​​​​In a new book called Stop. Right. Now.: 39 Stops to Making School Better by Jimmy Casas and Jeffrey Zoul it says, “The most effective way to ensure kids are prepared for the next level is to prepare them thoroughly at their current level.”  I agree completely with this statement.  At a time when we are encouraged to move faster and get farther, we need to slow down and look at what is really best...

Recently, I was trying to find some good picture books to use with the Zoom In thinking routine as found in the book Making Thinking Visible.  I went straight to author/illustrator David Wiesner and his amazing work.  Wiesner is able to take the most ordinary, everyday items and experiences and transform them into incredible adventures. Any of his books would make a great introduction to the Zoom In r...

This past year, I have been reading and studying Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison.  This resource is a great reminder that learning is a product of thinking.  “Classrooms are too often places of ‘tell and practice.’  The teacher tells the students what is important to know or do and then has them practice that skill or knowledge.  In such classrooms, little thin...

This past Monday, two teachers from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) provided an exceptional learning session on fostering wonder in young children.  SEEC is an amazing center that is actually housed within the Smithsonian Institute.  Because of their unique location, they are able to provide their students with museum based learning through frequent visits to the exhibits.  The philosop...

This year we have had the wonderful opportunity of partnering with Southwest ISD.  Through this partnership, we were able to create a K-2 Math Collaborative.  Teachers devoted staff development days and countless hours afterschool perfecting their craft.  Collaboration occurred at the grade level, school level, and district level.  Teachers have been able to dig deeper into the math TEKS and really de...

I taught kindergarten for several years.  Each year, I taught the same standards, in the same classroom, using the same resources.  So, why was each new year drastically different from the last?  The answer is simple – the students.  No two classes were ever the same.  Each class had unique students that created a unique dynamic both socially and academically.  In order to be successful, I had to take...

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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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