Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Sunday, September 25, 2022

What Kindergarten Parents Should Do Before Kindergarten


Get the child to start developing a routine at home. Doing the same things at the same time during the day help the child to adapt to the routines of kindergarten. These activities can be getting up in the morning, dressing, bathing, meals, nap time, etc.

Start reading to your child. The earlier the better. Get them interested in words and pictures. This also preps them for instruction time in kindergarten. Give your child their own big picture and word books to look at whenever they want.

Play thinking games. Ask questions about their day, their pets, or when shopping. Ask them thinking questions, like, should we wear sandals or shoes today, and why. Get them involved in preparing a meal.

Coloring books and drawing time. Children should start using crayons and other appropriate things to color and draw. It's not about perfection or realism, it is about the skill of using a writing and color instruments. It also fosters creativity.

Start them on the road to being independent. Start dressing themselves. Put their toys away. Wash their hands. Of course they should be feeding themselves and picking up their own dishes. These are things they need to be doing when they start kindergarten.

And that of course means not turning to you for help each and every time. If they drop something, they pick it up. If they make a mess, they clean it up, or at least help. Hang up a coat, put boots away, etc. If something they can do needs to be done, they are encouraged to do it themselves. Perfection is not needed, but attempts are a must.

Give them chores and responsibilities. This could be picking up all dishes after eating. Sweeping a floor. Wiping off their own faces. Getting a tissue and using it for themselves. If you go on a picnic, have them carry something. Anything the family does, they have a part in.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Top Most Comfortable Shoes for Teachers


All feet are different, and you might go through several shoe brands before settling on one that suits you. We have compiled a list of the top five shoe brands that many teachers attest to.

Allbirds Shoes: They say they are like walking on air! Visit: Sustainable Shoes & Clothing | The Most Comfortable Shoes in The World | Allbirds

Sanuk Shoes: Teachers claim they are easy on the feet! Visit: Women's Sidewalk Surfers | Sanuk® Official

HOKA Shoes : A durable and very comfy shoe. Visit: Women's Recovery Sandals & Shoes | HOKA®

UGG (Not just for boots!) Visit: Women's Fashion Sneakers & Slip-Ons - Pay Later with Afterpay | UGG®

Hot Chocolate- Chocolaticas: Support, comfy, and oh so cute! Perfect for a teacher of younger children.  Visit: Women's Slip-Ons – Hot Chocolate Design

Monday, September 19, 2022

Where is the Best State to Work as a Teacher?


Wallethub has compiled a state by state ranking for places best to teach. So, if you thinking of relocating, this might be a start. The rankings take into account things like salary, pensions, tenure, turnover rate, and enrollment. The top 5 states were:

New York






The bottom 5 states/areas were:

New Mexico


Wash. DC

New Hampshire


Remember, this is only a guide. Teachers are individuals and these states might not suit you. There are things like climate, commutes, and what you may or may not like as far as living conditions and attractions nearby. Many of these rankings are subjective.

To see the whole list, and where your state ranks, visit:

Wallet Hub's Teacher State Rankings: 2022's Best & Worst States for Teachers (wallethub.com)

Other articles of interest:

How to get a teaching job (teachersindex.com)

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Cursive Teaching is Going Away Rapidly


The students you encounter today probably will not know how to read cursive, let alone write with it. And they get by just fine. So, what happened, and are there any consequences of this?

If you go back to the history of writing, humans hand wrote for centuries. Then inventions like the printing press changed writing. No longer was all printed material hand written.

As time went on from there, other things came along. Like the typewriter. Soon type written correspondence and manuscripts became the norm. Teachers demanded students turn in perfect, typed essays and reports.

The implementation of computers in every walk of life ushered in the word processor. Those computers led to communicating more and more electronically. Email first, then the explosion of texting.

Cursive was now rapidly becoming an unneeded skill. The student of today has little need for cursive. No matter what your feeling on cursive is, that is the honest truth.

Over 10 years ago, updated standards, like Common Core, the cursive requirement was entirely eliminated. The cheer around the world from young kids learning cursive was deafening.

So, we now live in a world where people just do not do cursive, and have no need for it. 

If that makes sad or mad as a teacher, just think about things we no longer teach or use in modern classrooms. Latin, slide-rules, film projectors, record players, slate and chalkboards are just a few.

And let's be frank. Like it or not, writing throughout history has always an evolving technology.

Let's not kid ourselves and over-romanticize cursive. It really is a fading talent.

But now we get to the heart of this post. Like all fading "technologies" and skills, there are bound to be repurcussions.

First, how about signatures? We can't worry about much. Your signature was never about cursive, although that was common. So signatures today, for our young students, are some amalgamation of the letters they have learned to make.

But one of the biggest consequences is reading and interpreting old-style documents, manuscripts, and art work. Students who do not learn to write cursive, will most likely have a hard time reading it.

Showing a copy of, oh let's say The Declaration of Independence, becomes an excercise in futility. It's hard enough for a normal human to read the old-fashioned letters, but what about the modern student? They are now looking at that document as just an old piece of paper. They need a printed, typed out copy to get anything out of it.

It's a shame to admit it, but soon anyone working in a museum will probably be taking a night course on reading cursive. Similar to what a person needs if they are going to need to read Latin or some ancient writing.

The student of today needs to concentrate on modern skills, and keyboarding is at the top of the list. So please don't lament the loss of cursive instruction too long.

Those who go into history, or want to truly be a history buff, will need to learn to read and write cursive. Cursive skills won't die out completely, but sooner or later, people will not even be discussing it. It won't be there. Out of sight, out of mind.

Other things are going the way of the dinosaur as well. Some you probably never learned if you are part of a newer generation. Like dial phones. Film cameras.

You might not have even thought about shorthand, as you yourself may have never even seen it, let alone heard about it. That too has been almost eradicated by modern recording devices. Court reporters still use some shorthand machines, but they too will be phased out by artificial intelligence and digital recording devices.

As technology takes over tasks, it just creates a whole new skill set that students need. Don't lament the loss of cursive too long. And if you know how to read and write it, think of yourself as having a talent that can actually be valuable in many situations.

Someone, someday, might come up to you, hand you a letter from their great-grandfather, and ask, "Can you read this for me?"

You might be interested in: Should Teachers Assign Homework?

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Bullying in Kindergarten

Disruptive kindergartners are likely to be bullied later in elementary school

Misbehavior increases the risk of being bullied. Rubberball/Nicole Hill/Brand X Pictures via Getty Images
Paul L. Morgan, Penn State

Kindergartners who act out, disrupt classrooms, get angry and argue with their teachers are especially likely to be bullied once they reach third, fourth and fifth grade, our research group has found.

We continue to investigate bullying in U.S. elementary schools, but our initial findings indicate that the odds that disruptive kindergartners will be shoved, pushed or hit, teased or called names, left out, and have lies told about them are roughly twice as high as for kindergartners who do not act out in classrooms. We observed this in analyses accounting for many other risk factors.

Our findings are consistent with, but also extend, prior research documenting that children who are from poor families or who are struggling academically are more likely to be bullied than their peers who are from wealthier families or who are more academically skilled.

As with older children, we find that young boys are more likely to be shoved, pushed or hit, while young girls are more likely to be teased or called names, left out, and told lies about. Children with disabilities, particularly boys, are more likely to be frequently bullied. Black boys more frequently experienced other children telling lies about them than white boys, consistent with prior work finding that Black children are at greater risk of being bullied in adolescence.

We believe our study represents the first analysis of a nationally representative sample that identifies which kindergartners are most likely to be bullied later in U.S. elementary schools. We hope the information helps parents and school staff identify and support young children who are especially likely to be bullied.

The harms of bullying

Schoolchildren who are frequently bullied are likely to later be depressed, anxious and suicidal as well as to be unemployed, impoverished and abusing substances. These risks are as large as those associated with being placed in foster care or experiencing maltreatment.

Early identification can help support those children who are being bullied and so limit the potential damage. Screening and prevention efforts are more effective when delivered while children are still young. Mental health supports may be needed for those being frequently bullied.

And looking at specific types of bullying may help schools and parents more directly serve the different psychological needs of children experiencing physical or nonphysical bullying.

The results suggest that the more schools can do to help kindergartners learn to manage their disruptive behaviors, the less likely these children are to be bullied later on in elementary school.

[Interested in science headlines but not politics? Or just politics or religion? The Conversation has newsletters to suit your interests.]The Conversation

Paul L. Morgan, Eberly Fellow, Professor of Education and Demography, and Director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research, Penn State

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Get Help With Dealing With Kindergarten Problems Here

Friday, September 16, 2022

Classroom Ice Breaker or Fun Brain Break: Line Up by Birthdays


Teachers can use this activity as an ice breaker to get to know the class, anytime as a brain break or fun activity. You could do this once a month to see how many students remember where they were.

This activity involves the whole class at the same time. It could get a little chaotic, so be prepared!

All the kids get together on side of the room. They may need to spread out to complete it.

They are going to line themselves up by birthday as to how it occurs during the year. (Not by years, obviously). That is, a student born on January 25 lines up before someone born on March 3. And so on. Lining up left to right is probably best.

To add a little fun, get yourself in the activity too!

You may choose one or two students to coordinate, one boy, one girl, for example. They must get in line too, where their birthdays fit.

When they think they are finished, you can choose another student to go down the line and write all birthdays down, as a final check. If they are off, they need to correct their places.

It won't take too long to write down. You should have a paper with the months in order, and keep track of the day. If you want to get more detailed, you can write the student's name down as well.

You can then describe the birthdays to the class, and involve them. For example, point out who was born earliest in the year, latest, etc. Which month had the most birthdays? Anyone born on a holiday? Get creative.

Have fun and good luck!


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Brain Breaks: Some Great Ideas


Brain breaks are to be used to break up the tedious tasks of learning. Brains get worked in different areas, and sometimes these areas need a break to reset and refresh. Brain breaks are short, movement involved, and may require a different (fun?) way of thinking.

The two brain breaks here not only involve movement, but stimulate in other ways as well. The second brain break below not only is a true brain break, but can also be incorporated to be a regular learning task as well. The best of both worlds!

Brain Break #1: Move Around

The goal here is to get the kids moving around, let off some energy. The class stands up and the teacher is the first to call out a movement. Let's say, "fish." When the teacher calls out fish, all students must start acting like a fish. After a few moments, the teacher calls the name of a student. That student then decides what to movement to call next. The class moves to that, and the teacher calls out another student's name. Repeat until your brain break is over. A variation of this is to let the students move around the room while doing the movements. It does not need to be an animal. It can be literally anything that moves, such as a clock, car, cloud, etc.

Brain Break #2: Which Would you Choose?

This one involves moving, so be prepared. Students all gather in the front of the classrom. The teacher asks a question with two choices. Such as, "Vanilla ice cream or chocolate." The students run/walk to the sides of the room that go with their choice. Tell them left for vanilla, right for chocolate. Have the students count how many are in each group, write the results on the board. Gather the students at the front of the room, and repeat the whole thing again with another choice question. Make up a bunch so you never need to ask the same thing twice. Do this as many times as you wish. Afterward, you could have all students maintain a journal and keep track of the results. They could make bar graphs, etc.

For more classroom games visit: Fun Classroom Games, and Variations on Silent Ball 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

1 in 10 teachers say they’ve been attacked by students

1 in 10 teachers say they’ve been attacked by students

Physical assaults against educators are on the rise. Hal Bergman Photography via Getty Images
Charles Bell, Illinois State University

Ten percent. That’s the portion of K-12 teachers in the United States who say they’ve been physically attacked by a student, a new survey has found.

Various news outlets have reported what has been described as a “wave of student misbehavior” since students returned from remote learning to in-person instruction. The purported surge in student misconduct is part of an upward trend in student assaults on teachers. The percentage of teachers who have been attacked by students has increased from 6% to 10% over the past decade, federal data shows.

As school districts across the country report critical shortages in teaching staff, some people worry that the attacks on teachers might push qualified candidates away from the profession. Such concerns are well founded.

In my research interviews with high school teachers who were attacked by students, I learned from teachers firsthand that these assaults have a negative effect on their morale and make them want to leave their jobs.

As I point out in my book “Suspended: Punishment, Violence, and the Failure of School Safety,” attacks are leaving teachers traumatized. In some cases, educators told me they started illegally carrying guns to school after they were attacked.

Teachers also told me they feel as if principals don’t have their backs. In fact, several teachers who have been attacked by students expressed fear of retribution from administrators.

Why would a principal not support a teacher for reporting being attacked? Teachers informed me the principals were worried about their schools getting a bad reputation, which could make it harder to recruit new teachers and students. At least one school in my study could not recruit substitute teachers because the school had a reputation for violence between students and staff.

When teachers reported to principals they had been victimized by students, the principals would minimize their concerns, according to the teachers. The principals would also shift the focus to what the teacher did or didn’t do leading up to the attack.

Call for tougher laws

Over the past decade, teachers have urged policymakers to create legislation that addresses violent student behavior. Teachers have spoken publicly about how being attacked by students hampered their ability to teach effectively.

Lawmakers have tried to come up with tougher laws to deter violence against teachers. However, many bills fail because of concerns that the bills would erode students’ right to due process. In turn, as I found in my book, many teachers feel powerless because violent students are being allowed to stay in their classes.

For example, in Connecticut, Public Act 18-89 would have allowed teachers to have students removed from their classroom if those students engage in violent acts. It would have also allowed teachers to set the standards for the student’s return to the classroom.

Although this proposal received substantial support in the Connecticut House and Senate, then-Gov. Dannel Malloy vetoed the bill, arguing that it ran counter to his efforts to reduce exclusion from the classroom and to cut off the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Teacher Protection Act in Minnesota would have compelled public schools to expel students who assaulted teachers. But the legislation failed to gain much traction because of fierce opposition from Education Minnesota – a nonprofit organization that represents educators. This particular organization wanted to prioritize restorative justice initiatives that seek to keep students in school to make amends rather than have students be suspended or expelled.

Thus, the challenge for policymakers and administrators is to find a way to protect teachers without jeopardizing students’ right to due process. The well-being and stability of America’s teaching force depends on finding the right balance.The Conversation

Charles Bell, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Sciences, Illinois State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.