What is a 21st Century Learner?

What is a 21st century learner? Equally important, what does a 21st century classroom look like? It’s important that students learn the same content they always have. They will need reading and writing, math, science, and social studies. They will also need interpersonal skills like teamwork and collaboration, as well as skills learned on the playground like... Continue Reading →

Behavior Management

Managing the classroom behavior is something every teacher struggles with. Some classes are harder to deal with than others, but they all require some system of reward and consequence to keep the peace and allow lessons to occur without disruption. In the twenty years I've taught, behavior management has included some combination of earning Behavior... Continue Reading →

Improving Public Education

You can blame large class sizes, teacher experience or salary, or parent involvement in the home, to name a few, but there is no simple answer to the problems of public education. The responsibility must be shared. In Finland, recently touted as a model for public education, students are given no homework. The younger students have... Continue Reading →

Influencing Youth

  As a teacher, I know I influence students every day. I strive to be a good role model and show them passion for learning, excitement about reading and reading, pride in their math skills. Young people are greatly shaped by their environment. If they are around positive energy, they may absorb it. I find... Continue Reading →

Missing Work

When I first became a student teacher in 1996, I was shocked by the number of students who didn't turn in homework. I always did my homework in school. In fact, it never even occurred to me not to do it. Nineteen years later, I am not so much shocked as I am disappointed. In... Continue Reading →

Food for Thought

At the end of the last school year, I had my fifth and sixth grade students write a letter to me telling about their experience with Reader's Workshop in my class during the year. Here are some of their comments. "Reading used to be a chore for me. Now reading is like a game, a... Continue Reading →

Reader’s Workshop for the First Time

I've taught Reader's Workshop for two years. I am no expert, but I know it's the right way for me to teach reading to my students. This year I have a combination class of fifth and sixth grade students. None of them are struggling readers, but not all of them like it. On the first... Continue Reading →

Homework: Devil or Divine (part two)

Yesterday I started a discussion about homework. If you missed it, you might want to start there. Teachers, parents, and researchers all have plenty to say on the subject. Today I present the arguments against homework, most of which can be categorized so: Homework disrupts families, overburdens children, and actually limits learning. NO homework! DISRUPTS... Continue Reading →

Homework: Devil or Divine?

With another school term set to begin in a few short weeks, teachers' thoughts return to planning. A huge part of those plans is homework; how much to assign, when to assign it, how to correct, collect, and grade it, and what to do if it's missing. Did you know that no educational research definitively... Continue Reading →

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