Room 241: A Blog by
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A school Dream Team

Creating a School Dream Team for Change

By The Room 241 Team February 13, 2019

Schools need great individual changemakers capable of identifying problems and creating bold, scalable solutions. But they also need Dream Teams — groups of talented administrators, teachers, staff, students, and community members who work together and are passionate about making things better for kids. Schools need teams who believe that school-based change is worth the effort… Read More

A farm kid from Wisconsin, for the past two decades Diana Laufenberg has taught seventh-12th grade Social Studies in several states, most recently at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning. It’s here where I first met Laufenberg, at the yearly conference Educon, where she was swarmed… Read More

Mid-Year Teacher Check-In: How are we doing?

By The Room 241 Team February 11, 2019

The middle of the school year is the perfect time to check in and see how you, your students, and your colleagues are doing so far. Reflection isn’t just about surfacing the things that need course correcting. It’s also about identifying and celebrating the good and figuring out how to grow upon those areas of… Read More

The Emotions of Learning: Q&A with Marc Brackett, PhD

By Jennifer Gunn February 6, 2019

Social-emotional and trauma-informed learning and teaching are at the forefront of education research and study today. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reports that nearly 50 percent of the children in the U.S. have experienced “at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma.” Therefore, ignoring emotions in the classroom can absolutely pose… Read More

The Benefits of Community Engagement in Education

By Annie W. Scott February 5, 2019

Much like the soil we build our schools upon, people need solid footing and an appreciation for the environment. When looking at community schools as a construct, one must consider all the nuances that make a community significant. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory is useful in unpacking the multiple layers and perspectives that make a community… Read More

The Hashtags and Chats Every Educator Should Be Following

By The Room 241 Team February 4, 2019

Not on Twitter? You should be! Twitter is an immeasurably useful tool for educators. Beyond building a network of educators from around the world, Twitter chats and free PDs are happening every day — literally — with some of the biggest and brightest thinkers and practitioners out there. Here’s a look at the most useful and… Read More

How many five-paragraph essays do students write in their school career? A lot. How many standardized tests require an essay? Most of them. How many essays will students need to write after college? Eh, probably not that many. Essays have their function, but they’re certainly not the only academically rigorous form of writing, nor are… Read More

The Power of Storytelling Activities in the Classroom

By Jennifer Gunn January 29, 2019

If you think about it, stories are the very origin of education. The passing down of stories from generation to generation taught us history, culture, skills, and knowledge. “Thinking of teaching as storytelling…encourages us to think of the curriculum as a collection of the great stories of our culture,” says Kieran Egan. “If we begin… Read More

In her viral TED Talk “Every Kid Needs a Champion,” 40-year educator Rita Pierson, recounted a time when she heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” When most of us think back to our time in school, our stories tend… Read More

How to Encourage Student Self-Efficacy

By Jennifer Gunn January 7, 2019

A confident classroom is a successful classroom. How do you build a culture of academic excellence in classrooms that promote student accountability, confidence, and success? By encouraging a growth mindset for all learners, finding ways to boost their confidence and their sense of academic potential. Here’s a look at a few ways to cultivate student… Read More

Teaching Skills Upgrade: Creative Ways to Up Your Teacher Game

By The Room 241 Team January 2, 2019

Each new year comes with hopes, goals, and opportunities to improve. Want to learn something new and advance your practice? Here are some creative ideas to boost your professional development, up your teaching game, and supercharge your brilliant career. PD made personal Education workshops aren’t the only path to professional development. Try these informal —… Read More

Leadership Your Way

By The Room 241 Team December 29, 2018

Looking for some fresh ideas to take your leadership to the next level? We’ve got you covered. Here are some new ideas to maximize your network, advance as a leader, and reinvigorate your teaching practice. Build your social network Chatting with other teachers on social media lets you trade leadership strategies, swap survival tips, and… Read More

What Equity Really Means in Schools

By Jennifer Gunn December 28, 2018

Equity and equality are two different concepts that are often used interchangeably. Many people think that equity in education means everyone getting the same thing, but it actually means that everyone gets access to what they need. So how can we work to truly narrow the gaps and improve student learning? Let’s take a closer… Read More

Top 10 STEAM TED Talks

By The Room 241 Team December 27, 2018

Looking for some STEAM inspiration to expand your thinking and elevate your lesson plans? You’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 highly engaging TED Talks delivered by artists, scientists, teachers, engineers, and entrepreneurs. 1. Building blocks that blink, beep, and teach Engineer and artist Ayah Bdeir talks about how she invented LittleBits, electronic… Read More

Literacy Strategies: Q&A with Expert Jennifer Serravallo

By Jennifer Gunn December 26, 2018

The state of literacy in the U.S. is undoubtedly alarming with over 36 million adults unable to read, write, or do math above a third-grade level. But with the advent and expansion of technology, literacy instruction is certainly evolving. Literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo is the author of such bestsellers as The Reading Strategies Book and she helps educators navigate this… Read More