Category Archive:
Teaching and learning principles

Stuck With a Problem? SOAR

stuck with a problem soar

At times we seem to be ensconced in recalcitrant situations. We try to move forward, and our strategy doesn’t work. We resolve to get our two-year-old to stop biting. Our ten-year old forgets to clean his room–every Saturday. Our fourteen-year-old refuses to go to church. Whatever we do to encourage or cajole our children into […]


Understanding Self-Discipline

understanding self-discipline

It has been said that the only true discipline is self-discipline. With self-discipline we take ownership of our own behavior. We take responsibility for our lives. As we discipline our children we might consider that our goals should include these objectives of helping our children take ownership of their behavior and responsibility for their lives. […]


Do The Hokey Pokey

In the gardening shop I looked up to discover a sign over my head. ”What If The Hokey Pokey Is What It’s All About?” For whatever reasons, I started to laugh. Uncontrollably. My husband came from across the store to see what could be so funny. For weeks afterwards Mark and I had a running […]


Current Ideas on Teaching Reading

how to help with spelling

Over one-third of the fourth graders in America can’t read. This number hasn’t changed in the past 10 years. You might ask, ”What is the problem?” Reading instruction for the most part hasn’t been based on science, but instead has been based on ideas such as whole language or phonics, without systematic testing of hypotheses […]


You Can’t Say You Can’t Play

Exclusion begins early in life, and it can be observed even in preschool settings. In days a class divides up into three main groups: Leaders who say who gets to play in their games, The children excluded from the games The children in the middle who live in fear of being rejected. For the kindergartner […]


A Walk in the Leaves

walk in the leaves

I can’t help it. I love to go out in the fall and gather leaves. I enjoy looking at the reds, yellows, oranges and browns of deciduous leaves against the turquoise skies of a crisp autumn day. I savor peeling the paper off a broken crayon to make leaf rubbings that accentuate the veins, shape […]


The Deep Well Of Time

deep well of time

It’s here!  To help you with storytelling, Montessori style. Michael Dorer’s new book, The Deep Well Of Time: The Transformative Power of Storytelling in the Classroom. This summer I was lucky enough to preview an advanced copy and I loved Michael’s stories. How I wish this resource had been available when I was in the classroom. […]


To Lead A Child To Learn

to lead a child to learn

Helen Keller wrote, ”Anybody can lead a child to a classroom. It takes a teacher to lead a child to learn.” Keller is perhaps the most famous of students of the 20th century. Her teacher, Annie Sullivan, taught Helen, who became blind and deaf at the age of 19 months, how to communicate and connect […]


Characteristics of the Adolescent

adolescent characteristics

For centuries the Judeo-Christian tradition has held a coming of age ritual for thirteen-year-olds. The Jewish Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and the Christian confirmation announce an adolescent’s provisional membership in his or her religious adult communities. With changing legislation over the past 50 years young people’s official entry into the adult world occurs eight years […]


Use a Purple Pencil

use purple pencil

Harold, the hero in Crockett Johnson’s classic book Harold and the Purple Crayon, uses his imagination and crayon to create an adventure. Off Harold goes, using his waxed stick to draw a path, along with a moon to use as his navigational aid. During his escapade, Harold’s crayon creates a forest, an ocean and a […]