## Math Problem Solving and Young Children

Young children are naturally curious and therefore are great at problem solving.  They can also be great math problem solvers with some simple guidance from adults. There are some common strategies that young children can learn to help them solve problems.

# The BIG 5 Problem Solving Strategies for Young Kids

1. Guess and Check– This is one of the simplest strategies to solve problems. It allows students to respond and then check to see if their guess was right. Although easy, kids sometimes think it’s a game and guess any answer.  Since guesses can be done without much thinking, you can support their guessing by asking them if it is the best guess.  Encourage them to think about their guesses and ask do you think that’s the best guess?
2. Act it Out– Have kids pretend they are actors and perform the information in the problem. Ex. John went to the store and bought 3 apples. Mary also bought 3 apples.  How many apples did they have all together? In this example John pretends to walk to a store to buy 3 apples. Mary does the same and then they put their apples together to solve the problem.
3. Use Manipulatives– Using items to represent numbers can help kids make a problem concrete. Manipulatives can be anything that can be easily moved. (counters, dice, money, beans, chips, fingers, money, paper clips) Be creative!
4. Draw– Drawing pictures gives students the opportunity to create their own manipulatives. This is a perfect strategy to use when there are no manipulatives nearby.  Drawing helps to keep kids focused on the problem and it also creates a visual representation of the problem.  This can be used to show their thinking.
5. Think It Through– Encourage kids to be thinkers. Teach them to think (remember) things they already know.  Prompt them with questions and hints on ways to solve the The following questions can be used to guide their mathematical thinking: What did you do to get the answer?What did you do to get the answer?
• Can you show me how you figured that out?
• What happened in the problem?
• Why do you think that is the correct answer?
• Where do you think you should start?
• Do you think that will work?
• What did you do to get the answer?

## Enjoy the Math Journey!

Children’s ability to solve problems will improve with experience and practice.  Parents can engage their children in math by pointing out math concepts that surround them every day. Guide them to see the patterns, shapes and numbers in their world.  Engage them in cooking, card playing, puzzles and different types of board games. Enjoy your math journey together.

Other posts related to this topic

Numeracy in Early Childhood

“Math Walks”: Time to “Walk the Talk”

100 Chart for Math

## 2-Minute-Mysteries: November

2-Minute-Mysteries are stories that can be solved with close examination of the clues in the story.

1. Chris was enjoying a bowl of chili at a restaurant in Montreal.  Looking into the bowl, he saw a fly.  He informed the waiter and asked for a new bowl of chili.  When the waiter brought him the new bowl, he tasted it and accused the waiter of bringing him back the same bowl.  Why did he think that?
2. Uncle Bug’s baseball bat company sells baseball bats for \$25.00 each. This month there is a sale 2 baseball bats for \$36.00. He said he makes the same profit either way but that it is a good sale.   How much profit must he make on each bat when he sells them at the regular price of \$25.00.
3. Kelly is walking down the street dressed in black.  There are no lights on anywhere and no moon.  A car without its lights on comes down the street and avoids hitting her?  How did that happen?
4. You walk into a room with only one match.  You must light a lantern, a stove, the pilot light on the water heater and a fire in a fire place.  What do you light first?

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Mysteries to support critical thinking

Minute-Mysteries: October

1. What else did Chris know about the soup?
2. Use the problem solving strategy of making a table.  Be sure to include examples of buying the bats at the full price.
3. When is the story happening?
4. What 5 items do you know you have in the room?

1. Before Chris found the fly, he had put salt on his chili.  When the chili returned, it was bland.
2. The profit on each bat must be \$14.00.  Since he makes no extra profit on the second bat, he must be selling it at cost.  With the price of each bat \$25.00 the cost is \$11.00 with \$14.00 profit.  Selling 2 bats at \$36.00 means that the total cost of 2 bats is \$22.00 leaving \$14.00 as the total profit.
3. Kelly is walking down the street during the day.
4. The first thing you have to light is the match.

## Concepts of Print Support For Parents

As a teacher and principal, I have shared the importance of reading to  children many times with parents. In our parent surveys, the overwhelming response was that parents read to their children on a regular basis.  However, our kindergarten students did not perform well on the “Concepts of Print” (COP) assessment administered each Fall.  The assessment, created by Marie Clay (1993), includes items to assess a child’s knowledge of both print and written language skills. Knowing how these skills work together helps support learning to read and write. Most of our students understood that a book told a story (that print had meaning), but few had much knowledge of “how print works”.

# So what should we do about Concepts of Print?

As a staff, we decided to share the COP assessment finding with parents at the Kindergarten Orientation in May. We showed parents how to read a story to their child and how they could informally add a few COP skills to their reading routine. We explained that by showing their kids the parts of the book, letter/writing concepts and how to read a book during their daily reading with their child, they could help support their child’s reading progress.  The results were amazing!  The new Kindergarten students scored 50% higher than the three previous years of the fall COP administration. That was only 3 months after sharing the information with parents!

What did we learn about our Concepts of Print trial?

Our results reminded us of two important concepts about parents, kids, and reading.  First, parents are their child’s first teacher; so, let’s show them ways to help be successful. Secondly, kids are like sponges, absorbing information from the world around them.  Why do we wait to teach COP skills until Kindergarten?

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.

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## FREE Books for Adults and Kids

• Overdrive is a database of books that allows you to borrow up to 10 ebooks or audiobooks from your local library. Just use your library card for your one time registration.
• Tumblebooks is a collection of audiobooks and ebooks for kids. Books are leveled and the site also includes activities. Once you register using your library card, you will be given access information.

## 100 Chart for Math

Recently I was driving home with my granddaughter, who just started kindergarten.  To help distract her on our long ride, I thought it would be fun to count to 100 and see how long it would be before we saw our house. When we got into the 50s she informed me she wasn’t very good at the higher numbers.  Ah, a challenge for GG!

So, for her next visit I downloaded a 100 chart to help her develop an  understanding of numbers.  A hundred chart is an easy way to do fun math without lots of preparation.  A 100 chart can easily be found online.  I was ready for an exciting game of 100 chart BINGO.

Let the game begin!

After about 10 numbers, I realized her focus was more on the purple butterfly tokens we were using to cover the numbers rather than the numbers themselves.  A good early childhood teachers knows to keep a lesson focused, short and fun. That day Miss M did not think my 100s chart game was any of the three. So, the hundred (100) chart game will wait for another day.

Kindergarten Concepts to Review Using a 100s Chart

• Number identification
• Number order
• One to one correspondence(be sure to point to each number)
• Patterns
• Practice counting forwards
• Practice counting backwards

### Examples of 100s Chart Games

• Find the number
• Count off the days
• Numbers are symbols for amounts
• Ordinal numbers (first, second, third etc.)
• Roll a die(1) or dice(2) and move that number of boxes on the chart.

Remember the fun is in the journey.  Enjoy the moment !

Other posts related to this topic

Numeracy in Early Childhood

“Math Walks”: Time to “Walk the Talk”

# Fostering Creativity in Kids and Love Doing it!

When I was a teacher of the talented and gifted we administered the Torrance Tests of Divergent Thinking as one of the admission tests. Points were given if kids expanded some basic squiggles into creative drawings.  Kids loved the test and always wanted to do it over. IF they did take the test again, they probably would have done better.  Why?  Because after the test I had shown them how they scored Therefore, they learned how to score better the next time.

A Torrance retest would be a perfect example of learning, but could I use the results to test creativity? I’m not sure.  The example showed that creativity is a skill can be developed. So, what about the kids who scored high on the original test?  Was that inborn talent or had they had opportunities to develop their creativity prior to testing?  Perhaps they had experiences that gave them the confidence to try different challenges where there was no right or wrong answers.

Bottom line is that parents can foster creativity in their kids.  Fostering a child’s creativity through art and music is a common idea.  However, creativity and problem solving can be seen in all areas.

### 10 Ways to Promote Creativity in Children

• Give kids lots of unstructured playtime to let their imaginations be unlimited.
• Provide resources to let them explore. (Ex. paper, pencils, boxes, old clothes for dress up, straws, newspapers, blocks, Legos) Let them look around and find things to use.
• Give them flexibility to make choices and think of solutions.
• Help them learn words associated with creativity by asking questions. Ex. What would happen if? What could you do with that?  Any ideas that might be possibilities? Let’s think of possible solutions.
• Applaud their creativity! Remembering that there is no right or wrong.  Allowing kids to express themselves with acknowledgement helps to build confidence to try new things.
• Allow them to make rules to a game. They’ll experience whether they work or not. When they don’t let them change them again.  Problem solving at its best
• The focus of creative activities should be on process: generating (vs. evaluating) new ideas.
• Remind them it’s ok to make mistakes. You don’t want them to be afraid of failure. Adults make mistakes too!
• Encourage divergent (different) thinking. I used to challenge all my first-grade classes to find 100 ways to melt a snowball. It was a struggle, but they always did it.  Wow, those kids were creative!
• Show kids creative ideas. In other words, something that will trigger “out of the box thinking”.

The photo attached to this post was taken by my husband on a golf outing.  He thought it was unique and knew I would share it with some of my grandkids. But he didn’t know that I would use it as the focus photo of a post on creativity!  Who would ever thinking of carving and painting  a scene on a tree?  So, maybe, you won’t paint on the next tree you see, but I bet you’ll think of this photo the next time you see an entwined tree trunk.  Now, you’re being creative.

Thanks to Griffon Ramsey, for the creative inspiration from “Bad Day on the SS Normandie” (2017)

One of the groups that I  volunteer with is the Poughkeepsie branch of  the American Association of University Women (AAUW).  One of our recent projects was to create a brochure about the importance of reading to babies. I’m happy to announce that the finished product, in both Spanish and English, is now available throughout Dutchess County in libraries and pediatrician offices.  Thank you to the graphic designer, the translator and the Poughkeepsie Library System for all their efforts to complete the project.  The information below is included in the brochure.  Enjoy!

While every child develops at his/her own rate, these are general guidelines.

Birth to 3 months

• Looks at the pictures but might noy want to touch the books
• Prefers a book with high-contrast colors and patterned designs

4-6 months

• Explores books by putting them in their mouth
• May coo or babble at you when you read

6-12 months

• Pays with books like toys
• Can help turn the pages
• Babbles at pictures

12-18 months

• Holds or carries books
• Looks at books independently
• Uses index finger to point at the illustrations

18-24 months

• Says some of the words and phrases in familiar books.
• Wants to have a story read over and over.

• Nursery rhymes are short and fun to read with babies. Additional rhymes are easily found online.
• Keep it short. Infants have short attention spans so read for 10-15 minutes, once or twice e a day.
• Sing to your baby, songs of your childhood. Be creative. Take well-known tunes and put in your own words to match your activity.
• Talk to you baby to help build social skills.
• Repeat, repeat, repeat. Reading the same story over and over helps your baby learn what he/she should laugh and get excited by the changes in your voice.

### When Choosing Books for Your Baby

• Look for books that include things to touch and flaps to lift
• Search for boos that include illustrations of photos of other babies
• Choose books that YOU like since you will most likely be reading them over and over.
• For the youngest babies, look for simple pictures in black and white.
• Try sturdy board books when babies start to grab the books
• Read books with rhythm, rhyme, and repetition.
• Visit your local library. You’ll find many great books and programs.
• Enjoy these special moments with your child!

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One of the groups that I  volunteer with is the Poughkeepsie branch of  the American Association of University Women (AAUW).  One of our recent projects was to create a brochure about the importance of reading to babies. I’m happy to announce that the finished product, in both Spanish and English, is now available throughout Dutchess County in libraries and pediatrician offices.  Thank you to the graphic designer, the translator and the Poughkeepsie Library System for all their efforts to complete the project.  The information below is included in the brochure.  Enjoy!

Reading aloud to children from an early age is the best way to raise a child who enjoys reading and does well in school. Therefore, why not start with reading to babies!

Why Reading to Babies is Important

• Your baby’s brain triples in size by age 3. The brain develops as your baby interacts with the world and learns new things.
• Reading aloud exposes babies to the sounds of human speech and lays a foundation for learning to read.
• By age two, children know between 300-500 words. Children who are spoken to and read frequently have larger vocabularies and develop into better readers. Therefore, let the talk begin!
• Communication with your baby helps to make sense of the environment. Whether its smiling, laughing or talking, your baby is starting to realize the value of communication
• As your baby’s first teacher, you can help nurture a language-rich environment.

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## Student Teacher Characteristics

Becoming an Effective Student Teachers Is Up to You!

Recently I received an email from a former student teacher asking for advice on her upcoming student teaching placement.  She was so excited to embark on this new adventure and wanted to do a good job. Her excitement and willingness to learn was evident in the note, both great characteristics to have when starting student teaching. We met the next day for coffee and I ran through a somewhat shortened list of observable characteristics of effective student teachers. Our conversation motivated me to put together a more cohesive, organized list to help other student teachers. The list has no hierarchy of importance since I believe they are ALL important to a successful student teaching experience.

# 5 Most Common Characteristics of Effective Student Teachers in the Classroom

1. Ask questions. Time is a precious commodity in a classroom so be prepared to ask questions when a moment arises. Prepare your questions ahead of time and be sure to write down the answers. Remember  you have a lot to learn and only a short time to student teach. Your Cooperating Teacher (CT) will understand if you are full of questions!
2. Be prepared.  Better yet, over prepared and be ready to CHANGE. If anything is constant in school, it is CHANGE.  Student performance, schedule changes, assemblies you name it, there will be changes.  Even if flexibility has not been easy in the past, it is a necessity in the teaching world. The best solution is to have a back-up plan and  be ready to think on your feet.
3. Help without being asked. Offer to be helpful when you see something that can be done. Your CT has probably been running solo for a long time and may forget to ask you for help. There is always a list of things to get done in a classroom. Your CT may be aware of them but have ranked them low on the priority list. If you find yourself with nothing to do, look around and seize the opportunity.  Of course, check with your CT first. Helping in this way can make a big difference in strengthening the relationship with your CT.
4. Take notes and photos. There is so much to see and learn in a school. You may be unsure of what is important and useful, so take it all in now.  When reviewing later, tag items for future use.  A general rule of thumb is to NOT photograph students. Talk to your CT about school policy on this issue.
5. Show Their JOY! Let’s face it, everyone knows if a teacher enjoys their job. Be enthusiastic and don’t forget to smile.  Don’t hide the JOY!

## 5 More Characteristics That Didn’t Make the Top 5 BUT Are Important Too!

1. Visit other classrooms. Each teacher is different, and you will learn something new in every classroom. It is best to work with your CT to arrange visitations. Some teachers may be hesitant to open their doors for a variety of reasons. It is important that the teacher you are visiting is  comfortable with your observing.
2. Share knowledge. Student teachers very often have been exposed to recent research that may be helpful to your CT. Don’t be shy to share a recent article, or new technology that you may have learned.  Student teachers can be an excellent source of professional development in a school.  Collaboration is a major focus in schools today.
4. Welcome input. Accepting that student teaching is a learning experience will make feedback easier. Welcoming feedback as an opportunity for growth which will better prepare you for future formal observations.
5. They are “Worker Bees”. Worker Bees Live in Schools.  As a lifelong member of the hive, I know it would be be hard to find a great teacher that wasn’t busy, busy, busy.  Show your CT that you are willing to do extra work outside the scheduled day.

### Prior to the Big Day!

• Clean up social media – We all use it and therefore anyone can see it. Be sure to clean up any social media items that may appear to be unprofessional in nature.  When in doubt on an item, check with your CT.
• Dress appropriately. In other words, dress professionally. Always consider yourself on a long-term job interview and always look your best.  Your wardrobe does not have to be fashionable or expensive to be professional.  It doesn’t matter how the teachers around you dress, they’re employed!
• Punctuality is Important. Your great planning will go unnoticed if you are not punctual. Rushing around can be interpreted as unprepared.  Plan to arrive each day 15 -30 minutes early. Talk with your CT on the expectations of  your schedule.
• Silence the phone. We all know that our phones are our lifeline to the world. However, they should  NOT  be part of student teaching. My best advice is to manage your phone at a time that you are NOT with students.  Being present with your students is much more than just being in the classroom.  Send your students the message that being with them is important and you’re not going to be interrupted by your phone.

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Student Teacher Refs: Are VIP

## 5 Parts of Reading: Completes the Puzzle

So good news.  If you are reading this blog, you have been taught to read.  However, how did you learn to read?  What are the main parts when teaching reading? I’ll give you a hint… there are 5 parts of reading.

I asked that question to a few non-teaching friends recently.  They all responded comprehension, and with some additional prodding, they added vocabulary. Both are correct!  Now, what are the other 3? For anyone helping kids learn to read it is important to know that it takes all 5 ingredients working together for kids to become successful readers. Adding to comprehension and vocabulary are fluency and phonological  and phonemic awareness.  Often, students that have difficulty with reading comprehension have difficulty in 1 or more of the other reading components.

Comprehension is what most people think reading is. It is creating a meaning out of a group of individual words.  Reading comprehension is the most complex aspect of reading.  It includes the other 4 components and requires the reader to think about what they are reading and make connections with their personal knowledge.

Vocabulary is needed for kids to read books.  As they become stronger readers, they will tackle more difficult readings with new vocabulary words.  When reading with a child ask them to try to figure out a new word by the context clues (hints) in the text.  They can look at other words in the sentence, the main idea of the story, or the pictures in the story to provide hints to identify the new word.  Like vocabulary, reading comprehension skills develop and improve over time through practice.

Fluency is a reader’s ability to read with speed, accuracy and expression. It is important for reading comprehension because it frees up working memory in the brain to spend time comprehending what they are reading. Reading books slightly below your child’s reading level will help build confidence and therefore, increase fluency.

Phonemic Awareness is recognizing parts of words. To see that a word has a beginning, middle and end and makes a new word if you add an ending such as /s/.  Phonemic awareness is also blending the parts of words together to make a full word. For example: /h/ and /at/ to form hat.  Phonemic awareness also recognizes specific sounds and location in a word.  For example: knowing what the first sound in the word “ball”.

Phonological awareness is the connection between sounds and letter symbols.  These sound/symbol connections create words. Children need to understand the connection between the individual sounds that each letter makes and how putting the letters together to create a word to understand. Nursery rhymes are great resources to help develop both phonological and phonemic awareness skills.

# Top 5 things for parents to do to help their child read

2. Reread books to expose kids to same words to build fluency.
4. Use different vocabulary words in conversations with your child (age dependent)

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## Speech Language Pathologists

As a building principal for many years, I had the pleasure of working with many classroom teachers and special area teachers.  There was not a day that went by that I didn’t learn something from one of them!  One group of teachers that I found to be an amazing source of information was the Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs). Our SLPs were exceptionally helpful in our school’s Response to Intervention (RTI) process.  As part of our RTI process, they worked to find different ways to include language interventions to strengthen student skills.  Collaborating with classroom teachers they were able to explain a child’s limitations based on testing and suggested interventions.  Partnering with parents they explained test scores, program   recommendations and shared progress reports.

Thank you, Holly and Connie!

The 2 sites below are good resources to support teachers, parents and caregivers looking for information on any speech concerns.  Both are active sites with the Main Page having multiple links and search engines to ask specific questions.

American Speech Language Hearing Association

National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDC)

## Early Learning Newsletter: U.S. Dept. of Ed.

Early Learning Newsletter from the U. S. Department of Education is great resource.  Find the latest information about ED’s work in supporting our nation’s youngest learners. Join the Early Learning Newsletter mailing list to receive regular ED early learning updates and the monthly early learning newsletter.  Early Learning Newsletter

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## Use Your Words Daniel Tiger

“Use Your Words”: Learning Kit with Daniel Tiger

The technique “use your words” encourages children to talk about their feelings. Being able to use words to describe what they are feeling gives children power over their feelings. Giving words to feelings can make them become a lot less overwhelming or upsetting or scary. The Use Your Words Learning Kit with Daniel Tiger is a FREE resource has many tips for parents and teachers for helping children learn to use their words to express how they are feeling. Great resource that kids will love!

Use Your Words: Learning Kit with Daniel Tiger

3 Words to Help Expression

## Every Kid Needs A Champion

I saw the video “Every Kid Needs A Champion” a few years back at an ASCD conference in Texas.  I don’t know exactly what touched me about it, but it gave me “the goosebumps”.  You know what I’m talking about.  The goosebumps you get on your arms when you really “get” it.

Take a few minutes and sit back with a cup of coffee to watch this video.   Then think about the question below of how you feel after watching it. Whatever answer you choose, it validates your choice to become a teacher. What you DO makes a difference in a child’s life.  Thank you for what you do.

Rita Pierson: Ted Talks Education: Every Kid Needs a Champion

How do you feel after watching this video?

1. Honored to be a teacher
2. Thankful to be a teacher
3. Inspired to keep teaching
4. All the above

Children remind us to pay attention to the details and the magical moments. They encourage us to sing “Let It Go” for the 100th time. (with hand movements, of course). Children’s enthusiasm is contagious and that’s why we teach. How can we keep that joy alive in our teaching?

It’s because we are champions.

## Change Happens… Now What?

I’ve used the video below many times in Teacher Professional Development workshops when we try to understand the many changes occurring in education today. Sometimes the video helps to focus a group to understand the need for changes.  Other times it helps to support a group challenged to change and looking for meaningful and sustainable pathways.  Overall, a good visual to illustrate how our world has changed and a glimpse into the future.  At the very least it’s a 5 minute history lesson.

I had this video embedded in a recent Keynote speech,  only to find out that the Internet was not working.  (Don’t you just love technology!) So, here you go Astor Friends!  I will also be posting the Champion Speech.   You all deserve it!

Did You Know (Shift Happens  – 2018 Remix

## Minute-Mysteries: October

Minute-Mysteries are stories that can be solved with close examination of the clues in the story.

Emily and Connall were playing checkers at GG’s house. They played 5   games.  Each of them won the same number of games and there weren’t any ties.  How could this happen?

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was the youngest person elected to the presidency.  However, he was the second youngest man to hold the office? How could this be?

On Monday, the teacher asked Teaghan how old she would be on her next birthday.  She answered that in two years she would be twice as old as she was five years ago.  How old is Teaghan today?

A photographer went for a walk in the woods to take pictures of nature.  That was the last time anyone saw her alive.  Three days later she was found dead in the woods.  The story says that she died because of a pack on her back.  What was so deadly about the pack?

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Mysteries to support critical thinking

1. How many kids were playing checkers?
2. Are presidents always elected?
3. Use a chart or a table as your problem solving strategy.
4. Is there anything else special about the phrase  “pack on her back” other than it rhymes?

1. Emily and Connall were both playing checkers but they were not playing each other.
2. When President McKinley was assassinated, Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt became president..  At that time he was only 42.  President Kennedy was 43.
3. Teaghan is 12
4. The pack that was on the photographer was a “pack” of wolves.

## 3-Words to Help Expression

Teaching young children to use their words is a well-known educational tool.  These 3-words are meant to help kids express their feelings to lessen frustration. Parents and teachers can give children exact words to teach them how to manage new situations.

Kids, parents and grandparents get frustrated when you don’t understand.  However, with kids, their emotions can be heightened, and they can’t tell you what the problem is.  We must teach them to express themselves.  That means giving them direction and model how to express themselves.

3 Strategies to Help Kids Use Their 3-Words

1. Give kids “feelings” words to use and help them know “what” they are feeling.
2. Role-play so they can practice how to use their words in different situations.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice since all situations are not the same.

Finally, I caution you to be careful of what you ask for.  You may be surprised to find your child sharing with you their honest opinion.  I was told recently, by one of my grandkids, that he “sometimes thought I was mean”.  Honestly, I was shocked and felt badly. However, I stepped back and realized that he was expressing his thoughts on my decision not to let him play with a toy. I acknowledged his feelings and once again explained my reasons for saying “No” to his request.  I hope he understood my reasoning but realize that may not be the case. In the end, I was happy he had learned to use his words, but I still felt a little badly.

A great primer on language and toddlers.  Gives short background on the importance of language and its role in reading. It also includes some brain research information to support the concepts.

## Add Effective Questioning to Toolkit

“Bloomin” Questioning: The Basics

My knowledge of questioning was limited prior to being hired as a teacher of Talented and Gifted students. I vaguely remember hearing something about Bloom’s Taxonomy.  But honestly, it didn’t sound important to me at the time.  My new position put it front and center of my teaching. However, I was WRONG not to have used it in my prior placements. Good questioning should be in every teacher’s toolbox and used often in both instruction and assessment.  It is a great addition to a parents’ toolbox as well.

Most questions are used to ask students to recall and check for understanding.  For deeper understanding, we should ask children to apply their knowledge. Often my students could recall the information but could not explain their answers.  Most of today’s testing requires students to explain their answers and gives partial credit to validate thinking.

This is an excellent topic for discussion.  Therefore, look for future blogs on effective questioning for different age students that will include questioning stems to help in the classroom.

Remember: Being able to recall or recognize ideas and information.

Understand:  Understanding the main idea of new information and being able to summarize.

Apply:  Applying an idea to solve a problem.

Analyze: Breaking down an idea into parts to help understanding.

Evaluate: Using reasons to support your idea.

Create:  Create a new idea using new information.

Highly-abled students need attention too!

## Magazines: 2 Free for Educators

Sometimes you just need a magazine with short, easy to read articles on education topics.  A resource to share with your colleagues over lunch.  A resource that gives ideas to immediately use in your classroom. Two resources that you may want to try are Edutopia and District Administrator.

Edutopia is a magazine that celebrates and encourages innovation in K-12  schools.  The George Lucas Educational Foundation publishes this resource for educators.  Sign-up on the website is easy.  Only available through digital subscription.  Get great resources sent to your mailbox each week.     https://www.edutopia.org/

District Administration (DA)  The most widely received and most regularly read publication for school district leaders nationwide. It is available in print and digital formats. If you are a K-12 district leader you may qualify for a free subscription to the DA print magazine.  A digital edition is available on line for free.   https://www.districtadministration.com/