Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

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A teacher and a student working positively together

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

Small Things That Make a Big Difference in the Classroom

By Jennifer Gunn December 24, 2018

Sometimes the smallest practices and moments can make a huge difference in the classroom and with students. Ask anyone about their best school memories and, chances are, they will have little to do with the lessons or the test scores and much to do with the relationships and connections they formed with their teachers. Here’s… Read More

Using Learning Stations in Middle School

By Sarah Knutson December 20, 2018

Teaching via stations or learning centers feels familiar to elementary school teachers, but offering them in middle school may not feel entirely comfortable at first glance. I used to occasionally utilize stations to cover specific content very quickly but after I heard Catlin Tucker speak at a professional development seminar, I realized the potential impact I could… Read More

It’s unfortunate but true: every school deals with cases of bullying. Cyberbullying is also a widespread issue, and many learning communities struggle with both forms of mistreatment. But some schools are testing out more innovative methods, yielding positive results here in the U.S. and abroad. Let’s look at a few examples to see what’s working… Read More

The Impact of a Thoughtfully Designed Learning Space

By Kara Wyman, MEd December 18, 2018

A school’s design can greatly impact students’ ability to learn. The layout alone can either make it confusing for students and their families or it can create a welcoming environment where staff, students, and resources are connected and accessible. The design can promote an inclusive school culture, hands-on learning, and community engagement. Many schools today… Read More

STEAM Projects Using Basic, Cheap Supplies

By The Room 241 Team December 17, 2018

We all want to create engaging, memorable STEAM projects for our students, but finding the time and resources to do so can be a challenge. Many of us would love to get our hands on a 3D printer or a robotics kit but it might not be possible right now. Here’s the good news: you… Read More

Creating a Culture of Wellness at Your School

By Tara Saucier, PhD, RN December 14, 2018

Wellness is often emphasized in educational settings, but there’s more to it than promoting good health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students who are healthy are better learners, and academic achievement creates a lifetime of benefits. Recognizing the benefits of wellness According to Action for Healthy Kids, children who attend schools… Read More

When is Differentiation Detrimental?

By Jennifer Gunn December 13, 2018

Educators have gotten very good at building scaffolds for student learning, but are we going too far? Are we underestimating our students’ ability to struggle and then succeed? When is it time to step back? Should every assignment have scaffolds? Let’s explore if and when differentiation and scaffolding should take a backseat to healthy learning… Read More

STEM Projects That Tackle Real-World Problems

By The Room 241 Team December 12, 2018

STEM learning is largely about designing creative solutions for real-world problems. When students learn within the context of authentic, problem-based STEM design, they can more clearly see the genuine impact of their learning. That kind of authenticity builds engagement, taking students from groans of “When will I ever use this?” to a genuine connection between… Read More