Thursday, October 8, 2015


I have no “social currency,” meaning I’m not very cool. Look at some of the latest buzzwords I found online: 

Oversharing – putting too much on Facebook
Phubbing – ignoring someone as you look at your phone
Ussie –group photo taken by one of the members as opposed to “selfie”

However, I do know about some buzzwords in education. Knowledge is power. You can show your “educational currency” (A term I just made up!) by using these terms. You know more than you think you know! Toot your own horn and stand up for children and best practices by referring to the research and latest trends.

Intentional teaching means you act purposefully with a goal in mind. Intentional teachers set up activities and the environment so the students can accomplish those goals. This is nothing new – we’ve always made games, songs, and centers to help children master skills. Many educators support incidental learning where children can explore and discover on their own. Although intentional learning is more focused and teacher-directed, it’s important to balance both in early childhood classrooms.

Teaching is what the teacher does. Learning is what the student does! Key elements of active learning include student activity and engagement in the learning process. The more senses that are activated, the more likely the message will get to the brain and stay in the brain. With so much screen time, it’s critical to balance learning with hands-on activities like centers, songs, and games.

I just love saying this one because it sounds so intelligent. Actually, it’s what we used to call “repetition.” Children must practice reading, sounds, sight words, math facts, etc. over and over to master skills. They may not want to do a worksheet over and over, but with a catchy tune or sight word game you’ll hear, “Do it again!”

Intentional Teaching: I want my students to learn word families.

Active Learning: I’m going to make a house and figures similar to the ones shown. I’ll write a rime on the door of the house and write letters on the shapes. I’ll introduce the rime family by saying, “I’d like you to meet the “ay” family. Everyone in their house has a name that ends with /ay/ but they have different first sounds. This is kind of like your family where you have the same last name but different first names.” I’ll invite different students to come up and put a letter in front of “ay” to make new words. We’ll sing this song to the tune of “BINGO.”
     There is a word family you should know
     And “ay” is it’s name-o.
     M – a – y may
     D – a – y day
     S – a – y say
     They end in “ay” you know.

Purposeful Practice: I’ll have the children fold a sheet of paper into a house as shown. They can write “ay” on the front of the house and then write words and draw pictures of things that belong to that word family on the inside.

Note! If you didn’t want to make the house and figures you could easily draw the house and door on the board and then let different children come up and write letters in front of the rime.