Bridging the Gap

When I first started teaching there was a small group of teachers who were keen bridge players. They would play in the staff-room during lunch hour and would rush into the staff-room during the morning break to get in a few hands. One morning I entered the staff-room to get a coffee refill. “Caines, get… Continue reading Bridging the Gap

Question What’s Right

This was a common interaction I would have with my students early in the school year: Looking at a student’s work, “Why did you write a 2 by the chlorine?”, pointing to CuCl2. “It’s wrong?” “No, I didn’t say it was wrong. I’m simply asking why you chose to write a 2 there. Tell me… Continue reading Question What’s Right

Think Alouds – PART III

I don’t want to give the impression that I shared all of this with my friend. My suggestions focused mainly on what I covered in Part I, but our conversation reminded me of the strategies I did with my own children and as a teacher. With my son and daughter I really enjoyed simply playing… Continue reading Think Alouds – PART III

Think Alouds – PART I

Recently, I ran into a former teammate who happens to be half my age. We had a nice chat, and he mentioned that just a week earlier he and his wife became parents for the first time. His excitement was apparent. When I asked if I could offer some advice, he agreed. Suddenly, in my… Continue reading Think Alouds – PART I

Why We Do Things – Part I

Why We Do Things – PART I Everything we do in life is for one or a combination of three reasons. Enjoyment of the Process – Often we do something simply because it is fun to do: Playing cards with friends Going to the movies Reading a trashy novel Having sex for pleasure Enjoyment of… Continue reading Why We Do Things – Part I

Class Size

Not long ago I was chatting with a few early-career teachers. The conversation came around to class size. I asked them what they thought the ideal class size would be. Each did so and with adequate clarification. Their answers varied depending on grade level with distinctions for primary, elementary and secondary levels. I listened as… Continue reading Class Size

Paw in Mouth

I had just finished my second year of teaching. A colleague agreed to do some welding for me. I drove to his place one summer morning and carried the materials into his garage. Shorty after I arrived, a Newfoundland dog came over to me. He was friendly enough. I didn’t have to bend over to… Continue reading Paw in Mouth