Active, Engaging Test Prep: The Walking Quiz

In my previous post, I talked about the importance of incorporating movement into classroom work and gave an example of one way to do that with an editing activity. In this post, I’d like to share a way to add movement when the class is reviewing material right before a test. It’s a strategy my co-teacher and I decided to use just recently, when our class came to the end of a challenging social studies unit.
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Test Prep with Less Stress

As we approached testing season, the already anxiety-prone fourth graders I teach began asking questions about test dates, format, and content. These signs of stress, combined with antsiness brought on by the…
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Teaching Skillful Communication

Ryan holds up the book so all his classmates can see the cover and begins: "Reptile Facts is my favorite first grade book. Every first grader should read this book because it…
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Common Core: Let’s Seize the Opportunity Together

Crafting powerful solutions for educating all children is an evolutionary and continuous improvement process. Educators and all those responsible for education must always be focused on innovating and pushing boundaries, digging deep,…
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The Trouble with Testing

When I first began my teaching career in the early 1990's, it felt like an exciting time to be in education. There was incredible momentum building for rich, multi-layered, developmentally appropriate teaching.…
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Fall Testing Tips

It’s fall! For many of us that means cooler temperatures, crisp leaves on the playground, thoughts of pumpkins and frost, and . . . testing. Yes, the beginning of the school year…
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Classroom Tension Tamers: Three More Ideas to Use Now!

I wrote last week about things you can do to ease classroom stress during testing and other high-anxiety times. Here are three more tips for keeping the atmosphere of your classroom calm…
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Classroom Tension Tamers: Three Ideas to Use Now

It’s spring, and end-of-the-year-testing looms. The children are stressed.You’re stressed. You need to ease the tension—but how?
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Balancing Act

It's the beginning of a new school year. You're excited about your incoming class and have all kinds of plans for starting the year off right. Just one thing stands in the…
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Interactive Modeling: Putting away test materials

A step-by-step example of how it might look and sound for a teacher to use interactive modeling. 1. Name the goal. State it as a positive behavior. “At the end of a…
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