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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 3 Number 5

Harry & Rosemary Wong urge, "If you are a teacher applying for a job, it is essential that you ask the question at the interview: Does this district have a new teacher induction program? "...
The Miracle of Teachers
Teaching: An Awesome Responsibility
The Teacher is the Difference
All my Children
Improving Classroom Grading Procedures
Computer Use Policy: Informing the User's Consent
Families Get Organized For Success
Museums: Hands-on and More!
A Dozen Sure Fire Ways to Boost Memory in the Diverse Classroom
Another Way To Look At It...or...Thinking Like A Child
A Lesson in Economics by Alan Greenspan
The Benefits of eBooks: Learning With an Attitude!
The Reading Puzzle
Nobody Should Go Through It
Temperate Deciduous Forests
"OH DEER!" Game
What? No TV!
Teaching Gayle to Read (Part 5)
High School Research Papers
Music Lesson: Teaching High/Low Tones
Field Day
Field Day Games & Activities
The Creation-Evolution Controversy: A Guide for Teachers
Index of Columns
Index of Regular Features
Index of Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Linda Todd...
Linda Todd is founder of the company Kids Just Wanna Have Fun ( and author and co/author of eight Kids Just Wanna Have Fun books. Her philosophy and fun classroom ideas prompted her to publish and present workshop presentations at various early childhood conferences.

She lives in Delta, Utah where she taught preschool for 16 years. The preschool was an integrated classroom with special needs and regular education children ages 3-6. It was in an elementary school and part of the local school district who were very supportive and believed in the importance of a quality preschool program. She also taught a gifted and talented kindergarten class for one year in Salt lake City, Utah.

In her words;
"I love to watch children learn. The natural wonder and curiosity they have and the excitement in their eyes when something clicks and they are able to associate new experiences with prior knowledge they already have is very rewarding to watch. I love paying close attention to what they say and watching their thinking process grow as their language skills and experience base builds. I made up the term "structured play" to describe my teaching style. It's not the stress filled, highly structured, everything better go as planned every minute of the day, I see in some classrooms. It's also not the chaos of a total play, anything goes, type of classroom either. It's more like, play with a plan, yet very flexible to changes at the spur of the moment to fit the needs and enthusiasm of the students.

Teacher Feature...

Another Way To Look At It...or...Thinking Like A Child
adapted from Kids Just Wanna Have Fun editorial page

by Linda Todd

My daughter and her husband moved to Portland and took my grandchildren with them (can you believe that?) I still get to talk to them on the phone a lot and that gives me the chance to really listen to what they are saying. I especially like to talk to Shayne, the oldest, he was five when they moved. Soon after they had moved I was talking to him. On this occasion I don't remember what we were talking about but he said to me,

"Time moves faster at our new house."

I said "Oh really?"

He answered "Yeah today is tomorrow at our house."

I had mentioned the time difference in earlier conversations and I thought he was just talking about that. But when I talked to his mom she had tried to teach him about the concept of today, tomorrow and yesterday, but he seemed to be having a little trouble (as kids that age do) understanding the idea. On Friday, she had told him he could call Grandma tomorrow because their cell phone rates are lower on weekends. When he got up that morning he asked,

"Is it tomorrow yet?"

She knew he was asking because of the promised phone call so she answered,

"Yes, it's tomorrow now."

I think that he was taking what he had heard about a time difference and mixed it with what he knew about the idea of yesterday, today and tomorrow and that's what he came up with.

Another phone conversation with my grandson, Shayne. At this time he was struggling hard to learn the alphabet:

"Grandma, I found the best TV show!"

"Oh really? What is it?" I asked.

"You want to be a Millionaire," he said. "It's so good they just have to pick an alphabet letter and there's not very many of them."

"Really?" I prompted.

"Yeah! If they pick the right one, they get to pick more. And if they pick they wrong one, they get a check!" he explained.

"They pay them for picking the wrong one?" I asked.

"Yeah they get a check for picking the wrong alphabet A, B, C or D. If they get the right one they get to pick again. And if they pick the right alphabet every time they get a million dollars!! It's easy!" he assured me.

Isn't life so simple when you're young? You don't lose if you guess wrong you get a check! He proceeded to tell me how to find the show.

"It's on channel 7 at 8:00. If you can't find it just push the up button until it comes on," he instructed.

"Oh! Do you still have that purple television?" he asked.

"Yes." (I had just bought a small purple TV that he saw when he last visited.)

"Oh. Well, I don't know if it's on purple TVs, so if you can't find it go to Aunt Jamie's house 'cause her TV is black and I know its on black TVs."

I think it's so interesting that he would think the shows might be different on a TV that's a different color then the others he knows.

When working with young children take the time to really listen to them and you will be reminded how they take bits of information they have already and add to it new things they are discovering. Sometimes the resulting information is a little mixed up. These funny little tidbits are one of the things that makes working with children so fun and reminds us of their innocence. Slow down and listen when you're around young children. Don't let your world move so fast you miss out on a good one.