Are You A Real Teacher?

Good Luck Student Teachers -You've got this!
Good Luck Student Teachers -You’ve got this!

On Opening Day, each year, I gave each staff member an inspirational poem about being a teacher. The poems were typed on decorative paper with a small trinket (hear, shell) attached. Often I would see it in the classrooms, and that made all the printing and gluing worth the effort. 

So, as we end our semester together, I want to share with you my Opening Day poem from 2010-2011.  How many of the 13 items below sound like you this past semester?   

I hope you enjoyed your student teaching experience.  It’s time to go out and find the teaching job that is right for you!  Enjoy the journey friends.  You’ve got this.  

  • Real teachers grade papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meeting at times in the bathroom.
  • Real teachers cheer when they hear April 1st or Halloween does not fall on a school day.
  • Real teachers can’t walk past a crowd of kids without straightening up the line (or at least thinking about it).
  • Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards or turning their backs on the class.
  • Real teachers are written-up in medical journals for the size and elasticity of kidneys and bladders.
  • Real teachers have been timed gulping down a full lunch in 2 minutes.
  • Real teachers can predict exactly which parents will show up at Open House.
  • Real teachers are solely responsible for the destruction of the rain forest.
  • Real teachers have their best conferences in the parking lot.
  • Real teachers have never heard an original excuse.
  • Real teachers buy Tylenol and Advil at Costco.
  • Real teachers will eat anything that is put in the Faculty Room.
  • Real teachers know secretaries and custodians run the school.

Real teachers hear the heartbeats of crisis; always have time to listen; know they teach students, not subjects; and are non-expendable.

THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING A CAREER THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN KIDS LIVES.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

  • Teacher Interview Questions: My Top 9
  • Student Teacher References: Are VIP
  • Resources for Substitute Teachers

ThreeRingsConnections’ Newsletter: November 2019

Creativity, Expression and Knowledge = Education
November: Creativity, Expression and Knowledge = Education

Eleven months down in 2019, how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? If you are still working on catching up on professional development, take a look at this month’s newsletter. All 12 November    posts are below, as well as ALL the posts since I started the blog in September 2018. My New Year’s Resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter out on a timely, consistent schedule is accomplished: 11 down and 1 more to go! Have a great month!

November’s Most Popular Posts

My Favorite November Posts

I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!

2018 Archives

  • Student Teacher References: Are VIP
  • Christmas Jokes for Kids
  • Are You A Real Teacher?

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sales are great opportunities to buy books at bargain prices.
Scholastic Books at deep discounts

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale 2019 is Coming!

December 4th – 14th 

My local friends the closest location is Danbury, Ct.  (Approximately 40 mins. from Fishkill area.

Scholastic Books Warehouse offers for a limited a limited time only deep discounts on books.  This holiday you can purchase “Buy One, Get One Box” from hundreds of books, gifts,  and school supplies. There is even a Build a Box opportunity!  Refresh your school, home, and classroom libraries, and stock up on gifts for everyone.

For every item you buy, choose an item of equal or lesser value for FREE

  • Shop from a large assortment of already reduced items
  • No limits on how many items you can buy
  • Build-a-Box is included with the BOGO offer (yes, Danbury has it)
  • Perfect way to maximize school purchase orders, grants, and Title 1 funds

Coupon is $10.00 off a purchase of $100.00. OR $25.00 off a purchase of $100.00 using Scholastic Dollars.

Danbury, CT Warehouse Sale:

Weekday Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Closed Sundays

The Danbury location is a Build-a-Box event. As many books as you can fit in a box for less than $29.95.

Sign up and get coupon! Enjoy!

Most People Are Good

Positive Thoughts Help Us Through Tough Days
Positive thoughts that Most People Are Good can help get us through a tough day.

Thank you Luke Byran for performing this song and David Frasier, Ed Hill & Josh Kear for writing the song.   Some days you just need to be reminded that “Most People Are Good”.  Even if you don’t break into song; take a look at these lyrics and make it a good day! 

I believe kids oughta stay kids as long as they can
Turn off the screen, go climb a tree, get dirt on their hands
I believe we gotta forgive and make amends
‘Cause nobody gets a second chance to make new old friends
I believe in working hard for what you’ve got
Even if it don’t add up to a hell of a lot

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good

I believe them streets of gold are worth the work
But I still wanna go even if they were paved in dirt
I believe that youth is spent well on the young
‘Cause wisdom in your teens would be a lot less fun
I believe if you just go by the nightly news
Your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good

I believe that days go slow and years go fast
And every breath’s a gift, the first one to the last

I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks

I believe most people are good
I believe most people are good

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Teacher Interview Questions: My Top 9

Interview questions for teaching position
Interview committee for teaching positions

Yes, only 9, because I couldn’t decide on a #10! However, all 9 of these questions can be used for a teaching  interview for any grade level.

Congratulations!  You have a teacher interview.

First, try to calm your excitement and sound interested and friendly when you get “the call”. I can’t tell you how many times my secretary would share with me both the good and bad conversations she had with candidates when scheduling interviews.  Guess what?  Very often her impressions were absolutely right!  The school secretary  is one of your greatest supporters.

Teacher Interview Question Flow

Usually the first question is for you to tell them about yourself. Do not improvise your response. You’re getting an opportunity to give a great first impression. Use it wisely by preparing an answer that will help distinguish you from other candidates. Do not review your resume, they already have it.  Be sincere and genuine. When interviewing, remember that people will prefer to work with people they like.  Think of the process this way.  If you had a choice between 2 candidates with totally equal qualifications, would you take the candidate that was eager and happy or the candidate that was not?

 Tell us about your classroom experience or working with children. Once again, they are looking for you to articulate what kind of teacher you have been by your explanation of situations.  Highlight the type of teacher you are and some specific examples.

How do you get parents involved in their child’s education? Depending on the grade level, you want to prepare an answer that tells them how you will get parents involved in their child’ education. Use past experiences that have been successful (classroom volunteering, newsletters, emails etc.)

 How do you assess student learning? In this question, be specific about the different assessments, both formal and informal, that you have used. This is a great time to share any technology assessments

 My favorite question is asking the candidate to use 9 different words of how each of 3 groups would describe them (supervisor, colleagues, kids). The descriptor words help us see your use of vocabulary and your ability to think quickly.  It’s the 3 descriptor words from kids is how we know if you are kid-centered.  A first grader will not describe their teacher as conscientious nor will a high school student use “groovy”. One first grade candidate used  “squishy”.  Her explanation was it was how first graders thought her hugs felt. Did we hire her?  You bet!  As a K-2 principal I wanted teachers who were genuinely excited and enthusiastic to be with students.  Thank you, Wendy!

 What was the last book you read. Teachers talk about the importance of reading.  Be sure to have the name and author of a book that you read recently. This shows that you are intellectually curious.

 Why do you want to work in the school/district? Do your homework and know about the district.  Yes, you want a job, but WHY do you want to work in that school/district. Include in your response the positives of the district and how your experiences can be beneficial to the district.

 Is there any question that we didn’t ask that you wish we had? Acknowledge that they asked some good questions, and then share your question.  They will then ask you that question!  This is the opportunity for you to share a  teaching strength or highlight that you hadn’t shared. answers.

 What questions do you have for us? Salary, benefits, student behaviors, school budgets and school test scores should NEVER be asked during interviews. Many of those items can be researched and salary will be discussed at the time of an offer. Possible questions to consider would be asking about professional development opportunities or ways to get involved in the community.

Teacher Interview: Final Thoughts

Practice, Practice, Practice your responses in front of a mirror.  The better your preparation, the more confident you will appear during the interview.  Everyone is nervous during an interview.  A good interview committee will try to make you as comfortable as possible to uncover your answers.  Remember the Big 3 of teacher interviewing: be specific, concise and enthusiastic. Good Luck!

Other posts related to this topic

Student Teacher Refs: Are VIP

Student Teacher Characteristics

Motivating Your Child to Learn

Motivating Kids to Learn
Motivating Kids to Learn

Motivating kids to learn? Here’s what I learned a long time ago.  Kids don’t always do what you want them to do.  I’m hearing parents all over the world saying “that’s certainly true”. Yes, folks and you might experience it from birth to adulthood!

So, getting kids motivated to learn is sometimes a combination of timing, strategies and luck.  Check out some of the strategies below that might get them motivated to learn.   They may even think it’s their idea!

  1. Show a Love of Learning – Be enthusiastic about learning by showing interest in your child’s interests and learning new things. 
  2. Make a Game Out of It – Kids love games, so why not learn something in a game format. You can sing it, dance it out or just play a game.  Add a bit of whimsy will make you both smile. 
  3. Learn Something New Every Day – Try to teach your child at least one thing new every day. It doesn’t have to be big, just something. That’s at least 365 things!
  4. Give up control (sort of) – Power struggles can start at an early age so try giving your child choices of what they want and how they want to learn it.  Remember, you goal is to get them to learn, why not guide them some choice?  You’ve already limited their choices, so it becomes a win-win!  
  5. Encourage learning styles – Kids have different preferences and styles of how they like to learn. Knowing your child’s preferences can help engage them in learning. For young kids it’s good to give them experiences in all the different learning styles. There are 7 basic learning styles
    • Kinesthetic/Physical – Learning through movement
    • Verbal – Learning through language activities
    • Auditory – Learn best through listening
    • Solitary – Learn best alone
    • Social – Learn best in a group
    • Visual – Learn best through seeing things  
    • Mathematical/Logical – Problem solving using hands on items.

Learning becomes fun when kids are interested in learning. It doesn’t really matter if it’s dinosaurs, trucks or skyscrapers. If kids are reading, talking and asking questions they are building background knowledge and learning.  Getting them to want to learn is the trick. 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Thanksgiving Jokes for Kids

Thanksgiving jokes can add some fun to your celebration.
Thanksgiving jokes can add some fun to your celebration.

Why not add some Thanksgiving jokes to your Thanksgiving celebration this year?

Teaching kids to appreciate jokes is a great opportunity to laugh together as a family.  Why not take some time to be silly this Thanksgiving and enjoy a laugh (or eye roll).  Happy Thanksgiving!

Kid: Knock, knock.
Adult: Who’s there?
Kid: Gladys.
Adult: Gladys who?
Kid: Gladys Thanksgiving. Aren’t you?

Kid: Knock, knock.
Adult: Who’s there?
Kid: Harry.
Adult: Harry who?
Kid: Harry up, I’m hungry!

Q. Why did the farmer run a steamroller over his potato field on Thanksgiving Day?

A. He wanted to raise mashed potatoes.

Q. What is a turkey’s favorite dessert?
A. Peach gobbler!

Q. Why did the police arrest the turkey?

A. They suspected it of fowl play!

Q. What do you call it when it rains turkeys?

A. Foul weather!

Q. What smells the best at a Thanksgiving dinner?

A. Your nose

Q. Why do pilgrims’ pants always fall down?
A. Because they wear their belt buckles on their hats!

Q. Why did the cranberries turn red?
A. Because they saw the turkey dressing!

Q. What did the turkey say to the computer?
A. “Google, google, google.”

Q. What kind of music did Pilgrims listen to?
A. Plymouth Rock.

 Q. What’s the best thing to put into pumpkin pie?
A. Your teeth

 Q. What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving?
A. The letter “g”.

Q. Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
A. The outside.

Q. What do turkeys and teddy bears have in common?
A. They both have stuffing.

Q. Where does Christmas come before Thanksgiving?

A. In the dictionary

 Q. What do you get when you cross a turkey with a centipede?
A. Kid: Drumsticks for everyone on Thanksgiving Day!

Q. What did the turkey say to the turkey hunter on Thanksgiving Day?
A. “Quack! Quack!”

Q. What key has legs and can’t open doors? 

A. A turkey.

Q. Who isn’t hungry at Thanksgiving?
A. The turkey because he’s already stuffed.

 

Isn't education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Scientist of the Month- Benjamin Franklin

As parents and educators, we know we must teach our kids skills to support scientific thinking. But, how do we encourage kids to explore science? Why not, share stories about a scientist? Why not Benjamin Franklin? Scientists, like most kids, are curious and want to know answers. The great thing about studying scientists is there are many branches; so there surely is a topic to motivate all kids. Seems like a perfect match! 

Hello Benjamin Franklin! – November 2019

Benjamin Franklin was famous for many things but especially for being a scientist.
Benjamin Franklin was famous for many things but especially for being a scientist.

One of Franklin’s greatest accomplishments was his careers as a scientist. Some of his inventions included bifocal lenses, the lightning rod, and the Franklin stove. Some of the scientific terms he coined were; battery, conductor, positively and negatively. Many of his scientific experiments involved electricity. His most famous experiment was his Kite Experiment where he flew a kite in a storm and received an electric shock. This proved that lightning is a heavily charged spark of electricity.

Benjamin Franklin was an American author, printer, political theorist, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman and diplomat. He was the 6th president of the United States and is known as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. WOW! He was a busy guy!

Quotes Made Famous by Benjamin Franklin

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” 

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” 

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Math Thinking Skills: Primary – November

Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.
Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.

Some students in the Primary Grades need additional math activities that goes beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  This month we’ll look at some problem solving involving counting body parts.  (really, we’re looking at early multiplication which is repeated addition)

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Thinking Skills: What Comes Next?

Question One: 3, 6, 9, ___, ___. ___ What numbers go on the lines?

Question Two: 8,10,12, ____, ____, ____ What numbers go on the lines?

Question Three: Declan started his trip to Poughkeepsie on Sunday with spending money of $20.00. Each day of his vacation he spent $3.00.  On Thursday morning, he boarded the train to go back to NYC.  He had not spent any money that morning.  How much money does he have remaining from his original $20.00? Since he had not spent any money on Thursday, how much money does he have left?

Question Four: 2, 5, 9, 14, ____, ____, ____.  What numbers go on the lines?

Question Five: 5, 50, 500, 5000, 50000 ____ What is the next number in this sequence? 

MATH THINKING ANSWERS

Question One: 12, 15, 18, Counting by 3’s starting at 12.

Question Two:  14, 16 18.  Counting by 2’s starting at 8.

Question Three: $8.00 remaining.  He spent $3.00 on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday for a total spent of $12.00. 

Question Four: 20, 27, 35 The difference between each number on the line increases by 1, starting with a difference of 3 between 2 and 5.

Question Five: Each number is multiplied by 10. Look carefully and you’ll see that each number adds another 0. 

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Thank you, Veterans

Thank you veterans for your service
Thank you veterans for your service.

When we attend public events in South Carolina, we witness an outpouring of respect for veterans. Whether it’s an outdoor concert, a ballgame or a theater performance; there is always a few minutes set aside to recognize veterans in the audience. Sometimes it’s a general announcement but other times it’s highlighting by years of service or the branch in which they served. As each one stands to be recognized they are humble and appreciative of the recognition. Yes, folks for me, it’s always a “goosebumps on your arms” moment.

In a world where there seems to be fewer heroes, veterans are on my list. I salute your courage and your sacrifice. Thank you from an American who truly appreciates your willingness to serve our country.

Isn't education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Reading Strategies for Parents

Parents can review reading strategies taught at school at home.
Parents can review reading strategies taught at school at home.

The State of Tennessee believes that by teaching reading strategies to parents, parents can help their child at home.  They’ve got it right.  Of course, parents want to help their kids.  Why not give them some basic information? Yeah Tennessee! 

When the state of Tennessee set a goal in 2007, to increase literacy skills for children across the state, they decided to enlist the help of parents.  The Tennessee State Improvement Grant document was created to support family members to help their children at home.  The document outlines reading strategies for parents to use with their child at home.  

Although this document was created over 10 years ago, it is still a good document to help families. The information has good ideas and is user-friendly.  It is also a great refresher for new teachers, student teachers and classroom substitutes. The overview includes:

  • Five Areas of Reading Instruction 
  • How to Choose the Right Book at the Right Reading Level
  • Vocabulary Building Strategies
  • Reading Comprehension Strategies

Sometimes, we just need a little help from our friends. Thank you Tennessee!

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Store for Used Books Poughkeepsie Library

Used Bookstore at Poughkeepsie Library: Boardman Road branch
Used Bookstore at Poughkeepsie Library: Boardman Road branch

Great opportunity to fill your bookshelves at home or in your classroom. The book store has a selection of over 20,000 high-quality used books, cds, dvds and audiobooks. Books are organized and sorted to make shopping a breeze.

Entrance to the Friends’ Book Store is on the south side of the building – just look for the blue awning.

Store hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.

Telephone: 845-485-3445 x 3423

Cash, checks (with valid ID) and MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards are accepted.

Follow them on Facebook too to check out special sales and events:

Poughkeespie Library Bookstsore

Threeringsconnections.org  Isn't education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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ThreeRingsConnections’ Newsletter: October 2019

Thinking is the hardest work any one can do –
Henry Ford

Ten months down in 2019, how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? If you are still working on catching up on professional development, take a look at this month’s newsletter. All 12 October posts are below, as well as ALL the posts since I started the blog in September 2018. My New Year’s Resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter out on a timely, consistent schedule is accomplished: 10 down and 2 more to go! Have a great month!

2018 Archives

October’s Most Popular Posts

As regular readers know, at the end of each month I share the three most popular posts from the last month. I thought people might find it interesting to see what everyone else was looking at. Enjoy!

My Favorite October Posts

I choose my favorites each month for different reasons. Sometimes it’s timeliness, a hot education topic, student teacher needs or as a family and friends resource. Sometimes, it’s just, BECAUSE. Enjoy!

  • Concepts of Print (COP)in Daily Reading
  • Teacher Motivational Quotes
  • How to Help Highly Advanced Readers
Coming Next Month
  • Online Safety: Free Classroom Resources
  • Math Thinking Skills: Primary – November
  • Scientist of the Month- Benjamin Franklin

Online Safety: Free Classroom Resources

Teaching kids online safety is important
Teaching kids to be safe online is important

Google has created a digital learning framework for online safety  designed for kids.  The program is called Be Internet Awesome. The program features a curriculum, learning resources, and games that help younger students learn how to be safe online. Be sure to see Interland, a game that allows students to complete missions related to web safety.

Online Safety Curriculum

Educators teaching online safety in the classroom can download the Be Internet Awesome curriculum. The lesson plans have received the ISTE Seal of Alignment and classroom activities bring the fundamental lessons to life.

Other posts related to this topic:

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Concepts of Print (COP)in Daily Reading

The Concepts of Print (COP) assessment was created by Marie Clay (1993), The assessment includes items to assess a child’s knowledge of both print and written language skills. These two skills work together to help children learn to read and write.

Many students entering kindergarten understand that a book tells a story (the print has meaning). However, very few understand “how print works”. Concepts of Print (COP) skills involves kids knowing parts of a book (using the correct terms) and understanding the letter/writing concepts included. Since many parents and teachers read to children daily; why not add a few of the COP skills.

Concepts of Print (COP) in Daily Reading

Point to the Following Parts of the Book

  • Front and back of the book.
  • Binding.
  • Top and bottom of a picture.
  • Title Page.
  • Author’s Name (define that the author writes the book).
  • Illustrator’s name (define that the illustrator draws the pictures).

Show How to Read a Book

  • A sentence is read from left to right.
  • Pages are read from left to right.
  • Point to each word while you read.
  • Read pages from left to right.
  • A story has a beginning and end.

Words and Writing  in Books: Basics

  • A capital letter is at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Words and sentences have capital letters and lower case letters.
  • Point out 1 word in a sentence, Point out 2 words.
  • Point out that a word is made up of a group of letters.
  • A comma explains to the reader  that it tells the reader to pause or slowdown.
  • There are punctuation marks at the end of a sentences (period, question mark, exclamation mark) Explain that the marks tell the reader how to read.

Research: Clay, M. M. (1993). An observation survey of early literacy achievement. Heinemann, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801-3912.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic

Jane Goodall: Scientist of the Month

As parents and educators, we know we must teach our kids skills to support scientific thinking. But, how do we encourage kids to explore science? Why not, share stories about Jane Goodall? Scientists, like most kids, are curious and want to know answers. The great thing about studying scientists is there are many branches.  So, there surely is a topic to motivate all kids. Seems like a perfect match! 

October Scientist of the Month: Jane Goodall 

1934-present
1934-present

Jane Goodall is an anthropologist that is best known for studying chimpanzees in the wild.  Growing up, she loved animals.  One of her favorite toys was a toy chimpanzee. Jane started studying chimpanzees in 1960 and continues to do it today. Jane made some important discoveries.

  • Personalities were seen in chimpanzees, just like people. 
  • People aren’t the only ones that make tools. So do chimpanzees! Jane observed them using a piece of grass as a tool.
  • Chimpanzees are meat eaters.
  • Chimpanzees communicate through various ways including through sounds, touch, body language, calls and facial expressions.

Quotes Made Famous by Ms. Goodall

Above all we must realize that each of us makes a difference with our life. Each of us impacts the world around us every single day. We have a choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place – or not to bother.

Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

Jane continues to study chimpanzees in Africa.  She has won many awards and has written many articles and books.  There have also been documentaries made about Jane’s work with chimpanzees.

Isn't education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

How to Help Highly Advanced Readers

Ideas to help you and your advanced readers.
Ideas to help you and your advanced readers.

How do you meet the reading needs of a child that is 2 full grade levels above the rest of your students in class? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can be very difficult for a classroom teacher.  Of course, you must differentiate for the advanced reader, but how do you do that for 1 child when the others are at least 8 levels below your precocious reader?  Here are some ideas to help you and your advanced readers.

4 Ways to Help Advanced Readers

  • Find their interests- The sooner than you find their interests, the sooner you can help them find appropriate books for themselves. Like all readers, it is important that they be encouraged to read books that they will find challenging but approachable.
  • Guided Reading Group of 1 – One person does not a group make!  So, how can you engage your advanced reader in a discussion group?  Putting them in a regular guided reading group with students reading multiple grade levels lower than them will be of limited value to them. Perhaps there are other children in another class that can help form a group.  A classroom volunteer can also be a wonderful reading buddy. 
  • Student Driven Independent Reading The Schoolwide Enhanced Model Reading (SEM-R) approach allows a student to read a book at their own interest and reading level and check in with the teacher during scheduled reading conferences. The SEM-R approach is flexible enough to be used with individual students or a small group of students as needed. 
  • Skill-based groups – A popular way of meeting the needs of your gifted reader is to consider using some skill-based groups.  Although the reading level may be different, a skills group can review and reinforce skills that your gifted reader may find valuable. In order to become even better readers skill development is necessary.   

As a teacher, your gifted readers need you just as much as the other students in the class.  They just may need your attention in a different way. 

Other posts related to this topic:

Isn't education ALL about reaching the kids?
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Math Thinking Skills Primary: October

Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.
Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.

Some students in the Primary Grades need additional math activities that goes beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  This month we’ll look at some problem solving involving counting body parts.  (good practice in repeated addition which is…… multiplication). 

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Thinking Skills: Count Them Up

  1. Abby went to see the animals on a farm in Wappingers Falls. She saw 20 chickens.  How many chicken heads did she see?  How many legs do the chickens have all together?
  2. Teagan went to the Bronx Zoo.  She saw a tree with 9 monkeys.  How many fingers did the monkeys have all together?
  3. Connall has a dog and a cat.  If the dog and cat wore animal shoes, how many shoes would Connall have to buy?   
  4. In Emily’s family there are 3 children and 2 adults.  How many heads do they have all together? How many legs do they have all together? How many fingers do they have all together?  How many eyes do they have all together?
  5. Meghan loves spiders.  She saw 4 spiders in GG’s garage.  How many legs do the spiders have in all? HINT: You must know how many legs spiders have.
  6. Lowyn saw 5 Ladybugs on the peonies in GG’s yard.  When she counted all the legs on the Ladybugs, how many legs did she count?  HINT: You must know how many legs ALL INSECTS HAVE.
  7. The spiders were planning to have a dance party.  It was going to be a big party and they were only going to allow 102 spiders to attend.  IF all the spiders went to the party, how many dance shoes will they have to order?  If the dance shoes only come as a pair, how many pairs of shoes will they have to order for all 102 spiders to have dance shoes?

ANSWERS

  1. 20 heads and 40 legs
  2. 90 fingers because each of the 9 monkeys have 10 fingers.
  3. 8 shoes (4 for the dog and 4 for the cat)
  4. 5 heads, 10 legs, 50 fingers, 10 eyes
  5. Spiders have 8 legs.  4 spiders = 8+8+8+8 = 32 legs
  6. Ladybugs are Insects and insects have 6 legs.  6+6+6+6+6= 30 legs
  7. Spiders have 8 legs.  102 spiders = 102+102+102+102+102+102+102+102=816 legs OR 408 pairs of shoes Each spider would get 4 pairs of shoes for their feet. 
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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