Room 241: A Blog by
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A student working on a STEAM project with a hot glue gun

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

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