This certainly is an exciting time with the start of a new school year! It’s another opportunity to build relationships with students and truly make a difference in their world in ways we can’t even fully imagine. As an educator for 22 years, I have always loved the beginning of school—especially when I have the opportunity to have a fresh start. It’s a lot of work to get the ship ready to sail for the voyage ahead, but I truly enjoy it. Whether it involves creating the perfect lesson plans for an exciting new project, making curriculum tweaks to provide the latest great resources, or finding new ways to integrate teaching tools to make learning more interactive and fun, I find this hard work really satisfying.
I guess you would call me a creativity junkie. I like to take science concepts and give them a little twist and tweak to fully engage my high school students. To start the process, I set the stage: Upon entering my classroom, students may walk into a simulated rainforest with vines and leaf canopies draped from the ceiling, or go into a human cell with 3D organelles hanging within the classroom’s cytoplasm. I also use a lot of props when teaching. For example, “DO NOT OPEN” envelopes are hung from the ceiling that are only opened when I request a student to do so. The envelope may contain a bell work question, quote that is relative to the topic at hand to stimulate classroom discussion, or a clue to use their cell phones to locate a QR code within the hallway or classroom that provides further instructions.
As summer begins to wind down and the first week of school approaches, we often find ourselves losing sleep thinking about all of the things we need to do to get organized. Before that first week approaches, here are 18 steps to organize yourself with technology:
In 1999, an influential leadership and management book called First Break All the Rules was published—if you are a leader of an organization in any capacity, I would recommend it. I see all of my teachers as teacher leaders, so if you are a teacher, you should take a look. The follow-up book, Now Discover Your Strengths, is just as profound.
August: It’s BAAAAAAACKKKKK! I always marvel at how fast the summer goes. It doesn’t matter whether you have been teaching for 20 years or if this is your first time at the rodeo, the first few weeks of school are the most crucial. You are setting the tone for the entire year, and it is imperative to have a great start. Good classroom management is one of the most important qualities of being an effective teacher. So, as you soak up the last few days of summer, here are some tips to ensure a successful year.
At times, making changes in our teaching methods can be very hard. The way we teach is a very personal matter, as teachers (should) bring their personality into the classroom to help connect with students. Because we want teachers to teach from their heart, to change our teaching methods means we need to change our mindset, our beliefs, or even what we are comfortable doing and saying in our classroom. Even more so than instructional practices, classroom management is one of these areas where change can be especially hard.
Most of us would agree that the ISTE conference is the destination for educator-tested strategies and extraordinary resources for transforming learning and teaching. It’s also the place to get connected to and network with the brightest minds in the education technology arena beyond the conference workshops and exhibit hall. Last week, we discussed the biggest trends from ISTE 2017. This week, it’s my turn to give you an educator’s perspective from this year’s conference.
When most educators think about social emotional learning, they probably think first about preschool and kindergarten. These are the years when students learn to get along with each other, share toys, solve disputes, and work cooperatively. These are critical foundational skills that students need to not only function in a classroom, but to function in society.
Are you swamped throughout the school year? Do you get resources delivered to you, but just don’t have the time to look at them? How many sites have you bookmarked during the school day, never to go back to?
As our school year winds down, summer is usually the time we can take a break and relax. It is also the perfect time to catch up with some resources we found over the school year and just didn’t have a spare moment to peruse.
Here are some tools and resources to organize these educational finds we have stumbled across:
The end of the school year is upon us, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop! Here are some fun lesson plans and activities for June to help keep your students engaged until summer break:
End of the Year Review: These renovated lessons offer the perfect opportunity to review math and language arts concepts covered during the school year. Choose from either K-2 elementary students or grades 3-5.
If you enjoyed the above content, consider joining our MimioConnect interactive teaching community to access more of our valuable lesson plans, content, and resources. Click here to register today!