Keeping the mindset plate spinning.

One question I hear often is ‘how do you fit it all in’?  The short answer is, I don’t know.  Seriously, the plate spinning is ridiculous, but somehow we figure it out, right?  For me, a big part of the art of teaching is balance – understanding that sometimes some plates might be up, but not spinning as fast and furiously and being alright with that – it’s not easy.. Read More

Size of the Problem

As I work in 1st grade, something that continues to be an issue for students is understanding the Size of a Problem.  We all know them… kids who react to small problems in big ways.  My class has a few of these friends and really, all kids can benefit from some discrete teaching around this topic. Michelle Garcia Winner is the expert on social thinking and there are many premade.. Read More

Tell me a story.

Tell, not read.  When I read Mindset for Learning a few years ago for the first time (it’s one you’ll revisit over and over again), the one technique in the book I glossed over was the storytelling.  As a coach, with no class of my own, I didn’t know how to make it work.  Not knowing how to utilize it, I ignored it, but it always lingered in the back.. Read More

1st Grade beginnings…

This week I took over a 1st grade classroom for a teacher out on medical leave.  In addition to the challenges of taking over a classroom in March, there was the added stress of communicating with students about their teacher being sick.  There have been lots of substitutes and inconsistency because of the situation and after five full days of me, I feel like are were starting to come together.. Read More

Reflections

I’ve waited a whole week since the massacre in Florida to post my thoughts.  I’m going to leave the gun talk to others and focus on what I know in my heart, teachers are heroes – three of the seventeen killed in Florida last week were teachers and reports are they were doing what we all know we’d do in the same situation – literally giving their lives to save.. Read More

Hello?

The other day I was walking around one of the PreK classrooms I work with as the teacher sat in the middle of the room pulling students, one at a time, to work on some handwriting.  Meanwhile, the rest of the kids were engaged in play around the periphery of the room.  In the library, there was a little girl sitting on a bean bag, holding an old phone up.. Read More

Vocabulary.

As I wandered by the sandbox in PreK today, I heard the noise of sirens! Three boys were playing, there were cars, policemen, and a chase had begun. Boys: “Get the bad guy! He stole something” (noise of sirens and chasing cars) Me: What’s going on boys? Boys: The police are chasing the bad guys! He stole something! Me: Oh. a criminal, what did he do? Boys: He stole something!.. Read More

Cavers.

My PreK friends inspire me SO much.  I love their unabashed energy and verve.  I love my PreK teachers love for kids – they love those little peanuts to the moon and back and you can tell.  On Friday afternoon, I walked into one of my PreK classrooms and saw something new, the beginnings of a cave… As they get ready to begin their study of nocturnal animals, the teacher.. Read More

Free Lunch

Lately, there have been some comments, jokes, and other shenanigans going around about the idea of ‘free lunch’ in schools.  I’m going to refrain from referencing specific political figures, but I am going to write a little about the idea of ‘free lunch’ in schools.  In my experience, hungry children are no laughing matter. As we all know, there are many diverse student populations.  While many of us are lucky enough.. Read More

Hug-ology

I’ve written about hugs many times before.  Too many to count really, but in my new position, working with K-5 teachers, I’ve recently discovered the amazing stuff that is ‘the 4th-grade hug’. After being out for a few weeks for a medical issue and the Thanksgiving holiday, I returned to my K-5 school and many kids were delighted to see me and welcome me back.  As I was chatting with.. Read More