Room 241: A Blog by
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For Teachers

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

10 Creative STEAM Classroom Project Ideas for the Holidays

By Concordia Faculty November 6, 2017

If you’re in the market for project ideas to bring to your classroom that celebrate the holiday season using science, tech, engineering, arts, and math, this is your list. Below you’ll find projects that are perfect for students in elementary school, middle school, and even high school; volumetric decorations, anyone? 1) Christmas Tree Fractions Who… Read More

The Evolution of STEM and STEAM in the U.S.

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn November 3, 2017

One of the most popular online MEd programs at Concordia is the Curriculum & Instruction degree with a concentration in STEAM—and we’re not surprised. As STEAM continues to gain momentum in our country, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that many schools value the arts just as much as they do science, tech, engineering, and math. In fact,… Read More

How Do We Actually Know a Lesson Went Well?

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn October 27, 2017

Sometimes when we say a lesson “went well,” we mean that we managed to “get through the lesson” without a classroom disaster. A lesson that’s “going well” is often equivalent to a classroom where students are working, remaining quiet, or appearing engaged. But how do we really know if students are actually learning in class?… Read More

With Halloween rapidly approaching, many students are scrambling to find the perfect mask or the scariest zombie outfit. They’re dressing up as superheroes, witches, TV show characters, and more… but what happens if a student shows up to school on parade day without a costume? Perhaps they forgot to pack theirs, or maybe their families… Read More

Instructional Rounds: Not Just for Administrators

By Jennifer L.M. Gunn October 11, 2017

Ever wonder what’s happening in the classroom across the hall? Besides overhearing some Staff Lounge chatter or taking a cursory glance from the hallway while passing by, teaching can often happen in isolation, and we don’t always know what’s really going on in classrooms beyond our own. Why instructional rounds? Teachers get observed and evaluated… Read More