Teachers

Build Teamwork in the Classroom Before It’s Too Late

Everyone — from businesses to classrooms to sporting organizations — is on a quest to crack the code to perfect teamwork. Google spent years studying their working teamwork systems and determined that success wasn’t based on “who” was on a team, but on the culture created by the team — for example, a group that takes turns talking vs. one in which members speak over one another would have better teamwork.  Educators are also looking…

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Promoting Autonomy: 7 Ways Kids Benefit from Choice

Although there is certainly such a thing as too much free choice, especially when it comes to our children and all the learning they still have to do, choice is undeniably an essential part of learning and growing up. As students grow and start to develop their own ideas, we must allow them to incorporate more and more of their own decision making into their lives. Here are some options to offer older students more…

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Healing Childhood Mental Health through Bibliotherapy

Mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder can affect a student’s ability to concentrate, form friendships, and thrive in the classroom, among many other things. Educators and school counselors often provide Social and Emotional Learning programs (SEL) in order to help these students, as well as school-based therapeutic support groups. Even in these forums, however, getting teenagers to speak about their problems can be challenging, especially when they feel like outsiders and…

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7 Reasons Why Your Child Needs Music Education

Music is a valuable part of any well-rounded education. While many studies on music’s benefits focus on their association with higher SAT scores in college or student involvement in middle school, the perks of a music education can actually begin much earlier. Students in elementary school exhibit a broad range of benefits from access to an early music education. From math and science to reading and beyond, children perform better in nearly every area when…

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Encourage Students Using These Words

There are many ways to encourage a child. For students of any age, honest, authentic, and persistent messages from adults that have credibility in their eyes have the most impact. The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning has put together a list of 50 Ways To Encourage A Child, from which our recommendations will be coming. It was designed for younger students (around kindergarten age), but most of them are actually useful for K-12 in…

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Competency-Based Learning

To see the recent educational trend of general competency in action, one need only look to our local state university, UMass Lowell, and their mission statement: “Work Ready, Life Ready, World Ready.” In the past, education has been about teaching people something. Now, it is more about making sure students develop a reliable compass and the navigation skills to find their own way through an increasingly uncertain world. As a result, some schools are now…

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Podcasts for High School Students

We’re finishing up our three-part series on podcasts-radio that is personalized to a topic in which you are especially interested-with a list of some great podcasts for high school students.  1. Serial. Sarah Koenig tells one story, told week by week. The first season covers the true story of Adnan Syed, convicted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore. The problem: Adnan cannot remember what he was doing the day of the murder. And, as…

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Podcasts for Middle School Students

We’re continuing our three-part series on podcasts-radio that is personalized to a topic in which you are especially interested-with a list of some great podcasts for middle schoolers.  1. Welcome to Night Vale. Tune into the community radio of this desert town for the news on local weather, the mysterious lights overhead, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, a dog park that prohibits dogs, and dark hooded figures with unknowable powers. Activity to try: Challenge students…

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Podcasts for Elementary School Students

Podcasts have been growing in popularity over the past few years, and it’s more commonplace than not for adults to have a few favorites. It’s basically radio that is personalized to a topic in which you are especially interested–what’s not to like? Kids can also join in the trend! See our list below for some great podcasts for elementary age children.  1. The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified: Listen as world-famous radio reporter Eleanor foils devious…

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The Three Modes Of Thinking

It is essential to human nature to be able to think critically and creatively. Our ability and tendency to think critically and carefully takes precedence over content knowledge, not only in the classroom but in the wider world around us. There are thought to be three different modes of thinking: lateral, divergent, and convergent thought.  Convergent thinking (using logic). This type of thinking is also called critical, vertical, analytical, or linear thinking. It generally refers…

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