In an introduction paragraph of the writing domain of the Texas Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines it states, "as young children understand that marks convey meaning (what they think, they can say; and what they say, they can write), it is important to model that writing is not simply about a product.” This statement closely parallels the practices I have shared in previous posts on storytelling and drawing...

 “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.  

-Chinese Proverb

This blog post is the first in a three part series on vocabulary development.

Educators have long been told that vocabulary instruction is very important in student learning. That is most definitely true, but why? Words are stored in the brain as knowledge.  According to Fountas and Pinnell (2013), "Vocabulary is m...

 Have you ever considered the active ingredients in toothpaste? I have discovered that there is only one active ingredient in toothpaste—fluoride. Without the fluoride, there is no benefit to toothpaste. The inactive ingredients have no power to protect teeth. Let’s consider this analogy to education with the active ingredient as developmental relationships. Authors and researchers, Junlei Li and Dana...

Children encompass unlimited potential and capability. Students thrive in nurturing environments where they are presented with opportunities to develop critical thinking skills and social emotional development. However, without a nurturing environment,  children will miss opportunities to develop critical thinking skills and social emotional development. Here are a few ways to support authenticity wit...

When students spell based on their current letter/sound knowledge and what they are able to hear when thinking about the word, they are using invented spelling. Though the word may not be spelled in the conventional way, it is far from invented. This type of spelling encourages students to think about and apply their current knowledge of how our language works and provides opportunities for teach...

 Teachers often ask for suggestions regarding speaking with parents about a child’s challenging behavior. They state they do not feel well received when they try to do this.  Teachers indicate they frequently hear a version of this response from parents, “You are picking on my child/ You do not like my child.” I respond with, “Tell me what you have done prior to this interaction to build a relationshi...

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Training Spotlight

1st-3rd grade educators worked together to learn engaging ways to develop number sense. Students will develop fact fluency while playing games that use their number sense strategies. By learning their facts in this way, students are not merely memorizing, but rather learning to work with numbers flexibly.  “Low achievers are often low achievers not because they know less but because they don’t use numbers flexibly – they have been set on the wrong path, often from an early age, of trying to memorize methods instead of interacting with numbers flexibly.” Jo Boaler,  Stanford University, 2009

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April 8, 2019

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