August 2017 Monthly Round-Up For Educators
It’s the end of the month, which can only mean one thing—your monthly article round-up! With another new school year upon us, we figure you’re probably a bit preoccupied getting things in order. So we compiled some of the most interesting stories and classroom advice from around the news circuit this August. Take a look.
7 Outstanding K-8 Flexible Classrooms (Edutopia)
In March, Edutopia asked its Facebook community of K-8 educators to share photos of their flexible seating arrangements. Hundreds of submissions later, they narrowed down their favorite seven, including tips from the teachers on how they successfully model appropriate behavior in their classrooms after dropping their seating charts. And they’re not just talking about letting students sit where they want (but that’s part of it!). These teachers have modeled their classrooms on startup workspaces—with futons, fun chairs and pillows, work stations, and throw rugs.
That’s right. In 1989, school board members and the chamber of commerce in Emporia, Kansas got together and asked, “Why doesn’t anybody honor the nation’s best teachers?” Shortly after, they launched a program that honored five teachers each year. Now, the National Teachers Hall of Fame has inducted 130 educators, whose names and portraits are on display at the Emporia State University campus.
Hundreds of schools—like Brooklyn’s Middle School 422—are testing out a new program that challenges the way teachers and students think about academic accomplishments. Removing traditional letter grading, students are instead encouraged to focus on mastering a set of grade-level skills, like identifying themes in a story, and then moving to the next set of skills when they have demonstrated that they are ready. Here, there is no failing, and the only goal is to make sure the student learns the material.
Tough Talk on Race: Advice for Educators, From Educators (Education Week)
For a long time, educators have tiptoed around how—or if—they can talk to their students about issues beyond the classroom, including controversial news topics that may directly affect them. In this helpful round-up, K-12 educators, historians, and college professors share their advice on how to engage with students in sometimes slippery, but necessary, conversations.
Make the Classroom a Haven for Empathy With These Online Resources (Education World)
How and whether empathy is taught in your students’ homes is uncertain and beyond your control, so it becomes vital for teachers to ensure their students are exposed to social and emotional learning topics that teach them how to feel and show empathy for others. From games like Avokiddo Emotions and kid-friendly news resources like Newsela, this article lends several helpful tools for teaching empathy in the classroom.
Summer’s ending already? While you may have been teaching over these warm few months, we’ll assume (hope!) you took some time to relax. Your students probably did, too. Here’s a good list of tips to share with your students and their parents on how to kick start a successful school year. Hint: it’s all about the bedtime.