Teachers

Here’s the Key to Getting Students Talking About Reading

Here’s the thing about getting students talking about reading: you need a concrete place to start. As in journal response prompts to respond to a text, the stems below are created to help students better understand what they’re reading. Because the focus is on critical thinking and critical reading rather than mere ‘talking,’ I left out more obvious stems like ‘I agree…’ or ‘I disagree…’ or ‘I like…’ or ‘I dislike…’ because opinions are useful…

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The World is Changing; Here’s Why Schools Should Change, Too

Schools, as we know them, are changing. Shopping, as we know it, is changing. While both are obvious, one loss seems to breed opportunity while the other makes us hold on for dear life. Why? First, some context. Nestled between the perceived ‘old way’ (learning in person) and ‘new way’ (learning through computer) is Blended Learning. Blended Learning can be thought of as the bridge between eLearning and brick-and-mortar learning. It is a kind of…

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Are Schools Prepared to Meet the Needs of Students with Disabilities?

As students return to schools shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, many large school districts are not prepared to meet the needs of well more than 1 million students with disabilities who have a legal right to receive support and services but are not getting them ― and the problem is most severe for students of color, according to a new report. The crisis existed before the pandemic began in spring 2020, but was exacerbated in the…

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10 Storytelling Tips to Capture Your Students’ Attention

Storytelling has been around as long as humankind. It is one of the most effective ways to communicate an important truth to another person. It is a connection point between two people. Storytelling gives meaning, context, and understanding in a world that is often filled with chaos and disorder. Because of this, educators must use stories if they hope to reach their students. Here are some storytelling tips that can help you capture students’ attention.…

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Build Vocabulary with These 24 Digital Tools

Vocabulary influences fluency, comprehension, and student achievement, and a broad vocabulary is important for effective speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Vocabulary is a foundational component of an effective K-12 comprehensive literacy framework. And, vocabulary plays an important role in most academic standards. Since a broad vocabulary program includes both direct and indirect word-learning strategies, the following online tools can be easily integrated to support word learning and build vocabulary. In today’s 21st century classrooms, digital…

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10 Ways to Make Sure Children Feel Loved and Understood

According to Love Our Children USA, every year over three million children are victims of violence and neglect. Our society seemingly focuses less on the importance of simply showing love and more on the expectations children are supposed to have. Let’s love on our kids a little extra, raise awareness for those in need, and be reminded of the fact that this should be a part our everyday lives and not just on a specific…

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5 Things We’ve Learned About Online Learning So Far

Deborah Rosenthal has learned a thing or two about online learning. She starts her virtual kindergarten class on Zoom every morning with a song — today, it’s the Spanish version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Her students clap along. There’s a greeting from the class mascot (a dragon), yoga, meditation and then some practice with letter sounds. Rosenthal teaches Spanish immersion in a public school in San Francisco’s Mission District. Most of…

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7 Ideas for Using Youtube in the Classroom

While YouTube is better known for Taylor Swift and video game commentary than higher education, the video hosting platform has gone from a potential classroom distraction to a multifaceted learning tool. To date, YouTube has more than one billion users in 91 countries—that’s almost one-third of the population with Internet access. Of all the videos watched in a single day around the world, one billion of those are learning-related videos. That includes edutainment (often hosted…

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How to Access Free Meals for Students in MA

When schools closed in March 2020, districts immediately took steps to provide free meals to students, and that need has continued. Since the start of COVID-19, 1 in 5 households with children in Massachusetts is experiencing food insecurity, nearly doubling pre-pandemic numbers. Thank you to our teachers for helping with meals in classrooms, supervising lunch throughout school buildings, and handing out grab-and-go meals. School meals are available for students even if they are learning remotely.…

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5 Ways To Engage Reluctant Learners

Slumped bodies, rolled eyes, defiant words, and off-task behaviors announce (not-so-subtly) that instruction isn’t working. So what can teachers do to encourage participation and task completion when students are reluctant to participate or complete tasks? When it comes to engaging reluctant learners, there are no guarantees or magic words, but certain principles and strategies can help harness the intrinsic motivation that lies at the heart of each learner. Here are 5 ways to engage reluctant…

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