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Beginning of the Year Parent Forms

  Sending home classroom parent permission forms typically occurs at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, no one teaches you how to do it. In college they don’t help teachers learn any of the really important stuff, like how to operate the copier or run a laminator, and I know

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Book Report Badness: Reader Q & A

Book Report Badness: The Trouble with Summarizing There is always some tension between teaching a subject and making sure that we don’t turn the subject into a source of pain and drudgery. It’s the art of teaching (and parenting, really). I’ve written about it before when I talked about the

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2019 Year in Review

Do you love looking back on what you’ve done, where you’ve been, and think about where you’re going? I do! This is the second year that I’ve done a year in a review, and while they take hours to write, they’re worth it. I hope you agree. Speaking In 2019,

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Making Choice Menus Better

Choice menus (sometimes called Extension Menus or Choice Boards or fifty other titles) are a foundational technique for many teachers. Typically, they’re a grid somewhat like a tic-tac-toe board that has different options students can choose from to complete some task or project. Just do a quick search and you’ll

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Christmas Books for Kids with All the Feels

Every Christmas, I put away the children’s books that fill a basket in my family room and exchange them for beloved Christmas stories. In our home, it wouldn’t be Christmas without reading these favorites, both old and new. Most have tattered covers now, yet they are precious to me. I

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Group Work Feedback: How and Why

If you want to do group work really well, you need to allow the students to give feedback on how they worked in groups, and you need to share that feedback in a loving, gentle way. Here’s how. Why you need to solicit feedback from students You need to offer

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Trying to Make School Better for Gifted Kids

  Here’s a newsflash: school is not designed for gifted kids. When you recover from the shock, read on. Depending upon who you talk to, school is designed to: Create an educated (and ideally compliant) work force Develop productive citizens Provide free childcare Correct all of the problems created by

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Gifted Teachers Speak: You are Enough

I don’t know about you, but I’ve really been enjoying the Interview with a Gifted Kid series. I’ve interviewed gifted kids and grown up gifted kids, and now I’m sharing an interview I did with two fabulous gifted teachers from Louisiana. These women know their stuff. Here’s their experience: Cheryl

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Fixing a Group Work Project

A 6th grade social studies teacher who attended a session I did on effective grouping strategies for students asked if I would help out with an assignment she had been given. She realized it wasn’t set up effectively and wanted my thoughts. Warning: I’m about to point out some problems

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3 Doubts Parents Have About Raising Gifted Kids

I’ve never met a parent of any kind of kid who felt that they knew all of the answers. This isn’t a new issue. In the 17th Century John Wilmot said, “Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”

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Interview with a Gifted Kid: Peggy

Peggy Speaks This interview with a grown-up gifted kid is a series within a series. It is the latest in my Interview with a Gifted Kid series. In this episode, we meet the matriarch of three generations of a gifted family. In this installment, Peggy, a retired school librarian with

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