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...

The Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for English Language Arts and Reading in 2017. The 2019-2020 school year will be the first year of implementation for these new standards. Whenever I am faced with change, one of my first questions is, "Was this neccessary?"

I had to look no further than the first paragraph of the Introduction to get a satisfying answer.  It re...

The Hour of Code is a worldwide celebration of computer science and will be December 3-9, 2018. Over 100,000,000 students worldwide have participated in years past. The Hour of Code website explains, "Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in...

"When students talk, they think. Talking provides students with practice with the language and an opportunity to clarify their understanding in the presence of their peers. As students talk, teachers gain a greater understanding of students’ mastery of the subject matter. But talk does not just happen. Teachers have to establish purposes for the classroom talk, provide scaffolds such that the talk rem...

 One issue many teachers struggle with is organizing the many books they have collected into a manageable classroom library. Over the years, I have tried many strategies to keep track of my growing collection. At a recent presentation by Brooke Shoemaker and Katie Heimsath of the Smothsonian Early Enrichment Center, librarything.com was shared. I have been experimenting with it and like what I see!

Tho...

What makes a STEM project worth doing?

I recently presented a session called Building Bridges at the Scobee Education Center. My goal was to inspire early educators to incorporate more engineering activities into their curriculum. When first beginning to incorporate engineering projects, it is important that students have a real problem to solve—one that they are willing to invest time and energy into....

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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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