Room 241: A Blog by
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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

Virtual Applause Part 2: These 5 Teachers Are Making a Difference

By The Concordia University-Portland Enrollment Team October 17, 2017

Small gestures, words of encouragement, and moments of connection make a difference in the classroom. In this blog series, Virtual Applause, we recognize teachers across the country who make an impact by developing innovative curricula, thoughtfully engaging with their students, and finding opportunities to connect education to the world outside the classroom. Every state and… 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

A parent catches you at drop-off one morning and wants to know why her son got in trouble the day before, since he never misbehaves at home. A colleague presents a proposal at a staff meeting that you are certain will not work. At the end of a long day of parent-teacher conferences, you are… Read More

Problem-based learning (PBL): It’s all the rage. PBL is an innovative addition to modern K-12 pedagogy, but it can seem overwhelming for beginners. It doesn’t have to be, though. PBL’s principal goal—meeting students where they are and putting them to work solving real-world problems—marks a significant shift from old educational models. Putting it into action… Read More

Teachers have to be incredible multitaskers to juggle so many roles and get their to-do lists done. Learning how to master time management and stay organized can reduce stress and create more time to enjoy the rest of your life. These four apps can help you do just that. 1. Toodledo What it is: Toodledo… Read More

Summer is a perfect time for students to engage with the physical world and, quite literally, get their hands dirty as they learn. This is especially true because so many families grow gardens full of herbs, vegetables, fruit, and flowers in the summer. Growing things over the summer gives kids practical skills and helps them… Read More

The idea that teachers know more than students is central to education. But there is also value in bringing student voices into the classroom and making their ideas and experiences an integral part of the class. “In the past, teaching was seen as top-down content delivery, a process of teachers pouring knowledge into students,” says… Read More

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching English Abroad

By Kara Wyman June 21, 2017

Teaching English abroad is a great way to learn more about who you are when you’re outside of your comfort zone. That said, expanding your boundaries in a foreign culture can inevitably lead to blunders that could’ve been prevented if you’d had proper warning. If you want to spend more time learning and appreciating your chosen… Read More

Students often believe success in math classes requires them to be a “math person.” This thought is as common as a teacher’s struggle to prove that math can be fun. Fostering students’ joy in numbers is one way to help students excel, but helping them learn to learn can set them up for long-term success…. Read More

Summer allows parents a bit more time to engage with their kids and participate in experiments that they can check on every day together. Completing science experiments throughout the summer will help students to keep engaged in academic inquiry and learn more about science during their months off. The experiments outlined below can be done… Read More

Teaching English abroad can be really rewarding, which I can attest to, but it can also be really challenging. You’ve probably considered some of those challenges, but there might be others you haven’t thought of yet. Here are some questions to ask yourself before committing to this type of adventure. 1. Have you taught English… Read More

4 Presentation Mistakes that Teachers Should Avoid

By Margaret Steen June 12, 2017

Public speaking is an important—though sometimes overlooked— part of working in education. Teachers speak in front of their classes every day. Administrators present to staff members, parents, and community groups. It’s a major component of teaching, so teachers have to be mindful of the ways presentations can go astray. It’s natural to emphasize the content of… Read More

The last day of school is always bittersweet: Saying goodbye to students can be tough, but usually teachers are so exhausted when summer comes around that they need some time to recover. As you prepare to close up shop for the summer, consider these five summertime tips for relaxing, recovering and preparing for fall. Before… Read More

Summer vacation is a much-needed break for staff and students, but encouraging students to continue to read over the break can help their minds stay mentally active. They will also be better prepared when school is back in session. Here are some activities that don’t take too much time but still promote summer reading and… Read More