Blogs on Upper Elementary (3-5)

Blogs on Upper Elementary (3-5)RSS
Cindy BryantDecember 3, 2013

For many years, intelligence was thought to be static (fixed) and could not be altered. Informal research has shown this to be particularly true when it comes to students thinking about their mathematics intelligence. But with the advent of advanced technology and cognitive labs, psychologists and neuroscientists have found that aspects of intelligence -- and even intelligence itself -- can be altered through training and experiences.

Read More
Andrew MarcinekNovember 26, 2013

I've written and taught about digital citizenship for several years. And, while the term is new in our lexicon, the meaning spans generations. The simple acts of carrying oneself in a civil, appropriate manner are skillsets that have been integrated into every classroom since the very first school. Many would argue that digital citizenship is simply a buzzword and nothing dramatically new. While the underlying meaning is familiar, the medium by which adults and students interact has changed dramatically.

Read More
Anne-Lise HalvorsenNovember 21, 2013

As an assistant professor in the College of Education at Michigan State University (MSU), I have spent the past six years working with a team of faculty members and doctoral students, and coordinated and taught the senior year and internship year courses of elementary social studies methods. I am also a field instructor. Year after year, we find that pre-service teachers, particularly those specializing in the lower elementary grades, rarely observe social studies instruction in their field placements. In cases where they do have this opportunity, the instruction is often rushed or superficial, reflecting a national trend wherein elementary social studies are marginalized. One response we offer to this problem is a lesson study assignment during the internship year.

Read More
Judy Willis MDNovember 19, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

For many students, the brain isn't a hot topic of conversation. This is especially true for younger students who are still trying to understand the world around them, and are still far from developing physiological self-awareness of the very thing that gives them that self-awareness.

But helping students develop "brain literacy" doesn't have to be a matter of dry science pumped full of confusing jargon. Understanding the brain can be empowering for students as they recognize their ability to strengthen it each time they use it. As a teacher, you can emphasize how using the executive functions, both in the classroom and outside of school, increases their strength for academic success. Practice makes perfect!

Read More
Lori DesautelsNovember 18, 2013

Driving my 15-year-old daughter home from cross country, I asked her where she learned to study. She replied, "Mom, I have never been taught how to study, we just do it because teachers have way too much to teach! They assume we know, and Cornell Notes are their idea of teaching us how to study!" I thought about this conversation and began to create a template that can hopefully assist students to organize, plan and create capacity in their working memories to learn content for the long term.

Read More
Monica BurnsNovember 15, 2013

For families traveling this winter or teachers simply looking for an alternative to tablet games, there are lots of great apps for winter reading. Android devices, iPhones and iPads can be turned into ebook readers with a quick tap or swipe. Portable and kid-friendly, these interactive storybooks will support and engage young readers.

Read More
Rafe EsquithNovember 11, 2013

Editor's Note: This post is an excerpt from Real Talk for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith. Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. © Rafe Esquith and Barbara Tong, 2013.

The special activity that has kept me engaged for three decades is the annual production of a Shakespeare play. It did not start out this way. Many good ideas evolve slowly, taking shape over many years and constantly getting better. The backstory of our productions might give you a notion of how your special idea might take shape and become a unique force in the life of your students.

Read More
Lisa MimsNovember 6, 2013

As they enter the room, I wave the big yellow envelope in the air. They know what it is, and the room comes alive with excitement. They can barely wait until I open the envelope and pass out the contents. Their pen pal letters have arrived!

Read More
Lessia BonnOctober 31, 2013

For almost a decade, I served as music teacher, songwriter and informal counselor to a crew of songbirds in Santa Barbara known as "Lessia's Crew." My warm-hearted pop choir -- made up of tweens and teens, all shapes and sizes -- gathered at my studio every Sunday morning. It was always fun – indeed, it was heavenly. Every voice mattered, mistakes were deliberate, and the music was exceptional.

Read More
Troy HicksOctober 29, 2013

As a writer, I know firsthand how important it is for me to share what I've written and receive feedback on my work. And as a teacher of writing -- from my initial experience in the middle school classroom up to my current work as a teacher educator at Central Michigan University and director of our Chippewa River Writing Project -- I want my students to experience this, too. It is with this understanding in mind that I teach my methods course, ENG 315: Writing in the Elementary and Middle School.

Read More