May 2008 - Steve Barkley

Learning While Playing

In the April 30th edition of Education Week, Sean Cavanagh shares that students can improve mathematical skills while playing board games [Playing Games in Classroom Helping Pupils Grasp Math]. Exposing youngsters from low income backgrounds to simple board games that involved counting produced lasting gains in understanding of numbers. Young people learn a great deal […]

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Mixed Age Groupings

I was very interested as I read an article in Education Week, (April 18, 2008), The Value of Aged-Mixed Play: Capitalizing on Children’s ‘Natural Ways of Learning by Peter Gray. As an elementary teacher, I had several positive experiences with mixed age groups. In my work with creating time for teacher coaching, I have often […]

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Optimism for Teachers and Students

I recently presented a workshop for teachers at each of the middle schools in Vineland, New Jersey. My session was titled, “Attitudes and Their Impact on Morale and Student Achievement”. I asked teachers to examine how their optimism impacted student learning and to what extent they thought they should have optimism as an element of […]

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Questions: the Coach’s Tool

This week, I had the opportunity to spend two days, coaching coaches. Visiting instructional coaches in Salem-Keizer Public Schools in Salem Oregon, I had the opportunity to observe instructional coaches conducting pre and post observation conferences, as well as, conduct observations of classrooms. In some cases after the observation, I role-played with the coaches how […]

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