Classroom Solutions > 74 posts categorized "Classroom Organization"

Five Tips for Creating the Problem-Free Group Project

Group1Assigning group work can be very frustrating. Reflecting back on my first year, I'm amazed at how out-of-control and unorganized my group projects were. I'm sure when the principal walked by my room, my class looked very chaotic. My students didn't understand my directions, the target was not clear, my expectations were off, and I wasn't sure how to grade them. But I took good notes on what worked and what didn't, and I did better the next year.

Though issues will arise with group projects, I continue to do them because the benefits are so great. Group work provides another form of assessment and takes students to a higher level of thinking. Students also learn to work on a team, an ability they will need in today's world. I've learned so much about myself and my students since I began group work. In this post, I'll share some of these things, along with five tips for creating a problem-free group project.

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Take-Home Reading

Child readingTake-Home Reading is a special program for 1st grade that helps each and every child become a better reader. Learning to read takes a lot of practice, and I expect my students to read at home. In just twenty minutes per day, parents and family members help their 1st graders by listening to them read.

Read on to learn more about Take-Home Reading programs and to find out how to set one up in your classroom. 

 

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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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Organizing the Classroom Library

BookshelfDo you love children’s literature? I do, and I share this love of books with my students. I display books throughout the entire classroom. Star author books line the chalkboard ledge, weekly read-aloud books are displayed around the easel, and favorite titles and themes are arranged in baskets on the bookshelves. I strive to create a classroom library that is both organized and enticing for my young readers. This week, I will provide a look at the features of our classroom library.

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Comments: 4

Organizing my Classroom Library: The Never-Ending Story

Library OverviewAs I set up my classroom this year, I was so proud of myself. I had carefully organized when I packed up my room in June, so my room looked “livable” in just a few hours this fall. “Wow, this is smooth sailing,” I thought smugly. Then I approached my classroom library, and I didn’t emerge until 8:30 p.m.! 

The hours disappeared as I labeled book baskets, leveled new books, culled through my collection, and planned new library routines. This was certainly time well spent, but I have to tell you, sometimes my “librarian hat” feels heavier than my “teacher hat.” That said, I feel that much of my success as a reading teacher can be attributed to my classroom library. Join me on a photo tour of my classroom library, as I reflect on my organization systems and what works for me.


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Comments: 1

Tips For A Great Back-to-School Night Presentation

School 2 Back-to-School Night is one of the first events on the school calendar. It is an evening where parents come to school to find out specific information about the grade-level curriculum, classroom rules and policies, year-long goals, special events, and the teacher’s philosophy. For most teachers, Back-to-School Night can be stressful. Carefully organized planning will allow you to feel confident and to convey a great first impression. Read on for tips to make your Back-to-School Night a success.

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Comments: 6

Planning for the First Day of Kindergarten

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The first day of kindergarten can be both exciting and frightening for students, parents, and the teacher too. There are mixed emotions everywhere as this day marks a huge milestone in the child's life. As teachers, we need to incorporate ideas to help ease first day jitters and start the school year off on the right track. Here are a few tips to help you plan for the first day of kindergarten.

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Comments: 10

Surviving the First Six Weeks of School, Part 2: Classroom Organization

Organization pics 001 I can't reach the puzzles! Where's the glue? That's my pencil! Does any of this sound familiar? Well, if you're a teacher you have probably heard these lines before. Because of the incredible amount of material that accumulates, our classrooms can quickly become unmanageable. Having an organized classroom helps students to meet many goals throughout the day independently. It will also help you as the teacher feel confident and in control from the moment the first child enters your door. Here are a few tips to help you with classroom organization.

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Comments: 4

Meet the Teacher: Ideas for a Successful Open House

Screen shot 2011-08-02 at 3.47.01 PMMany schools offer an open house prior to the start of the school year. On this day parents and students come to the school, tour the classroom, visit with friends, and meet the teacher. The furniture is in place, the classroom is organized, and new friends hop, skip, and jump through the classroom door. Ready or not, here they come!

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Comments: 12

Surviving the First Six Weeks of School, Part 1: Classroom Setup

Scholastic picThose restful days of summer have come and gone. It's almost time to enter a new school year. As you walk back inside your school, you can immediately feel your temperature rising. You are about to come face to face with the unknown. No, it is not some bloodcurdling creature out of a horror film. It's your classroom! Finding your once-organized classroom replaced by bare walls and empty shelves can be a bit frightening. Before you begin moving things from place to place, scratching up those freshly buffed floors, read on for strategies to help you with classroom setup.

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Comments: 15

Classroom Setup: Arranging the Physical Space

classroom setuupIt won’t be long until summer is behind us and we are back at school. I’ve spent hours imagining the perfect classroom setup, and in about three weeks, it will be time to transform my thoughts into reality. Experience has taught me that details matter. How quickly I am reminded of the sheer exhaustion of classroom setup when I see furniture piled high, boxes stacked one on top of another, and closets packed full of materials. The classroom space is clean, fresh, and anything but organized! I begin my classroom setup wisely by reflecting on student learning and my teaching practices.

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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: 4

Planning for the End of the Year

DSC00606Mother's Day and Father's Day are around the corner, and for some teachers, testing is over.  You're working on assessments, report cards, and cleaning up. The students are hyper, happy, and having a hard time focusing on classwork. The yearbooks are ready, and summer is in the air. Now is the time to prepare for the end of the year, to reflect back on the year that's ending, and to plan for next year. Read on to get some great ideas and printables for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and the end of the year.

 


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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: 2

Open House, Mother's Day, and Father's Day, OH MY!

DSC00571 The end of the school year is around the corner, and there are still so many events to prepare for. In our school district, we have state testing the first two weeks in May. So the next month or so will be spent preparing for the state test as well as wrapping up the school year with Open House. Read on to find great crafty ideas for Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts as well as instructions for creating an easy Open House slide show.

 

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Comments: 10

Character Education and the Green Classroom

Thinking It really is easy being green. In this post, you'll find some great ideas for teaching character education in the context of the green classroom — just in time to plan for Earth Day.

 

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Comments: 52

Preparing for High Stakes State Testing

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In California, we do our state testing in May, but we begin reviewing and planning for it now. Second grade is the youngest grade to take state tests in California, and we take it very seriously. I hope that you will find some helpful testing tips for students and teachers in this post.

 

 

Photo Credit: Blueberries/iStockphoto

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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: 4

Emergency Sub Plans

Emergency R KrishnanScar sings it in The Lion King and Boy Scouts repeat it ad nauseam. What is this magical phrase that I am referring to? Be prepared! Being prepared with meaningful sub plans can keep your classroom community on a forward-moving track when your personal life throws you a curve ball.

 

Photo courtesy of Renjith Krishnan.

 

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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: 15

Organizing and Reorganizing Your Classroom

Photo_19322_20100731Teachers have a LOT of stuff. Especially primary grade teachers and pack rats. I am both. And I am not a naturally organized person. I have to really work to keep things where I can find them. I stalk organizational blogs, look into other people's classrooms for ideas, and buy tons of gadgets and sorters. Nevertheless, it's a daily battle to keep my life from becoming the next episode of Hoarders. Here is the 12 step program that I invented to keep myself organized.

Photo courtesy of graur razvan ionut.

 

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Happy Holidays

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Merry Christmas to all my friends and family. I won’t be blogging over the holiday vacation; however, I will be back on January 11, 2011. Before I begin my vacation, I wanted to share a few vacation rituals and some highlights from the past week. Watch the video of our holiday celeberation.

 

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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: 2

Student Planned Parties

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I was strolling through the hardware store yesterday and saw Christmas items slowly invading the Seasonal Item aisle. Seriously!? As annoying as the sight of premature holiday items can be, it did serve as a reminder that I needed to start the wheels in motion for a Halloween celebration in my classroom. My students do all the planning, and they often require extra time as they are just beginning to develop the skills of organization and budgeting.

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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: 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: 6

Creating a Middle School Classroom Library

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Welcome to my library, a work in progress. I started my library five years ago. Classroom libraries should be organized according to your goals. My goal was to create an atmosphere that motivates my students to become lifelong readers and writers. I strived for a delicate balance between an elementary classroom library and a high school academic library. I envisioned my library as a quiet place to read or to study, a miniature replica of our high school library, but it was also important to include books and resources that expand upon topics and themes studied in 6th grade content areas. In this post, download free library shelf labels and library card templates to organize your own library.


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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: 12

Building Excitement Into a Classroom

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Week after week, millions of viewers are engaged for an hour as they await the news that comes during the last few moments of American Idol. As I was watching the show one day, I thought to myself, This is a simple 30 second announcement. Why must they take an hour to deliver the goods? The producers of A.I. seem to be the masters of building anticipation and excitement. Below you will find some inexpensive examples of how I work curiosity to my advantage with students.

 

 

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Comments: 18

A Chrysanthemum by Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

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A child's name is their first gift, the first thing that gives them an identity. It's placed on hospital cards. It's made official on a birth certificate. It's lovingly handwritten in baby books. It might even be announced in the newspaper. A name says "I am a specific and unique individual."

Photo © Juliana Coutinho

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Comments: 8

Creating a Theme

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Many children love to go to birthday parties, especially when there is a theme. Whether it is pirates, princesses, or ponies, a themed party provides direction for the host and continuity and fun for the participants. Start your year off in a fun way by adding a theme to your classroom.




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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: 4

Making Books Convenient for Kids

Brent lots of buckets The other day I was at a restaurant. I only wanted an iced tea. That’s it. I wasn’t hungry for anything. Nada. The waitress brings me the iced tea and some chips and salsa for the table. Wouldn’t you know, I ate half the basket of chips even though I didn’t want them? Books are just like those chips: Kids will eat ’em up if you make them convenient.

So how do you make books convenient and appealing?

(Post includes Video)

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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: 12

Setting Up and Organizing Your Classroom, Part One

Furniture

The playground is empty and quiet. The school is a ghost town. The classrooms are clean and the furniture is piled up on the side of the room. It's overwhelming to see my normally organized classroom in disarray, but I love redesigning and decorating my room in the days before school starts. Join me in the next two posts as I tackle setting up and organizing my classroom.

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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: 6

Ensuring a Tremendous End to a Memorable School Year

Scrapbook2 In just three weeks, the 2009-2010 school year will be coming to an end, and prior to then, I plan on doing a few things to ensure it is a memorable time. This week, I invite for you to read about my plans, some of which you can incorporate on your own. Some you will be able to incorporate this year; others you can try for next year!

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Comments: 1

Tips on Preparing for a Long Term Substitute

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I am in what they call the “nesting phase” of my pregnancy. As a teacher not only do I nest at home but I find myself really nesting at school too. I have been trying to clean things out and organize my classroom as I prep for my long term substitute. Leaving my students is like leaving my own children. I know that my substitute is a wonderful teacher and that my students will be in good hands, but I still want to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are a few recommendations and tips for preparing for a long term substitute.

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Comments: 2

Planning Engaging Units in All Subjects

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"We're building and racing rubber-band propelled vehicles? What will we do at the Renaissance Festival next Friday? ...When is Mr. Jasztal coming in to launch rockets with our class? ...We will be simulating craters with flour, chocolate powder, and rocks?  ...Who painted that, Leonardo DaVinci or Michelangelo?"

These questions and more have arisen in my classroom this year, generating a great deal of excitement by my students. By keeping these questions in mind, and tapping into their multiple intelligences, I have planned some tremendous units across the curriculum that address a variety of learning styles. Read the rest of this post to find some great resources and steps for planning superior units in any subject area!

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Using Small Groups to Build Writing Skills

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Writing is traditionally thought of as something to be done as an individual assignment. Students listen to a lecture, are given their writing prompts, outline their thoughts, and are then left to craft their beautifully written prose on their own. How about having students work through the writing process in small groups? As we all know, essay writing is among the most challenging of assignments that are demanded of students. Why not counteract the anxiety that some of them experience by having them work in a group of peers?

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Comments: 1

Utilizing Classroom Web Pages for Student Engagement: Part II

Top of mrantuna Here's an idea for organizing your classroom website to make it more meaningful for students and for their parents. 

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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: 5

Writing Workshops: Using Small Groups to Improve Writing

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Most teachers will tell you that one of the most difficult skills to teach is effective writing. Likewise, students will often tell you that writing is what they find the most painstaking. One of the reasons why teaching composition has proven so challenging is that each student is unique in style and ability. In order to address this, many teachers turn to individual conferencing, which while effective, can be an extremely slow process.

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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.