GLAD® Charts and Overstimulation

general tips Mar 04, 2024

It was during an IEP meeting that I learned Nicholas would be joining my 4th grade classroom the following Monday. Nicholas was on the autism spectrum and had spent the first 4 years of his elementary school years bouncing back and forth between self-contained and mainstream classrooms. His parents were excited and hopeful for the mainstream placement, but surprisingly my biggest detractor was a colleague.  


The special education teacher, who monitored Nicholas's IEP and would be checking in on him monthly, did not want him placed in "the GLAD teacher's classroom." Her biggest concern was the overstimulation that would surely be a problem for him from all the charts posted on the walls. Yes, my classroom was covered with layers of chart paper that my students and I sketched on, wrote on, highlighted, covered with word cards and pictures, read, chanted, and recited on a daily basis.  


I knew Nicholas would most likely be fine, but I needed to...

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Tone down the talking (teacher talk, that is)

Tone down the talking (teacher talk, that is!)

Project GLAD® has become synonymous with making content accessible and retainable for all students.  It’s known for creating positive, collaborative classroom cultures.  We tout its ability to increase relevancy and cultural proficiency in the learning process.  

Beyond all those benefits...

Project GLAD® is about learning language! 

All our students are language learners.  Whether we’re teaching in a dual language classroom or introducing content specific vocabulary in math, science, art, and literature.  

Guided Oral Practice is one of the main components in Project GLAD.  The idea is for students to learn language, they need to practice speaking that language.

The question is... 

How can we increase and guide student talk? 

How much space is there in the day or class period for students to talk?  Imagine if we took all the time we try to get students to...

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A GLAD® Goal That Brings You Joy

I admit, I’m one of those people who wait until the beginning of a new year, a new month or a new week to launch a new habit or goal. I just love that feeling of a fresh start. 

And yes, I have dozens of half finished journals around the house. Each one heralding a fresh start with a habit I’m still working on actually becoming a habit.

If you’ve been in our coaching courses or training, we will tell you, 

“Any day and every day can be a fresh start.” 

It’s true.  But there’s nothing quite so encouraging as a NEW YEAR to push the reset button. 

As educators, we get to experience the impact of a January new beginning in the middle of our school year. 

Wherever you are in your GLAD® journey, we invite you to make January a fresh start month!  The secret is to make that fresh start something that will last longer than my unfinished journals. 

This week at Costco, I ran...

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What's Up Ahead - Keeping You in the Loop

general tips Jun 07, 2022

We experimented, we've listened, we've grown and we've changed! 

Are you already feeling the intoxication of summer vacation? Yes, we resonate with you! But really, do we stop learning in the summer? Of course not!

We may be learning different things, like how to drive a 5th wheel, or the best vacation spots on a budget, or what it feels like to read a …. novel!

As educators we’re pretty much addicted to learning.

And we’re instilling that passion for lifelong learning into our students. The last few years have had us all on a steep learning curve and our instructional flexibility and creativity has grown as a result.

We launched Next Steps with Project GLAD® just before the pandemic began, and have been right there learning and growing with you. Thank you for sharing your celebrations, challenges and ideas with us. We've been listening and asking:

  • What’s working?
  • What do you need?
  • What would be even more helpful?


We’ve taken all your...

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How do you motivate students who don't want to engage?

Have you ever felt completely unmotivated? We’ve all been there.  And so have our students.

All teachers struggle from time to time with engaging unmotivated students. It begs the question, why aren’t they engaged? At the most basic level, student need to have their physical and psychological needs met in order to learn. You may be familiar with the phrase, “Maslow before Bloom”.  Students who are tired, hungry, lonely, scared, frustrated… face an invisible barrier to engage fully in the learning process.

Today, we’re focusing on meeting students’ needs in one of these areas: love and belonging. 

“Feeling personally accepted, respected, included, and supported in the school environment makes students feel they belong to a school (Taylor & Sobel, 2011). Students who lack a sense of belonging are often unmotivated and non-participative.” (OCDE Project GLAD Learning Guide, 2015)

How to enhance a sense of...

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Set the Tone with a Tune

Set the Tone with a Tune

Your brain is a lean mean music machine!

There are multiple parts of the brain that like to get in on the dance. And the Mighty Amygdala is no wallflower. The amygdala has three layers of cells. The top layer picks up its cue from smells, seeing faces, and sounds - especially the sounds of music, happy music! This feeds directly into our emotional response. 

Music can generate an atmosphere of well-being and positivity. It can calm and relax. It can spark the flow of ideas and creativity. It can focus and target brain waves for concentration. 

Experiencing music together creates a sense of group cohesion.

Music becomes even more uniting when we add collective movement to the rhythm and beat, like snapping fingers, clapping hands, or tapping feet together. Adding movement (TPR - Total Physical Response) also ignites neuroplasticity across the group. 

Bring on the music… but use it intentionally.

Choose the tune to set the tone...

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Spring into Writing

general tips Apr 20, 2021

The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and hope is spreading all around us. Yes, it's spring!

This year, we needed the signs of new life that spring brings more than ever. 

Whether your students are in the classroom or joining you from home, consider all the ways you can bring fresh life into their daily learning experience. Perhaps you'll adopt a class bunny (for the courageous!), plant seeds, or go on a geometry treasure hunt in nature.

 Some of my favorite writing lessons came from taking students outside in the spring to observe and write about the growing flora and fauna.  One spring we fit all our writing standards into an insect unit. We wrote insect poetry, scientific journaling on the butterfly life cycle (watching pupas emerge in the classroom), creative writing inspired by Chris Van Allsburg's, Two Bad Ants, and of course our very own entomologist reports on each student's insect of choice.

Those of you already teaching with GLAD® strategies...

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I'm a specialist with 6 classes! How do I manage the prep for GLAD?

general tips Feb 06, 2020

We love collaborating with language specialists during GLAD® trainings!

At the beginning of the week they consult with us on how to focus their energy and where to start.

By the end of the week they teach us new answers to the age old question:

"How do I manage the prep for GLAD® when I have several different classes/groups?!"


The following are ideas we have gleaned from professionals in the field, like you.

1. Start by partnering with a like-minded GLAD® trained teacher. 

Push-in to their classroom, or better yet, embark on co-teaching during your times with their students. Find ways to share the load and try new things.

For example, the classroom teacher does an Input chart and the language specialist leads the ELD review with a small group or a word card review with the whole class. Collaborate to find other ways to focus on the language demands of what is going on in the regular classroom through GLAD® strategies. 


2. Select only 1 or 2...

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Everything is good in moderation...even lamination

general tips Dec 04, 2019

The scent of hot laminate wafting through the workroom is a smell all educators are familiar with! The pile of items to be laminated at the beginning of the school year or when creating a GLAD® unit could rival the Eiffel tower and is somehow synonymous with productivity.

When creating materials for your GLAD® classroom we encourage you to be laminate savvy, not laminate crazy!

Laminate item that will be stored and used again so you only have to create them once:

  • Observation Charts
  • Big Books
  • Narrative Input Chart
  • Picture File cards

That's pretty much it! 

In order to take full advantage of the language functional environment you have created leave everything else as paper charts. This gives you and the students the freedom to interact with the charts on a daily basis. Add information, revise, sketch, highlight, post pictures. 

Laminating black line charts, inputs, or chants and then using vis-a-vis or dry erase markers to process is an idea that many...

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