Room 241: A Blog by
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Driven to Distraction: The Device Debate

By Room 241 Team April 20, 2018

If a time traveler from 1990 came to 2018, they’d most certainly ask: “What is everyone carrying around and staring at?” Smartphones, tablets, laptops—the world is so immersed in technology; it’s hard to believe that even 20 years ago things were extremely different. As some of today’s teachers represent the last of the pre-digital-native generation,… Read More

Social Emotional Learning: The Magic of Circle Talk

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn April 17, 2018

Restorative practices are helping schools move away from punitive practices to more therapeutic practices for everything from behavioral issues to counseling and treating trauma to classroom management. Circle talks have become a staple of the restorative classroom, lowering suspensions in favor of social-emotional learning strategies to foster student, teacher, and family relationships. Why Circles? When… Read More

Free Downloads Your Students Will Love for D.E.A.R. Day

By Meaghan Maldonado April 10, 2018

Between required curriculum and mandated testing, it can often feel like there aren’t many opportunities to fit in enriching, fundamental activities like reading. However, the “Drop Everything and Read,” (or D.E.A.R.) movement hopes to encourage students, families, and educators to immerse themselves in reading. D.E.A.R. was inspired by Beverly Cleary (who wrote about the concept… Read More

Recognizing where our students come from, what they’re facing, and how we can help them in different ways is a key component of responsive teaching practices. We discussed this and much more during a recent symposium put on by Concordia University-Portland and TeachingPartners. Guests included keynote speaker Lynda Coates with Communication Across Barriers and Dr…. Read More

How To Innovate Against the Tide

By Concordia Faculty March 27, 2018

As teachers, we often have amazing ideas for the classroom, but often lack the freedom to truly pursue innovative projects in their school. Frequently, it comes down to the old refrains: “My principal won’t let me” or “People don’t want to change.” But creativity and experimentation are still possible, even against the tide. Here are… Read More

This is a Student’s Brain on Trauma

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn March 26, 2018

Trauma and stress can alter a young person’s brain functions, impacting learning, causing behavioral problems, and igniting a cycle of violence. Poverty, violence, sexual abuse, food insecurity, and home instability are just a few factors causing brain-altering stress for our nation’s kids. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reports that nearly 50 percent of… Read More

Innovation. It’s such an overused term, isn’t it? Everyone these days is striving to be innovative, is promising innovation, is encouraging others to innovate. But if you think about it, it’s overused for a reason. It’s a single word that encapsulates everything that is exciting in any industry—a goal to shoot for because it means… Read More

Book Flood: More Books, Stronger Readers

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn March 2, 2018

It’s seems obvious, right? If students have increased access to a diverse and abundant selection of books, they’ll be more likely to discover something they like and read more. And yet, many of our nation’s children lack access to books at home and have lackluster classroom libraries. Providing a bounty of books for students is… Read More

Oral Health is a Serious Issue for Students—But Schools Can Help

By Concordia Faculty February 27, 2018

While it’s easy to say there’s no better time than February—National Children’s Dental Health Month—to talk about oral health, the truth is: we should be talking this critical issue year-round. Did you know that children ages five to 17 miss nearly two million school days annually due to dental problems? And did you know that… Read More

5 Strategies That Co-Teachers Can Use to Work Better Together

By Meaghan Maldonado February 20, 2018

Nowadays teachers often find themselves in a situation where they have another educator in their classroom for either part of or the entire day. The educator might be an EL, special education, or reading specialist or another certificated staff member that a teacher works with on a regular basis. Are you working with someone else… Read More

The i5 Approach: Lesson Planning for a 21st Century Education

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn February 19, 2018

Reading, writing, arithmetic… Isn’t it time for a modern shift—one that truly meets the needs of today’s tech-savvy learners? That’s the idea behind the current shift toward teaching 21st-century skills. A new book from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), The i5 Approach, provides a systematic approach to modernizing existing lessons and advancing… Read More

Mindfulness Activities for the Elementary Classroom

By Concordia Faculty February 14, 2018

How do you get a classroom full of energetic little kids to practice stillness? Believe it or not, it’s possible. Mindfulness isn’t new, but it’s undoubtedly become a popular classroom movement in recent years. What is it? According to Psychology Today, “mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.” This can happen… Read More

How to Make Student Assessments Useful and Productive

By Brita Williams February 8, 2018

When it comes to assessing our students, it’s easy to fall into the age old trap of giving an exam, grading it, and moving forward. But to get the most out of the assessments we give, we need to stay focused on the two primary goals of an assessment: gather evidence that our students learned… Read More

Kudos on your decision to become a building-level administrator! A host of exciting opportunities and challenges lie ahead. In your first year as an administrator, you will help to create a positive school community and culture that seeks to provide top-notch learning experiences for students. It takes a dedicated, committed person to be a genuine… Read More

The school leader’s office door is always open—often for complaints. When the door is wide open to negativity, it can bleed into school culture and weigh everyone down. But it’s possible to start building a positive and resilient school culture starting in those everyday office visits. Through the art of mindful listening, you can transform… Read More