The Importance of Using Wait Time

jpg_watch800I have found in teaching, it really does make a difference to use wait time.

Wait time refers to the time you give your students for processing before they are expected to answer a question or do a task.

Years ago, I tested myself on this concept, and found that I only gave a few seconds for students to answer a question or comply to directions–not nearly enough wait time! (Studies show most teachers give about a second.)

Teaching Tip: After you ask a student a question or give directions, in your head, count to ten. This forces you to slow down, and allows more processing time for your students. I just smile at the students while waiting.

The Results: Time and time again, students come up with an answer or comply! They just needed more time to process. For students/children on the autism spectrum and/or with language processing disorders, the wait time may be even longer. Adjust accordingly.

Monthly Book Recommendation: Grain Brain

iStock_000019487243_ExtraSmallI had a chance to read some good books this summer, and I really found this book to be fascinating:

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers   —written by neurologist David Perlmutter, MD.

An interesting point the author makes is…we all know diet can affect various aspects of our body, but we rarely think about how diet affects our brain. The author makes a compelling case for eliminating wheat from your diet (so much so, I have given it up!).

If you are interested in reading about a gluten free diet, or are curious just to know how diet can affect your brain, I highly recommend this book.

As to students, many children (though not all) on the autism spectrum have responded well and have shown improvement after being on a gluten free diet.

Happy reading!

Monday Mornings: Proverbs, Quotes, and More

mountain goats

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have  control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” –Chris Pine

This picture was taken this summer–at 14,000 feet, and above the tree line! (I thought it appropriate to give a quote on perspective.)

Beginning of the School Year “To Do’s”

jpg_circle-blue-check-1Some of you have already been teaching for a few weeks(like me), and/or your kids are back in school. Others have just started after Labor Day.

The first few weeks of school are very time consuming, and set the pace for the rest of the year.

Here are some priorities:

  • Review classroom rules (daily).
  • Get to know your students (I love doing an “All About Me” paper with each of my students. Here is a free All About Me worksheet!)
  • Get baselines for your students levels. Each district has different criteria for testing. (For a really simple way to get your students’ or child’s reading ability, try the San Diego Quick.)
  • For students on IEPs (Individualized Education Program), review: student levels, goals, accommodations, modifications, and any other pertinent information. Even if you are not the student’s special education teacher, you should know this!
  • Set up small groups for instruction, based on student needs.

This is  how I spend my first few weeks of school. Once I have this organized, the rest of the year runs much smoother. I hope you are all off to a great start!