Koonlaba: What do you think about the kindergarten controversy?

In “The Kindergarten Dilemma,” Judy Smizik reflects on her thirty-five years as a Kindergarten teacher. She asserts, “Kindergarten exposed children to the world around them through creative experiences that incorporated the arts, rich literature, and meaningful learning. It addressed the needs of the “whole” child.  Kindergarten programs were developed to allow for the differences that naturally occur in […]

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Koonlaba: Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative Hosts Successful Summer Institute

Last week, I attended the Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative’s Summer Institute, appropriately titled Believe in Something Big. The Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative is a “comprehensive statewide arts education program, that uses the arts as a vehicle for promoting high-quality instruction and learning for students in all disciplines. This unique program goes far beyond “art for […]

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Koonlaba: What do you think about these ways to never praise a student?

I recently read an article titled, 3 Ways You Should Never Praise Students. I can’t remember how I stumbled across this post from 2012. However, since reading it I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the way I use praise in my classroom. In fact, it was so thought-provoking I shared it in my […]

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Koonlaba: What do you think about students showing their work in math?

This article, titled Explaining Your Math: Unnecessary at Best, Encumbering at Worst, discusses the difference between “knowing” and “doing.” It points out how reformers often argue that students can quite often “do” a problem but never actually understand or “know” the actual concepts. Students have been required to justify their answers. However, the article argues […]

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