“A great teacher is never forgotten.” So begins the challenge to each teacher in the profession. In Totally Positive Teaching: A Five-Stage Approach to Energizing Students and Teachers, Joseph Ciaccio has developed a list of five ways the great teacher lives a positive and effective life in the classroom. While there are places that are simply over the top in the notion of how positive you can be, you won’t be disappointed in the substance and strategies of this book. The five focuses are: Meeting mutual needs; Changing counterproductive feelings; Ending behavior problems; Helping underachievers, and Using active-learning strategies. Each focus is deceptively simple; some people would disbelieve the power of these strategies but each is based on emerging brain-based research. It addresses classroom management, lesson strategies, and emotional intelligences.
The real agenda of Ciacco’s book is to show the power we all have to deal with the discouragement of ineffective results, classroom meltdowns and student and teacher boredom. He illustrates how to think creatively and effectively to open different possibilities in tough situations. You will wonder, at first, if such methods are really as good as they sound, but with plentiful examples, solid research and a huge collaborative resource bank, the author may just help you shift from a former strategy in favor of a much more exciting, humane and dynamic one. Unlike most other methods-oriented books, this work puts a major emphasis on meeting both student and teacher needs simultaneously. It sometimes makes the assumption that we, as teachers, are experiencing problems due to our own negative perceptions, but very positive and creative teachers will find much validation and inspiration in this book.
We advise you to review and download a summary of the course syllabus
Climate change poses the single largest, global threat to life on Earth, and yet the United States and our schools lag far behind the international community in educating and acting responsibly to mitigate the causes and effects of a warming planet. This online course for grades 3-7 teachers uses excellent platforms developed by NASA and the EPA to educate about the science of climate change in kid-friendly, interdisciplinary ways. Youthful graphics, games, lesson samples that cut across science, social studies and math, virtual expeditions to places where climate change is visible, CO2 footprint calculators and more make this a rich learning environment from which grades 3-7 teachers will develop their own units and themes—whether that’s oceans, birds, butterflies, fish, trees, fresh water supplies. Many of your common science units can be modified with a climate change perspective (ie ocean life, plants and animals).