I’ve always disliked the term scaffolding.  At first I thought it was because it was associated with Lev Vygotsky.  I had never heard of the guy and then suddenly I was supposed to answer an essay question about him on my master’s degree comprehensive exam!  However, after passing the exam, I realized the concept of scaffolding bothered me for another reason.  The definition was easy enough to underst...

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.

                                               -Henry Ford

WOW! That’s a hard pill to swallow but ironically, it does make you think! How many times in the past 24 hours have you said the word “thi...

​​​​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...

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...

I used to chew my fingernails when I was a little girl, but luckily, I broke myself of the bad habit.  I realize I also had some bad habits when I was a classroom teacher.  In particular, two problematic areas come to mind as I reflect on best practices in early childhood education.

My first bad habit was giving students empty praise.  When we say “good job” and “way to go,” we think we are buildi...

Children gain an understanding of spatial relationships when they are building a castle or laying tracks to push a train on. As children engage in activities such as these, they are negotiating the relationships of the objects and the space these objects are occupying. In their play, they are flipping, turning and rotating blocks to fit in particular spaces. 

Often times, however, children lack the lan...

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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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