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Top 5 Reasons I Love My Students

By Karen Salsbury   Let’s face it, some days we need a reminder.  It can get really hard during the long winter months to remember why we began teaching in the first place and why we actually like our students…let alone love them.  When we take a moment to reflect on these reasons, we start to see the good in our kiddos.  This makes us a better teacher and motivates us to come up with the best learning strategies ever.  So Read More...

8 Great Strategies for Teaching Your Students to Think Critically

Teaching students to think critically can be quite challenging at times.  Some days getting them to think at all can tax our patience.  It's not insurmountable, though if you have the right tools in your box.  Below are listed a few best practices for teaching critical thinking. 1. Don’t be so quick to help This is one of the hardest things for teachers because we are natural helpers. Students many times do not read what you give them. Instead they immediately Read More...

Stop Reading PDFS: PDFs Can Read to YOU!

By Erik Bean Adobe PDF files abound and for most active business professionals, community minded people, and for much of Americana, not a day goes by when one of these documents fly in and out of our busy computer hands. But for most of us, we would rather use our hands for other tasks, such as getting our office work done, keeping up with house chores, not to mention poor tired eyes, that can’t wait to catch forty winks. There Read More...

Top 9 Strategies to Reach & Teach the iGeneration

Kids today are a lot different learners than they were even 5 years ago.  These kids have known technology from as young as 6 months to 3 years old.  This is the iGeneration, and we teachers have got to recognize this and accept it. The old days of direct instruction leading to practice sheets just won’t cut it with these kids.  They learn differently than their older siblings even.  They don’t understand why they would need to visit a library Read More...

13 Must-do’s to get You & Your Classroom Ready for Back-to-School

By Karen Salsbury, M.S.Ed/Rdg   BE PREPARED!  The key to starting out on a positive note!  It’s much easier to start the school year on a positive note than to find yourself months into the year and trying to get your systems set up and dealing with students who are disconnected and confused.  Students need to know where and how things get done, or you will find yourself “pulling your hair out.”  Listed below are 13 must-dos to help you get Read More...

Top 7 Procedures for Annotating (Great for all Subjects!) Close Reading at its best

by Karen Salsbury, M.S. Ed/Reading Close reading is huge!  We’ve always had this in education, but not defined it as the Common Core has done.  The major success in a close reading strategy is learning how to annotate properly. Many students today are borderline illiterate and lacking in critical thinking skills given the amount of “watching” versus the amount of “reading” done in today’s society.  Before the Internet, students had to research and read from printed text, now they can find Read More...

Students Can be Mean, But You Can Turn Them Into Nice

By Karen Salsbury, M.S.Ed/Reading 5 Steps You Can Take to Turn the Negative Into Positive in Your Classroom                 “Please stop talking.  Eyes up here so you can understand the lesson for today.”  Do you find yourself repeating this many times throughout the course of your mini-lesson?  One of the students comes off with a class-clown comment and many students jump in and respond and before you know if, you’ve lost many of the students.  It’s maddening and disheartening!  But what Read More...

Advantages of Cloud Storage for Teachers

Storing your work in the cloud is an ever-growing strategy. Teachers at every educational level enjoy the convenience and flexibility of cloud storage.   Cloud storage is still an infant in the technology world, and it’s evolving as we speak.  Top chip manufacturer, Intel, now trumpets the hybrid cloud as a cutting edge tool. There are three types of cloud storage at the moment: Public, private, and hybrid. Types of Clouds Public cloud storage was the first incarnation of the cloud. Advantages Read More...

Why Were Science and Social Studies Excluded from Common Core Standards?

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have come under fire from education experts around the US. The primary issue appears to be, not what is included in the CCSS, but what has been left out. Some of the additional criticism centers on the often ‘heavy-handed’ way the federal government has handled standards implementation. Many state educators believe the federal government, once again, has usurped control from the states to further a controversial policy. Born of the perceived failure of the No Read More...

Comparing Education Systems Over 3 Decades

What's changed in 30 years in our school systems and classrooms? The US education system has changed dramatically since the 1980s, not totally for the better. While most learning techniques have become more effective, some of the “personal touch” of many teachers has become too dependent on technology. Most educational developments have been positive. For example, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (1975), officially, Public Law 94-142, has been a beacon for meeting the needs of infants, toddlers, children, Read More...