Fostering Imagination in Older Kids

Imagination is what drives all creativity in our world; it enables clear thinking and inspires our sense of humanity. Imaginative play comes naturally to children, but it’s a habit of mind that needs to be taught and reinforced later in life. While imagination is vital to a clear mind, it’s not something that’s widely taught or understood, especially among older students. In a 2007 study of prospective teachers, 68% said they believed students needed to…

Read More »

Teens and Tech Addiction

Look up from this screen right now. Take a look around. On a bus. In a cafe. Even at a stoplight. Chances are, most of the other people in your line of sight are staring at their phones or other devices. And if they don’t happen to have one out, it is certainly tucked away in a pocket or bag. But do we truly have a technology addiction? And what about our kids? It’s a scary…

Read More »

Starting School Later Can Improve Student Health

It’s safe to assume that high school students would probably cherish a little extra sleep in the morning, but did you know that studies show that starting school later for teens is actually healthier for them? Sleep experts have determined a shift in sleep cycles (circadian rhythms) in recent studies. This shift begins in adolescence and makes it more difficult for most adolescents to fall asleep as early as younger children or older adults. Typical…

Read More »

No Student is Unreachable

I’m sure most, if not all, teachers can think of at least one student that was defined somewhere along the way as unreachable. The struggles of children who are challenging (often victims of exploited communities, neglect, and abuse) are so heartbreaking and extreme that as professionals, teachers need to share their stories and vent their feelings. It is equally important, however, for them to build from there, and for that they need awareness of and…

Read More »

Importance of Recess in Elementary Schools

When I think back on my elementary school years, many of my most vivid memories are tied to the time I spent on the playground during recess. As a kid, I enjoyed my lessons but always looked forward to recess and time to play outside. I absolutely loved spending time running around and playing imaginative games with my friends, and I think now that if an ounce of that time was taken away from me,…

Read More »

Time-Saving Strategies For Teachers

It goes without saying that teachers are very busy, so it’s not unusual to hear their concerns about the lack of adequate time to do everything teachers need to do: plan, individualize instruction, test, assign grades, collaborate, innovate, reflect and of course, teach. Not even teachers can add more hours to the day, however. The key to finding more time each day may be to use strategies that make the most of your available time,…

Read More »

How to Broach Tough Topics With Kids

With school shootings and other tough topics now commonplace in our country’s nightly news, we not only have to worry about how the students of those schools are affected, but also about the tens of millions of other children in schools across the country who have since heard about what happened and now likely struggle with their own feelings of fear, confusion, and uncertainty. Parents and teachers alike may find the following guide helpful in…

Read More »

Meditating Before Starting Class

According to a new experimental study by George Mason University professor Robert Youmans and University of Illinois doctoral student Jared Ramsburg, meditating before class can lead to better grades. The pair of researchers conducted three classroom experiments at a California university to see if meditation might help students focus and better retain information in class. A random selection of students followed basic meditation instructions before a lecture, and the students who meditated before the lecture scored better…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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,…

Read More »