Tag Archives: Kristi Mraz

Tips and Tools for Student Research, Grades 3-5

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille​

To research well, students must draw upon an array of reading and writing skills, flexibly, simultaneously, and confidently. They must skim through texts to locate relevant parts, read across and integrate information from multiple texts, accumulate knowledge and grow ideas, and read critically, considering the authorial intent of their sources. They must organize their thinking and their writing to communicate their learning with others. 

When students research, then, the full range of their literacy skills is on display.  Further, engaging in research is essential preparation for the kind of reading and thinking students will need to do as secondary and college students, and as informed citizens, attempting to make sense of the world around them. The opportunity for students to engage in research projects of all shapes and sizes is crucial.

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Purposeful Play: Igniting Joyful Learning Across the Day

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille

We believe there is play in work and work in play.

— Kristi Mraz, Alison Porcelli, and Cheryl Tyler, in Purposeful Play: A Teacher’s Guide to Igniting Deep and Joyful Learning Across the Day

Observe a classroom where children are engaged in purposeful play, and you’ll be staggered by the bevy of skills you will see on display. You’ll see children honing math skills as they count, divide, multiply. You’ll see them utilizing their oral language to the hilt as they negotiate, imagine, describe. You’ll see play that includes writing, play that includes reading, play that includes critical thinking. To be sure, you’ll see a teacher moving among the children, intervening with questions, tips, sometimes suggestions. But his or her intervention will be to guide, not to direct. For when children play purposefully, this time is sacred. This is a time in which they can truly become

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PLC Series: Using Charts…Smarter!

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we will discuss how to tap into the power of visual memory.

“No matter what area of the curriculum, we found that clear visuals, simple language, and constant reflection on charts were the key to helping children gain independence and agency in their learning. The more we charted, the less repeating we did and more teaching was possible.”          

 -Kristi Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli in Smarter Charts for Math,          Science and Social Studies.

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PLC Series: Play as a Priority

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month, we share conversation about the role and necessity of play in learning.

One of the biggest challenges teachers have is prioritizing what goes into the classroom schedule. Often, elements held in our hearts as high priority get pushed aside due to priorities of other decision makers. Play is one such element, one that is not only a right of childhood, but an experience that develops and enhances children as humans and curious learners.

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A Mindset for Learning

A Mindset for LearningAuthors Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz want to change how we look at our classrooms. They say we need to think beyond the idea of "good in school" and ask; will our students be good in the world? Will these students have empathy, will they be resilient, can they face challenges with flexibility? These are just some of the traits Kristi and Christine explore in their book: A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the traits of Joyful, Independent Growth.

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The 5 Habits of Mind Children Need for Success

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A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth follows the work Carol Dweck, Daniel Pink, Art Costa, and others, and it pairs research—psychological, neurological, and pedagogical—with practical classroom help, including instructional language, charts and visuals, teaching tips, and classroom vignettes. Authors Christine Hertz and Kristi Mraz now offer the five habits of mind that children need for success:

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