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July 2009
Vol 6 No 7
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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.7 July 2009

Cover Story by Lawrence Meyers
Is There Such a Thing as "The Great Teacher"?
You can make up all the checklists you want. You can take advice from your mentors. At the end of the day, what lies behind one's teaching style is what matters. A "Great Teacher" is the right teacher at the right time, at the right place.


Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
Teachers Are the Difference
Now in her sixth year of teaching, Melissa Dunbar has helped her students achieve a pass rate of between 92% - 99% over the years, with her ESL and Economically Disadvantaged students achieving a 100% pass rate this past school year!


Columns
Writing for Educational Publishers – Inside Secrets Sue Gruber
Self-Injury In Children Leah Davies
The School of No Knocks? Todd R. Nelson
Using Imaging to Move or Change Behavior Marvin Marshall
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac
Substitute issues: What to Wear & Too Much Love Barbara Pressman
Student Travel Topics: “Staycations” Expose Students to Other Cultures & Packing for Safety Josette Bonafino
Making The Case to Parents for Broadening, Not Narrowing, The Curriculum Dorothy Rich
Red Basket & Problem Solving Forms Rick Morris

Articles
The No.1 Ladies Detective Series Writer - Interview with Alexander McCall Smith Tim Newlin
Teachers and Technology: A Field of Dreams? Matt Levinson
Resources for Teaching Students with Autism Alan Haskvitz
Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to Questioning Techniques in the Classroom Panamalai R. Guruprasad
Tips on Maximizing High School Physics Teaching Stewart E Brekke
The Most Cost Effective Approach to Improve Teacher Education Edward Strauser
Merit Pay Problematic, Money Is Not the Ultimate Motivator for Teachers Marion Brady
Launches an Online Degree in Special Education Drexel University

Features
Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes Barb Stutesman
Today Is... Daily Commemoration Ron Victoria
The Lighter Side of Teaching
Video Bytes; Assume The Position, Lost Generation, Bathtub IV, Walk On - ESPN Video, Funeral, Heal, and At Home with Mrs. Hen
Teacher Blogs Showcase
Printable - Sweet Rules for the Classroom
Featured Lessons, Wisdom from the Chat Achives, and Timely Printables Especially for July!
Getting and Keeping the Attention of 3 & 4 Year Olds
Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


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Cover Story by Lawrence Meyers

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Lawrence Meyers, Sue Gruber, Leah Davies, Todd R. Nelson, Marvin Marshall, Marjan Glavac, Barbara Pressman, Josette Bonafino, Dorothy Rich, Rick Morris, Matt Levinson, Alan Haskvitz, Tim Newlin, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Panamalai R. Guruprasad, Stewart E Brekke, Edward Strauser, Marion Brady, and BattleShip Ron.

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Collective Wisdom

Teachers.Net Community
Discussion


Getting and Keeping the Attention of 3 & 4 Year Olds

It’s not easy, but it can be done – if you use these nifty chants, songs, and techniques gathered from teachers on the Early Childhood Teachers Chatboard!
Regular Feature in the Gazette
July 1, 2009

Posted by Dana
I have a class of 3 year olds. There are two of us teachers and about 16 kids. I love my kids dearly and absolutely love, love, love teaching them and watching them grow everyday. I recently got a new batch of kids and some of them are under the age of 3. My issue is carpet time, trying to do a story, calendar time or even just talking with them is difficult. Their behavior is outrageously loud, obnoxious, and hard to calm. I find myself running out of ideas. I've tried singing and everything else I can think of. Any ideas would be welcome. Thanks!

Posted by Clara/PK
I teach 3 and 4's in a combined class. I fill a spray bottle with water and call it "Magic Quiet Mist." When the kids get loud or antsy, I spray the mist into the air, it falls on them and they must be quiet because it's magic. They love this and most days it works. Some days if I used it like I needed, they would be soaking wet when their parents came to pick them up. I read about this somewhere - can't remember where it was - but thought it was a great idea!

I have a similar idea to this one...can't remember where I came across it. I used an empty container...I think it was a large spice bottle, and covered it with contact paper, so you can't see the inside of it, and decorated the outside. Then you add a little rice so it makes a soft sound when you shake it. I called it my Brain Sprinkles....which is also magic! You just shake it over their heads and tell them the sprinkles are invisible (or so small you can't see them). The kids love it, and it helps them calm down sometimes. I don't use it much, but it also comes in handy when we are beginning a new topic and I really need their attention.

Posted by Leah
Be enthusiastic - try to tell some of the story - use books with large, colorful pictures. Get them involved by asking questions. The other teacher needs to sit next to the ones who have the most trouble listening. Make each child a name plate on a 4" by 12" piece of paper that is laminated. Place them on carpet squares where you want them to sit.

You could try using a bell to get their attention. Do not over use it, but teach them to "Freeze like an Ice Cube" when they hear it and praise those who do respond appropriately.

Posted by Karen M.
Oh, it's so hard to adjust when the chemistry's been changed! Your new students don't know the routines or expectations; it's almost like the first day of school! How many children are we talking about out of the 16? Less than half? Is there any way you could separate that group for a separate circle time? This way you could do a shorter circle time, more movement activities that are appropriate for the younger age, shorter story, shorter fingerplays. One of you could have the younger group, and one of you the older group. Meet in different areas, then rejoin later.

Posted by Clara/PK
I have a similar idea to this one...can't remember where I came across it. I used an empty container...I think it was a large spice bottle, and covered it with contact paper, so you can't see the inside of it, and decorated the outside. Then you add a little rice so it makes a soft sound when you shake it. I called it my Brain Sprinkles....which is also magic! You just shake it over their heads and tell them the sprinkles are invisible (or so small you can't see them). The kids love it, and it helps them calm down sometimes. I don't use it much, but it also comes in handy when we are beginning a new topic and I really need their attention.

Posted by Caitlyn
I think that in order to keep students this young to pay attention you should just always remain extremely enthusiastic, keep the pace moving quickly, and a friend of mine used the noise clappers. If you use something that makes noise and will get their attention, without being too loud, this is a great way to help them get focused.

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