Mimio Educator

Preventing Learning Loss by Building Buy-In

Posted by Melizza Cuizon on Thu, Sep 17, 2020

Coming into this new school year has been a mixed bag of emotions for everyone: anxiety, disappointment, frustration, excitement, sadness. Because many schools are starting the year with remote learning, add stress and hopelessness to the list especially for those juggling more than one child in school, work responsibilities, and maintaining some semblance of balance at home. There are quite a few social media posts of children trying hard to be excited for learning online but struggling (haven’t we all seen the little boy lying across his chair out of view of his teacher during a virtual session?!). Understandably, this leads to concerns of substantial learning loss for our students.

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Topics: Student Engagement, distance learning, student learning, remote learning

Giving Feedback – Tips for Teachers

Posted by Melizza Cuizon on Thu, Sep 3, 2020

I love feedback. I appreciate how feedback has helped me to improve in different aspects of my life. I believe in giving feedback that makes someone feel good about a job well done. For me, feedback is essential to growth! Yet, I can remember countless afternoons struggling to write feedback on all my students’ essays before the next class session. I wanted to be thorough and write about all of the points I’d reference in the lessons but my hands would cramp, my brain was mush, and by the last student’s paper I was barely writing a sentence or two that I hoped would help them improve. It wasn’t until a colleague showed me what she did — quick notes on each student’s work as she walked around and observed them during independent work time — that I began to feel like my time was being used more effectively and my students were able to implement recommendations as they worked. I also found that because I was saving time, I could talk with each student and really understand their comprehension and academic needs. Those quick convos with each student were some of my favorite times as a teacher.

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Topics: Student Engagement, tips for teachers, distance teaching, student learning, effective feedback

Boosting Math Discussions While Distance Teaching

Posted by Melizza Cuizon on Tue, Sep 1, 2020

Talking about math is more than merely describing the steps in solving a problem (“First, add the ones, then the tens. If you need to regroup, do that.”). Math discussions are focused on the process of working towards a solution, understanding how others’ think about that process, and developing a plan for similar problems. Students should be pushed to think beyond an explanation of steps to an explanation of process, including making errors and how those were resolved. They should also be encouraged to use different methods and tools when solving a problem, then sharing these ideas with others to build a bank of strategies. In a physical classroom, this can be challenging so how can it be done while distance teaching? More than that, how can it be done successfully?

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Topics: Math, Student Engagement, tips for teachers, distance learning, distance teaching, student learning

The ‘A’ in STEAM: What, Why, and How

Posted by Melizza Cuizon on Tue, Aug 25, 2020

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

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Topics: Student Engagement, STEAM, teacher resources, steam education, student learning

Blended Learning in Effect

Posted by Melizza Cuizon on Tue, Jul 14, 2020

As more and more school districts are making decisions about schools reopening and how learning will take place, an approach that is being considered is blended learning. It is doubtful that many have not already heard of blended learning so let’s refer to its simplest form – bricks and clicks learning (‘bricks’ is face-to-face learning in a physical classroom; ‘clicks’ is online learning in a virtual classroom). Most teachers and students have experience using desktops, laptops, and/or tablets to do things such as research information or take state tests. So, bricks and clicks is familiar and in some cases a whole school initiative.

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Topics: Student Engagement, tips for teachers, blended learning, student learning

The ‘Aha’ of Project-Based Learning

Posted by Melizza Cuizon on Thu, Jul 9, 2020

When I look back at my time in the classroom, memories that most often pop up are seeing and hearing my students work together to finish a project. Many times, they were in groups of three or four busily drawing, coloring, writing, talking. For the life of me, I can barely remember the projects themselves, but I can remember the chatter, laughing, arguing, and smiles when the project was finished. I used to feel like, this is learning! Many teachers have probably experienced and felt that same sense of excitement and accomplishment. When we see our students fully engaged and involved in a project, it reveals their interests and connection to the topic. You will likely see many ‘aha’ moments.

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Topics: Classroom Collaboration, collaborative learning, Project-Based Learning, Student Engagement, edtech, virtual classroom

Winter Home Projects: Keeping Kids Engaged in Learning 

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Feb 7, 2018

It’s that time of year when it is cold outside and there is an increased chance of school being cancelled because of snowy or icy roads. Snow cancellations or delays may not be prevalent all across the country, but even San Antonio recently had a snow day. I think most teachers and students would agree that snow days are great—as long as everyone is safe at home. My students love an unexpected day off. It’s like a bonus weekend!

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Topics: Lessons, Student Engagement, tips for teachers

Behind the Principal's Desk: How to Talk to Students Who Are Sent to the Office

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Dec 13, 2017

One of the roles I was least prepared for when I became a principal was that of “lead investigator” of the school. I quickly found out that hours and hours could be swallowed up by a simple restroom issue or playground problem. I had no idea what to do or how to do it when it came to questioning students—nor did I realize how much time it could take.

Over the years, I have developed some techniques to help make this process work better, both for myself and for the students. Some of these ideas increase efficiency, some increase effectiveness, and some are just general guidelines to help maintain rapport with both students and teachers.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, Student Engagement, Classroom Management

Fixing Broken Relationships

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Dec 12, 2017

Relationships can be hard. They are dynamic, there can be communication breakdowns and misunderstandings, and philosophies and beliefs don’t always align. There are also times when relationships are strained by outside factors that have little to do with the people involved.

As a teacher, it is critical to maintain positive relationships with others. When they get rocky or go downhill, there should be a quick attempt to turn it around and mend the relationship. Whether it is a student, parent, or colleague, broken relationships not only cause stress, they often waste time and drain energy. If you have a relationship that needs fixing, here are some guidelines to help you:

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Topics: Administrator Resources, Student Engagement, tips for teachers, Getting Parents Involved

Incorporating Movement Into the Classroom

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Nov 14, 2017

Over the past few years, more research has been done on the effects of movement and exercise on the brain. In recent images of brain scans that have been taken during 20 minutes of sitting quietly and 20 minutes of walking, there is a much higher level of brain functionality following the walking. We know that blood flow helps brain waves and brain function, and body movement helps blood flow.

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Topics: Student Engagement, tips for teachers

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