Teachers

How to Teach September 11th to a New Generation

When teacher Brandon Graves in Louisville, Kentucky, talks with his elementary school students about the attacks of September 11th, 2001, he tells them where he was that day — in Washington, D.C., a freshman at Howard University, where he could smell smoke from the Pentagon. Teaching K-12 students about the attacks on September 11th has always been difficult, but time has brought a new challenge: students today have no memories of that day. So how…

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How Staying with the Same Teacher Benefits Students

It started with a fourth grade read-aloud book. It ended with a fifth grade class who had become what Bierbaum Elementary School teacher Jennifer Osborn described as a family. What happened in between was an unplanned, student-driven experiment, testing a practice educators call looping, or moving students from one grade to the next with the same teacher. In January 2021, Osborn’s Saint Louis County students had just finished a semester of remote and hybrid learning…

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5 Essential Study Tips for Back to School

Back to school time is here, and some students may struggle with the transition from summer to school. Here are our 5 top study tips that can make all the difference. 1. Make the time. If you’ve already got a full plate, finding room for study time is going to be a challenge. But in order to get the most out of school, you’re going to have to take the time to reinforce what you…

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How Therapy Dogs Help in the Classroom

Contrary to common belief, therapy dogs have a very different job from service dogs. Therapy dog services are beneficial not just for people teams visit in hospitals and nursing homes but also for students. While service dogs are dedicated to a specific owner, therapy dogs have a much broader role to play, helping people feel and stay calm. Therapy dogs can be used at an elementary level all the way through college. So, what exactly…

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The Art of Hospitality in Online Classrooms

As instructors, we learn a lot about our students by their physical presence in a face-to-face course, from their dress to their demeanor. Students also learn a lot about us this way, but that information is lost in an online class. The art of hospitality can fill the gap. Thus, it is important to invite students in to online classes right at the beginning to foster a learning environment. Here are some strategies for making…

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Why Some Teachers Are Against Technology

Scientists have proven that students learn better when EdTech is involved. If used right, it enhances their involvement, increases their confidence, and better enables them to reproduce the material they learn during assessments. So why are some educators still against technology in the classroom? Better yet, what can we do about it? Here are 4 reasons educators may be against technology in the classroom. 1. Educators don’t see it as necessary. Many of the educators…

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5 Ways to Engage Introverts in the Classroom

It may be a misconception regarding personality traits that the more verbal, outgoing classroom extroverts maintain superior classroom or academic ability. While introverts are not at a cognitive deficit when compared to extroverts, the personality type may pose obstacles for instructors who value regular classroom engagement. Here are five brief ways that instructors may be able to better support the personalities and enhance engagement of student introverts in the classroom setting. 1. Build in peer-support…

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How Much Does Class Size Really Matter?

There’s little debate among teachers that class size matters. One survey found that nine in 10 teachers said that smaller classes would strongly boost student learning. “Huge class sizes are a challenge because it makes it hard to focus on individual students who are struggling or who are ready to go on to the next level,” one high school teacher explained. But some education policymakers and pundits remain skeptical, arguing that reducing class sizes is…

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How Liberal Science Helps Us Teach Uncomfortable Topics

It seems undeniable that today’s students, parents, school leaders, and political leaders can be more reactive and sensitive to challenging material, ideas, language, and exercises or activities. Uncomfortable topics that used to be fairly commonplace in classrooms can now be expected to be a trigger to be avoided for fear of controversy and protest. No doubt some of the practices of the past are worthy of such scrutiny, but have we created a culture that…

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What to Say and Do About School Shootings

Many Americans’ first thought after seeing school shootings in the news was likely “not again.” For parents, teachers, and school administrators, other thoughts probably followed: How will I explain this to the young people in my life? How can my school respond and help students process this tragedy? Could it happen here? The attack at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, was the deadliest school shooting since a gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook…

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