Holiday Craze

  “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us.”  This is how Obi-Wan Kenobi introduced Luke Skywalker (and most of us) to the Force in Star Wars.  Well, in December there is a different “force” that “surrounds and penetrates us” –  it’s the holiday craze.  Can you feel it?  There is …Continue reading

From a Parent’s Perspective

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog called, “How to Deal With Bucket Dipping”. It provided insight into how children feel they deal with negative situations.  As most schools are opening for a new year,  I thought it would be interesting to look at how parents help their children learn strategies to overcome …Continue reading

Lessons From Navy SEALs

Leigh Ann recently wrote about the work of Dr. Michele Borba, an educational psychologist whose aim is to strengthen empathy and resilience in children.  While looking at Dr. Borba’s work I came across an interesting piece by her that had to do with helping children reduce stress and raise their level of empathy.  Borba actually …Continue reading

Empathy and Compassion Begin at Home

Your toddler hits and screams when he doesn’t get his way.  Your five year old often doesn’t seem interested in the feelings of others.  What can you do to help them develop a sense of empathy (trying to understand how someone is feeling) and compassion (empathy + taking action to help someone)?  Instead of talking …Continue reading

‘Tis the Season to Reduce Stress

Just read the following e-card: December Lesson Plans Scrape children from ceiling. Repeat as needed. Enough said. ‘Tis the season for excited children and stressed teachers.  Here are a few ways to destress during this “most wonderful time of the year.” Breathe – When chaos erupts – stop and take a deep cleansing breath.  Conscious …Continue reading

The One-Minute Schema Determiner

Schema is all the knowledge that is filed away in your brain.  The people you have met, things you have done, books you have read, and discoveries you have made – all those experiences build schema.   In Building Mathematical Comprehension, Laney Sammons tells us that “new knowledge must be associated with and linked to the existing …Continue reading

Modeling Think-Alouds

“Teaching students how to make connections as they develop an understanding of mathematics concepts or apply their mathematics knowledge to problem solving can improve their comprehension and increase their overall interest in the study of mathematics.”  – Laney Sammons Our young mathematicians walk into our classrooms with a variety of experiences and diverse backgrounds.  Some …Continue reading

Literature and Math – A Great Match

“Reading books that weave mathematical ideas into engaging stories helps dispel the myth that math is dry, unimaginative, and inaccessible.”  – Marilyn Burns From generation to generation, we have used stories to teach life lessons.  Author Jonathan Gottschall reminds us, “We are, as a species, addicted to story.”  As educators, we know that a good …Continue reading

Curriculum First

From the desk of Carol C. . . There was something about setting up my classroom that I just loved…putting out the writing center supplies and the math manipulatives, setting up the reading nook, finding objects for the science table, and locating a current map for social studies.  There were so many things like this …Continue reading