Charles Ames Fischer

Teacher • Author • Consultant • Mentor


I Can Multi-task Effectively, Right?

Posted by Charles Fischer on January 24, 2012 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Recently I had a student email me that she was struggling with our school's online reading comprehension program. In her recent work, she was scoring about 50% on her comprehension tests. She emailed me to find out how she could improve. My first question: What else were you doing? 

As it turned out, she was also texting and watching television at the same time. She laughed as she told me, but she, like many people, was probably operating under the impression that she c...

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Alternatives to Zero Tolerance

Posted by Charles Fischer on June 8, 2011 at 1:29 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's an interview concerning zero tolerance policies. As brought up in an earlier blog about Ross Greene's book, there needs to be a program to build skills and understandings in students in addition to simply handing out detentions or suspensions. Here is an excerpt:

Although on the surface zero-tolerance policies might seem clear-cut, they are not consistently understood ...

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Lost at School

Posted by Charles Fischer on May 30, 2011 at 9:14 AM Comments comments (0)
Lost at School 
by Ross Greene

I decided to write a brief review of this book because I enjoyed reading it so much and because I think it’s a MUST READ for anyone dealing with behavior issues of any kind. 

The book is essentially about Greene’s behavior management philosophy called Collaborative Problem Solving. The key difference of CPS starts with how people view students who are behaving poorly. Ac...
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The Eyes Are Watching

Posted by Charles Fischer on May 12, 2011 at 7:51 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's a quick article from Scientific American that indicates that just the illusion of being watched can increase behavior. This might be interesting, particularly for schools with behavior issues, such as bullying, but the idea raises a flag for me. The idea of improving behavior through incentives, fear, intimidation, or e...

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Teaching Recess?

Posted by Charles Fischer on April 24, 2011 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (1)

A program in Utah is teaching students how to "play fair" at recess. The program, called Playworks, teaches students how to be kinder and gentler during recess by teaching them games that "typically have no winners, no losers, no picking teams and no “You’re out!" The idea is that students don't know how to play together in unstructured circumsta...

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Using Our Senses

Posted by Charles Fischer on January 16, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Everything is for the eye these days - TV, Life, Look, the movies. Nothing is just for the mind. The next generation will have eyeballs as big as cantaloupes and no brain at all. -Fred Allen

If this has any grain of truth to it, then we obviously need to help students create a better balance between media and the "real world." There is good news, though.

I have done a lot of naturalist activities with students, and I am not just referring to nature w...

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Extended Learning Opportunities

Posted by Charles Fischer on November 15, 2010 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I just came back from a conference featuring various types of ELO's, or Extended Learning Opportunities. This fairly new educational acronym is really about a very old idea: individualizing learning for students based on their interests. The ELO models at the conference include connections to a community other words, internships, community service and apprenticeships. Students can do the ELO as a independent study kind of experience by taking Yoga classes, for example, and c...

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Character Education Failure

Posted by Charles Fischer on October 25, 2010 at 7:14 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's a great article entitled Why Character Development Programs Fail. I found this to be interesting because too many students are coming to school unsocialized and lacking the inter-personal skills they need in order to be successful members of a community. Schools are finding it more and more necessary to provide character education, and yet these programs aren't working.

It seems o...

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Mentoring Excursion

Posted by Charles Fischer on October 18, 2010 at 2:27 PM Comments comments (1)

I was asked recently about the mentoring program I do for teens, so I thought I would include a little story about the last meeting we had:



I planned an excursion in a small town for the students. I asked them to show up with a roll of quarters. Of course, when they arrived they were curious, but I didn't say anything yet. I read a poetic letter attributed to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, where the author found out he was dying and wrote a poignant letter to humanity...

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