#tlap Archives - Mary Kienstra

One Book One School: Generating Reading Excitement

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 14, 2017  in: #tlap, Engagement, reading

Every teacher in every school is looking for ways to generate reading excitement.  How do we get kids more excited to read?  How do we motivate them?  How do we make reading fun for everyone?  This year was our first One Book One School.  It was a huge success. We started with the idea that […] Read more


Book Madness 2017: Reading in the Brackets

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 2, 2017  in: #tlap, creating, Engagement, reading

Filling out a bracket for March Madness is always exciting.  Which team will be this year’s “Cinderella?”  How will my favorite team do?  Which team will win it all?   A few years ago I decided to capitalize on this excitement.  In my classroom, it’s Book Madness 2017: Reading in the Brackets!  If the brackets […] Read more


Choosing a Business Partner – Kid Style

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 4, 2017  in: #tlap, Engagement

There are times when students need to work together on a project for an extended period of time.  Sometimes those partnerships are just awkward.  You know how kids are – they are not always that excited about working with certain kids.  I think I found a way to make this situation a bit easier.  Make […] Read more


Breakout!

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 30, 2016  in: #tlap, student engagement, teamwork, thinking

It is all that.  Breakout is the best new gimmick in student engagement.  Give a group a series of locks and puzzles and watch them go to work problem solving as a team. My class of 4th and 5th graders recently read The BFG as part of the Global Read Aloud 2016.  (See my post about […] Read more


Math Talk with 24 Cards

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 14, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, math discussion

The first few minutes of class are the most important for learning.  This is the time to hook your students and get them in the MATH frame of mind.  24 Cards are the just the thing to draw them in.  Students’ math talk with 24 cards shows their understanding and gives them the opportunity to […] Read more


Global Read Aloud for the Win

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 3, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, reading

I have to thank Pernille Ripp and the Global Read Aloud crew for the inspiration!  One of the picks for this year was  The BFG, one of our curricular novels.  That was a perfect fit!  Find out more about The Global Read Aloud here.  It’s fabulous! My students and I embarked on our read aloud […] Read more


Kindness: Pass It On!

By: Mary Kienstra on: October 4, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, kindness

Two novels have changed everything in my class this year.  We started the year reading Because of Mr. Terupt (by Rob Buyea) and Fish in a Tree (by Lynda Hunt Mulally) as a way to answer the question, “What does the way you treat people tell others about you?”  My students analyzed these texts and came up […] Read more


Hop for Order of Operations

By: Mary Kienstra on: October 4, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, order of operations

Any time a lesson can involve movement, it is more memorable than a passive listening experience.  So when I saw an example of hopscotch with the order of operations, I created it in my classroom immediately.  I knew my students would love to hop for the order of operations. The biggest misconception with the order […] Read more


Getting to Know You with Melvin Bubble

By: Mary Kienstra on: September 8, 2016  in: #tlap, beginning of the year, Engagement,

In the beginning of the school year, the main focus iin my classroom is “getting to know you.”  I’ve done all the regular things that teachers do, but this year, I tried something different.  In the spirit of the picture book, Who is Melvin Bubble? students introduced themselves to the class from the perspective of someone […] Read more


Classroom Differentiation – Like at the Health Club

By: Mary Kienstra on: June 24, 2016  in: #tlap, differentiation, Engagement, ,

This is the time when teachers make those summer resolutions.  They’re not unlike New Year Resolutions, except they have a summer spin.  Every summer my list includes read more, exercise more, and organize my house.  The actual projects might vary, but the ideas are the same every summer.  Working on my “exercise more” resolution, I realized that […] Read more