The last weeks of school are a tumultuous time of transition. Not all students look forward to summer vacation, and even ones who do are likely anxious about next year. For some students, next year brings a new school, not
As schools welcome more and more students back through their doors, we’re all trying to figure out the best way to do so. It seems as though there are two wildly different needs we must address. As I talk with
As educators, we all want our students to be motivated. Teachers and schools often pour immense amounts of energy into trying to motivate students, yet often it seems like the more we try, the less kids care. What’s going on?
Teacher language can be a great focus for a New Year’s resolution. After all, we all use language with students, and we all surely have some habits that could use some refinement. Often, some of our language habits don’t line
What if there was a learning strategy that boosted student engagement, had many (many!) academic benefits for students, and reduced teacher planning and correcting/grading time? Great news! There is–and it’s a tried and true strategy you have probably been using
After the abrupt ending to school last year, the hope and goal was to begin the 2020 – 2021 school year ready to thrive in whatever format teaching would occur. Many teachers were feeling more comfortable with remote teaching and
Last week I had the privilege of teaching two online workshops for teachers about getting ready for the upcoming school year. They were both so much fun! We played games that teachers can use with their students (either in person
“I’m on the edge of a breakdown. I’m pouring everything I have into my students, and it doesn’t seem to be enough. My principal keeps telling me I need to take care of myself, but she never gives me time
It might be the understatement of the summer that teachers, students, parents, and administrators are anxious about the upcoming school year. In addition to the priorities of health, safety, and equity of access to education in this COVID-19 period, distance
What might schools look like in the fall? We can learn from schools that have already welcomed children back to school. In the United States, many of us (teachers, parents, and students) are filled with anxiety about what the
This has been a spring that few of us anticipated. As we now look to the end of the year, many of us are aching for our favorite end-of-the-year moments—that final awesome read-aloud, the class gathering with families, the spring
A Conversation with Mike Anderson, Little Things First This is part 3 of a four-part series on how to support educators in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In this conversation with the Little Things First podcast hosts, Tracy
You’ve spent the whole year building a community of learners. You’ve established rules and routines to help learners manage themselves and work well with each other. Now, with schoolwork potentially moving offsite, you still want to support your students as
A school-based content coach wrote to me because her K-5 school is considering moving toward content specialization. This means that at each grade level, teachers would focus on specific content areas and kids would change classes throughout the day. She
A teacher recently reached out to me about PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports) and reward systems. It’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot as I work with teachers across the United States. I am in a district
A teacher recently wrote me an email asking for some advice about student motivation. She graciously agreed to let my answer morph into a blog post. I just finished listening to your ASCD webinar about language. I found your presentation thoughtful,
Are incentive systems used in your school? Do kids get handed tickets or fake money (to be spent at the school store) for walking quietly in hallways? Are gem and marble jars used to motivate kids to raise their hands
We know about the power of relationships. We’ve heard (and believe!) the old adage, “Kids don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” So how do we build and cultivate those all-important relationships…with some of our toughest
Tell a story that you would want your students to tell about your class at the end of the year. This compelling challenge was posed by Bena Kallick on a recent video interview I had with her and Allison Zmuda.
If you teach reading and/or writing, there’s a good chance that when introducing a new concept or skill, you begin your lesson by saying some variation of, “Good readers….” “Good readers pay attention to context clues.” “Good writers add
As the school year winds down, it can be hard for students (and teachers) to keep their positive energy high. With the end in sight, it can be hard to stay motivated to do work. With worries about the end
One of the most deeply held beliefs of many educators is that we should praise students—a lot. Many of us were taught, early on in our careers, that the more we praise our students, the better they’ll feel, and the
This quote is one of my favorites. If you’ve attended a professional development session with me, there’s a good chance I’ve shared this with you at some point. It so clearly articulates the importance of
Childhood anxiety is on the rise. According to research cited in a recent Washington Post article, the diagnosis of childhood anxiety in children ages 6-17 has jumped 20% in recent years.
Traditional praise (such as "Good job!" and "I love the way you're..." can do more harm than good. Read on to find out what to say instead!