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1st/2nd grade teacher

Zep, Thank you for the book

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Zep,
Thank you for the book recommendation - I have read some about the Free School in New York before and am intrigued by its philosophy and success.

My school is based on Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, with small class-sizes, integrated, thematic-based learning, and multi-age classrooms. Our students have a 5-acre rural campus with a wetlands to explore. My students have an hour of free play outside every day. We value student choice and individualized learning. While we are not as open as the Free School, we are far from a traditional school environment as well.

With that being said, it can still be challenging for children and I am always looking for ways to help them thrive at school. Have you found that you are able to incorporate ideas from the Free School into your own school?

Education Specialist

Jackie, as a colleague I

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Jackie, as a colleague I strongly encourage a read of Chris Mercogliano's text, Teaching the Restless: One School's Remarkable no-Ritalin Approach to Helping Children Learn and Succeed. Without drugging a single child he had excellent results, not with a miracle curriculum or strategy but rather through a unique perspective on what it means to be educated.

1st/2nd grade teacher

This year I have 5 students

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This year I have 5 students diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as first and second graders. I am pulling everything out of my tool box to help them learn how to be attentive and respectful, while really working to keep any 'sit time' short and engaging. It is a real balancing act!
I like the idea of this activity because I work with my students on reflecting and solving problems. This has students generating and adjusting strategies for focusing in a fun way. I am excited to give it a try!

Amazing, what I did before

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Amazing, what I did before reading in order to train the kids for better focus was something more like pressurizing them to remember the list which I just read out and recall, or recall the pictures which I showed on the ppt etc. This activity is very good, thank you.

co-founder I am Bullyproof Music

Kids who once could sit and

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Kids who once could sit and focus, just can't anymore. They now fidget from needing more and more stimulation. This brave new world is all over the map.
This is wonderful. Thank you! Will share all around my teacher universe.

I, too, believe that this is

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I, too, believe that this is a great idea and will help to improve my students academic skills greatly. I am implementing this for sure tomorrow.

As a student who often had

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As a student who often had trouble focusing, I find it to be extremely important to be able to help children be focused during instruction. I was a good student - I never got bored on purpose. As strange as that is to hear, it is true. I think that only those who have experienced similar feelings will be able to understand. Nevertheless, as teachers, we need to make it our job to get the students involved. I like the examples provided. Those are all great tools on getting students focused. I especially like ideas of using technology in classrooms. Kids nowadays are very intrigued by computers and other such devises. If they are able to use computers, they will be more focused on what they are doing. By finding great scholarly websites where students can learn while playing games, we will have hit jackpot.

Education Specialist

Its obvious that the article

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Its obvious that the article & comments are very well intentioned, however I question the assertion that kids must be taught focus & perseverance. Want proof? Head to any local playground and watch a toddler intently work on anything from building a sand castle, to learning to swing, and spend hours intently honing hem craft, then ask yourself, do our kids need to learn these skills or are our schools built on irrelevant courses that only tend to inspire middle class suburban guaranteed college bound kids? For the rest of us Trig, Shakespeare, Botany, & European History don't exactly excite the vast majority of us. The 19th century based grad requirements need to be at least left back in the 20th century as mandates.

Youth Motivational Speaker

With all the noise in the

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With all the noise in the world around them students do have to learn how to focus. We adults have to teach them and give them little wins to show them how focusing and be so beneficial in their life!

I think this is a great idea

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I think this is a great idea to help with following directions and help with listening skills.

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