toddler reading a book

Ultimate Guide to Teaching Phonics

The word phonics can sometimes seem abstract or overwhelming. Parents and teachers alike often feel afraid they won’t teach reading in the “correct” order and then what they are doing won’t be effective. Here I will break down the basic steps to teach a child to read using phonics. When you teach phonics you are helping children understand the parts/sounds…

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Illiminate 90% of Discipline Problems

My Favorite Classroom Management Systems

Every teacher needs some kind of classroom management system. You might already have something in place school-wide but you need something of your own too. You might even rotate different management systems throughout the year. There have been a few years when I had a very challenging or talkative class. I found myself having to change my classroom management system…

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bored student sitting in class

Back to School Series: Make Rules and Routines Fun

It’s the beginning of a new year. Many students burst out of bed, excited for what the first day of school will hold. They are excited to see who’s in their class, find out what kind of teacher you are, and leave their parents (or babysitters) behind. Then, they enter the classroom and the typical teacher spends the first couple…

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Is This Discipline Or Just Punishment?

It’s impossible to be a teacher or administrator and not have to discipline students. What should discipline look like though? I taught for seven years in Africa. There, it’s still common practice to hit students with a stick when they are misbehaving. Is that discipline? How about having students kneel beside their desk or stand in the back of the…

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Why Is Active Learning So Important?

Active learning is when learners engage in the learning process and with learning materials rather than just sit and take in information. In many modern classrooms active learning is the norm so sometimes we forget how important it is. Here are five reasons active learning is important for your classroom: 1. Active learning creates meaning and connections. Active learning strategies…

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monster number mats

Active Ways to Teach Numbers

Whether you are a preschool, Kindergarten or ESL teacher, these strategies will help you teach numbers in an active and exciting way. Teaching numbers is made up of a few different things. They are: Counting: Being able to count in order. 1, 2, 3…. Number Recognition: Being able to name “three” when you see a 3. Being able to name…

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What’s It Like Teaching For VIPKID?

VIPKID is one of the many online ESL teaching companies. They are based in China and hire North American teachers to teach students throughout China. Today I am going to talk about my experience teaching with VIPKID for the past two years. I haven’t taught with other ESL companies but I know some basics about what those companies are like…

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forming 3 letters with different toys

How To Use Bubble Letter Mats In Your Classroom

Teachers often spend hundreds of dollars a year buying resources and supplies for their classroom. You can’t buy everything though and so I am always looking for resources that are cheap and can be used in LOTS of ways. Here is a simple and cheap resource to infuse more hands-on learning in your classroom: bubble letter cards! Scroll to end…

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Group of girls working on a project

How Group Work Can Raise Student Achievement

Working in groups is often to referred to as cooperative learning. Cooperative learning breaks down the classroom into smaller groups, giving each group a task. Students work together to discover a new concept of help one another learn. Research taken from Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality shows there are multiple benefits of using cooperative learning groups in your classroom.…

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student with head down on desk

Ways to Help Shy Kids Participate in Class

Participating in class activities and answering questions is a very important part of learning. It also helps the teacher to assess student’s understanding of a concept. But what if a student is so shy they won’t answer questions in class and struggle to participate at all? Should you force them? No. I used these strategies when I was teaching English…

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