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Animal Planet and plenty of other news outlets you might find in your directv deals have been talking about it – reading to dogs. It’s actually a pretty powerful teaching tool and there are a few reasons why more and more teachers are letting the dogs do the talking.

Well, not literally.

When children are developing, one of the major problems in communication comes from kids who are too shy or timid to speak out loud. There are a number of causes for this, sometimes it just happens. It’s a problem though because kids should be able to introduce themselves, answer when called, read out loud, etc.

Dogs make it easier for these kids to open up. Kids, for the most part, love dogs and there is a certain, nurturing quality to them when it comes to kids. Teachers use these dogs as a way to get these kids to open up by reading out loud to them.

Through doing this, kids develop the confidence and the skill necessary to speak without feeling fear or pressure. With how successful it’s been in recent years, who knows? We might start seeing dogs as regular parts of any elementary school classroom. Just another way they’re man’s best friend.

Flexible Grouping for Readers at Every Level

Speed, Accuracy And Comprehension Equivalencies
If a child exhibits fast reading skills, this does not necessarily mean they comprehend the material. This is a major concern for most teachers around the United States. In fact, primary and secondary education teachers are noticing a new trend among reading students. This trend documents the behavior of how kids are learning to read faster, but they are not increasing their reading comprehension proficiency in the process. This has caused many teachers to discuss this issue at large. There is certainly something (more…)

Math is one of the most difficult subjects for children to learn. Parents can help their young children grasp complicated math concepts by playing games. Very young children can learn to count with simple games. As they get older and begin to learn addition and subtraction, the counting games can be revised to help students master math facts.

Because addition is only counting, the same games that children played to help them learn to count to 10, 20 and 100 can help them (more…)

It’s Parent Conference time again! This is a stressful time for educators and parents. There are a number of conferences that educators need to have time to complete thoroughly. A few tricks of the trade can make your conference go as smoothly as possible and also allow you to feel prepared for your conference. The first step is to prepare all materials before the conferences. When I have conducted my conferences I like to place all information for the students in easily accessible file folders. This helps when the parents arrive to have all important (more…)

One of the best ways to foster a sense of appreciation for literature in children is to give them books of their own. Unfortunately, this can get very expensive, and running out of shelf space can be a problem too. Why not organize a book exchange so that all of the kids at your child’s school can swap books with each other and end up with something new? Moreover, what better excuse could there be than Dr. Seuss Day? You don’t have to restrict yourself to Dr. Seuss’s books, (more…)

One of the coolest trends in crafting is the upcycle. Upcycling is taking old objects and repurposing them. Here are several of my daughter’s favorite upcycled activities that will fill a rainy afternoon.

1. The Tin Can Desk Organizer.
This activity has gotten rave reviews from my fellow crafters. Take some tin cans (I use about seven) clean them, and peel off the labels. Allow to dry. Take the tin cans and use a glue gun to attach the cans to (more…)

The first day of kindergarten can be scary, but there are ways that teachers can make the first day of school fun and informative at the same time. The first time students will meet their teacher is at open house. Go through the list of students you will have and make a special card for each student to make them feel welcome in class. On the first day of school, place a brightly colored name tag on a table or desk with their name on it. Gather all of the children in a circle and sing a song that lets (more…)

Using differentiation centers in kindergarten and first grade can be a valuable asset to the overall classroom climate for both children and teachers. Gone are the days of desks placed in rows facing the teacher’s desk with a chalkboard behind it. Many studies have proven that learning centers are not just effective at these grade levels but in higher ones as well.

The overall purpose of learning centers is to provide hands-on activities to capture and hold the interest of students as lessons concepts are reinforced (more…)

Differential instruction in language arts in a classroom setting creates a challenge from the standpoint that all children learn at different levels, with various levels of abilities, cognitive awareness, and learning consistencies that are met by one person who is challenged to create a meaningful experience for each child. Language arts is perhaps the most challenging because it is a subject all children have to master to become better readers, as well as improve cognitive and motor skills. There are some real tips that can help make this happen effectively in the classroom:

1. (more…)

The number of free resources for parents and teachers is growing by the day. Free educational software is available online, and can be used to propel your students to greater heights.

One of the most effective free software options is educational games. These are available for a variety of grade levels and age ranges. Games are an extremely effective learning tool, as children love to play them, and seldom even realize that they are learning new skills in the process. Games also hold the attention span of the child much (more…)