Problems No More: 6 Strategies to Help Decode Math Word Problems

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Mar 24, 2017 11:28:00 AM

If I'm really honest, I'll admit one of the most challenging things I've done while teaching elementary math is getting children to conquer the often-dreaded word problem.  I'll also admit that it's one of my favorite because I love the joy of seeing the lightbulbs go off in a child's mind.  May the advice below help you become better at demystifying math word problems for your students.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Common Core

Literature Circles from A to Z: Clickable, Printable Resources!

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Mar 23, 2017 12:04:00 PM

This month is reading month, and I've been writing about literature circles: the problems, the tiny tweaks that make a big difference, and ways to increase engagement. This week I'm hand-delivering the freshest, most useful and printable links on the subject. Thankfully, the research is clear and the resources are plentiful. Here we go! The best resources on literature circles from A to Z.......

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Differentiation, Integration Ideas

Celebrate End of Year Testing

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Mar 22, 2017 12:18:00 PM

Did you read that right?  Celebrate? Yes, this is a two part series on getting ready for end of year testing. Last week, we focused on preparation and tips. This week we will focus on some of my favorite after testing activities.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Common Core

Full STEAM Ahead: Six Tips In Planning Effective Lessons

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Mar 21, 2017 12:15:00 PM

When you look at this picture, what do you see?  This is what STEAM learning means to me, an engaged, problem-solving, and independent learner who explores concepts through planning, creating, testing, observing, and analyzing (among other things).  With some string, straws, balloons, and paper, you can create endless challenges that are fun AND align to the standards for your district.  When planning these STEAM lessons, here's some tips to keep in mind so your students can have fun and learn fascinating concepts at the same time.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Differentiation, Integration Ideas

Test-Taking Strategies

Posted by Kristie J. on Mar 20, 2017 11:24:00 AM
It is getting to be that time of year, again! Nope, not Christmas! Not summer, either! Wait a minute...I just realized that I could not say it is almost testing time because the reality is that we are testing the majority of the time in one form or another. Testing has become a staple of our education system. The information we can learn from testing can be invaluable. If your students experience test anxiety though, their results may not be a true measure of their ability and knowledge. We all know students that participate in class and exhibit higher-order thinking about subjects, but when they begin their tests, the panic clearly shows on their faces and they freeze up. In some cases, you will have extreme behavior due to the test anxiety. On my very first time administering a state examination, one of my students became so anxious that she vomited and fainted. Emergency personnel had to be called. Due to this one experience, I definitely believe in the seriousness of test anxiety.
Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core

Building Bridges: The Power of Personal Narratives

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Mar 17, 2017 12:41:00 PM

This is the last of three articles about building bridges between the school and home/community.  Read the first two posts here and here.

The previous two articles discussed how to build external bridges with families, community leaders, and organizations. Now I'm going to talk about one of the most important "bridges" educators can build, and that's with students.  One way to do that is through personal narratives.  I'll share with my experience below.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing

5 Common Problems in Literature Circles and How to Fix them

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Mar 16, 2017 11:02:00 AM

Literature Circles have proven themselves to be effective ways to help students of all ages engage and learn more deeply through reading. Since students are setting their own pace, holding each other accountable, and often exercising choice over which books to read and jobs to do, they are also growing as independent learners.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Common Core, Literacy

Gearing up for Testing

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Mar 15, 2017 11:45:00 AM

This is a two part series on getting ready for end of year testing. Today we will focus on preparation and tips, next week will we focus on some of my favorite after testing activities.

When you think of year end testing, it seems too far away to think about.  However, the testing window will be opening soon. Just this week, our district assessment team announced our testing dates.  Aaaugh....

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Common Core

STEM: Engineer Girl!

Posted by Cassidy Taylor on Mar 14, 2017 11:32:00 AM

The image above is not an accurate depiction of women in the sciences. When the statistics are examined and looking around the world of science and technology it becomes clear very quickly that there really aren't a lot of women working as professionals in these fields. In her February 23, 2015 post, "Teaching Science for All: Helping Women Fulfill their Potential", on the Stanford University Teaching Commons blog Teaching Talk, Mandy McClean points out, "less than one-quarter of bachelors degrees awarded in fields such as computer science, engineering and physics go to women." And it isn't due to the number of women enrolled in higher learning. A recent Forbes magazine report notes that males only outnumber females in higher learning nationally by 2 percent and according to the National Center for Education Statistics, since 1998, women have outnumbered men in post-baccalaureate programs.

So what can K-12 teachers do to encourage girls to choose higher education and future careers in the sciences, math and technology?

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Common Core

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Posted by Kristie J. on Mar 13, 2017 12:03:00 PM

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is the latest instructional method for classroom management. PBIS is designed to support students in achieving social, emotional, and academic success. It was developed from the idea of behavior analysis and has roots in educational law since the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Differentiation

Big Universe Referral Offer