Category Archive:
Teaching and learning principles

Paying Attention to the Right Stuff

paying attention to the right stuff

In my elementary and junior high school years I always sat in the back row. Except in my seventh-grade English class. I wondered why I inevitably sat in the back against the wall. Alphabetical order, I presumed. The back-row perspective allowed me to observe everyone in my classrooms, and even as a second grader I […]


Giving Positive Directions: The Verb Game

giving positive directions

A funny thing about the mind; it takes a while for our minds to figure out how to ”don’t.” ”Don’t hit your baby brother.” The young child doesn’t have the thinking skills or experience to consider what to do instead of hitting his baby brother, much less redirect the energy and anger to a positive […]


Ask Children For What You Want

ask children for what you want

The bestselling book The Secret talks about the problem of not having a clear vision of what we want. We spend the majority of our time avoiding or getting rid of stuff in our lives that we don’t want. Wherever we place our focus, that is what grows. The more we direct our attention on […]


Effective Skill Building

effective skill building

Research shows that learning new skills in the most efficient manner requires self-discipline and practice. That seems like common sense to most of us. Science is confirming that, yes, to get better you’ve got to make yourself sit at the piano and play those tunes and do those finger exercises. Every day. Effective learning or […]


A Thank-You Walk

thank you walk

”I’m worried that my four- and six-year-old will be spoiled. They have such a great life–plenty of love, food, toys and money. I want them to be thankful for what they have,” Melinda said. Melinda understood that helping her children cultivate an attitude of gratitude was important to her children’s present and future happiness. Too […]


Why Don’t We Listen Better?

why don't we listen better

The hostess at the dinner party asked me question after question, keeping me actively engaged in conversation. The next day I realized I had done most of the talking. But I thought my new friend was the most fascinating person in the world. Why? Because she listened to me. Learning to listen with interest to […]


Children Love Quiet

children love quiet

Somehow between Madison Avenue and Hollywood, and all the places where kiddie culture is fed, we’re given the view that children are rowdy and eternally needing to be entertained. Picture a scene of children getting out from school. What do you imagine? More than likely it’s children shouting and running from the school building. Though […]


FREE WEBINAR: Want To Be A Better Observer?

how to become a better observer

Have you ever wished for the proverbial teacher’s eyes in the back of your head? Do you want to help children overcome their learning obstacles? Observation is the skill to help you become more effective. Please join me on Thursday, October 12 at 4:00 PM Pacific / 7:00 PM Eastern for this free 30-minute webinar, […]


FREE WEBINAR: Understanding How Children Learn To Read

understanding how children learn to read

Want FUN activities to do with preschoolers? Want to feel confident about children’s reading? In Understanding How Children Learn To Read, you’ll learn: Skills essential to reading success Common developmental obstacles Why one important skill is overlooked How you can help, all in a FUN way! You’ll also be able to ask me questions during […]


Don’t Be a Pop Quiz Parent

pop quiz parent

At the neighborhood barbecue, I squirmed in my lawn chair. I was embarrassed, not so much for myself, but for Erica, the six-year-old at our table who was being grilled by her father, Tom. ”How much is 6 times 9?” Searching for the answer, Erica looked up at the pavilion ceiling, then down at her […]