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I like to get to know my students and find out what they like to do for fun. Then I relate that to what we are studying. I make up games to help the information stick. And speaking of sticking...I LOVE to use Post-Its! They make everything bright and we are able to use color association for certain parts of the lesson. Music always helps, so I find some classical Mozart to get the "brain juices" flowing! The most common technique I utilize is explaining WHY we are learning this particular lesson. What does it relate to? Why is it important in the long run? Are we going to need to know it after the test? Even if the answer to the last question is "no", we will talk about how we can use the process of studying to help ourselves in the future. 1. Relating Student Interests to the Subject 2. Games 3. POST-IT Notes 4. Mozart 5. Asking "Why?"

1. Get outside the box, or seat rather, and move!  Incorporating kinestetic activities can help any learner stay focused for a longer period of time.  With younger students I like to use quick directional games: Simon Says, Search the Area...etc.  For older students a few stretches would help get those juices flowing again.     2.  Use materials and topics that are of interest to the particular student.   3.  Stay a their level and just beyond..pushing too far too fast only leads to discouragement.   4.  Enjoy the strengths of that student   5.  Take the time to plan the secession well.

Games- trivia and guinness records make for great reading material and can also incorporate other subject matter too.    student interest: whether its a clothing item, jewelry, or sports team, remember something about each child and ask him or her about it.    Real-world connections- help students see the subject area topics in use- bring a phone bill or other item that adults need skills for so students know how/why the subject is important.    Biographies- another way students make real-world connections is to hear about how role models use/have used the topic on their lives. 

     Although I enjoy geometric constructions, as in solving geometric problems with the equivalent of a string, I find that many students have little to no interest in them. I particularly like learning about how ancient cultures such as the Egyptians used them to design Pyramids where the error in the corners are about 1/300 of one degree, much more accurate than can be seen and even more accurate than almost all houses built today. Although learning about their history is interesting there is not a lot of places to apply this knowledge in the modern world, i've solved some problems in surveying with geometric constructions but there are always more advanced CAD methods which can also do the trick; which is why I was happy to find Euclid The Game.      This is a straightforward game that applies all the basic principles of geometric constructions into a fun little game. Although it doesn't require the attention to detail the Egyptians would have... read more

   Summer is a crucial time for students to continue their education. I know they have just finished up the school year and would love a break, but there needs to be some activity from the students. An easy way to keep your brain going is to actually study things you enjoy. Instead of sitting at home and going through your basic classes (Math, English, Science, etc), I suggest incorporating something you enjoy or find interest in. If you already enjoy a hobby then expand your knowledge in that field. Learning can take place in all fields. For instance, I have been wanting to learn more about light waves and solar energy, so I signed up for free classes on for the summer. They are basic courses with a light load of work, but I will most likely put more effort into these courses because I actually find them interesting.     Another excellent solution is games. Games are a great way to hold your students undivided attention with fun. There are... read more

The Winter break is a great time to sharpen math and reading skills by making family holiday foods from recipes, along with sharing family history when discussing recipes. Collaboratively, reading cherished family holiday books and/or watching films of those books and discussing  how the book and film are different is a good way to sharpen comparing and contrasting skills.  Creating a Winter break journal recounting what is happening helps keep writing skills sharp, and also can become a nice piece of family history some day.  The journal could also be a photo journal or a journal of holiday drawings, depending on the student's grade level.  While writing thank you notes for holiday gifts, may seem unexciting, it is a good way to help children develop skills of attractive correspondence.  Letter writing is a necessary life skill which we see, not just in social correspondence, but in cover letters and in personal notes following job interviews.  Children... read more

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