Room 241: A Blog by
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For Teachers

A winter STEAM project: making snowflakes out of paper

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

The first Friday in December is known as Oregon Civics Day for Teachers and, since that’s Concordia University-Portland’s home state, we’re celebrating this upcoming event with a helpful list of civic engagement lessons and professional development resources. Regardless of what subject or grade you teach, there are many ways to help your students become active… 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

How Teachers and Schools Can Address Childhood Obesity

By Michelle Liken, PhD November 16, 2018

In today’s fast-paced society, many children spend more time with their teachers than they do with their own parents or guardians. So, as teachers, we may be the first to recognize problems that can lead to poor health outcomes. One such problem is obesity. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has labeled this… Read More

You Know You’re a Middle School Teacher When…

By The Room 241 Team November 15, 2018

Middle school students are in a class of their own, so it takes a certain type of teacher to really get them. There’s really nothing like teaching students in the thick of it when it comes to their peers, puberty, and that tween-to-teen logic. Many feel middle schoolers are the most challenging group, while others love… Read More

Whether your school has an established STEAM program or you’re finding ways to incorporate STEM or STEAM into your curriculum, building a partnership between your school and a STEAM organization can greatly benefit your learning community. For starters, a partnership builds a bridge between classroom learning and life outside of school, providing an opportunity for real-world… Read More

I recently explained my strategies for structuring a class so that students would have a sense of its direction and purpose. In this entry, I will focus on how to fill class time with learning activities designed specifically for adults by using a personal example. Background on adult learners Before discussing ways to keep adults… Read More

Useful Counseling Activities to Promote Social-Emotional Learning

By Carlete Metoyer, MA November 9, 2018

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) has become popular amongst K-12 educators and even education service providers, such as American College Testing (ACT). SEL no longer resides solely in counseling offices; it has become a collective movement to ensure educators meet the needs of the whole student. As a counselor for 10 years and teacher for three years, I… Read More

“Students will be future-ready if you give them time.” That’s the philosophy behind the 20TimeProject for schools. As a company, Google encourages employees to spend 20% of their time on passion projects that they design. The 20TimeProject, detailed in a book by Kevin Brookhouser, promotes the same philosophy for our students. The goal is to provide time… Read More

The Art of Inquiry in STEAM Education

By Jennifer Gunn November 7, 2018

STEAM education encourages students to be curious and experiment as lifelong learners. Inquiry-based learning naturally fits with STEAM since it promotes critical thinking and innovation. Let’s explore the research behind inquiry-based STEAM teaching and some of the strategies used to engage students. The future is here The call for STEM/STEAM learning began in earnest in… Read More

Characteristics of a Great STEAM Program

By Nicole Mace, MEd October 30, 2018

Now, more than ever, teachers are required to prepare students with the skills needed to be successful in a 21st-century workforce. The STEAM framework empowers educators to implement project-based learning across science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Many schools and entire districts have come to value the skills and knowledge associated with this type of… Read More

The American Dream depends upon the belief that, regardless of your background, if you work hard enough you can achieve your goals. But extensive research has shown that income does impact student success. As educators, what can we do about this national issue? Read on to find out how one Portland school addressed the challenge. Research on… Read More

Most teachers have, at some point, looked out over their class and noticed that, despite their best efforts, the students seemed disengaged. No matter at what level of the curriculum you teach, holding your students’ attention can be one the most difficult aspect of instruction, especially in today’s media-permeated classrooms. Keeping adult learners interested can… Read More