Room 241: A Blog by

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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

Each school year is packed with lessons, activities and memorable moments. Encouraging students to reflect on those experiences can help them end the school year strong and give you a chance to fit in one last creative writing assignment that’s purposeful and poignant. Here are four end-of-the-year writing assignments you can try out: Create a… Read More

When summer break is just around the bend, it’s tough to keep students engaged. But if you shake things up a bit, you can make their learning and your teaching just as memorable as it was at the beginning of the year. Here are some ideas to try out on your students: Change your room… Read More

Imagine that your school district has recently adopted a new math curriculum that will significantly change how students learn new math concepts, approach homework and get evaluated. The explanations of how to do math problems and the expectations of students will be different from previous years — and probably different from what parents remember from… Read More

Many students see the summer break as a time to put off their studies and stop thinking about school for three months. Yet parents and teachers alike know that summer also lets students backslide in their academic development. Summer writing projects offer a chance to slow the slide — letting students dive into  subjects they… Read More

5 Ways Teachers Can Boost Their Listening Skills

By Margaret Steen May 22, 2017

It’s easy to say listening is important in the classroom — but actually listening well can be a different story. During any class, teachers need to keep the whole class engaged, cover a long list of topics and assess how well students are learning. Pausing to really listen to one student’s question or idea can… Read More

6 Ways Students Can Cut Stress Before Big Tests

By Kara Wyman May 16, 2017

Tests help us assess students’ comprehension and skills, but they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. To help students destress before taking a test, try one or more of the activities below. Whether you work with elementary, middle or high school students, there’s always a way to help them feel even slightly… Read More

Sometimes we think theater games belong only in drama classes, but finding ways to apply these activities to your subject area can increase engagement, creativity and critical thinking. It’s also a great way to get students moving around, interacting with each other and having fun with your subject matter. Below are some theater games you… Read More

Test Anxiety: Reducing Stress on Students

By Monica Fuglei May 10, 2017

Parents and educators alike worry that standardized tests place undue burdens on students, triggering stress and anxiety. In a fast-moving culture full of pressure to accumulate good grades and broad experience portfolios, teen stress and anxiety are moving down the chain and affecting middle and elementary students as well. Sometimes this stress manifests as testing… Read More

When it’s done well, peer review is extremely instrumental to students, but when it isn’t done well, it’s painful for everyone and possibly detrimental to their papers. Too often, student feedback during the peer review process produces unspecific responses like “it’s good” or, even worse, incorrect grammatical corrections. To get peer review right, teachers need… Read More

Teachers spend a lot of time talking: explaining, leading conversations, giving demonstrations. But listening can be equally powerful — and it’s a skill that not everyone masters, often because people don’t realize its importance. Gillian Parrish, a research and communications specialist at the Teaching Center at Washington University in St. Louis, says educators are increasingly… Read More

Activities that get students moving can keep them engaged and provide an outlet for their pent-up energy. Getting students up out of their chairs makes learning or reviewing content fun and memorable. Just make sure you take a few crucial considerations into account when choosing movement-based activities for your students. Time and space: Think about… Read More