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Lesson Plan for PreK and K Teaching Caesar’s Cipher through grouping students and centers or table jobs The inner circle is the groups assigned. The outer circle is the centers or jobs Groups could be 4 student names. Jobs could be Home, Blocks, Writing, and Sensory. Make 25 jobs for kids and kids names on inner circle, then shift each week   Teaching Base 2, 8, 10, and 16 Using opportunities, such as snack, centers, and place value to represent various bases Snack could be, equal sharing in base 8 for grapes or 16 for crackers. Place value could be with blocks, misc items during 100 days of school   Teaching ...
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Retention conversations express dysfunctional parent-teacher communication strategies and place certain students at greater risk of negative outcomes. Many parents will receive unhappy news about their children’s academic, emotional, and social development from teachers and other school professionals at some point in their children’s school lives.  As a former teacher of self-contained special education classes in Newark, NJ, I have witnessed firsthand the uncomfortable conversations that parents are called into school to have with teachers, administrators, social workers, and other school professionals. Oftentimes such conversations, particularly ...
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Drowning is a serious and neglected public health threat  Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death , accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths. ( World Health Organization, 2016 ). Every hour, every day, more than 40 people lose their lives to drowning. 372,000 people drown each year , with those under 5 years old at greatest risk. Globally, over half of all drowning deaths are under 25 years old.  The global burden and death from drowning is found in all economies and regions Key facts: low- and middle-income countries account for over 90% of unintentional drowning deaths; over half of the world's drowning ...
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Let us travel back to the Kingdom of Junior Volunteers (KJV): here we find Volunta , a dutiful non-compensation worker. She has been implementing everything that she has been instructed to do, by this blog: Volunta created a career goal, found a volunteer position that helped her bridge her current yet needed skills, has tracked her soft and hard skills, and has learned the social currency of her volunteer environment. Indeed, Volunta has become quite a merchant with her currency. Now Volunta realizes that there is a feared element in her environment: the opportunity that overwhelms, that eats up all of a volunteer's free time. Volunta has ...
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Spark Your Spontaneity What's happening during silent reading time? Teachers are the overseers of their students. As the overseers, teacher have a bird's-eye view of what exactly is going on in the classroom. Some schools are required to have independent reading time. If this describes your school, perhaps your reading time is called Silent Sustained Reading (SSR), Guided Reading, Accelerated Reading (AR), 100 Book Challenge, etc. Are students reading during independent reading time or are they pretending to read, socializing, and enjoying their middle schools days being off-task? Ask the overseers. They know the truth. Of course, not every student ...
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As I feel myself growing apathy for the relationship with my mentee, I am researching how to be a better mentor. Most of the articles and books out there are about new or resident teachers. If only that were the case, I would not be here now. I have been assigned a friend of 5 plus years who is also a first year early childhood teacher, but a seasoned employee in the district. The mentor/mentee problem has reduced our friendship to a paranoid professional relationship with barely any friendship away from school. At first, I would get questions and offer advice and reminders. It slowly became resentment, paranoia, and anger. Parents call in. The assistant ...
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February Half Term

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It is that time of the term again where we find ourselves with a week off school. It is our half term. It is the middle of the term. We are half way through it. I suppose that is why half terms are called half terms. It is a weeks holiday (vacation to you over the pond in the USA) supposedly giving us teachers some time to rest and recover from the strains and pressures of the previous 6 weeks of teaching. But is it really time to rest and recouperate? For me the answer, this year, is sort of. On Monday, I plan on going into school (the school I teach at is open all year round. It is open every day for all of the breaks we do have.) I need to go into school ...
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Hello, vertical climbers. My golden advice for this post, as you seek to gain the experiences and professional connections that will impel you forward is this: Understand the 'currency' of the place that you are volunteering in: sometimes this is called "social currency". In other words, what is valued above all else, where you work? That value will be the launchpad of collaboration / support that you need from your supervisors, colleagues, in order to go forward. In other words, "join the club". I confess that the social currency may indeed be counter-intuitive to you: you may be a social butterfly volunteering in a place where the currency is minimal ...
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Mentoring on the fly

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During the residency year, a mentor is supposed to be assigned and work with the resident teacher. My experience as a rookie was a few visits to tell me I teach too high for this age, which is another story, and then pregnancy leave for the rest of the year. It was hard. How to make friends, how to talk to parents in the community, how to foresee built in routines that tenure teachers already know, and how to prioritize were my struggles. Taking the hardship and moving forward, I was politely voluntold to mentor a new teacher who was so overwhelmed. I had been a teacher for 9 years in the same sect of lower elementary education. I had been in the building for ...
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Mentoring older and tenured teachers The mentor serves as a guide, resource, supporter, advocate, role model, and professionally as a friend. Demands of teaching and learning new information create strain on the mentee. Mentors help the mentee to build coping skills. Sharing my approach, techniques, and experiences, will help the new information I learn, become a more fluid, natural teaching practice. Mentoring also helps me gain a new perspective on teaching. The approach I use for mentoring older and tenured teachers is as a resource and friend. I use indirect dialog and offer help. Avoiding direct confrontation helps, but is ...
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I have a bit of advice, especially for graduate students. Years ago, my professors began suggesting memberships in professional organizations that aligned with my program and areas of research interest. Since the cost was significantly lower for students than the professionals, I thought, 'What the heck? I can at least tack it on to my resume.' What the professors didn't tell me was that active engagement in these organizations could be hugely beneficial to me throughout my education and on into my professional life. Kappa Delta Pi is an organization geared toward students, with a steady eye on maintaining relevance beyond school. I figured that would ...
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Phoenix Award

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I am proud to announce that the Delta Rho Chapter has received the Phoenix Award for the 2015-2016 school year! As well, our current President- Stephanie is one of the 12 selected officers for the Distinguished Chapter Officer Awards. I am very proud of our chapter and all of the hard work we demonstrated this year. We implemented new programs in the areas of service, membership, and fundraising, as well as organize member meetings once a month, share resources, and establish a social media outlet so our members and alumni can stay connected. I am hoping to see our alumni this upcoming year at our chapter meetings and events, and especially our annual induction ...
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Wow! What a year it's been! As president this past year I have reflected upon may aspects of leading our chapter, from running multiple events to organizing workshops and anything and everything in between. I am now looking forward to the next chapter of my life which is becoming a first year teacher! This past semester has been very stressful and busy with running the Xi Psi chapter of KDP, tutoring college students that are first gen., disabled, or low income, working as an ABA therapist, and students teaching…wow...I'm exhausted even from typing this! The Spring Induction Ceremony was such a success, we even incorporated a Senior ...
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For 14 long years, students and educators have lived under the deeply flawed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) returns decision making for our nation’s education back where it belongs - in the hands of local educators, parents and communities - while keeping the focus on students most in need. Simply stated, the Every Student Succeeds Act will help ensure that all students, regardless of their ZIP code, will have the support, tools, and time to learn that they need to succeed and that educators’ voices are part of the decision making process all levels. ...
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If you are for it, collect those signatures starting in February. News 4 The measure, known as Initiative Petition No. 403, was proposed by a group of education and business leaders who want a one-cent sales tax that would generate about $615 million a year to help fund education and teacher pay raises. http://kfor.com/2016/01/12/oklahoma-supreme-court-oks-vote-on-penny-education-tax/ KOCO.COM In a 6-3 decision Tuesday, the state's highest court rejected claims that measure unconstitutionally combines multiple subjects into a single vote. http://www.koco.com/news/oklahoma-supreme-court-rules-penny-sales-tax-to-fund-public-education-can-be-placed-on-the-ballot/37390566 ...
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Finding Free Resources

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As many times as I have heard about TpT, teacherspayteachers.com, I have not explored what I could do with it. Today I decided to begin posting free resources for upper elementary grades. My first attempt is online - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Peter-and-the-Starcatchers-Novel-Unit-with-Blooms-levels-2361128 What suggestions do you have for resources? What do you look for, but cannot find that just right idea? WHat other free resources do you use
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It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day in my class today. No one liked the story that I read. Someone threw up on the computer keyboard. It started raining right as we were putting on our coats for recess, and an awful lot of us had amnesia, at least where our class rules were concerned. It wasn't a full moon, and snow wasn't in the forecast. Someone suggested that maybe they served hot dogs in the cafeteria. She said the kids are always crazy on hot dog day. Some days are just like this, but how I react is important. I try to remember that everyone has good days and bad days, even kids. I also try to reflect on my reactions and what ...
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Convocation 2015!

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Wow, I don’t even know where to begin! Convocation 2015 for the Xi Psi chapter from Fitchburg State University was absolutely amazing. I think I can safely say that each and every single person was encouraged, inspired, and uplifted at this wonderful event. Personally, I loved presenting with Dr. Murray (our organization advisor) an being immersed in so many different cultures and professionals. I was truly amazed by the presentations I attended, I learned so many new techniques and practices that just made me go “WOW”! One of my favorite parts was the speech that Joel Laguna gave during the luncheon. He was so personable and relatable in everything ...
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http://www.edlinesites.net/pages/Del_City_Elementary_School/Classes/McCauleyWebsite/News/Links Great resource for early childhood links, ideas, and categories of technology http://www.abcya.com/ is my grade level's favorite. We use www.starfall.com daily for interactive centers or on independent iPad centers. What is your favorite internet site for your educational needs? (hint: free is great
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I just started to tutor a very sociable and smart third grader female. She is extremely busy, in school, and also plays soccer three nights a week and all day Saturday. She also has some speech therapy. She also has a reading specialist in school. Last year she worked with a reading specialist in her home as well. I am a Preschool Early Childhood graduate. I also passed my paraprofessional and my Praxis test. I have tutored elementary students before. I also bought two books that cover the current curriculum. Thank you for any advice or resources
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