Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

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Engaging Activities

Students working in a classroom designed to cultivate curiosity

Great teachers are amazing people — constantly adapting, motivating, and inspiring young minds. Even to the best of teachers, though, it can seem difficult to take the time to cultivate what really matters when test time looms on the horizon. But studies show that instilling a sense of wonder and curiosity is far more important… Read More

Is It Student Laziness or Something More?

By Jennifer Gunn March 5, 2019

Everyone’s heard a fellow educator say, “My students are so lazy!” It’s definitely frustrating when students moan and groan or fail to hand in assignments. Some say that teachers should never work harder than the students, and that school must be rigorous and demanding in order to prepare students for the real world. And of… 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

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

Exploring Tinkergarten’s Learning Model

By Jennifer Gunn December 10, 2018

The outdoor education movement gets children outside to experience hands-on learning in nature. Some organizations are taking this approach to the next level. One innovative example is Tinkergarten, which offers outdoor classes and activities that incorporate play-based learning. Available to children and families in 47 states, Tinkergarten’s activities are designed to “help kids develop a host of important capabilities, including empathy,… 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

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

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

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