Today is Read Across America Day (March 2)! Established in 1998, the goal of Read Across America Day is to motivate all areas of society to engage in reading. Classrooms across the country will host special guests who’ll read aloud to students, schools will decorate hallways and libraries with images from their favorite stories, and children will happily share their own well-loved books with others. Use today to launch National Reading Month and encourage your students to experience the joys of reading through various activities that highlight what the written word can do! Here are three ideas to start:
There has been an increased focus on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in recent years, with teachers working to incorporate strategies to help students recognize and manage their feelings and emotions. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), “SEL can help all young people and adults thrive personally and academically, develop and maintain positive relationships, become lifelong learners, and contribute to a more caring, just world.”
The National Book Awards will be announced on Wednesday, November 17, celebrating the written word of some of the most outstanding creative minds in America. Established in 1950 and overseen since 1989 by the National Book Foundation, the National Book Awards recognize the best writing in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.
Growing up, flipping through family photo albums, and asking questions about each picture was part of my childhood. As I got older, I could retell the stories to visiting relatives and friends as if I were part of each event including details such as what each person said, why they were laughing or crying, even the smell of the food, flowers, or person (as applicable, of course!).
Quite a few of teachers and students are in their last couple of weeks of school. Now is the best time to try activities that couldn’t be done because of challenges to time, planning, and navigating the learning environment whether remote or hybrid. So, as you wind down the year, try having class book groups and enjoy the richness of stories.
Pre-pandemic, the thought of incorporating flipped or blended learning, self-paced learning, video conferencing, and creating videos to teach key concepts or skills was seen as reserved mostly for virtual schools that catered to families that wanted an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar schooling or for especially ‘high-tech savvy’ educators who could deftly handle quickly changing technology. Of course, the pandemic and consequent school closures changed all that, and educators, students, and parents had to learn to navigate online learning fairly quickly. For teachers who were comfortable with the tried and true, front-of-class style of instruction, switching to tech tools for creating, assigning, grading, and facilitating lessons was a steep learning curve. But here we are, over a year later, and many teachers have found that they have become incredibly adept at using these same tools if not more so.
More and more schools are opening up to in-person learning, even as we get closer to the end of the school year. Regardless of if they have two months or two weeks left in the year, the excitement of being in their classrooms with their classmates and teacher can be overwhelming. We celebrate in-person learning and the effort it took to ensure everyone’s health and safety but after the initial frenzy of first day, first week, first recess, what can be done to get students focused and ready to learn?
Every April is Move More month, created by the American Heart Association to motivate people to increase their activity and improve their health. Physical activity benefits more than the body’s health; studies have shown that physical activity also improves attention, mood, and reasoning skills. For example, increased activity has shown to improve concentration and sharpen memory. How?
Topics: tips for teachers
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, a day that recognizes the rights of those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). What is ASD? It is a developmental disorder that can cause people to behave, communicate, interact, and learn in different ways than most others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov), in 2016 there were 1 in 54 eight-year-old children identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across the United States.* What does this mean for classrooms across the country? Teachers need to be prepared to teach students with ASD, using a variety of strategies and tools including educational technology. Read some tips for supporting your students with ASD in the classroom.