Teachers

Ideas For Students Who Finish Their Work Early

How to respond when students finish their work early is a classic teacher challenge. Most of it boils down to creating learning opportunities where students are naturally funneled toward extending, improving, and sharing their work. This turns stopping points into more of a matter of scheduling than learning. All of the following ideas, however, are great for those moments when students finish their work early and have a little spare time. Dig: Ask the student…

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Benefits of Flow-Based Learning

Watching children and young adults immersed in learning something that interests them often allows you to witness honest and complete engagement and joy. With great educators, learners often feel and experience excitement, wonder, creativity, accomplishment, connection, and pride in both their formal and informal educational environments. All of these feelings are often experienced as part of a “flow” state. The characteristics of flow, according to its originator and researcher, Czikszentmihalyi, are as follows:  Complete involvement,…

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Audiobooks in Education

I love listening to audiobooks, but sometimes my enthusiasm for them is met with comments such as “That’s not really reading, is it?” or “That’s cheating.” Listening to books is certainly different from reading books, but is it cheating? Does listening to audiobooks count as reading? I suppose the answer to that question must come from one’s own definition of reading. If reading is understanding the content of the story or the theme, then audiobooks…

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Tips for Grading Student Work

Time demands on teachers seems to be ever-growing, so any way to speed up the grading process is worth exploring. One approach to this is the use of verbal feedback, a quick and effective method when done correctly. Like all learning feedback, comments must be directed towards developing and acknowledging skill and give students tangible understandings of how to progress, or specific comments identifying what was good about the work they produced. Let’s look at…

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Benefits of a Building a Classroom Website

It’s understandable if creating a classroom website has been at the low end of your priority list. Maybe you have been thinking about building one for a while, but who has the time? Unfortunately, classroom websites too often take the backseat. Either the website is too complicated to update on a regular basis and ends up being neglected, or perhaps you’re underwhelmed by the district issued site. Before you brush off the idea of creating…

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Looping Classrooms: A New Educational Trend

Looping classrooms have become more and more popular in the US in recent years. Looping is when a teacher moves with his or her students at the end of the year to the next grade level rather than sending them to a new teacher. In many schools, looping has been integrated as a regular procedure  and has become normal for students to spend more than one year with the same teacher(s). Of course, as with…

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Writing Workshops for the Classroom

Getting feedback on schoolwork is an essential part of how students learn, but the current method for students receiving this feedback only from their teachers holds students back. Too often students turn in work to a teacher for a grade and then immediately move on to the next big assignment, without giving the project much thought after the due date. Additionally, teachers spend a lot of time evaluating student work, but many students barely glance…

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Using Infographics in Literature

Some teachers are turning to infographics in the classroom because the way students experience literature is changing. Web writing, advertising, YouTube, Snapchat, and Vine are condensing the story, and increasingly short pieces dot the student landscape. Whether they’re reading, predicting, or decoding a piece of classical literature or writing and producing short bits for their YouTube channels, the craft of story is still critical. Good stories have universal themes that can apply anywhere with the…

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Things to Look For in Modern Classrooms

What are the kinds of things you should look for in today’s classroom? The common response often begins and ends with technology, but it’s not all about the technology. We’ve listed here things to look for in modern classrooms in addition to technology. Let us know in the comments which you think is the most important, or if you’re a teacher, which you’d like to focus on in your classroom during the new school year.…

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Teaching Conflict Resolution to Children

Conflicts are a familiar part of everyday life in elementary school classrooms. Children today are quick to involve adults when problems arise, however, as they have become accustomed to constant adult supervision. While there is nothing wrong with seeking direction, especially when they feel uncomfortable, by doing this the children are learning nothing about doing the conflict resolution themselves, or about preventing conflicts from happening in the first place. This is why it is important…

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