In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video features a group of students singing “The Cause & Effect Song,” a tune whose lyrics help kids better understand the meaning of this important reading comprehension skill. Try singing this song in class with your students or at home with your children.
In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video features a simple strategy that children can use to express how they are feeling at any given time. I have used this idea as part of my classroom’s morning routing every day of my teaching career. The strategy is a variation of one described in Jeanne Gibbs’ wonderful book, Tribes. Give this idea a try in class with your students or at home with your children.

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video features three novel strategies that come from Amy Schwed and Janice Melichar-Utter’s terrific book, Brain-Friendly Study Strategies, Grades 2-8. The strategies are designed to help children practice 6-letter, 7-letter, and 8-letter spelling words. Give these ideas a try in class with your students or at home with your children.

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video features some ideas that you can use to help kids complete their homework more independently. When children need help with their homework, we don’t want to provide too much assistance because we may rob them of opportunities to think and grow. We also don’t want to provide too little assistance because children may become frustrated and shut down. The key is to find a balance. Give these ideas a try in class with your students or at home with your children.

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video features an activity I do with my students each fall as part of our “Health Champions” unit. The activity involves 1) brainstorming a variety of ways in which we can relax when we feel worried, nervous, or anxious about something and 2) creating a simple visual to help each child remember the 3-4 strategies that work the best for them. Learning how to manage stress is an important topic, and this activity helps kids effectively address this need. Give these ideas a try in class with your students or at home with your children.

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video features a powerful visual designed to encourage children to make what I call “The Choice.” When kids make “The Choice,” they are choosing to dedicate themselves to becoming quality students. The visual shows how making this choice can initiate a virtuous cycle that promises wonderful academic and behavioral results. Give these ideas a try in class with your students or at home with your children. If you would like to receive a jpeg or PDF copy of the visual, simply send me an e-mail requesting one.

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video features a movement-oriented strategy that I use in my classroom to help students improve their reading fluency. I call the strategy “Reading Around the Room.” This activity was inspired by an idea described in Marcia Tate’s terrific book, Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites. I particularly recommend this strategy for children who have the tendency to read through commas, periods, and other end punctuation and, as a result, have difficulty with comprehension. Doing this activity for a few minutes per day over a period of days will make an important difference in children’s ability to read with fluency. Give these ideas a try in class with your students or at home with your children.

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. In my classroom it is very important to me to teach the whole child. Academics, of course, are a top priority, and so are matters of character, health, work habits, and social skills. One of the most important social skills I strive to develop in my students involves using great manners. Specifically, I encourage children to say “please” and “thank you” and to use a positive tone of voice when communicating with others. In this video I share three strategies that you can use to help kids develop great manners. Give these ideas a try in class with your students or at home with your children.

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. At the beginning of each school year, I make a concerted effort to help students become more organized with their papers, folders, and backpacks. As parents and teachers, sometimes we just assume that kids already know how to organize their materials, and they may not. So, it’s important that we model, practice, and hold children accountable for this aspect of their learning. The video features some ways in which I accomplish this task each fall. Give these ideas a try in class with your students or at home with your children.

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. At the beginning of each school year, I have my students set 3-4 individual reading goals, and together we set a class goal - to become quality readers. This class goal involves following the six recommendations listed on a “Quality Readers” chart that I share with my students and that we later sign during a special ceremony. I describe these six recommendations in the video. Give these ideas a try in class with your students or at home with your children.