Got a SMART Board®? Give it a big hug.

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Web_Reynolds_Simple Steps to SMART Success-blog1Teachers today have many tools in their tool kits. Best teaching practices. Behavior management savvy. Patience. Passion. An innovative spirit. (Did we mention patience?)

Chances are, the SMART Board is also one of those tools. But having a SMART Board in your classroom and knowing how to maximize it are two different things!

How about you? Are you using the full range of SMART Board features? Are you creating engaging and customized lessons that blend video, text, and graphics? Are you using the SMART Board to dive deeper into content? Make lessons accessible to all? Simplify clerical tasks? Liven up center time? Add spark to your calendar routine?

You know you’re a SMART Board pro when …

You are open to trying new things. (What’s the last Continue reading

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8 Terrific Reasons to Teach with Children’s Literature—in Every Subject Area

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Web_Reynolds_What's Hot in Childrens Lit-blog1Wouldn’t it be great if you could wave a magic wand and turn every student into a lifelong reader? Unfortunately, there is no one approach or program that will get every child to read and enjoy it. However, if you provide children with fun opportunities to interact with engaging, meaningful, and fun children’s literature in all subject areas, the chances they will get hooked will skyrocket.

What exactly is “children’s literature?” That’s easy. It’s any literature that’s enjoyed by children! More specifically, it is literature written and published for young people who are not ready for “adult literature” or who may not yet have developed the reading skills and understanding it requires.

Teaching with children’s literature is becoming Continue reading

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Building Literacy Skills: If You Don’t, Who Will?

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Web_McKnight_Developing Literacy Skills-blog1Do you have students in grades 6–12 who rarely read for fun? Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone.

According to the nonprofit Common Sense Media, there has been a clear decline over time in the number of students who do.  Nearly half of 17-year-olds say they read for pleasure no more than one or two times a year—if that.

The results are disheartening and frustrating. But not all that surprising.

You’d think with all the content available these days to teens via digital forms, they would be reading more. But we strongly suspect Continue reading

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Eliminating Fraction Frustration

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Web_Stipek_Success with Fractions_blog1The concept of fractions is one of a student’s earliest experiences with math beyond the basic skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. And what an important experience it is! Fractions are the building blocks for all other math skills. A successful experience with fractions will speed a child along his or her math journey.

If you need any reminder of just how important fractions are to a child’s future success, consider these facts:

  • • National tests show nearly half of all eighth graders aren’t able to put three fractions in order by size.
  • • A child’s knowledge of fractions in fifth grade predicts performance in high-school math classes, according to a 2012 study by a Carnegie Mellon University professor.
  • • Trouble with fractions is one of the most common reasons Continue reading
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Teacher, I Have to Get a Wiggle On!

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Web_Samulski_ADHD & Sensory Interventions-blog1There’s one (or more) in every classroom. The child who doesn’t pay attention, is disorganized, can’t stop fidgeting no many how times you tell her, is forgetful, has to touch or bump into other students, talks too much, and disrupts your classroom over and over again. In the past, this would have been labeled a “problem child.” But today, we know a lot more about behavior like this. Chances are, it’s not just “kids being kids,” but ADHD or sensory processing disorder.

How can you support and accommodate these children so they can succeed in your classroom? With proactive, carefully thought out interventions that Continue reading

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