Each year, on the first Wednesday of February, is Global School Play Day. This day of play was started by a few educators who felt motivated and moved to create an inspirational day for kids to simply play after watching the TED Talk "The Decline of Play" by Peter Gray. In this TEDx video, Peter… Continue reading Global School Play Day
As teachers, we face the reality that our job is never really *done.* There is always more planning to do, more work to be assessed, and more organizing that could be done. There are parents to call, meetings to attend, and paperwork to be completed. The idea of setting a resolution this New Year that relates to the job is...well, a bit overwhelming. But I've got you. I'm here with some ideas. I'm setting one (or two...three...six) of these for myself this year, because even though there is always SOMETHING else to do before you head home to your family on a Monday afternoon, there's always room to grow, too.
Whether it's the beginning of a unit and you want to review expectations from a previous year, or it's the end of a unit and you want students to review content, WebQuests are amazing tools.
The conversation goes the same almost every time, an equal split between genders: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "A YouTuber," the student replies. A YouTuber. I need to remember that to make meaningful connections to our learning across the curriculum. "What type of YouTube videos do you want to make: streaming video games? Toy testing? Daily vlogs? Something entirely different?"
My news feed has been blasted lately with teacher mental health and wellbeing articles. Recently, ASCD posted this article, "Emotional Resilience: The Missing Ingredient," about fostering emotional resilience in educators. EdWeek posted an opinion article this month, "Who Is Taking Care of Teachers?" that speaks to the emotional weights teachers are carrying day-to-day. Another great article to check out, in the form of a podcast or blog post, is Jennifer Gonzalez's wisdom in "Why It’s So Hard for Teachers to Take Care of Themselves (and 4 Ways to Start)"
Kindness Week comes each year and it's so important to do something every single day of the week for two reasons: so students really begin to embody the idea of performing random acts of kindness AND so students can start spotting kind things others do for them.
I wanted to make sure students' birthday celebrations in the classroom weaved in some pretty clear social emotional learning. I wanted students to make connections with each other on these special days and also have memories that would last them for many years to come. When I got to thinking, I had an idea: a birthday compliment book!
This year, I wanted to have a non-candy, inexpensive Valentine's Day gift for my students. It didn't take long for me to realize that third graders would most definitely LOVE those plastic, neon sunglasses (fitting for all occasions) that are so popular as party favors.
Part of being an effective educator is reflecting on practice and pedagogy to enhance the learning of students. With being a reflective teacher comes assessing the physical space of the classroom. If you've been in my shoes, you know there is always room for better organization. Below, find 10+ tips, tricks, and tools I use to keep my flexible seating classroom organized!
Growing your PLN through social media allows you to take bite-sized chunks of awesomeness from other educators to use in your own practice AND it allows you to share your ideas to grow them, deepen them, and make them stronger through conversation with others! It's like a think, pair, share situation but for teachers in the virtual world. Our students would be so proud!