Last Stop on Market Street

Sara LockieSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Last Stop on Market Street

Last week when I had a conversations about race with white suburban kids 5 to 10 years old, the response surprised, challenged, and inspired me. The lesson was simple–read and discuss Matt de la Peña’s award winning picture book Last Stop on Market Street. I opened to the first page and asked how the neighborhood in the book looked different from the … Read

Teacher Perspectives|Settle Down

Sara LockieMindfulness & MovementLeave a Comment

Kids at Recess

Taylor Johnson noticed a challenging time for her fourth grade students was after lunch and recess.  Students were coming in from the playground still in conversations, and she struggled to help them focus on learning again. “Breathing exercises get them back on track,” she says. She decided to try teaching her students controlled breathing techniques and now uses a breathing … Read

Teacher Perspectives|Take a Break

Sara LockieMindfulness & MovementLeave a Comment

Mychele adores her job and especially the joy on her students’ faces when they learn something new. She is an experienced kindergarten and reading lab teacher. She’s seen it all. And even with years of experience behind her it’s still hard, “I have 25 kiddos. I just feel like, as a teacher, I have to help all of them – … Read

Want Better Discussions? Avoid the Pitfalls and Keep Moving Forward

Jesse WilcoxCoaching for GrowthLeave a Comment

Three earlier posts in this series provided some proactive ways to invigorate your classroom conversations. We addressed questioning techniques, wait time, verbal and non-verbal response and framing the conversation. This post addresses some common pitfalls as well as some ways to move forward with your engaging classroom discussions. We’re all human, and teachers can fall victim to some behaviors that … Read

Summer Days

Sara LockieFamily adventures, NatureLeave a Comment

Last spring our mailbox was crammed with glossy brochures filled with summer opportunities. Day camps, overnight camps, weekly classes, weekend trips. They all sounded like fantastic new experiences that our kids would enjoy and remember for a lifetime. “I just want to be at home,” my 10-year-old son glanced at the brochures and said, “But Mom, the schedule is always … Read

Want Better Discussions? Frame the Conversation

Jesse WilcoxNature, Philosophy & MusingsLeave a Comment

Just as important as the verbal interactions we use with students, we must also be aware of our non-verbal behaviors. Eye-contact, smiles, looking interested, and open body posture can make the environment feel much more open and welcoming. When we relax and employ these more positive nonverbal behaviors, students tend to engage in and contribute to classroom discussions (Herman, 2008). … Read

Want Better Discussions? Just Wait A Few Seconds.

Jesse WilcoxNature, Philosophy & MusingsLeave a Comment

My last post introduced some questioning methods that can engage students in more authentic classroom conversations. Now that you’ve had a chance to try some open-ended questions or the HRASE Strategy, and incorporate them into your classroom repertoire, we have two more approaches to try Wait Time I and Wait Time II. This can be a powerful way to encourage … Read

Want Better Discussions? Questions are the Answer

Jesse WilcoxNature, Philosophy & Musings1 Comment

Many teachers want to include more authentic conversations into their classrooms, yet getting students to deeply engage in large group discussions can be difficult.  It turns out the key to improving the quality of classroom discussions is to improve the way we teach. This is kind of a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that we have control … Read

Celebrate Juneteenth!

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Face Painting

Tomorrow is Juneteenth, the anniversary of the announcement of the end of slavery. It’s not a well known holiday for lots of reasons. One is that we don’t really like to talk about that part of our history. We don’t like to acknowledge the shadow side of our country and culture. But “If you are serious about American culture and … Read

Glitter Jar

Sara LockieFeatures, Mindfulness & Movement1 Comment

Glitter is not my favorite.  I try to keep it out of our home, but it’s getting more difficult. Not only do my kids bring it home on art projects, but I didn’t realize how glittery it would be to have a daughter! Glitter on shoes, shirts, pants, backpacks, notebooks, and toys. Glitter that finds its way into every corner … Read