• How Could Your Students Benefit from a Flipped Classroom?

    How Could Your Students Benefit from a Flipped Classroom?

    As a pre-service teacher, my first classes in Educational Technology included how to use a DVD player in the classroom and how to build a HyperCard program (even then, HyperCard was pretty outdated). We have come a long way! The syllabi from today’s Educational Technology classes probably include things like internet safety, using social media in the classroom, database management tools, integrating software into classroom instruction and using web-based technologies to deliver instruction and communicate with parents and students.

    I just read a book that got me excited about the increase in learning that can happen when technology and teaching are combined. It also got to the heart of teaching; working directly and personally with each student to guide them in successfully applying what they are learning. This book illustrates the impact that technology can have in changing the face of traditional classroom instruction. The book is titled “Flip your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day” by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams. These high school teachers have capitalized on the use of technology to create the best learning environment for each one of their students. Traditionally, classroom instruction is delivered during class and application happens in the form of homework (i.e. away from school). A flipped classroom is basically a classroom where ...

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    Oct 09 2012
  • How Should Sight Words Be Taught? Phonics or Memorization?

    How Should Sight Words Be Taught? Phonics or Memorization?

    How many words are there in the English language? A question with a complicated answer. Depending on your criteria, the answer can range from somewhere around a quarter of a million words to one million words, give or take a few hundred thousand. Even to the most enthusiastic logophile, that is an overwhelming amount of words to use when reading, writing, and speaking. Thankfully, relatively few of these words meet most of our basic reading, writing, and speaking needs.

    The English words needed for most communications are referred to by terms such as, sight words, high frequency words, and most common words. Researcher Edward B. Fry ranked these words in order of frequency. The first 25 words on the list make up about a third of all printed material. The first 100 make up about half of all written material, and the first 300 make up at least 65 percent of all written material (Fry, Kress, & Fountoukidis, 2000).

    To quickly illustrate this concept, let’s look at this twenty-word quote by John F. Kennedy: ...

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    Sep 24 2012
  • Four Reasons Phonics Has a Place in Middle School and High School Classrooms

    Four Reasons Phonics Has a Place in Middle School and High School Classrooms

    As I have traveled to different schools across the country to train teachers on Reading Horizons methodology, I have been reminded of why phonics has a place in the classroom for older learners and how these skills fit into the "big picture" of learning to read. Here are some specific reasons why phonics has relevance beyond K-3 classrooms.

    We know that reading is a critical skill. We know several students need to learn how to read better. We know that reading at an appropriate rate with adequate comprehension is necessary. So for struggling readers, including students who are non-native English speakers, what role does phonics play in this goal to acquire fluency and comprehension? ...

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    Sep 20 2012
  • Recent Trends in Literacy and Reading Instruction

    Recent Trends in Literacy and Reading Instruction

    By Guest Writer, Tricia Underwood

    In recent years, discussion has increased around the apparent decline of U.S. reading and literacy levels. Remarks like "Kids today aren't reading, they're on gaming consoles", "Reading comprehension in the U.S. is way down", and "Our education system has gotten significantly worse" seem to pepper many conversations around these topics.

    Different groups of children have different learning styles. Meanwhile, every teacher is unique and each classroom scenario is constantly changing. So educators are looking at hard data and seeking new solutions to help children improve their reading skills. In doing so, students will hopefully excel in grade school and high school, select higher education, choose their college majors, graduate and successfully push forward into their career lives. Here are a few examples of current work in the area of literacy and reading. ...

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    Aug 16 2012
  • Why More People Should Talk About the “No Child Left Behind” Waivers

    Why More People Should Talk About the “No Child Left Behind” Waivers

    By Guest Writer, Nadia Jones

    The media coverage of substantive domestic policy issues has recently taken a backseat to the hostile politics surrounding the presidential race. Education reform has fallen by the wayside, with fewer publications addressing the issue with any vigor. Primary education in particular has received little attention, even though it serves as the very foundation for a young person’s intellectual development. But the current administration has instigated some reforms in this sector; you just might not read about them on the front pages of any news site. ...

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    Jul 31 2012
  • 4 Key Differences in Teaching ESL to Adults vs. Children

    4 Key Differences in Teaching ESL to Adults vs. Children

    By Guest Writer, Lauren Bailey

    For several years now, I’ve actively participated in a local literacy organization, which aims at teaching ESL to recent immigrants. Although I’ve tutored and taught children before, this was my first experience teaching only adults. And what a learning experience it was! This particular organization allowed volunteer teachers to use whatever methods they thought best. Input from the class—that is, teaching adult learners what they wanted to learn specifically—was key in crafting lesson plans. Based on my experiences, this is what I’ve learned when teaching adults how to read and write in English: ...

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    Jul 30 2012
  • How Does Cursive Fit Into The Common Core State Standards?

    How Does Cursive Fit Into The Common Core State Standards?

    By Guest Writer, Jamie Menard, M.A. Reading

    Where does cursive fit into the Common Core State Standards?

    A total of forty-five states across the country have chosen to adopt the Common Core State Standards in order to give the nation a shared curriculum. The Common Core State Standards does not require children to learn how to write in cursive. … ...

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    Jul 12 2012
  • Four Tips for Teaching Students with Behavior Issues

    Four Tips for Teaching Students with Behavior Issues

    I’ll never forget being in my 4th grade classroom when out of nowhere one of my peers started yelling, shoved his desk to the floor, and then hit at my teacher as she tried to escort him out of the classroom. Our sweet teacher came back a few minutes later in tears and said: “you guys don’t deserve that!”

    Our teacher truly was one of the nicest ladies in the world - and - remembering the scene, not only did we not deserve to be scared, she didn’t deserve that either. She didn’t deserve to have a student yell and hit at her.

    None of us deserve to experience threatening situations. But in every classroom are students that are prone to get upset, angry, hyper, or disruptive on occasion. So… what can you do? How can you better preserve the safety of your classroom? How can you help students with behavior issues adapt and cooperate in the classroom in a way that doesn’t distract or cause problems?

    Although many of these problems need to be addressed by a certified professional, there are some things that you can do to help minimize behavior issues in the classroom. ...

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    Jul 09 2012

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