Slow Down! You’re Learning Too Fast.

Slow Down! You’re Learning Too Fast.

Coast to coast travel used to take weeks by stagecoach. Trains speed the process up quite a bit. Now, I routinely fly Atlanta to Los Angeles in about 4 hours. Technology has sped up how we travel, cook, and communicate. However, speeding up learning  tends to...
Make Learning Look Like Life

Make Learning Look Like Life

My third grade teacher did something amazing. She authorized us to pass notes in class. Not kidding. We could send and receive notes as long as we wrote in letter form with heading, greeting, body, close, and signature. We also had to put it in an envelope with the...
The Success of Failure

The Success of Failure

I remember the first time I watched Destin’s Backward’s Brain Bicycle episode in his show, Smarter Every Day. My biggest take away from his experience was realizing that learning looks a lot like failure. If he were being graded on performance he would have received a...
Color & Comprehension

Color & Comprehension

It all started with orange. I’m not sure why I decided orange was the perfect color for questions, but I started using an orange colored pencil to mark questions in my Bible. I started in the gospel of Mark keeping track of the questions people asked of Jesus, as well...
Beware the Frown Lines

Beware the Frown Lines

Back in high school when I was playing basketball, my poor eye-hand coordination earned me a rather consistent spot on the bench. When the coach did put me in the game, my dominant emotion while playing was frustration. When I missed the rebound or missed my shot...
Teaching Spelling Using All 3 Doors—Part 1 VISUAL

Teaching Spelling Using All 3 Doors—Part 1 VISUAL

Little did I know when my friend and I entered the lunch room that she was about to forever change how I learned to spell. Once we were seated with our food trays my friend pulled a napkin out of the dispenser and pulled a pen out of her purse. “Esther, do you know...
My Summer Reading Transformation

My Summer Reading Transformation

If I had known the transformation that was about to occur, I would not have dreaded my required “Kiddy Lit” class in college. Officially, Children’s Literature was a block class which only met for a few weeks. However, the course work included a daunting list of...
Journaling Myths

Journaling Myths

When I was 11 my parents decided to take us on the mother of all road trips. I’m not sure why the road trip was connected with writing in my mom’s mind, but it was. She bought me a notebook and encouraged me to write, as she did, about where we were going and what we...
How I’ve Used Hand Signals

How I’ve Used Hand Signals

Hand signals have worked for me with both lower and upper elementary students. I have used some of these on occasion in ministry contexts with middle school and high school. I’m guessing you can find an application in the home as well. Be aware that some hand signals...
Meltdowns

Meltdowns

 You may be humming along in your home or classroom thinking all is fine when —BOOM! Seemingly out of nowhere one child has a meltdown. Forward momentum is completely stopped —perhaps for all, certainly for one. Sobbing. Falling to the floor. Running away. Lashing...
Back to the Shallows In Math

Back to the Shallows In Math

If math were a pool, the most successful swimmers would be those who were given ample time in their formative years playing (ie: developing skills) in the shallow end. In a real swimming pool a child learns the skills necessary for good swimming, such as how to float...
Seismic Worldview Shift

Seismic Worldview Shift

I grew up near the San Andreas fault in Southern California. I know well what happens when the plates of the earth shift and settle. I also know what happens when my established way of thinking does the same. A mental seismic shift may not register on anyone’s Richter...
Why I’m Glad I’m a Slow Learner

Why I’m Glad I’m a Slow Learner

I’ll admit it. School was not always a fun place to be a slow learner. Some classmates thought me dull. Some teachers considered me lazy at first, then defiant. Not doing work at an acceptable (or accelerated) pace must be direct disobedience, or so some thought. I...
Open the Door

Open the Door

I tried out for a part in a musical once. I was one of the last to audition. While waiting, I heard the same lines sung over and over and over. I had those lines down cold!  Yet, when it was finally my turn, I reversed the first two lines. I never sang in that...

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