A Blog for Teachers

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  • 3 Great Projects to Get Kids Excited About Summer Reading

    Posted June 6, 2017

    Summer vacation is a much-needed break for staff and students, but encouraging students to continue to read over the break can help their minds stay mentally active. They will also be better prepared when school is back in session. Here are some activities that don’t take too much time but still promote summer reading and…

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  • A Summer that Counts: How Parents Can Keep Students’ Math Skills Fresh

    Posted June 5, 2017

    Most parents encourage their children to read during the summer and point to examples of language and word usage all around them. But that’s not how they usually approach math, says Kathy Zolla, a Colorado middle school math teacher. Zolla notes that students often like the idea of having a math-free summer, which often results…

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  • These 4 End-of-the-Year Writing Projects are Sure Bets for Engaging and Exciting Your Students

    Posted June 1, 2017

    Each school year is packed with lessons, activities and memorable moments. Encouraging students to reflect on those experiences can help them end the school year strong and give you a chance to fit in one last creative writing assignment that’s purposeful and poignant. Here are four end-of-the-year writing assignments you can try out: Create a…

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  • 4 Ways to Keep Students Engaged When Summer Break Is So Close

    Posted May 31, 2017

    When summer break is just around the bend, it’s tough to keep students engaged. But if you shake things up a bit, you can make their learning and your teaching just as memorable as it was at the beginning of the year. Here are some ideas to try out on your students: Change your room…

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  • What It’s Like to Be an Online MEd Student

    Posted May 30, 2017

    You know that having a graduate degree in education will enhance your skills and knowledge and help you make a bigger impact in your classroom and in your career. But you probably have questions about: what it takes to earn a degree from Concordia University-Portland what the time commitment is what it takes on a…

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  • The Right Message for Each Audience: Communicating with Parents, Colleagues and the Public

    Posted May 30, 2017

    Imagine that your school district has recently adopted a new math curriculum that will significantly change how students learn new math concepts, approach homework and get evaluated. The explanations of how to do math problems and the expectations of students will be different from previous years — and probably different from what parents remember from…

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  • Writing into Summer: Creative Assignments Can Keep Students Academically Engaged

    Posted May 24, 2017

    Many students see the summer break as a time to put off their studies and stop thinking about school for three months. Yet parents and teachers alike know that summer also lets students backslide in their academic development. Summer writing projects offer a chance to slow the slide — letting students dive into  subjects they…

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  • School Dress Codes Need to be Clear and Fair to Ensure Equal Enforcement

    Posted May 23, 2017

    A few months ago, my daughter and her friends came home on a Friday afternoon furious about a recent lecture on dress code. While I’m certain her teaching team had the students’ best interests at heart, the girls heard a different message: Their bodies are distractions that must be managed. Her school is not alone….

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  • 5 Ways Teachers Can Boost Their Listening Skills

    Posted May 22, 2017

    It’s easy to say listening is important in the classroom — but actually listening well can be a different story. During any class, teachers need to keep the whole class engaged, cover a long list of topics and assess how well students are learning. Pausing to really listen to one student’s question or idea can…

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  • 6 Ways Students Can Cut Stress Before Big Tests

    Posted May 16, 2017

    Tests help us assess students’ comprehension and skills, but they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. To help students destress before taking a test, try one or more of the activities below. Whether you work with elementary, middle or high school students, there’s always a way to help them feel even slightly…

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  • Theater Games Use Drama Techniques to Create Fun, Engaging Classroom Experiences

    Posted May 15, 2017

    Sometimes we think theater games belong only in drama classes, but finding ways to apply these activities to your subject area can increase engagement, creativity and critical thinking. It’s also a great way to get students moving around, interacting with each other and having fun with your subject matter. Below are some theater games you…

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  • Test Anxiety: Reducing Stress on Students

    Posted May 10, 2017

    Parents and educators alike worry that standardized tests place undue burdens on students, triggering stress and anxiety. In a fast-moving culture full of pressure to accumulate good grades and broad experience portfolios, teen stress and anxiety are moving down the chain and affecting middle and elementary students as well. Sometimes this stress manifests as testing…

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  • ‘It’s Good’ Isn’t Good Enough: Getting Better Feedback in Peer Review Workshops

    Posted May 9, 2017

    When it’s done well, peer review is extremely instrumental to students, but when it isn’t done well, it’s painful for everyone and possibly detrimental to their papers. Too often, student feedback during the peer review process produces unspecific responses like “it’s good” or, even worse, incorrect grammatical corrections. To get peer review right, teachers need…

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  • When Teachers Become Better Listeners, Students Become Better Learners — Here’s Why

    Posted May 8, 2017

    Teachers spend a lot of time talking: explaining, leading conversations, giving demonstrations. But listening can be equally powerful — and it’s a skill that not everyone masters, often because people don’t realize its importance. Gillian Parrish, a research and communications specialist at the Teaching Center at Washington University in St. Louis, says educators are increasingly…

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  • Music Teacher Career: Job, Education, Salary Information

    Posted May 5, 2017

    Music classes give children a special outlet to explore their feelings and express themselves creatively. As a music teacher, you will guide your students through musical practice, giving them a chance to use musical instruments and their own voices and bodies to generate musical sounds, melodies and harmonies. Along the way, you may just instill…

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  • Turn on, Tune in, Opt out: America’s Complex Relationship with Standardized Testing

    Posted May 3, 2017

    For the second year in a row, my daughter launched a full-fledged campaign against standardized testing. About a week before the tests began, she argued they were ineffective and unfair. She echoed the concerns of a variety of students, parents and teachers: It’s a bad measure, it’s stressful, it doesn’t influence grades, it takes too…

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  • Digital Storytelling: Putting Students’ Passion for Technology to Good Use

    Posted May 2, 2017

    Sure, adolescents spend too much time “glued to their screens,” but why not turn that to your advantage — and theirs? Students’ love of technology can be a powerful force in language arts classrooms thanks to the possibilities of digital storytelling. Students’ beloved smartphones can be essential tools for sharing their unique thoughts and experiences…

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  • How to Decide if You Should Get Out of Teaching — Or Make Things Better if You Want to Stay

    Posted May 1, 2017

    Teaching is one of the rare careers where it’s still common to stay in the same profession — possibly even in the same school — for a good portion of your career. For some teachers, this stability is part of the appeal. But for others, there comes a point where the joy is gone and…

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  • 4 Great Activities that Get Students Moving and Make Learning More Fun

    Posted April 26, 2017

    Activities that get students moving can keep them engaged and provide an outlet for their pent-up energy. Getting students up out of their chairs makes learning or reviewing content fun and memorable. Just make sure you take a few crucial considerations into account when choosing movement-based activities for your students. Time and space: Think about…

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