Mimio Educator

Supporting Parents: Research-Based Programs to Support Parents' Growth

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Sep 20, 2018

Saying that parenting is hard is a complete understatement. It is tiring, draining, challenging—and did I mention tiring? It’s also the most rewarding thing that I have ever done, and is worth all the late nights, smelly messes, and stressful car rides. 

I am very blessed when it comes to parenting. My wife and I work well together when it comes to our kids. As we were growing up, we both had great examples of what good parenting looks like. We have enough resources to take care of the needs of our kids, and sometimes we can even provide them with an extra experience in life that we didn’t have when we were kids ourselves.

But even with all of those advantages, parenting is still really stressful and hard for us at times. Removing any of those other supports—two parents in the home, good upbringing ourselves, or a lack of resources—would result in making it even harder.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

Components of a Great IWB Lesson

Posted by Claire Pavia on Wed, Sep 19, 2018

We all know that uneasy feeling of sitting in front of a blank white screen trying to decide where to begin when it comes to designing and creating an interactive lesson. You can feel it just thinking about it, right? We also know how tough it can be to look at lesson after lesson on the web or an IWB website trying to decide if a lesson is good and whether or not it will be engaging for your students.

Interactive whiteboards give us an opportunity to excite our students about learning through multi-sensory, hands-on interaction with content, so we want to be sure that the lessons that we create and use for instruction are high-quality and engaging. Here are some design components that will help you create and/or choose lessons that achieve positive learning outcomes with your students.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Lessons, Interactive Whiteboard

The Seven Dwarfs of the Classroom

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Sep 18, 2018

 

Every classroom has its handful of personalities that make it memorable and distinct—this makes teaching both fun and frustrating at the same time. All of these students add flavor to the classroom, but at times, they may need help or encouragement to mature in one area or another.

As we emphasize a growth mindset in the classroom, we can help to support them in this. A student who lacks leadership skills may need to be encouraged to voice their opinion, or a student who is overly competitive may need help to learn how to be a good sport when losing.

Here is an approach to our students that we work with every day that helps us to relate to a few of these “stereotypical” types of kids. Keep in mind that this isn’t intended to make fun of any student, but to acknowledge that we all have areas of growth. We don’t want to just “be annoyed” by excessive sneezing, grouchiness, or shyness—these can be warning signs of other issues that we should keep an eye on. Most of the time though, these small quirks from our students become endearing over time.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Classroom Management

SEL Curriculum Options for Student Success

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Sep 13, 2018

In the years that have followed the No Child Left Behind era, schools, teachers, and administrators have learned that a hyperfocus on reading and math doesn’t produce the best outcomes for students. We all knew that our students were so much more than a test, and now that we don’t have our entire system centered around these scores, we can refocus on what truly matters.

Many schools are discovering that students with strong social emotional skills, especially in early childhood, have better outcomes and healthier lives over peers who do not. This probably doesn’t surprise most of us. Being able to cooperate, compromise, empathize, and negotiate are skills that help all of us be successful—much more so than a score on a test.

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Topics: SEL, tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

11 of the Best Educational YouTube Channels for Pre-K, K-12, Teachers, and Lifelong Learners

Posted by Travis Rink on Tue, Sep 11, 2018

Since its creation in 2005, YouTube has grown to over 1 billion active users each month, with over 400 hours of video content uploaded each minute. This can make it almost impossible to filter through the massive library of videos to find the best educational content––whether you’re looking for your kids, your students, professional development, or pure curiosity.

To help you with your search, we sifted through YouTube’s countless channels and picked out our favorite creators of educational content. Here are the best educational YouTube channels for every kind of learner: 

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Topics: tips for teachers, Professional Development for Teachers

Where Do Teachers Go to Learn?

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Sep 6, 2018

In a recent conversation I had with teachers, we were asked to name one thing we had learned recently—these could be very basic tasks or skills, or even “life lessons” that were reflected upon. Once we all had something in mind, the next question was the critical one: How did we go about learning this? The answers ranged from experience to failure, YouTube to books, and colleagues in person to colleagues on Twitter. Of the eight of us in the room, we had eight different avenues for new learning.

This is the norm both in education and in life. We don’t wait around until the next training opportunity, just like we don’t wait around until 8:00 for Cheers to come on the television like we used to. Our world is more “on demand” than ever before, and learning is no exception. 

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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers, tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

How MOOCs Can Support Teacher Learning

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Aug 28, 2018

As a K-12 educator, you may think that the term “MOOC” is made up at first—it sounds like a nonsense word from a first grade phonics test! But in higher education, MOOCs have become pervasive and have altered how education is delivered across the globe. 

The acronym MOOC stands for massive open online course. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, topics, and disciplines. The concept is fairly simple: higher-level courses that are available for free to anyone who wants to take them. Most of the time some college credit is available, at a cost, if the student is in need of that. 

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Topics: tips for teachers, Professional Development for Teachers, Administrator Resources

Student Connections for Success

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Aug 23, 2018

Decades ago, the Beach Boys sang “Be True to Your School.” The song encouraged students to stay loyal to their high school, more so even than “their girl or their guy.” Quite a statement! 

There is nostalgia to the song, but in the end, we hope that the students who pass through our halls will have the same loyalty the Beach Boys encouraged. The one word that encapsulates this is connectedness. We hope all of our kids are connected to their school, their teachers, and one another.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

Happy New School Year!

Posted by Kristy Nerstheimer on Wed, Aug 22, 2018

Wasn’t it just yesterday we were putting away all of our school supplies so the janitorial staff could get into our classrooms to clean? And wasn’t it just yesterday we made a big summer to-do list? It sure seems like it. We teachers are lucky because we get to start fresh every year—a new school year in many ways is like a new calendar year!

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Topics: tips for teachers, back to school

Recruiting to the Teaching Profession—and to Your School

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Aug 16, 2018

Teaching is a wonderful profession. I would even call it the best profession. It is full of challenges and “warts” like any other field, but there is really nothing like it. Regardless of whether we are teaching five-year-old students or fifty-year-old professionals, teaching starts with a lack of knowledge or skill and ends with something gained by the individual that cannot be taken away. Education opens doors, increases opportunity, and makes all of us better, more well-rounded human beings.

It is true that not every day in the classroom feels like this. Paperwork, meetings, and state mandates all distract us from the bottom line of kids learning and growing. In recent decades, the quantity of “other things” that teachers have to worry about and do has greatly increased.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

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