Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
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For Teachers

A teacher helping a small group of students with a STEAM project

The STEAM movement has shed a great deal of light on the many benefits of teaching students interdisciplinary lessons and projects, but how do we make sure all of our learners are able to thrive in this innovative, multidimensional learning environment? We need a range of inclusive teaching strategies in order to meet our learners’… Read More

The beginning and end of a class are crucial moments. They provide opportunities to engage students and ensure that learning sticks. But class openers and closers can also be super fun! Here are 15 student-friendly, impactful, and entertaining ways to open and close any class. Class openers Solve it A great way to get kids… Read More

Full STEAM Ahead! Teacher-Approved Strategies

By The Room 241 Team October 16, 2018

STEM has been a priority in many U.S. schools for at least a decade but, in the past few years, education experts have noticed that something was missing — that future scientists and engineers also need soft skills like creativity, collaboration, and communication to solve problems. “We realized that language arts, social studies, and visual… Read More

STEM and STEAM Books For Teachers, Teens, and Kids

By The Room 241 Team October 13, 2018

We know there are many benefits to teaching STEAM lessons and activities, but sometimes it’s hard to know which STEM- or STEAM-related book to check out for lesson planning when there are hundreds to choose from. So we scoured the market for the best STEM and STEAM books to help streamline the process, and we’ve… Read More

How Educators Can Help Close the STEM Gender Gap

By Nicole Mace, MEd October 11, 2018

Although we’ve made progress over the years in regards to the gender gap, when it comes to STEM, there’s still a great deal of work to do. While some might say that girls and women lack the aptitude for STEM professions, that’s definitely not the case. In looking at recent research published by Psychological Science,… Read More

English Teachers: How You Can Use STEAM in Your Classroom

By Jennifer Gunn October 4, 2018

The advent and expansion of STEAM doesn’t mean a movement away from language arts. On the contrary, scientists, engineers, technologists, artists, and mathematicians all need literacy skills, an appreciation and understanding of the human experience, and strong writing abilities. English language arts doesn’t sit apart from STEAM. In fact, the two fit nicely together, building… Read More

15 Tips for Leading Productive Parent-Teacher Conferences

By Jennifer Gunn October 2, 2018

As teachers, we have to work hard to prepare for parent-teacher conferences. In a matter of minutes, we have to find a way to genuinely connect with parents, discuss their student’s academic progress, and how they can improve. It’s also important to explain current curriculum goals and our teaching strategies in hopes that they support… Read More

The Importance of Play-Based Learning

By The Room 241 Team September 27, 2018

The No Child Left Behind movement seemed to discount the importance of play-based learning in favor of more explicit instruction and testing in the lower grades. But researchers and educators agree that play is a critical part of childhood learning that should not be sidelined. Here’s a look at the latest research on the importance… Read More

Proof that Teachers’ Donation Dreams Can Come True

By Nicole Mace, MEd September 25, 2018

Sometimes as teachers we feel alone when trying to find ways to give students everything they need and deserve. After all, we are but one passionate person to many young minds. While we all wish a lack of resources and supplies wasn’t an ongoing issue, we can at least ask for donations from parents and… Read More

The Lifelong Impact of Illiteracy

By Jennifer Gunn September 18, 2018

Literacy deeply and persistently impacts access to education, economic development, and life outcomes. Even in our modern world, the numbers are startling. Millions — around the world and in our own country — remain functionally illiterate, reading below the basic level. The International Literacy Association views “literacy as the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create,… Read More

Strategies for Determining Importance in Nonfiction Texts

By Jennifer Gunn September 12, 2018

The skill of determining importance in a nonfiction text is an area in which students of all ages often struggle. For emerging readers, it can require so much attention to merely get through reading a nonfiction text, that it’s easy not to process what the text actually says, much less pull out the important details… Read More

While it’s fun to see photos of kids on their first day of school, let’s not forget that it’s also another first day for our dedicated teachers and staff members. Your years of service should be celebrated! Concordia University-Portland’s College of Education set out to do that through a social media campaign, and we’re happy… Read More

Why Kids and Teens Need Diverse Books and Our Recommended Reads

By The Room 241 Team September 8, 2018

Think back to your middle or high school English class and the books you read. Great Gatsby? Lord of the Flies? Maybe 1984 or Les Misérables? While those are all important works, the literary canon has long been dominated by white authors, white perspectives, white characters — and those voices are often male. There are so… Read More

You Know You’re a High School Teacher When…

By The Room 241 Team September 5, 2018

There’s nothing quite like teaching teens, especially those in high school. While we know that no two students are alike, there are definitely relatable moments across the board. Here are some signs that you are clearly a high school teacher. The phrase that you say most in life is “Put your phones away.” You believe… Read More

Trauma-Informed Strategies to Use in Your Classroom

By The Room 241 Team September 4, 2018

To help students deal with stressful situations at home, many schools are using innovative trauma-informed strategies. Here are some of the most effective tools for teachers. Look beyond the behavior Research has shown that traumatic experiences alter the brain and can affect children socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and academically. It’s a quadruple whammy. Toxic levels of… Read More