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Short Story Annotation and Plot Diagramming

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This was a really effective lesson I did with my 5/6 combo class to work on several skills: listening comprehension, annotating text, identifying plot elements, plot diagramming, and using technology (Google Drawing). It took about four class periods, and my kids learned a lot and had a great time. Step 1: Choose a short storyRead more

Email Etiquette For Kids

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Many students enter upper elementary or middle school knowing how to text, how to quickly find information on Google, and even how to make their own YouTube videos. But a surprising number of students have never used email. It simply isn’t a preferred method of communication among today’s youth. Why Teach Email Etiquette? As aRead more

Should Parents Choose Their Child’s Teacher?

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A few weeks ago I was out to dinner to an old teacher friend. We hadn’t seen each other in a while and I was curious to know how her daughter, Lily, enjoyed second grade. Unfortunately, Lily had a terrible year and went from a kid who loved learning, to a kid who dreaded goingRead more

The Benefits of Looking Outside of Your Grade Level

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Why Should You Care About Other Grade Levels? There are a lot of resources and blogs out there that focus on a specific grade level.  If you teach Kindergarten, of course you spend your time reading about all things kinder, and speaking with other K teachers others who “get it.”  They understand and can sympathizeRead more

Why This Teacher Doesn’t Work Summers

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In the life of a teacher, there is something about the last day of school that simply cannot be equaled. It is more than that feeling of accomplishment you get when saying goodbye to a group of students. It is the reminder that you are not “just” a teacher – you are a human beingRead more

Building the Perfect Class

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What is Class Building? Many parents are unaware that most schools practice the art of “class building.”  At the end of each school year, teachers and administrators all over the country meet in their respective schools to build classes for the next year.  This practice is designed to “balance” classes. How is Class Building Done?Read more

Classroom Looping: The Benefits and Pitfalls

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Looping is an infrequently used practice in modern schools, but for those who get the chance, it can be an amazing experience. What is Looping? Looping is the process of staying with a single group of students for more than one year.  The most typical form of “looping” is a two-year span with the sameRead more

The Introverted Teacher

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There is a lot of information out there about working with kids with different learning styles and personalities.  We learn about auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners.  We read about multiple intelligences and emotional IQ.  We even learn about extroverted and introverted students.  But what about teachers?  What if a teacher falls outside of the typicalRead more

50 States Research Activity

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Are you looking for a fun research project to do during the last few weeks of school?  We borrowed this idea from a co-worker of ours who completed this activity with his 3rd-6th grade social studies class, but it could work in a variety of settings. Purpose: Students work in groups, partners, or individually, toRead more

Support Teachers ROCK!

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You don’t need to be a traditional classroom teacher to influence lives and leave students with a lasting impression.  The following support teachers shape lives every day in a variety of settings.  Some work in schools, while others work with kids at home or in the community.  One thing they all have in common: they ROCK!Read more