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Showing posts from April, 2014

Teaching Students to be Mindful and Conscious Learners

According to recent research, a growing number of school-aged children are experiencing a plethora of social, emotional and behavioral problems that interfere with school success, interpersonal relationships, as well as the potential to become competent adults and productive citizens.  What's more, many students are passive learners that mindlessly attend classes and complete the work.  As a result, a growing number of young learners are unmotivated to learn, struggle with encoding academic content, and have trouble getting the grades that they desire.  So what can we do to help these students?  A simple strategy is to teach learners to be mindful and conscious of their academic approach.

What is Mindful or Conscious Learning?  
Mindful or conscious learning is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and sensations.   When taught to young learners, recent research suggests…

Using Positive Reinforcement to Shape Behaviors in the Classroom

With large class sizes and unruly students, teachers can be prone to leverage motivation through punishments. For instance, eliminating recess or after school detentions can serve as a negative consequence. However, this outcome often only creates anger and frustration. So, instead of employing penalties, try utilizing an approach in which privileges are earned through positive reinforcement.

Many students are not internally motivated to complete homework, sit at their desks for hours at a time, and listen to lectures. While integrating multisensory methods may help, issues of avoidance and complaints often indicate that there is an overwhelming agenda. Students can tire, and when organization, time management and planning are not helping as they should, external motivation, or an incentives program may prove to be an effective remedy to increase productivity and improve students’ attitudes.

With an incentives program, students can earn points for completing activities, tasks or exhibi…

Kinesthetic Learners: 10 Empowering Approaches

When learning, some students find it helpful to sit quietly at their desks, while others find that movement helps them to maintain attention and encode information. The needs of the latter group often remain unaddressed in the classroom because behaviors such as tapping a pencil, fidgeting, leaning back in chairs and asking for repeated bathroom and water breaks can be annoying to the teacher as well as peers. Many of these students are kinesthetic learners and having to sit still and listen can be virtually impossible. So how can teachers empower the often-conflicting needs of their kinesthetic learners?

Here are 10 suggestions:1) Incorporate movement into the lessons. Allow students to move from one “learning station” to the next where short, interactive activities can engage the students.

2) Permit kinesthetic learners to sit on the side of the classroom, so if they need to move around or stand, it won’t distract the students behind them.

3) Allow your students to have a one-minute …

Free Preposition Instruction with Pierre the Proposition Mouse

Recently, one of my students expressed some confusion about prepositions.I reached into my cabinet looking for manipulatives and pulled out a stress toy that included a rubber mouse and his block of Swiss cheese.I explained that a preposition was anything that the mouse could do to the Swiss cheese.We decided to call the mouse Pierre and had fun giving him his own “voice.”We placed him in various positions in relation to the cheese to explore the many types of prepositions and had a good belly laugh.
To share our fun, we decided to create the following YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYZLKp2_EqU&list=UUClFDLZtuJD99TBMGxb-ekw