Blogs on Primary (K-2)

Blogs on Primary (K-2)RSS
Scott McFarlandApril 5, 2013

With all of the high-stakes testing in our schools, and the resulting judgments and consequences for students and teachers, it is no wonder that schools are taking time away from activities like recess, breaks, art, music... to spend more time on academics. Yet I believe, based on what I have seen in schools, that we should move in the opposite direction, and take time out of academics in the early elementary years to focus on making students feel safe, secure, and confident in the classroom, in other words making them ripe for learning.

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The most recent video releases in the A Year at Mission Hill series have generated lots of attention; in part because of the controversial topics of full-inclusion classrooms and how to get students engaged in the curriculum. If you're new to the series, start with Mark Phillips' blog post about the ongoing documentary project, and you can see chapters two and three in this post. New videos are released every two weeks, and the series website offers theme-based resources of all kinds to sync up with the topic in each. I'm pleased to share chapters four and five here.

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Randy TaranMarch 12, 2013

In this nine-part series, we will look at important factors that influence the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children. These are very useful in helping students learn, manage emotions better and increase empathy. Each blog features one letter of the acronym HAPPINESS:

  1. H = Happiness
  2. A = Appreciation
  3. P = Passions and Strengths
  4. P = Perspective
  5. I = Inner Meanie/Inner Friend
  6. N = Ninja Mastery
  7. E = Empathy
  8. S = So Similar
  9. S = Share Your Gifts

In this post, we will explore Ninja Mastery, a.k.a. learning emotional management.

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Karen LeaMarch 7, 2013

As a new teacher, you are probably being asked how your learning objectives are linked to standards. You might even be asked to display your objectives and/or standards for each lesson. On top of taking attendance, learning student names, classroom management . . . are you wondering how you will accomplish that? Don't despair, this is not as daunting as it seems!

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You may have read Mark Phillips' blog post about the ongoing documentary project A Year at Mission Hill. A month after the launch of the video series, the buzz has only grown. With a fantastic and artful Prezi about the series, new videos released every two weeks, and resources tailored to each episode from orgs around the world including Ashoka's Start Empathy project, What Kids Can Do, Responsive Classroom, Learning Matters, and more, this is shaping up to be a new kind of Web resource for those interested in education reform on a grassroots level. I'm excited to share episodes two and three here.

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Mark PhillipsJanuary 31, 2013

Every once in awhile I visit a school that reminds me of what public education can be at its best, a place where I'd like to be, as a child or a teacher, a place that elicits the best in me as an educator. And so it was with my recent introduction to the world of the Mission Hill School, a Boston area public pilot school, as captured by the filmmaking team of Tom and Amy Valens.

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Randy TaranJanuary 29, 2013

In this nine-part series, we will look at important factors that influence the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children. These are very useful in helping students learn, manage emotions better and increase empathy. Each blog features one letter of the acronym HAPPINESS:

  1. H = Happiness
  2. A = Appreciation
  3. P = Passions and Strengths
  4. P = Perspective
  5. I = Inner Meanie/Inner Friend
  6. N = Ninja Mastery
  7. E = Empathy
  8. S = So Similar
  9. S = Share Your Gifts

In this post, we’ll explore the Inner Negative Meanie, the Inner Positive Friend and the choices that every student has.

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Randy TaranJanuary 8, 2013

In this nine-part series, we will look at important factors that influence the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children. These are very useful in helping students learn, manage emotions better and increase empathy. Each blog features one letter of the acronym HAPPINESS:

  1. H = Happiness
  2. A = Appreciation
  3. P = Passions and Strengths
  4. P = Perspective
  5. I = Inner Meanie/Inner Friend
  6. N = Ninja Mastery
  7. E = Empathy
  8. S = So Similar
  9. S = Share Your Gifts

In this post, we’ll explore perspective.

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Erika BurtonJanuary 8, 2013

Parent involvement is the number one predictor of early literacy success and future academic achievement. However, according to a 2007 report by National Endowment for the Arts, there are more literate people in the United States who don't read than those who are actually illiterate. How do we change that pattern for the future of our children?

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Douglas RushkoffJanuary 4, 2013

When I was a kid, the main reason my mom limited our television time was x-rays. Back in 1968, when I was seven years old, the same age my daughter is now, a big study on radioactive emissions from cathode ray tubes had just come out, and so our new color Philco had become the enemy. My brother and I had to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas and the NY Jets win the Super Bowl from 15 feet away, in the corner of the room diagonally opposite from the set.

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