successful classroom practices

Looking for Intelligent Life in Early Childhood Education

I am half way through Erika Christakis’ book, The Importance of Being Little. It is nice to read something written by someone who a) Understands early childhood, and b) isn’t overly academic, and c) isn’t too gentle with the idiocies of the corporate early education model. My friend, Rae Pica, also writes with the courage […]

Shhh! How to Help Excessively Noisy Classes Without Yelling


If you are ever going to have classes that are too noisy, you can bet that the time for this particular teacher nightmare is right now near end of the school term. Even those timid students who were too shy to speak above a whisper at the start of the year now appear to be […]

7 Ways to Increase Student Achievment

As you read this you probably have a lot of ideas floating through your head about the amazing learning activities you’re going to experience with your students. Whether it is an idea you read about in an article, something a colleague of yours has tried, oran awesome PDsession you’ve attended, it’s time to put those […]

Master Teachers Tell Stories


My husband is a master teacher and people often ask him what it is that he does that gets such great results. I think it is his storytelling ability that garners him such success, both with student achievement and also found within the relationships he builds with his middle school students. Parents often remark to […]

Magic Words


Words have power. If one can wield the right ones skillfully he can exert influence over others. He can motivate and engage them. Words are so powerful they can bring into being dreams and halt, even destroy, lives. If you’ve been a teacher you have witnessed their might. Even if you have not realized it […]

First Steps to Teaching Science


There are a lot of aspects of teaching that are learned best through experience, however many systems and approaches can be shared and can save new science teachers a lot of trouble. Although I will never consider myself a “master” teacher, I do hope my insights can help you navigate the minefield of teaching science. […]

Another Semester Down…Almost

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The end of the semester has come. As I grade through the seemingly never-ending pile of papers, I reflect. How did the students respond to the textbook and certain activities this semester? How engaged did they seem during class? I consider the success level on student assignments and how that success was determined. Should I […]

Help Students Turn Around Poor Study Habits


Are your students’ study habits causing you headaches? While it’s only part way through the school year for most of us, the poor habits that were only mildly concerning in early September are really beginning to become worrisome. Whether it’s procrastination, not writing down homework assignments, distractions, or “I did it, but I left it […]

Can Students Learn to Write Well in the Age of Tweets and Texts?

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Harvard education specialist Tony Wagner recently identified effective written and oral communication skills as being among the seven key skills necessary for when students leave school. But how do we cultivate effective written communication skills? How do we foster enthusiasm for writing in the age of tweets and texts? Those are some of the questions […]

3 Essentials To Spark Powerful Teacher Language


simple truth: The words teachers speak can form our students’ inner voice. research tells us: Our words matter. As educators, our language helps create the unique culture within our classrooms. Our words can inspire greatness. And conversely, our words can deflate a student’s spirit. We all want our instructional language to be effective. However, it […]

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