Back to Betty’s original questions about choosing and supervising games. In first and second grades we usually let the students take turns choosing the games. We will often specify if it should be an indoor or outdoor game. However, I’ve noticed that the game repertoire has shrunk over the years. Second graders are picking games that they learned…[Read more]
A few years back I read a small article about a sign on the front door of an elite private boys school. The sign said something like this, “Stop! If you are a parent bringing forgotten homework, books, or lunches for your child, please turn around and go home.” It caused me to reflect on the times we’ve allowed students to call home to ask a…[Read more]
We want to revive and revise our student teaching elective for high school students. In the past we gave our student teachers a class and a subject to teach and they were responsible to see that it happened. What had started out well became more of a problem than a help and so the elective was dropped for several years. Now we want to bring it…[Read more]
It has been interesting to me as I observed over the years. By now I often know that certain families will come with everything marked and correct and certain other families won’t, even if the instructions have been highlighted, bolded, and underlined. I require a gallon size zip lock bag to store unused supplies for each student and usually need…[Read more]
Dodge ball is another favorite for inside games (we have a nice gym we can play it in). And, dodge ball is a game with a myriad ways of playing.
Our favorite way:
The players are divided into two teams. They like to use as many kick balls as they can get their hands on–usually between six to ten (but we have a large area and often as many as 25…[Read more]
Betty, the basic idea is to not guard the jugs too closely. We have a loose idea that the front part of the playing area (closest to the center line) for each team is where the players for that team should be unless they are chasing or guarding an opposing player. Players are not to “hang-out” in the back part of their playing area. It is a…[Read more]
A favorite game among lower elementary students and teachers is Jug-A-Lug. It is easy to explain and easy for younger children to understand. One game can take up the whole recess which has helped eliminate unhealthy competition (the kind that fosters either bragging or arguing). We play it in our gym or outside on the playground.
The rules are…[Read more]
Progress is slow to almost non-existent. However, we have new music teachers for this coming year and they have a few ideas up their sleeves.
The plan is to use the Master Theory Series (Neil A. Kjos) in high school. The incoming music teacher has used that in previous situations outside our school. So, it is new to us but not new to the…[Read more]
As for delegating real responsibilities – We have students responsible for cleaning chores. Every evening one students empties the mini trash cans (that sit on the class tables) into the larger classroom trash can. We have a pencil collector that that collects all the pencils at the end of the day so I can sharpen them (and yes, I sharpen them.…[Read more]
I really like this, Peter. I hope I can remember it in the midst of first and second grade recess dilemmas. I do not like to play referee in their petty, selfish squabbles but haven’t quite figured out how to get them to peacefully resolve the issue. It can often end up that the peace-making student just gives in. This calls them both to better…[Read more]
Does anyone use, or know of a curriculum that teaches decoding skills beyond the first grade level? It’s my experience that many second and third graders could use more systematic and controlled practice in this area but have not run across a curriculum that stressed this. There are certain sound combinations not typically taught in first grade…[Read more]
I’ve been pondering over the idea of paying more attention to procedures and lesson plans than room decorations. I very much agree with this idea. My walls and bulletin board are usually pretty empty on the first day of school and they get filled up as the days progress.
However, I would not want to cause any teacher to feel guilty for putting…[Read more]
I don’t teach this to first grade but here is how I remember which one is which. “There” has the word “here” in it. “There” and “here” both relate to places. “Their” has an “I” and both of these relate to people. I don’t know if that’s at all helpful. Sometimes I think the issue can also be whether or not the student understands the context of how…[Read more]
Does your school furnish all supplies (pencils, paper, crayons, glue, etc.) for the students or do you send out supply lists to each student before the school year starts? Or do students just bring what they think they may need? What are some of the supplies for various grades that you require? And what are some of the ones the school might wish…[Read more]
Thanks, Betty. This is pretty much how I feel also. But then I will read or hear something about fluency lists and question myself. I also grapple with the issue of word recognition. Just when does a student really know the words? I had a student last year who could read a passage fairly accurately if it was on a familiar subject but really…[Read more]
I stumbled into an organizational idea last year that went beyond my initial use. For extra flash card practice I used set partners for a week. This was getting rather humdrum (and chaotic) because certain students did not enjoy flashcards. As a way to spark their “want to” I wrote the partner groups on the board and attached two upside down…[Read more]
Which is better in building fluency among early readers (grades 1-3) – word lists or more practice with reading passages? What thoughts do some of you have on this matter? If you have an opinion in one direction or the other I’d like to hear it. Some teachers use word lists such as Victory Drill. Other resources claim practicing familiar passages…[Read more]
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