Teaching Tip of the Week

Teaching Tip of the Week (117)

Saturday, 15 January 2011 17:45

Tip #18: Personal Mission Statements (Part 2 of 3)

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Teaching Tips 5-7 described the creation of a Class Mission Statement and explained how this founding document can be used throughout the year to establish a sense of purpose in our rooms.  Later in the year, we can follow up this initial effort with the creation of personal mission statements.  Participating in this powerful exercise promises to help students better understand the purposes of their learning, improve their behavior, work with greater motivation and enthusiasm, and find greater meaning in their work.  I simply cannot imagine myself teaching without this tool.

The Teaching Tips will focus on the topic of personal mission statements for the next three weeks.

Week 1: Introducing the Personal Mission Statement
Week 2: A Step-by-Step Process for Creating a Personal Mission Statement
Week 3: Personal Mission Boxes


Teaching Tips 5-7 described the creation of a Class Mission Statement and explained how this founding document can be used throughout the year to establish a sense of purpose in our rooms.  Later in the year, we can follow up this initial effort with the creation of personal mission statements.  Participating in this powerful exercise promises to help students better understand the purposes of their learning, improve their behavior, work with greater motivation and enthusiasm, and find greater meaning in their work.  I simply cannot imagine myself teaching without this tool.

The Teaching Tips will focus on the topic of personal mission statements for the next three weeks.

Week 1: Introducing the Personal Mission Statement
Week 2: A Step-by-Step Process for Creating a Personal Mission Statement
Week 3: Personal Mission Boxes


Saturday, 18 December 2010 17:45

Happy Holidays!

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Have a terrific Winter break.  The Teaching Tips will return January 9th, 2011 with a series of tips relating to one of my favorite topics, Personal Mission Statements.


New Teaching Tips appear every Sunday of the school year.

Saturday, 11 December 2010 17:45

Tip #16: Appointment Clocks

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 An Appointment Clock is a classroom management tool that teachers can use in situations where students will be working in pairs.  Appointment Clocks save valuable class time, empower kids to make meaningful choices, ensure that students have the opportunity to work with a variety of classmates, and facilitate smooth transitions.


Here’s how Appointment Clocks work.  Imagine that you are planning a classroom activity in which you would like your students to work in pairs.  When you have finished explaining the directions and are ready for the kids to begin the activity, you ask everyone to find one partner and get started.  Though this request may seem simple enough to follow, many students will struggle.  Some may not feel comfortable approaching a classmate, others may not be able to decide how to choose one friend over another, and still others may choose the same friend every time you schedule cooperative learning.  The potential exists for wasted time, hurt feelings, and a loss of focus from the activity itself.



Saturday, 04 December 2010 17:45

Tip #15: Fact in My Pocket

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“Fact in My Pocket” is a novel, effective strategy that students can use when they are trying to commit some piece of academic content to memory.  We can recommend this strategy to our students when they are trying to learn such things as math facts, spelling words, vocabulary words, and science terms.


To incorporate this strategy, students will need two index cards or strips of paper, along with two pockets.  Assume, for example, that Jordy needs to learn her multiplication facts.  She begins by identifying the two facts that she finds most difficult.  She then writes the facts on the strips of paper, one fact per strip.  As she heads to school in the morning, she puts one strip in her left pocket and the other in her right.


 

Saturday, 27 November 2010 17:45

Tip #14: The Morning Movement Warm-up (Part 4 of 4)

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 This week’s tip concludes our current theme: establishing an effective morning routine that prepares students for a great day of learning.  Every morning my students and I participate in a four-part morning movement warm-up.  Executing these movements helps my students achieve what I consider to be an ideal mindset for learning: calm, relaxed, focused, and confident.  During this four week period I describe the four movements, one per week.  This week I describe the final part of our warm-up, hook-ups.


After students have had the opportunity to energize themselves during the first two parts of our routine, our goal for the third and fourth parts is to help them become calm and relaxed.  Hook-ups are an important part of that effort.

Saturday, 20 November 2010 17:45

Tip #13: The Morning Movement Warm-up (Part 3 of 4)

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 This week’s tip continues our current theme: establishing an effective morning routine that prepares students for a great day of learning.  Every morning my students and I participate in a four-part morning movement warm-up.  Executing these movements helps my students achieve what I consider to be an ideal mindset for learning: calm, relaxed, focused, and confident.  During this four week period I describe these four movements, one per week.  This week I describe the third part of our warm-up, deep breathing.


After students have had the opportunity to energize themselves during the first two parts of our routine, our goal for the third and fourth parts is to help them become calm and relaxed.  Deep breathing is an important part of that effort.

Thursday, 11 November 2010 17:45

Tip #12: The Morning Movement Warm-up (Part 2 of 4)

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This week’s tip continues our current theme: establishing an effective morning routine that prepares students for a great day of learning.  Every morning my students and I participate in a four-part morning movement warm-up.  Executing these movements helps my students achieve what I consider to be an ideal mindset for learning: calm, relaxed, focused, and confident.  During this four week period I describe these four movements, one per week.  This week I describe five “Movement Choices” that I learned a few years from Jeff Haebig, a dynamic presenter who spoke at the annual Cal Poly Elementary Physical Education Workshop.

Saturday, 06 November 2010 17:45

Tip #11: The Morning Movement Warm-up (Part 1 of 4)

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This week’s tip continues our current theme: establishing an effective morning routine that prepares students for a great day of learning.  Every morning my students and I participate in a four-part morning movement warm-up.  Executing these movements helps my students achieve what I consider to be an ideal mindset for learning: calm, relaxed, focused, and confident.  Over the next four weeks I will describe these four movements, one per week.  I start by describing Cross Crawls.

Saturday, 30 October 2010 17:45

Tip #10: The 7 Life Roles

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This week’s tip continues our current theme: establishing an effective morning routine that prepares students for a great day of learning.    

The 7 Life Roles

For about five minutes every Wednesday morning, my students and I discuss one or more of the 7 Life Roles, sets of expectations and responsibilities that all individuals currently perform or will perform in the future.  Identified by author Dale Parnell in his excellent book, Why Do I Have to Learn This?, the roles include Lifelong Learner, Citizen, Consumer, Producer (Worker), Individual (Self), Family Member, and Leisure Participant.