AIMS Center

Using Tools

Teachers use a lot of tools. We use physical tools like copy machines, scissors, and staplers. We also use educational tools like math manipulatives, websites, textbooks, and assessments. Recently, I had an experience with a tool which was new to me and I would like to share some thoughts about that experience. At the AIMS… Continue Reading

Sharing Can be Rigorous Work!

The term “rigor” has been highlighted in education since the Common Core Standards have been adopted. The Common Core Standards have been deemed to be more rigorous and, therefore, students should be engaged in more rigorous lessons. What does it look like for students to be engaged in a rigorous task? Especially in the K-2… Continue Reading

In Their Voices (Part 6)

  “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” -Dr. Seuss Friday, March 2 marked the 21st anniversary of the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America Day. How and why did Read Across America begin? According to the NEA’s website, Read… Continue Reading

Turning to Conversation

“I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again…Simple, truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well.” -Margaret Wheatley Teaching requires reflective conversation–before, during, and after. In this short blog post, I’d like to share a few quotes… Continue Reading

Teachers Making an Impact = Students Who Learn and Lead

Teachers help students acquire knowledge and become competent in all subject areas. After teachers have met the requirements for having and using a teaching credential, it seems one expectation is for them to be a “high-quality” teacher. How does a person become a “high-quality” teacher? Teacher quality has been consistently identified as the most important… Continue Reading

Giant Business Cards and the Art and Science of Communication

Recently, I was listening to an episode of the Hidden Brain podcast entitled, “Alan Alda Wants Us to Have Better Conversations.” The episode details Alan Alda’s work with scientists and health care professionals to help improve their communication. During the interview, he talked about an experience working with the TV show Scientific American Frontiers, during… Continue Reading

Spatial Learning in Early Childhood Development

In a previous blog post I talked about the importance of spatial learning in relationship to our interactions and perception of the surrounding world. Piaget outlined the importance of spatial perception in his 1948 book, The Child’s Conception of Space. In his book he discusses the importance of mental visualization to a child’s development as… Continue Reading

Moving Forward Takes Looking Back

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and social critic Soren Kierkegaard lived from 1813-1855. He philosophized how one should live as a “single individual,” giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. Here are two quotes and some thoughts that were shared with me by Richard Thiessen, the… Continue Reading

Adding Math to the Morning Message

One thing that I always loved doing in my kindergarten class was our daily morning message. Many teachers do some sort of morning message or shared writing as a whole group activity. It’s typically done during calendar time and is an opportunity to model writing with students. I used this time to promote sentence structure,… Continue Reading