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R_manna_025

Teacher Helpline

Hi, I’m Ruth Manna, a teacher for over 20 years, and now a Director of Curriculum. I’ve spent over five years answering questions on the Teacher Helpline and hope to answer yours. This year, I'll join other teacher advisors on the Top Teaching blog.
Administrator: Ruth Manna Created: 02/22/2010 Last Activity: 11/20/2010

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Please bring your questions, situations, and problems and collaborate with one another and with me.
  • Profile
    Last Minute Demo, Help!
    Kelseyc12@yahoo.com
    I have been asked to do a demo tomorrow morning and I am lost. I have only been told that it needs to be 20 minutes for a k/1 ESY mixed disabilities classroom. I am up for any and all suggestions! Thank you for all your help!
  • Profile
    Re: Last Minute Demo, Help!
    Kelseyc12@yahoo.com
    oh! and it needs to be a ELA lesson !
  • Profile
    Demo lesson help!
    kelsol24
    Next Thursday is my third and final interview for a 3rd grade position. It is a 20 minute demo and the only requirement is that I use the poem "Grungy Grace" by Jack Prelutsky. There will be 5 children that are going into fourth grade have have a DRA between 40-60. They want me to show my creativity! Please help!
  • Profile
    Re: Demo lesson help!
    Kelseyc12@yahoo.com
  • Profile
    Last Minute Demo
    carys.martens@gmail.com
    I have been asked to do a demo tomorrow morning and I am lost. I have only been told that it needs to be 20 minutes for a first grade class. It is a project based school, so I am stumped trying to think of a interesting, self-contained lesson. Any ideas? Thanks!
  • Profile
    Re: Last Minute Demo
    Kelseyc12@yahoo.com
    What did you end up doing!?
  • Profile
    hi, last minute demo in the morning - thinking of canceling
    suzy7677@gmail.com
    Any ideas, I am stumped. Hi, I need to do a 3RD GRADE Language Arts demo. lesson for the principal over Skype tomorrow morning. i just landed the interview this afternoon. They want a 15 minute lesson using their core values as much as possible: Citizenship, Courage, Friendship, Honesty, Humility, Integrity, Perseverance, Responsibility, Wisdom IN A REAL CLASSROOM, I WOULD JUST DO A READ ALOUD, BUT HERE I HAVE TO KEEP AN ADULT ENGAGED IN RICH DISCUSSION, AND WOULD FEEL SILLY READING A BOOK TO THEM. Thank you
  • Local_kayak
    You are not alone!
    marbar
    Feel like you slept through the lecture on classroom management in college? You didn't, they just didn't teach it well. Read this article to see why you feel so lost now. http://www.usnews.com/news/art...
  • Local_kayak
    Sources for help
    marbar
    This was compiled for new teachers, but it will be useful for everyone. http://www2.ed.gov/teachers/be...
  • Profile
    stara9500
    stara9500@aol.com
    What is a good strategy to use in teaching 11th grade students how to develop critical thinking questions using Bloom's taxonomy?
  • Local_kayak
    Re: stara9500
    marbar
    Here are 2 resources that will help you. Let me know if this is helpful. http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.... www.lincoln.edu/assessment/pla...
  • Local_kayak
    great blogs to read
    marbar
    Every school has that wonderful teacher with the amazing classroom. These blogs are by those teachers, and they share all kinds of ideas, pics of their classrooms, etc. Grab some ideas! http://www.scholastic.com/teac...
  • Local_kayak
    Just a reminder of a top site
    marbar
    If you are new to teaching, a new grade, etc. here is a resource that is always out there for you... http://www.scholastic.com/teac...
  • Local_kayak
    Need some organizational help?
    marbar
    Read this blog before you set foot in your classroom. http://www.scholastic.com/teac...
  • Profile
    1st year teaching technology....now what?
    S Doherty
    Hello all, I am just finishing up my first year teaching, in three different schools. I taught computers for grades Pre-K 3 through 8th. I have enjoyed my first year, but have already fallen into a pigeonhole on "only teaching computers". I would love to have a classroom of my own, but because I don't have traditional classroom experience, I don't "fit the bill" What can i do to help my resume stand out in the crowd (even with all of the computer experience)? Thank you!
  • Profile
    Re: 1st year teaching technology....now what?
    S Doherty
    Thank you so much for the replies!
  • R_manna_011
    Re: 1st year teaching technology....now what?
    Ruth Manna
    My daughter and her friends are beginning teachers looking for their first jobs. It's a tough job market. What about co-teaching/assisting with a classroom teacher for one year to get your foot in the door in a school/district and build experience as a classroom teacher?
  • Local_kayak
    Re: 1st year teaching technology....now what?
    marbar
    I have taught several years as the school computer lab teacher and as a classroom teacher. I would take the lab spot over the classroom anytime. If you do want classroom experience, you might sub teach if your district has different calendars for some schools. You also might ask a teacher to job share and you could split the classroom/lab time.
  • Profile
    1st year teaching technology....now what?
    S Doherty
    Hello all, I am just finishing up my first year teaching, in three different schools. I taught computers for grades Pre-K 3 through 8th. I have enjoyed my first year, but have already fallen into a pigeonhole on "only teaching computers". I would love to have a classroom of my own, but because I don't have traditional classroom experience, I don't "fit the bill" What can i do to help my resume stand out in the crowd (even with all of the computer experience)? Thank you!
  • Local_kayak
    The final days of the year...packing up.
    marbar
    Here are some tips. http://www.scholastic.com/teac...
  • Local_kayak
    New teacher or not, help for the next two important months.
    marbar
    These ideas will help new teachers survive, and they will also jog the memories of those of us who have been around for awhile. http://www.scholastic.com/teac...
  • Profile
    Behaviours
    reshma.sramkissoon@gmail.com
    Hi Ruth, This site seems to be really helpful. I have to do some research on some educational websites and I find this one very very interesting. There is so much useful information . By the way can you assist me in answering this question; How can you solve aggression in the early childhood classroom?
  • R_manna_011
    Re: Behaviours
    Ruth Manna
    Hi, This email is in response to your post on Nov. 19. Based on your description of this child, I do have a couple of recommendations. If you are working with young students who are aggressive, you might want to read the following book: The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene http://www.amazon.com/dp/00607... Dr. Greene's career has been devoted to working with difficult, emotionally volatile children and their parents. This book is widely available. Dr. Greene suggests several strategies that work with difficult students. Another book that might be helpful, especially if you are a pre-service or beginning teacher is Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4 - 14 by Chip Wood. http://www.amazon.com/Yardstic... While this is not about behavior problems, the author gives short thumbnail sketches of developmental stages. It helps to know that some aggression in young children may be within a normal range. Young children are just learning the format and boundaries of school. They enter not knowing about the rules and in the beginning are just learning what school is and testing the boundaries. Depending on their background, they may be more or less used to a structured environment. The best remedy is consistent and kind follow-through on the part of teachers. I hope this is helpful. Please write back if you have more questions. Thanks, Ruth
  • Local_kayak
    good resource
    marbar
    This is a general site that may help you and your students. http://www.reacheverychild.com...
  • Profile
    Lesson Plans
    mhunt72
    I am lost on trying to complete all the fields on a lesson plan. I have not done well in the classes when it comes to preparing my own lesson plans, I have asked for assistance and I just get more confused. Need to know what to place in the content objectives and lesson objectives. Any assistance that is clear would be helpful. Thank You
  • R_manna_011
    Re: Lesson Plans
    Ruth Manna
    A lesson objective is a central concept you are teaching in a given lesson. It defines the lesson and answers the question, "Why are we doing this lesson?" It is not identical to a standard. A lesson objective might be a sentence stated from a student's viewpoint that starts "We can..." or "I can..." A lesson objective is written in kid-friendly language. Every school district is different but in our district teachers write their lesson objectives daily for all core instruction and post them in their classrooms. Ideally teachers refer to a lesson objective at the beginning, middle, and end of a lesson. Content objectives are the skill(s) taught in a lesson.
  • Local_kayak
    Re: Lesson Plans
    marbar
    Your school, district, and state all have content they want mastered, or at least introduced, at each grade level. Those are your big objectives for the year. Each lesson should have an objective of working towards those state mandated content goals. There are loads of lesson plan formats, each with slightly different boxes to fill in. Whatever format you use, you must know why you are teaching that lesson. It isn't just to fill in a period of time. If a parent asked you why you taught a particular lesson what would you tell that parent? If you can answer the parent you can fill in the boxes.
  • Profile
    challenging students
    pergensten
    After a very long parent conference, the parents told me (3rd grade teacher) that they don't feel like their child is being challenged and hates school. The parents compared me to the former teacher who was wonderful in their eyes. The former teacher told them that their child should be tested for gifted eligibility once he gets to middle school. I am not seeing this student being proficient in 3rd grade work and I was shocked at the thought of gifted. He is shy, has anxiety issues, and draws guns and cannons on his paper. He doodles when he should be writing complete sentences. His handwriting is almost ineligible. He is constantly redirected to capitalize his I and add punctuation to the end of his sentences. Any suggestions on how to challenge a child that you feel should have the work cut in 1/2 because he cries when you tell him to correct it? I was stunned after this parent meeting.
  • Profile
    Re: challenging students
    Hannah Seabrooks
    I think it important to point out that just because a kid has sloppy work, or is lazy, or unfocused does not mean they are not smart, and they could be gifted. Capitalizing and punctuating sentences correctly is far from higher order thinking.
  • R_manna_011
    Re: challenging students
    Ruth Manna
    It can be difficult when parents and a child's teacher having such differing perspectives about that child's school performance and ability. The good news is you all want what is best for this child. Take a deep breath, exhale, and focus on this student's strengths. All students have relative strengths, both academically and socially. You'll want to build on strengths while you teach/remediate this student's weaknesses. The dynamic between teacher and student can be tricky. We're not going to like all students but what's important is that we treat all students in an equitable, impartial way.
  • Local_kayak
    Re: challenging students
    marbar
    I would go over the student's file to see what had gone on in the past years. Can you contact the "wonderful" teacher and ask about your student? He may be talented, but lazy, messy, and immature. You might collect and send home some of his writing and correcting as homework, so the parents can see his initial work output. If you are not documenting and keeping a complete portfolio on this student yet, I would start right now. Final report card time could be tense. If this boy has been at this school ask the principal for any input on dealings with parents and previous academics.
  • Profile
    RTI Interventions??
    danielledandrea
    Hi Ruth and everyone! I'm looking for a good list of reading and math interventions that I could use for students who need additional RTI Tier 1 supports and for a couple moving into Tier 2. If you know of anything, please let me know!! Thanks, Danielle
  • R_manna_011
    Re: RTI Interventions??
    Ruth Manna
    This question requires a complex, long answer. You can write to me at ruth.manna@verizon.net and I'll help you with specific suggestions. I'll need to know the reading and math programs you use, grade you teach, and who will be doing the interventions. Will you or a paraprofessional be the interventionist?
  • Profile
    Help
    daniellestrausbaugh
    I am doing a lesson on China to promote global awareness and need an idea of some kind of writing activity I can have my second grade students do. I can not find anything on the internet. Please help.
  • R_manna_011
    Re: Help
    Ruth Manna
    Students need to read and learn about China before being asked to write. Most elementary students know very little about China. Here's a lesson with book: http://teachershare.scholastic... Here's a book list: http://www.scholastic.com/teac...
  • Local_kayak
    Re: Help
    marbar
    Here is a fun site that has poetry and dragon tales---two great ways for 2nd graders to turn out some fine writing. http://www.lair2000.net/Chines...
  • Profile
    English Field Trips
    hebert007
    I teach middle school English and I am looking for field trip ideas. The local theaters are not doing any age appropriate stories related to my curriculum. What field trips suggestions do you have related to English and Language Arts?
  • Profile
    Re: English Field Trips
    hebert007
    I am in Palm Bay, Fl. I did not look into the local college theaters. We have a Technical university and a community college nearby. The nearby museums are focused on art and science.
  • R_manna_011
    Re: English Field Trips
    Ruth Manna
    Where is your school located? If you tell me, I'll have specific suggestions for you. Do you have museums or local colleges or universities? Colleges/universities may offer free or inexpensive ticket prices to their theater productions.
  • Local_kayak
    Re: English Field Trips
    marbar
    It sounds like you at least have local theaters, bring in actors, makeup artists, etc. to your classroom to speak, demo, etc. Also Google online field trips. There are a lot of entries, you will have to narrow down the field to your interests.
  • Local_kayak
    Are you from Missouri?
    marbar
    If you are, and you need some help with standards and lesson plans, try this state-sponsored site for free info. www.successlink.org
  • Profile
    Help
    shannell1992
    Hello, I'm during a activity for a classes need to know what kind of help a child need for speech impairment and how to inculded parents/
  • R_manna_011
    Re: Help
    Ruth Manna
    Contact your principal or immediate supervisor. You need the services and skills of a speech and language pathologist. Try to arrange for an informal consult with an SLP and follow up by having the SLP visit your classroom and observe this student.
  • Profile
    Speed of Word Zone
    Linda Kirkdorffer
    I have a 7th grade student who is frustrated with not being fast enough on Word Zone in the Read 180 program. He is on level 4 and has a lexile level of 999. Should I move him to level 3 so that he can have more success? Any other suggestions?
  • R_manna_011
    Re: Speed of Word Zone
    Ruth Manna
    Sometimes moving a student down a level helps build confidence. However, in some students it undermines their confidence and makes them feel "stupid". By now you know this student and can use your professional judgement to decide whether or not a move down a level will bolster his self-esteem.
  • Profile
    So Much So Little Time
    SMBROTT
    I was wondering if there was a way with our memberships to printables and mini-books if a person can download a group of printables or mini-books at a time. It takes me so long to get 3 pages when I am trying to get 10.......last night it took me 45 mins. Do you have it where we can do a large download from the site?
  • R_manna_011
    Re: So Much So Little Time
    Ruth Manna
    I'm so glad you're finding lots of printables you can use. I like Printables too and always find something relevant. You make a very good suggestion. I will pass your idea on to the technical staff. Keep monitoring Printables for future developments. :)
  • Profile
    need a classroom solution
    lgm123
    I am montessori preschool teacher. I have a 3 year old new child in the classroom. This is his first time attending a preschool. He runs in the classroom. Try to take way thing from the bowls and throws them on the ground. He is heavy boy and english is second language. He is not able to sit more than 2 minutes. what are things need to look for a speial need child.
  • R_manna_011
    Re: need a classroom solution
    Ruth Manna
    Do you teach in a private preschool? Have you spoken with your administrator about this student? Have you talked with his parents? In many preschools, parents drop off children at their classroom door. This is an ideal time to touch base with a parent to set up an appointment. You may need an interpreter at the conference. It seems this student might benefit from a behavior modification plan at school and likely also at home. His parents may be relieved to know that you want to help. They may be seeking suggestions for how to handle their active child. Let me know what happens. I'm interested.
  • Profile
    In need of help
    keyette joiner
    I just became a kindergarten teacher and I am teaching letters and I wanted to know the order I should teach it in. Cany anyone help?
  1. Ideas to Promote Active Engagement in Your Students
    View lesson detail
    Type:
    Activity 
    Grade:
    3-5
    Subjects:
    Interdisciplinary
    Avg. Rating
     
    Summary:
    All teachers struggle with keeping students engaged throughout the school day. Attached are some ideas that have been successful in my classroom.
    Created by:
    wiseguys1
    Views:
    16979
    Assets:
  2. Report card comments
    View lesson detail
    Type:
    Link/URL 
    Grade:
    3-5
    Subjects:
    Arts, Math, Science, Technology, Foreign Language, Interdisciplinary
    Avg. Rating
     
    Summary:
    Superb tool to help teachers write their end of year reports
    Created by:
    duncwilson
    Views:
    95041
    Assets:
  1. Kelseyc12@yahoo.com
    View profile
    Profile
    Location:
    QUEENSBURY, NY 
    Grade:
    K to K 
    # Resources:
    0
    School:
    QUEENSBURY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 
    Class Size:
    10 to 30 
    Geographic Profile:
    Urban 
    Experience:
    Less than 1 year
  2. kelsol24
    View profile
    Profile
    Location:
    ,  
    Grade:
    PK to 12 
    # Resources:
    0
    School:
     
  3. carys.martens@gmail.com
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    Profile
    Location:
    OAKLAND, CA 
    Grade:
    6 to 6 
    # Resources:
    0
    School:
    OAKLAND CHARTER ACADEMY 
  4. esuarez@scholastic.com
    View profile
    Edwinface
    Location:
    NEW YORK, NY 
    Grade:
    12 to 12 
    # Resources:
    0
    School:
    SCHOLASTIC INC 
    Class Size:
    Less than 10 
    Geographic Profile:
    Urban 
    Experience:
    Less than 1 year
  5. suzy7677@gmail.com
    View profile
    Profile
    Location:
    Greenwich, CT 
    Grade:
    1 to 3 
    # Resources:
    0
    School:
    SEAS International School