Steve Reifman

Steve Reifman

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.

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.