Thoughts on Classroom Videos and Student Attention

When I subbed in an earth science class the other day, the 10th graders had been assigned a review packet for an upcoming test and a video on hurricanes and tornadoes and the scientists who study them. They worked well …

Identifying Ticks

The rain was sporadic enough yesterday to take a hike in a local state park. The hardwoods were still bare. The only green were the leaves of what will become a carpet of wildflowers as the weather grows warmer. The …

Making Connections, Building Rapport

One year, I took an immediate and irrational dislike to a sixth grader in an afternoon social studies class. I was puzzled. The school year had just begun. I was still learning names. She was quiet and well behaved. There …

Combining Exercise and Reading

Where I live, warm weather has arrived and the roads are dry. Bikers are out and runners, more than just the hardcore who bundle like Ralphie’s kid brother in A Christmas Story to run year round. And lately I see …

Some Science of Bread

In the 90s, I inherited a bread machine from my father. One of the first automatic bread makers, it resembles R2D2 and produces a cylindrical loaf, an absurdity for kids who know that all bread is square. The bread it …

Media Literacy and Political Campaigns

Political campaigns provide a perfect opportunity to plan cross-curricular lessons and activities in language, social studies, psychology, and economics.

A recent article in New York underscores the need to educate media literate students in a cynical political environment. Joe Hagan’s …

Hearing, Headphones, Health and Safety

A recent study cited by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that pedestrian accidents involving headphone use have tripled since 2004. In 116 accidents reported between 2004-2011, about two-thirds of victims were under 30, and more than half were …

Creating Student Poetry Anthologies

We’ve all had the experience of sharing something we like: a joke, a passage from a story, a movie, a tie, a song, Mom’s fruitcake only to be disappointed with its reception. I know I often disappointment my son, but …

Chess as an Educational Tool

Last summer, in the classroom next to the one in which I taught writing skills, boys and girls learned to play chess. Some were younger than ten. From time to time, I’d look in to see them quietly studying chessboards. …

Get up and move! A little exercise may boost learning.

The initial burst of energy following the winter break has run its course, and your students are feeling somewhat…unfocused. Who can blame them? Winter is here, the holidays are over, and a lot of tests stand between them and spring. …