Room 241: A Blog by

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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

With time in short supply for many teachers and administrators, deleting a few meetings from everyone’s calendars is likely to elicit sighs of relief—understandably! But less meetings doesn’t have to mean a weaker flow of information. In fact, there are plenty of tools that can help your team collaborate throughout the week, keeping everyone informed,… Read More

Essential Strategies for Managing Trauma in the Classroom

By Concordia Faculty January 11, 2018

Poverty, violence, hunger, abuse, and an unstable world are causing chronic stress for our nation’s kids. And that sad truth is that prolonged exposure to stress can damage the centers of the brain associated with learning, cause behavioral problems, and increase the cycle of violence. Nearly half of the children in the United States, or… Read More

It’s January, which means there are six months of classes, lesson planning, meetings, and assessments left. As hardworking educators, we can easily start wishing away the rest of the year to get to summer. But honestly, by maintaining a healthy and clear perspective, there’s no reason that this year couldn’t be your best teaching year… Read More

Christmas trees are down, New Years confetti has been swept up, and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over—it’s time to go back to school. Whether you teach preschool or college, motivating your students after a long break is no doubt challenging. But we know you can do this! For inspiration, we… Read More

The holiday season is truly magical when we set aside time to focus on the joy and wonder of the world. Families and friends gather, spread the cheer, and and indulge in traditions. It’s a time when adults have an easier time viewing the world through the eyes of the children that we have been… Read More

Rewards work, and we all love them. But let’s face it, filling students with sugary prizes can be a double-edged sword. It’s unhealthy, distracting, and hardly a one-size fits all option. So, we asked Concordia University-Portland’s College of Education students and alumni what alternatives they use to avoid sweet treats in the classroom. When we… Read More

Inclusive Education: What It Means, Proven Strategies, and a Case Study

By Dr. Lilla Dale McManis November 20, 2017

Considering the potential of inclusive education at your school, or, perhaps, are you currently working in an inclusive classroom and looking for effective strategies? Lean in to this deep-dive article on inclusive education to gather a solid understanding of what it means, what the research shows, and proven strategies that bring out the benefits for… Read More

A few years ago, I was working at a middle school as an arts integration teacher. My charge was to promote the benefits of STEAM projects and incorporate the arts into classes you normally wouldn’t find them. As someone who has been writing and speaking on the topic for years, it’s a role I truly enjoyed—but… Read More