In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. In the video I describe two ideas that will help kids better understand the four different types of sentences: statements, questions, commands, and exclamations. The first idea is an active learning strategy that includes a call-and-response chant along with a corresponding set of hand and body movements. The second is an activity idea that gives children an opportunity to practice these sentence types in a novel way. 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 the video I describe the “Passion Survey” I have my students complete at the beginning of each school year, and I share the wonderful academic, social, and environmental outcomes that occur once the results of the survey are posted in the classroom. Helping children find their passions and then encouraging them to draw on these passions whenever they make curricular choices increases motivation and enthusiasm for learning. Give the Passion Survey 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 the video I describe two powerful tools that adults can use to help children improve their behavior in school: goal-setting and self-evaluation. For many years I have been critical of traditional classroom management approaches that attempt to control children’s behavior extrinsically through the use of rewards and punishments. As an alternative, I prefer an approach rooted in intrinsic motivation. The latter approach is far more effective in affecting lasting behavioral change and avoids the negative side effects associated with rewards and punishments. Give these tools 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 the video I describe how important it is for children to display their best or favorite pieces of work at home and at school, and I recommend a specific way in which this can be done. Having the opportunity to see their highest quality work on a daily basis boosts feelings of pride and confidence and increases self-esteem. 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. In the video I present two simple strategies that you can use to help children speak in complete sentences. I learned many years ago that if parents and teachers want kids to write in complete sentences, we first need to teach them how to speak in complete sentences. The two strategies featured in the video do just that. 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. In the video I present an active learning strategy that I use in my classroom to help children correctly read aloud large numbers.  Commonly, when reading aloud large numbers, kids will confuse the digit in the hundreds place with the digit in the thousands place or confuse the digit in the thousands place with the digit in the ten thousands place. The featured strategy incorporates clapping and snapping movements that help simplify the task of reading aloud large numbers into smaller, more manageable parts. Give this idea a try in class with your students or at home with your children.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 17:45

Teaching Kids About Gratitude (Teaching Tip #86)

In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video was inspired by a TED Talk given by Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., entitled “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” Achor asserts in his talk that in our society people tend to believe that we should work hard in order to be happy, and he suggests that this way of thinking could be backwards. He argues that happiness makes us more productive, creative, and successful. In short, happiness should come first. At the end of his talk, Achor shares some ways that people can use to focus on the positive aspects of their lives and become happier. I tried one of these ways with my students, and it had a wonderful effect on the children and the classroom environment as a whole. 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. In the video I present a brief chant, along with a corresponding set of hand movements, to help children understand what it means to make an inference when they are reading. By repeating the chant and doing these movements for just a minute or two per day for a few days, kids will remember that when making an inference, they need to combine a piece of information from the text with their own knowledge. 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. In the video I describe a few ways in which children can form teams for sports. Traditionally, in this situation two children act as team captains and take turns selecting players until every child has been assigned to a team. This method may appear fast and efficient, but it can cause lasting self-esteem damage in the kids’ who are chosen last. In the video I share ways to form teams that avoid this type of public selection.

 In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video. The video describes three ways in which mathematicians express numbers: word form, standard form, and expanded form. Children are expected to learn these various forms as part of their study of place value, yet they frequently confuse the meanings of these forms. The video features three movements that you can use to help kids understand the difference between word form, standard form, and expanded form. Using movement to learn and remember academic content is always something that I strongly recommend. Give this idea a try in class with your students or at home with your children.