The Natural Learning Cycle

It’s the perfect time of year to pause and reflect on your personal teaching and learning goals—the hopes and dreams you set when school began. First, let’s take a step back and look at that learning from a big-picture point of view. We know that the most meaningful learning happens as part of a natural, Read More »
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Spring Rejuvenation

No matter what the weather is like where you are, it can be challenging for both students and teachers to maintain enthusiasm at this point in the school year. The beginning-of-school energy…
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Go Slow to Go Fast

My second grade class sits cross-legged on the rug. It is the first day of school, and I'm introducing a classroom tool that the children will be using today and all year.…
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Choices Choices

When I look around my classroom, I see students making choices. The first graders I teach make choices all through the day, from the time they arrive until Closing Circle.
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When Learning Is Fun

If your classroom life is like mine these days, it's gotten harder to make learning fun. This year in my district we have a new teacher evaluation system, new report cards, new…
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Building Community Through Academics

When they are working towards a common goal, engaged in a fascinating topic, or trying to figure out a solution for a meaningful problem, students feel more connected to school and each…
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What Do Insects Do All Day?

Four classes of second graders have just begun a new science unit on insects at the University School of Nashville in Tennessee. I and the other three second-grade teachers have each invited…
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Academic Choice

An adapted excerpt from Learning Through Academic Choice, a book by Paula Denton.
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Lively Learning

When I was in elementary school more than fifty years ago, I struggled with geography. I found it very hard to keep all those place names and locations straight. The only thing…
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Choosing Choice

Several years ago, the school at which I was teaching adopted a new series of teacher’s manuals for reading and spelling and asked that teachers use them to guide their instruction. The…
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