Classroom Solutions > 80 posts categorized "Classroom Management"

Comments: 2

Motivating the Unmotivated: Tough Kid Tools That Really Work

Toolbox At some point in your teaching career you will have a "tough kid" in your classroom. You may even have several at the same time. These students send you home exhausted, often in tears, and raise doubts about your career choice. The tough kid changes the dynamic and mood of the room in an instant, and you may find yourself wondering what to expect from minute to minute. The tough kid may come to you with a prior history, with warnings from your colleagues, and with a cornucopia of labels such as "at-risk," "difficult," "attention deficit disorded," or even "lazy." How do you deal with tough kids, and what can you do to restore order to your classroom? Read on for the top five ways to motivate the seemingly unmotivated. 

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Comments: 2

Tips on Creating a Kindergarten Classroom Blog

Blogaholic Designs”=This year I'm creating a classroom blog for the first time. Needless to say, I simply love it! I have truly become a blogaholic. Creating a blog for your classroom will unlock the doors to a new world of communication. Read on as I introduce you to this virtual learning community and guide you through the steps for creating your own classroom blog.

 

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Comments: 6

Creating a Positive Classroom Climate: "Capturing Kids' Hearts"

"If you have a child's heart, you have his head" - Flip Flippen

DSC00338 On the day I was hired at Randolph Jr/Sr High School as a special education teacher, the principal, Bill Caldwell, informed me that part of my professional development for the year would be to attend a three-day training titled "Capturing Kids' Hearts." The name alone had me hooked, and to hear him speak so passionately made me extremely eager to find out more about it. However, he didn't divulge any more information, other than to bring a personal item that held meaning for me and a lot of Kleenex. Little did I know that the magnitude of those three days would continue on in my teaching years later.

 

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Comments: 4

Simple Ideas for Establishing Classroom Rules and Manners

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What do we want our classroom community to look like? How do we want our classroom community to sound? These two questions begin our group discussion on sharing ideas, making decisions, and solving problems in our classroom. One of the earliest conversations we have focuses on good manners, appropriate voice levels, and classroom rules. This week, I am going to share a few of the books and activities I use to introduce our classroom behavior chart.

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Comments: 9

My Classroom Management Must-Haves, Part 2: Float Jars and More

Float Jar1Last week, I wrote about the color chart that I use to help my students manage their individual behavior choices. The color chart is my saving grace, but it is not the panacea for all behavior woes. This week, I am going to share some more of my favorite management strategies: The Float Jar, Table Stars, and my Homework Black Book.

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Comments: 16

My Classroom Management Must-Haves, Part 1: Color Charts

Jon Color ChartAt the beginning of each school year, I revisit the question that is central to my beliefs about classroom management. How do I structure a classroom environment where my students actively nurture the community because they believe in the importance of co-creating the world in which they want to work and play? Over the years I have experimented with several systems, and I continue to grow and refine my management style. However, I’ve stumbled upon some keepers that I use from year to year. This week I am going to share one of my go-to management strategies, The Color Chart.

 

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Comments: 3

Creating a Well-Managed Classroom

Expectations1The impression you make on the first day of school can make or break you when it comes to classroom management and organization. In my district, we have a very short first day, only spending about 15 minutes with each class. In some classes, students just sit around and talk, but I get down to business right away. Students in my class leave the first day with an assignment and a brief understanding of the format of the class.

You might be thinking, “You are overwhelming the freshman students on the first day.” I don’t see it as overwhelming the students. I see it as showing them the importance of beginning the learning process and not wasting any time. With that said, it is very important to build a strong rapport with students and not intimidate them. I believe that there are four things a teacher must do to create a well-managed classroom.

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Comments: 12

Welcome to Sharon Taylor's Classroom

Greetings, everyone! My name is Sharon Taylor, and I am a kindergarten teacher at Riverwood Elementary in Memphis, TN.  I bring to my classroom fifteen years of joyous teaching experience. My husband Andrew and I have been married for nine years. We are the proud parents of four beautiful children, 8-year-old twins Allison and Madison, 5-year-old Hailey, and 3-year-old Jordan. Being a busy mother of four and a kindergarten teacher tends to leave very little time for leisure. When I do manage to capture a few moments, I enjoy amateur photography, arts and crafts, and watching some of my favorite movies. 

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Comments: 62

End-of-the-Year Reflections

DSC00135As the school year draws to a close, I begin reflecting back on everything that's happened. What were the challenges this year? What could I have done differently? Join me as I answer these questions and more. You can also watch a cute video of a few of my students reflecting on their 2nd grade year.

 

 

 

 

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Comments: 3

Greek Mythology and Readers Theater

Greek Vasicek Zeus Cake Covering Greek mythology can be very confusing. For one thing, the family tree for the Greek gods makes the family situations on Jerry Springer and The Maury Show look normal and tame. Mythology is not my strong suit, and the end of the year is not necessarily the time to cover topics that you are not completely confident with. So when I stumbled across a Greek mythology readers theater book, I was ecstatic. Read on to find out how to incorporate this activity into your classroom.

Photo: One student made a cake for the "God and Goddess Bake Off" play. This was a great way to celebrate the day!

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Comments: 2

Differentiate Your Kindergarten Classroom

Differentiating in KindergartenIt's a fact: every child is unique, and as teachers we know that more than anyone else. So why do we often find ourselves trying to teach every child the same way?

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Comments: 4

Stretch Your Dime and Save Your Time

Miss Bindergarten Saves Money and Time Teachers need all the help they can get, financially and otherwise. Use these tips, shortcuts, and dollar store ideas to save your budget and your sanity.

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Comments: 12

April Fools' Day: A Foolproof Primer on Classroom Laughter

April Fools Day - Laughter and Humor in the ClassroomHappy April Fools' Day, everyone! Since today celebrates the spirit of fun, I thought I'd talk about the importance of humor and laughter in the classroom, how to utilize it, and why you don't have any excuses not to. Also, take a look at my students, caught on candid camera.

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Comments: 8

Middle School Literature Circles

IMG_5890Okay, I confess: I thrive on organization and structure in my classroom. My students like routines, and I like to know what progress each student is making on a daily basis. If you are like me, then your first experience with literature circles may just put you over the edge. Relinquishing control of my classroom was not easy. Read how I learned to let go and guide my students through the organized chaos of literature circles. 

 

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Comments: 12

Character Education in PreK & Kindergarten

Character Education in PreK and KindergartenWhat children learn about character in the early childhood classroom can shape their character for the rest of their lives. So how do you teach it?

 

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Comments: 20

Classroom Management: Tips to Make Your Class Minutes Count

DSC00410I love teaching, and I love teaching even more when I can maximize my academic minutes and minimize interruptions and distractions. When I was a new teacher, I can't tell you how many minutes were wasted every day because of children arguing over "cutting" in line or seats for read-aloud. Kids missed precious class time during trips to the restroom, where they played in the stalls and flooded the bathroom. Incomplete homework was another recurring problem. Many of the kids who didn't turn in their homework suffered from an overloaded social calendar, travelling between spilt parents, or had parents who were not able to speak English. I was at my wit's end. What could I do to solve these problems? Read on to find out!


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Comments: 9

Mr. Vasicek's Classroom Music Playlist

Music 3 renjith KrishnanAfter reading my post "Music to Manage Your Classroom," some of you wanted to know some good tunes to play in your classroom. Grab your iTunes gift card and get ready to download some of the songs I use regularly in my classroom. Enjoy!

 

Photo courtesy of Rinjith Krishnan.

 

 

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Comments: 14

Music to Manage Your Classroom

Music Renjith Krishnan

So, you are making dinner in the kitchen while the television runs in the living room. You have completely lost track of time. All of sudden, without even looking at the clock, you realize it is 6:00 and the news is starting.  What gave you this great epiphany? Was it your radio alarm clock? Or is your internal clock that precise?  My guess is that the news program theme music triggered a brain cell that alerted you that it was 6:00.

Music is a powerful tool, one that can tell you it's time to watch the news — or help you manage your classroom.  

Images courtesy Renjith Krishnan.

 

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Comments: 1

Spending Educational Minutes Wisely

 

 

ClockWhen Paul Revere needed a job, he competed with the boys in his village. When I needed a job, I competed with the people in the metro-Detroit area. When our students need jobs, they will be competing globally. In the past we didn't need to care how other countries were preparing their children. Now it is essential.

Photo courtesy of healingdream on freedigitalphotos.net.

 

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Comments: 5

Netbooks in the Classroom

IMG_5485 What does a 21st century classroom look like? This year, as a part of a federal building grant, our school district purchased 11 wireless portable computer carts, each of which houses 27 netbooks. Over the past month, I have been piloting a wireless portable computer cart in my classroom. There have been many hurdles along the way; however, empowering each student by giving them a computer has been enlightening and exhilarating. The rewards are well worth all the time and effort I have put into piloting them.    

 

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Comments: 6

10 Ways to Be Ready for Parent-Teacher Conferences All Year Long

Parent-Teacher Conferences An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you do the following things all along, you will not have to rush around at conference time.

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Comments: 3

The 10/24/7+ Review

Blue brainThe brain stores two kinds of memories, in two different ways. One is spatial/experiential memory. This kind of memory is very easy and automatic. For example, you do not have to memorize the location of each desk in your classroom by doing flashcards. Your brain sees them and makes a mental note of the arrangement of the desks in space. Likewise you don't have to memorize how you felt the time you thought you lost a child on a field trip. You automatically remember the feeling.

The second type of memory is rote memory. This is the type of stuff you must rehearse and memorize to get it to stick. Multiplication tables and state capitals fall into this category. I try to have students experience and visualize vocabulary words to make them more memorable. Read on to see how I review vocabulary words with my students throughout the year to make sure they stick.

This post contains a video demonstration of the word wall review game. Brain image courtesy of clker.com.

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Comments: 10

Helping Behaviorally Challenged Students

AngrygirlLying, stealing, fighting, running away, using profanity, physically hurting other people (on purpose), and kicking, screaming tantrums. Have you ever felt battle weary after a long day with a child who is considered "behaviorally challenged"? I've been there. Here are some tips to help you and that child make this school year a productive one.

Image courtesy of ZetaBoards.

 


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Comments: 2

Professional Development: Food for the Teacher's Soul

IMG_0937Different states have different criteria for keeping and maintaining teaching licenses. In New York State, we are required to complete 75 professional development hours every five years to maintain our NYS professional certification. I know what you are thinking: there just isn't enough time in the day. How do we fit in so many professional development hours? You are not alone. I recently questioned my sanity in trying to fit a conference into my already overcrowded agenda. Last Thursday, I traveled to the 2010 New York State Middle School Association (NYSMSA) Conference in Rochester, New York. It was a transformative journey that I felt was worth sharing. (This post includes Jack Berckemeyer videos.)

 

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Comments: 11

Service Learning: The Future Teachers Club of Revere

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Service learning provides students with an opportunity to both teach and learn. It combines community service, instruction, and reflection in order to help teach responsibility, respect, leadership, and values.

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Comments: 4

Individualizing Writing Assignments

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This blog topic is in response to a fellow blogger who asked me how I meet the diverse needs of my students in writing instruction. I want to thank you for the request as this makes the blog all about you, the readers, and not me. Let me begin by saying, differentiating and individualizing writing instruction is tough! It is a work in progress and is my primary goal this year.

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Comments: 16

Learning Centers, Part 2: How to Manage Them

CentersBoard There are so many things to think about when it comes to learning centers. How should I set them up? How should I introduce them? How should I structure them? In this second part of a three-part series, I'll answer these "how-to" questions and more.

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Comments: 9

End of the Day Routine

Class photo 2010-2011

As I mentioned in last week's post, the brain likes clean beginnings and clean endings. In the video you had a chance to see all the organized enthusiasm that begins a typical day in Studio 24. This week we will take a look at how you can successfully wrap up a day of learning in ten minutes or less.  This post contains a video demonstrating the fast-paced flow of the end of our school day.

Photo: Studio 24 students before heading inside for the Wrap It Up routine.

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Comments: 8

Learning Centers, Part 1: Why They're Important

Reading03 Kindergarten was created as a place to emphasize the development of the whole child. Now, however, emphasis has shifted so much to academic development, at the expense of emotional, social, and physical development, that we often forget how important these are. However, your classroom learning centers, provided that you implement them right, can be a perfect place to promote these areas of growth in young children.



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Comments: 7

Clean Beginnings

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Hello and goodbye in a conversation. Good morning and good night with your family. An appetizer and a dessert at dinner. The sun rising and falling each day. What do all of these things have in common? They have a natural beginning and ending that the brain becomes conditioned to recognize. 

The brain prefers knowing the start and finish of a task. As teachers, it is our job to help the brain of each student function at maximum potential.  Creating a clean beginning and clean ending for our lesson, our day, our week, or our year helps the brain to stay efficient. Below I will highlight some of the fun and purposeful parts of our morning routine.

This post includes video examples of our morning routine. Stay tuned for a future post for examples of what happens at the end of the day.

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Comments: 4

Guidelines and a Guide Dog for Guided Reading

GuidedReading01 In my classroom, guided reading is one of the most important parts of the day. It shows my students that I respect them as individuals, taking into account their own abilities, needs, interests, and learning styles. It facilitates more personal interaction, in a supportive atmosphere where they feel comfortable sharing what they think, making mistakes, asking for help, and absorbing what is being taught. Instead of making me the person who stands at the front of the room and dictates what must be done, guided reading allows me to do what I became a teacher to do: guide.

 

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Comments: 3

Going the Extra Degree With 212

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There is nothing like a good metaphor to inspire people to learn and live to a higher standard. 212: The Extra Degree is a book definitely worth owning. Though the philosophy stated in this book seems simple, it can change the quality of work in the classroom as well as a student's or adult's outlook on life. This book is one I put in the top five "must haves" for teachers. What is 212, and do you have what it takes to be 212?





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Comments: 19

Mrs. Magnuson Is Missing! A Winning Sub Plan

022 I remember the feeling I had as a guest teacher in classrooms that had no plans or instructions. A sense of anxiety at not knowing what was expected of me kept me from doing my best teaching. I promised myself that when I became licensed, I would never let that happen to anyone who had to cover for me. Now I'm a pro at creating sub folders, and I'm going to show you how to be one, too.


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Comments: 17

Saddle Up for Second Grade: Create a Class Theme

Western round up

Inspired by my online colleagues' classroom themes, this year I decided to incorporate a theme into my classroom. A classroom theme makes learning fun for the students, unifies the room decor, and gives students a sense of belonging. This post includes a slideshow video tour of my classroom from Animoto.

 

Photo courtesy of Scholastic.com. Western Round-Up Bulletin Board Set available from the Teacher Store.

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Comments: 10

The 1st Day of 2nd Grade

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The pencils are sharpened, the name tags are written, and butterflies are dancing in your stomach. It's the First Day of Second Grade for your new students, and you are probably as nervous as they are going to be. Every year, some things change and some things stay the same. This year, it's possible that I will have up to twenty-nine students. I've rearranged my furniture and organized and planned. Now, I'm ready. Are you?

BLOG CANDY WINNER ANNOUNCED.

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Comments: 26

Setting Up and Organizing Your Classroom, Part Two

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Join me as I organize my teacher's desk, library, and subject area materials. I'll also share some quick tips for organizing Very Important Parent-volunteers and making your lunch count quick and painless. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win BLOG CANDY!

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Comments: 40

Classroom Management — Kids Speak Out

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Classroom management can be one of the toughest skills for a teacher to master, but it is essential. Without it, learning cannot occur.  I teach a graduate course in classroom management at a local college. As a high school English teacher who's spent the past fifteen years in an urban community, I felt I had the practical experience, as well as the academic background, to teach this class effectively. Even so, I felt that I was falling short in truly conveying the classroom management experiences that the soon-to-be teachers would face. When I began reflecting on my own experiences as a new teacher, I thought about particular students who tested my limits and pushed me to the brink. I thought about how I dealt with those students well — and when I completely dropped the ball. Wouldn't it be great for teachers to hear firsthand how students view classroom management? Read what they had to say, and watch videos of some of my current students reflecting on the topic.

(Post includes Video)

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Comments: 12

May I Have Your Attention, Please?

DSCN1433 Kindergarten is an introduction. An introduction to a school and a school community, a classroom and a class community, to encouragement and enthusiasm (hopefully!). And, of course, an introduction to rules and routines. The first six weeks of a child's academic life set the stage for the next twelve years.

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Comments: 10

Welcome to Allie Magnuson's Classroom

Allie I’ve been teaching Kindergarten in North Las Vegas, Nevada at C. P. Squires School for six years, where I love the students and staff. Sometimes following the same class to the next grade level, I have taught four grades (K3) in four schools. Previously, I taught for fifteen years in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

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Comments: 8

Welcome to Nancy Jang's Classroom

NANCY_J My name is Nancy Jang and I have been teaching 2nd grade for twelve years at Woodland Elementary School in Newport-Mesa Unified School District. The unique grade configuration of the school — kindergarten to second grade — enables us to specifically target our funding and resources to primary instruction and interventions. Since our school boundaries include two cities, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, the socioeconomic backgrounds of our students are quite diverse. Each classroom serves approximately twenty students, with about seven classes per grade level.

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Comments: 9

Welcome to Brent Vasicek's Classroom

BRENT Lights, camera, action! Where does the excitement of Hollywood meet rigorous Michigan academic standards? Right here in Studio 24 at Miami Elementary in Clinton Township, Michigan. My name is Brent and each year I pick a theme for the class. This year it is entertainment, and I am excited to share the yearlong production with you, from the opening number to the final curtain call.

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Comments: 7

Welcome to Mary Blow's Classroom

Mary I teach 6th grade English at Lowville Academy Middle School in New York’s Black River Valley, located in the rolling foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

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Comments: 12

Welcome to Nancy Barile's Classroom

Nancy I've been teaching high school English at Revere High School for fifteen years. Revere is an urban school district a few miles north of Boston. Approximately 65% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Forty-six languages are spoken by our students, who are Salvadorian, Bosnian, Albanian, Moroccan, Colombian, Brazilian, and Italian, to name a few.

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Comments: 1

Student Engagement: Active Learners Versus Passive Observers

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As class sizes grow and curricular demands compound, it seems that meaningful instruction is becoming increasingly difficult to implement. Many teachers I talk to feel as though they are in a permanent state of playing catch-up and frequently feel forced to teach lessons they know are not as engaging in order to stay on pace. For students, this troubling trend has taught them to be passive observers. By the time students arrive in high school, most of them have learned they can get by if they turn in work, look like they are paying attention, and stay out of trouble. Fortunately for them, responsible teachers will not be satisfied with this way of learning!

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Comments: 1

Behavioral Roadblocks: Turning Setbacks Into Successes

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"You're just making me angry. I want to go to my counselor." It's not everyday that I experience insubordination and I've never before had a student actually ask to get written up. That is, until Jerry did last Tuesday.

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Comments: 1

Utilizing Classroom Web Pages for Student Engagement Part I

School website For those of us that have classroom computers in our rooms or with computer lab time, sometimes we find ourselves struggling to get students started at centers/groups, especially when using computers. I have found that managing a class web page can be very helpful to keeping students focused on what they need to do and minimizes the need for questions like: "Where do I go!?" or "What do I do!?" Here are a few tips that all teachers can use.

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Comments: 3

Substitute Plans: Keeping Students Productive When You're Absent

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It's that time of the year again. It's late Winter and the usual swell of students and teachers falling ill seems to be coming along right on schedule. For teachers, missing even just a day of class presents a huge obstacle, especially considering the pressure that we face to stick to our pacing plans. Next, is the fact that even the "best kids" tend to slacken in class when they realize that there is a substitute for the day.

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Comments: 10

Developmental Grouping in Math

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Have you ever felt that some of your students were completely lost when you were teaching math because the concept was harder then they were ready for, while others got it on the first try? If you answered yes, you might want to consider teaching in ability-leveled math groups.

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Comments: 1

Rainy Days: Making the Most of the Indoors!

Photo Hello all! My post this week is a bit soggy! The rain has really put a damper on all things outside here in the desert and has made much havoc on the roads in my community. I use this extra time with students during the rainy season to connect with them and allow them to enjoy more creative freedom!

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Comments: 3

Student Motivation: How to Get Students to Respond

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During my credentialing program, I learned that being unable to engage students is one of the main reasons why new teachers struggle. In fact, I've noticed that when teachers engage their students, even if they struggle in other aspects of their job (such as getting along with colleagues, administration, etc.) they still seem quite satisfied overall. On the other hand, if they can't engage their kids, nothing else seems to make up for it.

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The opinions expressed in Classroom Solutions are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Scholastic Inc.