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Michael Friermood
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9 Ways to Differentiate Your Whole Group Instruction
Differentiating your instruction can be overwhelming. I get it.  When you hear the word "differentiation" do you automatically start breaking your class into small groups ? Or maybe you start scouring Pinterest for ways to differentiate the task students wi...

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My Favorite Way to Get Students Discussing & Defending
Growing up, I was a little obsessed with lists, to the great annoyance of my big sister. A list was often the cause of vast stretches of silence during our family car trips. The preliminary back-and-forth went something like: Amanda , reading Babysitters' C...

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Sharing Our Blessings: A Thank You Giveaway
Thanksgiving is on its way, and before you know it, we'll be in full-on
holiday mode. Before the rush gets too far underway, some blogger
friends and I are pausing to give thanks, and to share some blessings
with you, by... giving away hundreds of dollar...

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6 Tips to Give Feedback Like an Effective Coach
My daughters are in gymnastics. We're not on the fast track to Olympic glory mind you, but they each have fun in their own little classes. I was sitting in the stands with my wife the other day while our girls were out in their groups. I was watching my old...

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Power of the Pause: Using Wait-Time to Push Students Deeper
You've heard about it. Or read about it. Or tried it. Or brushed it off as a waste of time. Or maybe even use it regularly. What? you wonder. ...(I'm pausing here on purpose. Don't worry.)... ...(Getting a bit awkward, I know. Stay with me.)... Wait-time. (...

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Classroom Must Haves: Things I Can't "Picture" Myself Teaching Without
Guess what! I've joined the outstanding collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots ! I've admired this blog since its beginning and I'm really excited to contribute. Plus, I'll still be blogging here at The Thinker Builder, too! The bloggers at Upper El...

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Who's In YOUR Circles? A Fresh Get to Know You Activity
Do you and I run in the same circles? Doubt it. Although we do share at least one circle: teaching. Right? And if you and I happen to be at a get-together together, and we knew we shared that circle called "teaching," we'd have something to talk about. We m...

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Setting the Tone in the First 10 Minutes of the First Day of School
(Author's Note: Much of the content in this post originally appeared on the Who's Who and Who's New Blog.)   The
first day of school is full of so many things: anticipation, wide-eyes,
school supplies, new faces, more school supplies, questions, maybe a f...

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"Reserved" Signs: A Bulletin Board Stress Reliever
I'm going to let you in on one of my favorite classroom-decorating secrets. I started it a few years ago after one of those "internal struggles" we all have while starting to get our classrooms ready for the new school year, which went something like this.....
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