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The Tools for Teaching Blog

July 14, 2020

Preferred Activity Time can be a challenge in this time of distance learning and we all know that we have to get creative - but creative doesn’t have to mean ground breaking. Don't put extra pressure on yourself to "wow" the students with every activity. The trick is to keep it simple and keep it relevant. Remember, Preferred Activity Time is part of Responsibility Training. The purpose of Respons...

May 1, 2020

Staying Sharp While at Home
We've all had to make some serious adjustments lately, but when it comes to school, "The show must go on." Many of you are teaching from home, which means converting your lessons into Zoom meetings, turning your materials into Google Docs, and relying heavily on parents to facilitate learning. Many of those parents are also having to work from home while becoming proxy...

July 1, 2019

There are two different perspectives to consider when applying Tools for Teaching to the job of substitute teaching. The first is when you are about to have a substitute. The second is when you are about to be a substitute. Our treatment of substitute teaching will, therefore, have two parts: 1) your preparation for having a substitute, and 2) what to do when you are the substitute.

Having a Substi...

March 5, 2019

No matter where I go, teachers are looking for answers to the cell phone problem. Students are using their phones at inappropriate times to say the least - and fighting back when asked to put them away. Policing the use of cell phones in the classroom has become a daily battle and a source of frustration and exhaustion for many teachers.

So, how do we deal with it? Do we institute severe penalties...

February 11, 2019

Proximity and mobility - two concepts familiar to Tools for Teaching enthusiasts. The teacher’s proximity to the students is their best tool to prevent, discourage, and interrupt misbehavior. The teacher’s mobility in the classroom determines how effectively they can use their proximity. We call this “Working the Crowd” and the biggest obstacle to working the crowd is the furniture. A teacher’s mo...

April 3, 2018

Teachers are always looking for ways to improve their classrooms, and classroom management is often at the top of the list. When your management system in place, your class can run like a finely tuned machine. However, some classes can be a challenge. The strategies you’ve used in the past just aren’t working and you search and search for help. You talk to colleagues, read books, scour the interne...

August 26, 2015


Now these teachers know how to welcome the kids back to school! Have a great year!


January 15, 2015

I found this article today at Yahoo! Parenting by Erin Zammett Ruddy. Her 7-year-old shoplifted and she made him return to the store and pay for it. Many of you may have had a similar experience growing up and I'm sure it made a lasting impression. What stood out to me was the section where Ruddy consulted a child psychologist and what she said about setting limits and staying calm. It reads:


As i...

October 17, 2014

And the winner is...


Relaxing Breaths


Our blog's new name came from Kim Bodensteiner of Bellevue Public Schools, Nebraska.  We have sent Kim a complimentary copy of the Tools for Teaching 3rd edition ebook as a thank you. She came up with a name that not only acts as the prompt for one of our fundamental ideas - calm is strength - but also works great as a blog title! Each blog post is like a rela...

September 24, 2014

We are fired up about our new site and we want to pump you up too! This video has been circulating around for a few weeks, but it's still the beginning of the school year - so let's keep the positive energy flowing!

Thank you SoulPancake for another great Kid President video.


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Featured Posts

PAT in a Virtual Classroom

July 14, 2020

Preferred Activity Time can be a challenge in this time of distance learning and we all know that we have to get creative - but creative doesn’t have...

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