Teachers

How to Support LGBTQ+ Students at School

A 2022 national survey of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ+ youth, ages 13-24, paints a clear, distressing picture of the trauma endured by LGBTQ+ students in America. Nearly three-quarters reported symptoms of anxiety, 58 percent reported symptoms of depression, and 45 percent said they had seriously considered committing suicide within the past year. However, the survey also shows that educators can make a very big difference. High school and college-aged LGBTQ+ youth who found their schools and…

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Raising Expectations for Special Education Students

On a Tuesday evening in 2019, about 80 parents and students gathered in Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. They were there for a night of post-secondary education planning. They reviewed statistics, heard school counselor recommendations, and spoke with college representatives. It’s a common enough scene–many high schools host college and career nights to help students and parents plan for the future, but this one had a twist: it was designed specifically for special education…

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Humanizing Mathematics for Kids

Mathematics is created by humans; math teachers are humans, and math students are humans. And yet many contemporary math classrooms erase humans from the equation. “Often mathematics is talked about as if it were apolitical, objective, and cold. A sterile textbook, a teacher writing on a chalkboard and rarely turning around,” said Sam Shah, a high school math teacher in Brooklyn, New York. For many students, that model of math class is unengaging or anxiety-provoking.…

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When Students Study Why They Failed

For a few weeks in the spring of 2016, nearly all the eighth grade students at a small public school affiliated with Columbia University agreed to stay late after school to study math. They were preparing for a critical test, the New York State’s Regents examination in algebra. Half of the kids came from families that lived below the poverty line in Harlem and upper Manhattan. They attended a selective middle school and were advanced…

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Active Learning: 7 Strategies for Teachers

At its core, active learning relies on a collaborative, student-centered approach. As Vanderbilt University professor Cynthia J. Brame explains, “active learning approaches also often embrace the use of cooperative learning groups, a constructivist-based practice that places particular emphasis on the contribution that social interaction can make.” One would think that students embrace such a model, but an unexpected complication of creating a learning environment around active methods is sometimes a show of student resistance. After…

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Women’s History Month Classroom Activities

March is Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day on March 8 is also a part of the celebration each year. For educators and students, the month provides a wonderful opportunity to explore and dig deeper into women’s contributions, struggles, and triumphs throughout history. Celebrate the accomplishments women have made during the course of history with the following Women’s History Month activities. 1. Research and personal interview. Invite students to produce a podcast featuring an…

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Fun Activities to Celebrate Leap Day

Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore and superstitions ever since they were first introduced by Julius Caesar over 2000 years ago. According to an old Irish legend, St Brighid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years. In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap…

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President’s Day Activities for the Classroom

President’s Day lessons are part of kids’ development of an overall understanding of the office of the presidency and why it’s so important. These lessons can lay the groundwork for their active involvement as citizens down the road, making them more inclined to see voting as a civic duty and an important part of their role as Americans. Learning about the presidents on President’s Day can also help kids understand the principles and values that…

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What Makes an Effective Learning Environment?

Wherever we are, we’d all like to think our children’s classrooms and schools are intellectually active places, but what does that actually mean? What makes an effective learning environment? Please let us know your ideas in the comments and read on for ours. The students ask the questions—good questions The role of curiosity has been studied (and perhaps under-studied and under-appreciated), but suffice to say that if a learner enters any learning activity with little…

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5 Innovative Teaching Ideas

What are the latest emerging and popular trends and teaching ideas in education? As trends tend to do, they change by the year. Consider how quiet iPads in the classroom have been recently, especially considering three years ago they were going to replace teachers and were compared to magic. While mobile devices like the iPad can indeed parallel a kind of magic in the learning process, it obviously has to fit into a progressive and…

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