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Technology in the classroom and teacher resources blog

Japanese Montessori style kindergarten designed by architect Takaharu Tezuka where kids roam free

I taught English for a number of years at this kindergarten designed by renowned architect Takaharu Tezuka. An amazing place to be as a student. A challenge as a teacher when kids are allowed to roam freely, but once you become accustomed to the lifestyle and ethos it is an amazing place to be.

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Recommended Technology for Teacher Librarians


A selection of great gear that I have actually purchased and use regularly in my library. I highly recommend the Fuji Instax camera !

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Don't Squeal Unless It's a BIG DEAL

Classroom behaviour management.

Update: August 22nd 2015.

I see that there is a book of the same title available from Amazon:

Book - Don't squeal unless it's a big deal

Amazon: In this highly entertaining story for young children, kids will learn...

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Behavior Management - Cool Down Cubes

I saw this wonderful idea in Pinterest. It caught my attention as a nice straightforward, stand alone solution to behavior management.

I am very interested to know how you would use this in class. It looks a great idea, but I would like some input from someone who has used this successfully or indeed unsuccessfully.

To make this you will need


Ensure that children can reach into easily, and not break the jar it falls to the floor.

This is how I envisage myself implementing this in class

  • I create a tub of cool down cubes as seen in the picture.
  • When I see a child with known behavioral issues becoming stressed or agitated, I place this on their desk.
  • The student then takes a cube and carries out the recommended action.
  • Hopefully over time the student becomes familiar with all the suggestions on the cubes, and is able to calm themselves down without it.

Positives that I can see of this system include...

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How not to loose dice in a classroom

How not to loose dice in a classroom

This is one of those ideas that is so obvious when you see it you will wonder why it never occurred to you before from Patricias Easy Peezie Lemon Squeeze Blog.
We use dice for a variety of activities in my K3 class. Rolling dice is always fun. And so is “accidentally” rolling them so hard they bounce off the table and disappear under a shelf or cupboard never to be seen again. This solves that problem. It is simply a sealed plastic container that is large enough to allow the dice to roll about freely inside. As it is a clear case the numbers can easily be seen. Use a slightly larger container for two dice. Full details at Patricias Easy Peezie Lemon Squeeze Blog.
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Student Desk Plans

Last year in my K3 class we divided the students into 4 separate groups - autumn, spring, winter and summer. So they could find out where to sit I printed a season theme image and sellotaped it to the table. This looked great for the first few weeks. After that however the children started picking at the tape, food got under it, it became generally dirty and tacky looking. Before lunch we wipe the tables but the label would not be clean. 

This year I tried using small baskets as pencil boxes with a label for each season on each one. These did not last. Some children have picked at the graphics, and they have become very gray overall from sharpening pencils. I’ve been looking for an alternative since then and I came across the following idea on the Easy Peezie Lemon Squeeze Blog. Full details on the blog, but essentially it is a balloon with the centre name attached to the basket. It hangs from the ceiling so the little ones cannot get their dirty fingers on it. In each basket is a cute fluffy toy. Our tables don’t move around so much, so hopefully I am not going to bang my head on them all the time.

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Author: Hi, I’m Tim from The Magic Crayons. I am a GradDipT, CELTA, and CELTYL qualified Primary and Kindergarten Teacher from the UK working at a Tokyo International School as an English Language Support teacher (ELS/EFL). IT Integration Specialist, and Teacher Librarian. This blog reflects my Graduate Diploma in Teaching studies with the University of South Queensland, Australia, PD, and ICT in the classroom interests. I create all the artwork and videos for the teaching materials within this website. New products and special offers will be announced here first. Everything I post is about products or services that I have tried in my own classes.

Amazon recommends the following to visitors of The Magic Crayons website. Not sure why Amazon thinks you need a 12 capacity egg cooker though. Maybe you do and just never realised :-)

The Magic Crayons may receive a small commission for any purchases you make via these links.
Sakura Medal Winner - Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Visit my blog for a free Library Poster here>>>
Positive Mindset Journal For Teachers: A Year of Happy Thoughts, Inspirational Quotes, and Reflections for a Positive Teaching Experience
Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #6)
Recognition Teacher Stamps - Mess-Free Self-Inking School Grading Stamp Set with Storage Tray (8-Piece Kit)
Classroom Management Success in 7 days or less: The Ultra-Effective Classroom Management System for Teachers
Hamilton Beach Programmable Set & Forget Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel
T-fal Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator, 12 Piece, Black
Deluxe Rapid Egg Cooker: Electric, 12 Capacity for Hard Boiled, Poached, Scrambled, Omelets, Steamed Vegetables, Seafood, Dumplings & More.
Kikkerland Square Reusable Ice Cubes, Made of Plastic (Set of 30) | Filled With Pure Water
Homemory Realistic and Bright Flickering Bulb Battery Operated Flameless LED Tea Light for Seasonal & Festival Celebration, Pack of 12.