely student asked for 1 (a single post-it, not a pack) and I gave her the most horrified look and said “No, these are MY post its”.  She looked at me like I was insane.  A few minutes later I was forced to admit–I am insane where Post-its are concerned. I gave her a pack and apologized for my […]

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    Back to the Future (Next Year Plans)

    Since I broke my arm (really, really broken in many pieces) I have been off work, which has left me with a lot of mixed feelings.  I needed the time to heal, and regain use of my arm, but I have missed out on my wonderful classes.  I really had some extraordinary students this year and not only have I missed seeing them, but on Friday they will have their 8th grade promotion and move on–with no goodbyes. I have sent notes, and left messages but not the same thing as being there daily. I can’t turn back the past, […]

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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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