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Teaching children reading and math is more effective when teachers use core teaching strategies which apply brain science to support learning.

ABOUT ME
While teaching children reading and math for 28 years, I developed strategies which I would like to pass along to other teachers and parents. With experience in K - 8, I offer a wide range of activities.


AESTHETICS

Aesthetics and Learning
Aesthetics and learning are the perfect partnership because aesthetic activities improve the ability to remember.

Dance

Children Dancing
Children dancing is the perfect activity to improve memory and support learning.

Movement and Learning
Movement and learning are related, and dance in school is the ideal activity for learning because it combines music with a steady beat and coordination skills.

Drama

Drama in Schools
Drama in schools can be used effectively in classrooms to enhance learning and improve memory.

Readers' Theater
Readers Theater is one of the most effective reading fluency activities. Scripts are readily available making teaching reading fluency and learning it fun for everyone!

Art

Art in Education
Art in education may be used to improve reading skills as the benefit of art education exists beyond the art room. Reading comprehension activities using art especially help left handed children.

Teaching Math with Art
Using art in math significantly improves retention of key concepts and vocabulary.

Strategies for Teaching Writing
Coordinate writing and art with a Flower Show in the spring by having children design their own flower seed packets for holding "story seeds."

Math Center Activities
Interesting math center activities keep students engaged and learning. Elementary and middle school math centers may include math labs in addition to art projects and games.

Math Teaching Strategies
Art in math serves as a vehicle for memory and helps students remember key concepts and vocabulary.

Music

Music Education in Schools
Music education in schools can support reading comprehension and really does not need to be confined to the music room. Links have been established between music and learning as well as music and memory.

Benefits for Music Education
The importance of music in education to support brain function and memory in academic subjects adds to the value of music education in schools.

Songs for the Classroom
These clapping games incorporate crossing the midline and are a super fun way to use movement and dance in your classroom.

Singing the Word Wall
Singing the Word Wall is a set of ten songs for singing the words on word walls to learn basic sight words, increase sight vocabulary, and improve fluency and comprehension.

Poetry

Teaching Children to Write Poetry
Teaching children to write poetry is a natural process since rhythm and rhyme come naturally to most children. Teaching poetry is a great way to help them express their feelings as well.


LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Effective Learning Environment
An effective learning environment is key to helping children come to know. This means creating a learning centered environment that is brain friendly.

Cooperative Learning
Allowing children to work together has many benefits, and it is one of the best strategies for improving the memory of school aged children.

Creative Grouping
Creative grouping can maximize instructional time for Common Core standards. Having students organize themselves using criteria from the Common Core can be an effective way to promote critical thinking.

How to Motivate Students
Helping students discover their areas of gifted-ness is the key to motivation.

Children and Stress Management
School stress can negatively impact learning because children lose focus when they are under stress.

Classroom Time Management
Creative ways to make every instructional minute count in order to make the best use of the time we have with our students.

Learning and Emotion
Learning and emotion are related. Creating a safe environment and making learning fun with fun learning games can support memory and boost achievement.

Learning Context
All learning must be placed in the learners context if it is to have meaning.

Effective Classroom Management
Helpful tips for successful classroom management.

Reluctant Learners
How to motivate and involve reluctant learners.


READING

Coordination

Brain Exercises and Coordination
Brain exercises and physical coordination are benefits of physical education because mind and body are connected. Certain physical coordination and occupational therapy activities support learning.

Physical Coordination and Reading
Physical coordination and reading are related because physical exercise and brain function are related. Some exercises for kids are particularly important to reading, but how can you find time for them?

Memory Improvement Exercises
Spinning children in the direction of their dominant hand can dramatically improve memory and recall. It is, in fact, one of the most effective memory exercises available. And it costs absolutely nothing!

Educational Gadgets and Toys
Here is a collection educational gadgets and toys which can help get kids motivated and coordinated.

Gender Differences in Learning:Boys and Reading
Gender differences in learning, particularly in the early childhood years, require careful attention because some boys come to reading later than girls.


Sight Vocabulary

The Importance of Vocabulary
Teaching reading to children is all about vocabulary because teaching a child to read is about teaching words.

Teaching Dolch Sight Words
Teaching children reading begins with Dolch sight words, the most frequently used words in kids reading. Teaching sight words with sight word games and songs makes learning them easy and fun.

How to Teach Sight Words
Learning how to teach sight words is key to effective reading instruction. The protocol is the same for teaching first grade sight words, kindergarten sight words, or those for any grade level.

Vocabulary Assessment
Vocabulary assessment is an ongoing and necessary part of teaching sight words with word walls. But how do you do a sight word assessment for word walls?

A Year of Second Grade Sight Words
These second grade sight words can be used to fill your word walls for an entire year. They are the categories I used to build word walls for one year with second grade students as Title I reading specialist.

Sight Word Games for Building Sight Vocabulary
Sight word games are the best tool for teaching sight words. Especially effective are word wall games and songs that increase sight word memory.

Word Walls for Teaching Sight Words
Word walls are a very good method for teaching Dolch and other basic sight words. Word wall activities, games, and songs give kids the essential practice they need for mastery.

Songs for the Classroom: Sight Word Oldies
Songs for the classroom are one way to help children learn and remember sight words. These songs for learning support the use of music in education.

Word Wall Activities: Adopting Words
One of our favorite word wall activities is adopting word wall words. Students seem to enjoy all word wall games, but especially this activity.

Word Wall Games: Scavenger Hunts
Word wall games are free reading games for practicing both sight word and content area vocabulary. Scavenger hunts are ideal examples which are fun and easy to adapt to specific needs.

Word Wall Super Heroes
Word Wall Super Heroes make the words on your word walls come to life for students as they create characters to fight evil doers. Kids of all ages are attracted to the idea of super heroes, and this activity is suitable for any word wall in any subject or grade level.

Word Wall Families
The activity of categorizing resides in one of the highest tiers of Bloom's taxonomy. When combined with designing and creating a home for a word wall family, this activity provides an opportunity for children to use word wall words to think critically and be creative at the same time.

Singing the Word Wall
Singing the Word Wall is a set of ten songs for singing the words on word walls in order to learn basic sight words, increase sight vocabulary, and improve fluency and comprehension.

Testing Vocabulary
Learning testing vocabulary and keywords used on standardized tests can give scores an added boost. So put them on a word wall and let the fun begin! You'll be glad you did because focusing on those critical testing words can improve your students' scores on state tests.


Reading Fluency

Reading Fluency
Reading fluency is what bridges the gap between Dolch sight words and reading comprehension. Teaching reading fluency with various fluency activities leads to the ability to read for meaning.

Reading Fluency Strategies
Reading fluency strategies should include fluency activities related to practicing words on walls. Once children have mastered most of the Dolch sight words, it becomes all about practice, practice, and more practice to build fluency.

Reading Fluency Activities
Reading fluency activities build reading fluency which leads to improved comprehension skills.Choral reading of poetry and partner reading are two effective strategies for improving reading fluency.

Colored Overlays
Colored overlays may improve fluency by improving visual perception, making their use an important reading intervention strategy for treating perceptual problems.

Children Writing Stories
Children writing stories to read themselves is one of the most powerful reading fluency strategies. If they write it, they will read it so teaching the writing process is important to reading.

Readers Theater
Readers Theater is an excellent reading fluency activities. Readers Theater scripts are readily available making teaching reading fluency easy and affordable.

Teaching Strategies for Reading Fluency
One of the most effective teaching strategies for reading fluency is the use of a simple red dot. Of all the fluency activities and strategies I have used in teaching reading fluency, it is one of the most successful.


Comprehension

Reading Comprehension Activities
These activities will help you learn how to teach reading comprehension. Your students will improve and you will better understand the factors that affect reading for meaning.

Art in Education
Reading comprehension activities using art especially help left handed children.

Music Education in Schools
Music in the classroom can support reading comprehension.

Wall Words Support Reading
Wall words in every subject should support reading, particularly reading comprehension. Even in math class, there are activities which can be used to help improve reading comprehension.


MATH

Math Teaching Strategies: The Language of Math
One of the best math teaching strategies is teaching math concepts through the use of math word walls which build vocabulary.

Math Terminology
Use of correct math terminology is critical to teaching math vocabulary. Placing math terms on a math word wall and using them daily makes ongoing review easy and fun.

Why Have a Math Word Wall?
Why have a math word wall? More than any other subject, math builds on what is already known. The brain operates that way, too - attaching new information to the old. So how can a math word wall help?

Teaching Kids Math Through Sight and Sound
Teaching kids math through sight and sound is particularly useful in teaching math vocabulary. When used along with a math word wall, involving the senses can improve memory and recall.

Integer Rules and How to Teach Them
Integer rules don't have to be confusing. When kids need help with integers, and you need help teaching integers, these techniques may be just what you need.

Teaching Math With Art
The connection between math and art is often overlooked in articles about teaching math, but using art in math significantly improves retention of key concepts and vocabulary.

Geometry
Geometry terms in middle school geometry and elementary geometry are easy to remember when geometry lesson plans include art projects.

Composite Figures
Composite figures are a wonderful opportunity to have fun with art in math and cover Common Core standards at the same time.

Teaching Graphs and Charts
Teaching graphs and charts can be fun in math if graphs such as stem and leaf plots display data that is important to kids.

Coordinate System
Use free Facebook printable and other strategies to make learning the Cartesian coordinate system fun and creative.

Math Centers
Math centers are one of the best math teaching strategies around. With interesting math center activities, learning and teaching elementary and middle school math is fun!

Math Center Activities
Interesting math center activities keep students engaged and learning. Elementary and middle school math centers may include math labs in addition to games and other fun learning activities.

Exponents
Exponents are another math concept which can be reinforced through the use of art. Visual representations of them help place the learning in long term memory, especially for younger students who are still developing abstract reasoning skills.

GAMES AND STRATEGIES

Word Walls
Word walls are the best strategy for teaching both sight words and content area vocabulary. Word wall activities, games, and songs give kids the essential practice they need for mastery.

The Power of a Red Dot
Placing a red dot in various places in text can improve both sight word recognition and reading fluency.

Word Wall Activities: Adopting Words
One of our favorite word wall activities is adopting word wall words. Students seem to enjoy all word wall games, but especially this activity.

Word Wall Games: Scavenger Hunts
Word wall games are free reading games for practicing both sight word and content area vocabulary. Scavenger hunts are ideal examples which are fun and easy to adapt to specific needs.

Memory Activities
Memory activities can treat memory problems in children. Teachers can help with remembering and can help parents understand health issues which can cause working memory problems in children.

Focus Games
Focus games for children are helpful in building concentration skills. Teachers and parents can work together to identify the causes of focusing problems and teach kids how to focus.

Educational Apps for Young Children
Educational apps of high quality are hard to find! Here are five good Ipad apps for kids which can help develop reading and math skills in young children.

Educating Children with ADHD
Educating children with ADHD is most successful in a low stress, brain friendly environment. Activities for children with ADHD are fun and beneficial for all students so teaching the ADHD child becomes less about coping with ADHD and more about educating children.

Buddy Bucks
Buddy Bucks give kids a lifeline during unit tests helping take some of the stress out of testing.

Diagnosing Learning Problems
11 questions to help narrow down the area or areas of need for individual children.

Educational Gadgets and Toys
Here is a collection educational gadgets and toys to help get kids motivated and focused.

Free Sight Word Games Sitemap
A list of free sight word games found on this site which may be used for learning basic sight words and Dolch words as well as content area vocabulary.

Summer Learning Loss: What Teachers Can Do
Teachers have an obligation to educate parents and raise their awareness of the importance of providing some sort of learning activities for children during the summer months.


FOR PARENTS

Focus Problems
It is important to examine factors which could be responsible for focus problems and find solutions with parents as partners.

Parents as Teachers
Parents as teachers means parents helping children learn. Busy parents and especially single parents raising children can easily incorporate these activities into the daily routine.

Baby Brain Development
You do not need a college degree and unlimited resources to foster baby brain development at home. Even if you are on a budget – and who isn’t these days? – there are ways to nurture the growth and development of your baby's brain without breaking the bank.

Early Childhood Cognitive Development
Early childhood cognitive development is a critical issue as there is rapid brain development in early childhood. Parents and those teaching early childhood can help optimize this brain development.

Benefits of Play
The benefits of play are many because for children, play and learning are one in the same.

Car Games
Car games and activities including rhyming games and memory games for children.

Reading Together
Reading together is one of the best ways to help your child be successful in school. Here are some tips to help make the most of this time together.

Learning Sight Words
How to help your child learn sight words while reading together.

Summer Learning Activities
Summer learning activities can bring summer fun and learning together for the whole family. Summer reading is just one summer learning activity which can help prevent summer learning loss.

LANGUAGE OF TEACHERS

Descriptive Language
The tendency to look at children and describe them with such terms as “lazy,” “shy,” or “mean,” threatens to become part of the culture in some schools. But what do those terms really mean? Looking at these children clinically might lead us to a more helpful assessment of their needs.



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