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Monday, September 26, 2011


One advantage of being in the field of education for over four decades is that I’ve seen many bandwagons roll down School Avenue.  By that I mean that every five years there seems to be a new set of standards, a new discipline strategy, a new assessment, or a new approach that is going to fix all of our education system’s short fallings.

The bottom line is good teaching is good teaching.  My father taught in a one room school house over 75 years ago and I bet he implemented some of the “best practices” that worked for me when I started teaching in 1969. 

I’ve heard some moans and groans recently about the Common Core Standards.  Have you looked at them?  Look at them and study them before condemning them.  They are GOOD.  They are BASIC.  They are meant to improve quality across our country.  Let me quote:  “The Standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do, not how teachers should teach.”  The expectations are very relevant and realistic.  They are what good teachers have been doing in the different grade levels for decades.

Smart teachers know the research.  Smart teachers know their standards and curriculum.  And smart teachers know how to articulate what they are doing and how they are fusing activities children enjoy with goals to success!

I’ve found a great website called  Take a look at some of their videos that demonstrate how teachers are implementing Common Core Standards.

Rock Star Cheer

Now that I’ve preached, I owe you a new cheer!  Bend down the middle finger and ring finger on both hands.  Pinky, index fingers, and thumb stay straight.  Now, bend your elbows and point your hands down as you say, “Rock star!” 

You can also do the “You Rock” cheer.  When a child gets an answer correctly clap twice, point at them with both index fingers and say, “You rock!”