First & Last Five

Jun 6, 2016

Janice Smith

The ‘First Five’, or Do Now*, or Do First, is the chunk of time right at the start of a class period.  Most often used in Middle or High School, it provides an opportunity to do several things: 1) Set the tone for the class.  Students are often transitioning in from the hallway, and a […]

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Color Systems & Behavior Management

Feb 1, 2016

Janice Smith

One of my former students is getting ready to graduate college this year and is in the process of applying for teaching positions.  This, alongside her student teaching experience, has led to some great conversations about teaching and classrooms over the past couple years, and most recently the topic of ‘color charts’ came up as […]

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Sweating the Small Stuff

Sep 13, 2014

Janice Smith

Three reasons you should be pumped about this week’s Video of the Week: 1)  We’re integrating a great new tool we discovered from EdPuzzle, which allows you to add questions (CFU’s) or comments right in the video.  This also lets us keep these emails a whole lot shorter 🙂  (A piece of feedback we’ve been working […]

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Conserving Brainpower for the RIGHT Things

Apr 17, 2014

Janice Smith

An interview recently with Alex Quigley, the school leader of one our Partner Schools (Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, North Carolina), was particularly enlightening.  He references some key ideas from the book Extreme Productivity by Robert Pozen, drilling down what it takes to make the most of our always limited time. Here’s the gist. […]

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20mph --> 70mph

Dec 9, 2013

Janice Smith

In several conversations with outstanding teachers at Henderson Collegiate Charter School I kept hearing about this ‘Go 20 mph so you can go 100’, or ‘Go 10 mph so you can go 60’ (for the slightly more conservative drivers).  While the numbers varied from conversation to conversation, the idea remained the same.  Taking it slow […]

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