Hammers, Nails, Saws, and Hand Drills in Preschool. Wait… What?


When we think of typical activities for preschoolers that help support their development across multiple domains, what first comes to mind are manipulating playdough, cutting, gluing, climbing, running, and puzzles. But let’s walk that back some and consider, instead, having children engage in authentic activities. How about working with hammers, nails, saws, and hand drills? […]

Learning To Swim. Letting Go of Our Floaties!

Summer. A time to rest, relax, rejuvenate, reflect and plan. Before we know it, school bells will ring and here we go again. Tonight I’m writing from head and heart, hoping to inspire you to take a giant leap forward in your school and life. Make it happen. Just do it. Kinders are fearless. Why […]

Let Them Do Dangerous Things


I let my children do dangerous things… They have built fires by themselves. They sometimes swim when it is dark… Sometimes I just pick them up and toss them into water that might be too shallow… Sometimes when we are walking in the woods they just jump into rivers and swim without me checking the […]

Young Children: Capable, if given the chance!


“It’s necessary that we believe that the child is very intelligent, that the child is strong and beautiful and has very ambitious desires and requests. This is the image of the child that we need to hold. Those who have the image of the child as fragile, incomplete, weak, made of glass gain something from […]

Students Too Dependent on You? Here’s Help


Do your students want to be spoon-fed? Are they constantly demanding your help, calling out your name over and over again? If so, is it possible that you’ve unwittingly contributed to their sense of helplessness? Can learned helplessness be unlearned? Those are among the questions I asked of Starr Sackstein and David Ginsburg on an […]

Take a Chance


I remember the day very well. It was 2002, and my husband and I lived and worked in a small community in southern Indiana. I had just finished my English teaching licensure after I had received my Bachelor’s degree two years prior, substitute teaching as much as I could, and I was looking for a […]

Are They Comfortable? Be Alarmed.


His alarm clock has been blaring since before 6:00 AM. From the upstairs back corner of the house, it loudly screams a rhythmic and determined, “Get up! Buzz! Get up! Buzz!” My son couldn’t care less. There is not the slightest hint of movement behind his closed bedroom door. Although I am annoyed, I do […]

Students ARE Changing…Shouldn’t WE?


Since the beginning of “school”, students have been expected to sit quietly, listen to the teacher lecture for minutes, if not hours at a time, and to perform as if they are adults. This is not to say that there is not any validity in teaching students these skills appropriately, having high expectations, and modeling […]

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