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Personally, I became a teacher because I love to learn, and I had many teachers along the way that inspired me through their creative teaching methods. I'll never forget Doc Ann, as we called her. She would assign the most general, broad tasks with very few, but specific guidelines. Once she asked us to choose an object and describe how our five senses perceived it. If we could describe it well enough, without ever saying "give away" words, such as wet for water, etc., the class should be able to guess what we were writing about. It was a sort of writing version of charades. In another course, this one was Psychology 101, we were asked to break a social norm and describe to the class how it made us feel. Apparently it is socially expected to split the space in an elevator with other passengers. For example, if three strangers get on an elevator, they will automatically split the space into thirds. I decided to try standing next to a stranger, the only other person on the... read more

I believe its important to always think out of the box as a teacher! Not everyone learns the same...  Here are my tips for making lessons fun.   1) Never do the same lesson in the same way twice- boring!!!   2) Never teach to the test   3) Always believe you can learn it!!!   4) Teach lessons in different ways so that you can reach different learners   5) Take field trips when you can!

For years, I have developed some of my own teaching strategies to help young children pay attention during piano lessons.  One of my favorite ways to break the monotony of just playing new songs, is playing a short "game".  I have the child place their hands on the first hand position (both thumbs on middle C, and every other finger gets it's own note!). Then I tell them, "I will call out a note, and see if you can play it. Can you play B?  Can you play F in your right hand?", etc. This is a great tip for children experiencing dyslexia, as well.  I also have them say the notes in their new songs as they play them during the first three or four lessons to reinforce the connections from their hands to their brain. If you have very young students, introduce dynamics at the first lesson so that they can have fun playing "forte" and "piano".  Even if they are playing a song with only two notes, you will grab their attention... read more

  One of my favorite things to help young children learn to read, in addition to drilling phonics, is helping them make their own books.  Of course, I keep the books short to accommodate their short attention spans.  Using books they made helps to break up the monotony of rote/drill work, which is very important.  We start with books that only contain words with the same sound, for example, the "oo" sound.  I find that the "oo" sound is very exciting to start with because one can make words that a child loves.  Some "oo" words we start with are "boo", boom, "zoo", "zoom", "moo", moon", and  the word " boot".   Children latch on to these words and really make a connection to the sounds because these are fun words.    Next, I make another book using two sight words .  For example, introduce the words  "I like".  On each page,... read more

1.  Use technology! There are countless tools available that can help you succeed.  My favorites include the Read and Write Gold software program from Text Help and the Livescribe pen.  I love introducing new technology to students to assist in their academic success   2.  Get creative! Everyone learns differently and at their own pace.  Get to know how you learn best by trying out different methods.  I think it is very important that as an educator I can assist you in identifying your needs and creating interactive ways to help you learn!   3.  Teach the teacher! Instead of the traditional lecture based lessons, I think it is extremely important to maintain an interactive learning environment.  I encourage my students to explain to me their thinking process and show me what they've learned in every session.   4.  Edit the lesson! It is very helpful to edit lessons so that you are able... read more

bring my iPad and have the student do some of the work on it or use it as a reward.    Candy  always helps.    Teaching the the parents how to teach the kid.    Working on more challenging problems... Keeps students motivated.    Be myself... I'm fun. 

Unless you are a "Home-schooled" student...- which in the Summer months you are unless you are attending an actual Summer School - are literally Out of the Box, the Box being the school building. This is a good thing on many levels. You've heard that change is good, well, the Summer months allow for some very significant change. In the first place, you have time now to reflect and consider what you were taught during the school-year, and for most students, time for such reflection was NOT available while you were in classes. Secondarily, you can now concentrate on the things you actually want to study and/or learn about, which is not always in the school's schedule. Staying sharp and retaining knowledge is about keeping your mind active, NOT about reviewing all the details of what you've already been taught. You'll find that quite naturally, your mind will recall facts that you've learned as you go about learning NEW things, things that interest you, things that... read more

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