Teaching Learning Leading K-12
Episode 27: Teaching Tip/ Learning the Kids’ Names

Episode 27: Teaching Tip/ Learning the Kids’ Names

July 13, 2014

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It is extremely important that the classroom teacher get to know and use the names of the kids. 

The children need to know that you know who they are. 

The better teacher has strategies for doing this as soon as possible. Whether it is the beginning of a new semester or school year, the better teacher takes time to learn and use the names of the kids.

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Today, instead of an interview...it’s just me talking about getting to know and use the names of the kids.

What ways do you have for learning and using the names of the kids? 

Please share them with me. I would love to hear your ideas about this.

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Take care.

Enjoy!

Here are the links to the works by Deborah Meier.

The Power of Their Ideas by Deborah Meier

In Schools We Trust by Deborah Meier

Length 22:53

Episode 24: Teaching First Grade with Tonya Hair

Episode 24: Teaching First Grade with Tonya Hair

June 11, 2014

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Mrs. Tonya Hair teaches first grade at Pulaski County Elementary School located in Hawkinsville, Georgia. This is her 11th year of teaching. Mrs. Hair grew up in Hawkinsville and is now a teacher at Pulaski County Elementary School where she attended as a child. She is working with some colleagues who were teachers when she was a student. How cool is that?!

Mrs. Hair has some amazing routines and practices. Her kids know them and it is obvious. They transition between activities and different locations in the classroom with no down time or disruption to the learning. I asked Mrs. Hair to explain how she is able to accomplish this.  She commented, “Practicing routines. If you set it up in the beginning then it is not that hard as the year goes on.” Tonya also noted, “Organization and planning are keys to being successful, as well as learning from your mistakes.”

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Tonya uses groups quite successfully. She says that she is looking to find the best fit for the child. She uses these groups to help her address the individual needs of her students.

As you listen to us talk teaching and learning you will hear us touch on…

·         reading and math stations

·         problem solving

·         showing numbers in different ways

·         starting class with an activity

·         formative assessments

·         charts that she uses to make notes on student progress (she uses this information to adjust her instruction)

·         using mini-white boards

·         engaging kids

·         organizational skills

Her favorite resource for her classes is her SMART board and if she could have anything for her classroom where money wasn't an option it would be a parapro and a set of laptops.

If she had a chance to give advice to 30 brand new elementary teachers she would tell them, “Always be prepared and forward thinking. Be flexible.”

At the very end you will hear Tonya express her thoughts about a teacher who made a difference in her life… She says that she was like… Wonder Woman.

Mrs. Hair has much to share!

Enjoy!

Length 31:24

Episode 23: Teaching Kindergarten with Jean Mixon

Episode 23: Teaching Kindergarten with Jean Mixon

May 29, 2014

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Jean Mixon has been teaching for 32 years all as a kindergarten teacher. She teaches at Pulaski County Elementary School in Hawkinsville, GA. This year she is retiring. She says that kindergarten has changed over the years. I hope that you will take time to listen and learn from her many nuggets of awesome teaching practices!

I had the pleasure of watching her work with her kids. As you listen, you will hear us talk about classroom management techniques like becoming consistent in what you do, developing procedures and routines, and practicing what you want the kids to do in class. Mrs. Mixon reflects, “We have to practice… The first two weeks in Kindergarten are so important…they are learning procedures and routines.” She also talks about the importance of using their names to connect... “You have to build that personal relationship.”

By the way, she has this very cool rug that helps her establish that consistency…I think that you will find that discussion very illuminating and also just cool.

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We also talk about instructional strategies and her use of formative assessment, modelling and getting the kids to doing.

She always is with kids… “Just part of good teaching, be right there with them…”

Her favorite resource is the SMART board!

She was fun to watch and is an amazing teacher!

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I am sure that you will learn much from her!

Enjoy!

Length: 33:01

Episode 22: Technology and Classroom Routines with High School Science Teacher…Dana Niblett

Episode 22: Technology and Classroom Routines with High School Science Teacher…Dana Niblett

May 21, 2014

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Dana is a high school science teacher at Dodge County High School in Eastman, Georgia.

She has been teaching for 7 years and even though she is a science teacher she started out teaching middle school math. Mrs. Niblett comes from a tradition of teachers as both of her parents were teachers.

I had the wonderful experience of observing Dana teach her environmental science classes. From the outset it was apparent that she was very organized. She had tardy boxes, places for work to be turned in, places to look when the student is absent and so much more.

Her students understood the routines and procedures of the class. This was very noticeable when she shifted from the bell ringer (Science Question of the Day) to the general instructions to the lab groups and back to their seats to work with the technology. There was no down time. The students knew what was expected of them. She did not have to threaten or shush them. They went right to work.

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Dana and I talk about how all of this is possible. She reflects on the days when she first started teaching and struggled with classroom management. Then she found Harry Wong and studied his comments about managing the classroom. She then “stole ideas” from colleagues who were very good at creating the routines and procedures that helped the students get right to work and focus on the content.

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Her biggest secret is “PRACTICE with the kids.”

Mrs. Niblett is a tech guru…or at least not afraid to try to use many different technology applications and tools to help her engage the kids. She uses tablets, laptops, QR codes, Weebly.com, Padlet.com, Prezi, SMART board applications and tools, Google searches, youtube clips, voicethread.com and follows Tony Vincent on Pinterest (He is a teacher who is constantly providing information about cool tech apps for the classroom). Her kids are creating digital portfolios on weebly.com and recording their labs and daily activities in this website. They use padlet.com to respond to questions.

My head was swimming with the amazing about of free technology being used by the kids to help them learn their content! Dana says that she once was made to go to the Georgia Technology Conference and now she knows that it is awesome!!!! She reflects, “It’s the best conference I have ever gone to! There are classroom teachers showing what they use and what works for them!”

I hope that you will take a look at some of her ideas for classroom management and technology uses. Her kids were focused on learning and having fun. Try these out! I dare you!

As Dana says, “We have to get out of our comfort zone and get with the times!”

Enjoy!

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Episode 18: Nelson Lauver, Author of Most Unlikely to Succeed: The Trials, Travels, and Ultimate Triumphs of a “Throwaway” Kid

Episode 18: Nelson Lauver, Author of Most Unlikely to Succeed: The Trials, Travels, and Ultimate Triumphs of a “Throwaway” Kid

April 17, 2014

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Nelson Lauver learned at the age of 29 that he was dyslexic.

Unfortunately, throughout his school experience no one knew this. As he struggled in school, he had to face a choice…be the dumb kid or be the bad kid. He chose to be the bad kid.

As he progressed through each grade what was really happening was that they were promoting him to get him out of their classes and eventually out of the school. He graduated 104th out 104 students.

Nelson and I talk about his experiences as a kid and as a young man trying to hold down a job.

Nelson has the following statement on his website: “A better world starts with the courage to believe you have something to contribute.” He has an amazing story and explanation surrounding this wonderful thought! As you listen to him, you will say, “You know…I think that he is talking to me…that he is telling me that I could contribute to this world…”

His memoir will touch your heart and make you wish that you could have been there to help him.

In response to this…He says that he can only move forward and take these experiences and use them for good.

My favorite part of our talk is when he starts talking about…Don’t give up on that kid!

After you listen to his story, I hope that you will take time to check out his website and look at his foundation and the work that he is doing to help promote literacy.

Also, listen to his wonderful talks under the link “audio stories.” You will not be disappointed.

His memoir is the winner of three book awards….

Gold Medal: Book of the Year, Independent Publisher Association 2011

Gold Medal: Inspirational Category Winner, INDIE Book Awards 2011

Silver Medal: Memoir Category INDIE Book Awards 2011

Find out more information about Nelson at his website…

www.americanstoryteller.com

You can order his memoir at Amazon. Click on the title to go to that page. Most Unlikely to Succeed

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Length 47:06