Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

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For Teachers

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

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

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

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

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

Winter-Themed STEAM Activities

By Jennifer Gunn December 8, 2018

Brighten up the dark and chilly days of winter with some hands-on tinkering, experimenting, and creating — in the classroom or at home. Check out these totally doable STEAM projects that put winter weather and winter challenges to the test so that students are inspired to collaborate and think critically and creatively during the winter… Read More

How to Break the Cycle of Student Misbehavior

By Kathryn Picano Morton, EdS, NCSP December 5, 2018

Getting a child to behave when expected can be quite a challenging task. When a student engages in misbehavior, that child is often attempting to get a response from the adult. Reacting to challenging behaviors negatively – yelling, using corporal punishment, removing the child from the setting, enforcing “timeouts,”– tends to exacerbate the issue. It… Read More

Creating Active Citizens: Ideas for Civic Engagement Lessons

By The Room 241 Team December 1, 2018

Oregon teachers set aside the first Friday in December to focus on civic engagement lessons and professional development. Elsewhere, teachers look year-round for ways to help their students become active citizens and critical thinkers. We hope these ideas inspire you to enhance your curriculum and advance your practice. Lesson plans and ideas for civic engagement… Read More

How Personal Trauma Can Lead to Teacher Burnout

By Amy Anderson, MEd, LPC, LADC November 27, 2018

You may have seen it, been around it, or maybe you’re experiencing it right now: teacher burnout. It’s sadly very common and it can often be labeled as Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS). Many of us struggle to find ways to set boundaries, recognize our own limitations, and prioritize our personal needs. It becomes even more… Read More

How to Scaffold Lessons for English Learners in Any Class

By Sarah Knutson November 26, 2018

Being bilingual has many benefits in the long run (cultural awareness, linguistic abilities, job prospects), but English language learners (ELLs) are sometimes stuck between two worlds. In order to best serve these students, schools should seriously consider addressing their needs from a whole-school perspective. To make this approach simpler for teachers like you, here are some… Read More