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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in positive class atmosphere

Posted by on in General





Why on Earth would anyone do a Google Hangout with students at 7 am? Well, before you begin jumping on my case about the fact that students need more sleep and that their optimal thinking times are later in the morning, let me explain.  First, know that the class I did the Google Hangout with was in a different time zone than me. Second, I was the one in the 7 am time zone. Not them. It was 9 am where they were.

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Posted by on in General


All I wanted was to finish my last bit of dinner in peace. Resting my head in my hands wasn't really easing the pain but it wasn't making it any worse. As my head continued to throb, I alternated between food and water. My family knew my head was killing me and they gave me the space and quiet that I needed.

A few more bites and I would make my way upstairs. The stillness of the room was saving me from this migraine that came out of nowhere. It was one of those headaches where just the slightest noise or the faintest light is painful.

Then out of nowhere, I saw my five year old son coming towards me. He had noticed that the water in my glass was getting low and he didn't want me to run out.

Watching him wield the water filter so as to top off my glass was a sight to behold. He had to garner all his strength and summon every bit of his coordination to transfer the water from the filter to my glass. But he did it quite well. And it warmed my heart.

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Posted by on in What If?

preschool behavior

You plan your activities and lessons to be as exciting, fun, and meaningful as possible. And when most of the children engage in them, you feel a sense of pride and success! But what about those kids who simply don’t want to participate? Have you failed, or is there something going on with the kids themselves? Should you force them to participate? Allow them to sit on the sidelines?

Those are among the questions I asked of Heather Shumaker, author of It’s OK to Go Up the Slide, which includes an entire chapter on this topic, and early childhood expert Amanda Morgan in an episode of Studentcentricity.

Following taping, Heather had this to add:

If a child doesn't want to participate in what the group is doing, don't panic. All behavior has meaning. Respect the child, but respect the group, too. That means the child has the right not to join in, as long as her actions don't disrupt the group's activity. Protect the rights of both. Young children do a lot of learning through observation, or they may be dealing with fears or other social learning.

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Posted by on in School Culture


If I had been looking the other direction I would have missed it. That would have been a shame. But I was fortunate enough to witness it. So I considered myself lucky.

The timer was getting ready to go off and for a moment it seemed uncertain if he was going to be able to clean up in time. It wouldn't have been a big deal if he hadn't. I'm sure his teacher would have simply given him another minute or two. But she didn't need to. Because his friend came over and helped him.

While that was a nice moment, it wasn't the one that stood out. What happened next was something that I rarely see with children and don't see enough of with adults. After the young man received help from his classmate he pointed it out to his teacher. And he suggested that his friend get a chance to pick out of the prize box.

Those of us that have worked with, or even had, five year olds know how rare this is. To suggest that someone else get recognition and/or a prize without expecting anything themselves. It's almost unheard of in the world of five year olds. It is not a character flaw. It's just that five year olds are still at the age where their primary concern is themselves.

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Classroom distractions are not limited to students. We teachers can be just as off task as our students without being fully aware of the extent of problem. It is not always easy to be completely focused on teaching or even our students all class long. We all experience legitimate distractions from time to time—an illness in our families or our own fatigue, for example.


However, those teachers who are so distracted that they do not fully attend to their students will have to deal with many more discipline problems than those teachers who are focused on the people and activity in their classrooms.  How guilty are you? The questions below may help you gauge the level of distraction you may be experiencing each school day.


Do you grade papers in class?

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