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Seven Sanity-Saving Tips to Truly Rest and Relax During the Summer (or Any Break)

Always burning the late-night oil, crafting that perfect lesson or grading papers? Overwhelmed with maintaining a healthy life/work balance, running out of sick or personal days, losing instructional control in the classroom and don’t know how to cope with traumatic situations with students, needing help to keep up with as well as easy access to important documents, or counting down to the next holiday when school’s closed?  Maybe you’ve taken on a new responsibility–willingly or out of need–and it’s becoming a bit too much to bear.  If you’ve been here at some point [I can relate to some of these], then it’s time to put things on pause.  Doing so not only helps bring things back into balance personally and professionally, but it pays dividends in your classroom as well because these kinds of feelings have a tendency to impact the classroom culture.

Rest and relaxation [R&R] strategies help keep whether the school year’s ending or it’s a few days off, taking the time to recharge and reset physically, emotionally and psychologically is key to preventing teacher burnout and compassionate fatigue.  This is something that some professionals don’t talk a lot about.  Don’t worry or be ashamed, because I want to help you maintain or regain your passion for why you chose to be an education professional in the first place.  Take a look at these tips to see how they can help you get back in the swing of things or determine if you need a change in direction.

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Four Tips to Starting A Summer Book Club in Your Neighborhood

kids-1550017_1920.jpgSummer’s in full swing, and many students are out of school, with caregivers looking for meaningful activities to keep their kids engaged through those long summer days.  Reading is a great way to do this–as ongoing reading and learning opportunities help stymie the summer slide phenomenon kids experience annually1.  Why not engage in this activity as a family or better yet as a community?  Read on for some ways you can make reading clubs fun and excite the whole family.

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By the Dozen: Using Donuts to Dive Into Developing Dynamic Lesson Plans

Here’s an engaging and interesting way of getting your students involved in learning using a tasty treat: donuts.  Baked or deep fried, yeast or cake batter, frosted, filled or dusted, these tasty treats offer much more than a satisfaction to one’s sweet tooth.  In honor of National Donuts Day today, I want to show you ways you can use donuts to teach academic content as well.  May these ideas give you the motivation you need to have a sweet ending to the week and year of growing in the learning process.

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Space Pioneer: Celebrating Sally Ride Day

Sally Ride.pngOn May 26th, Sally Ride, the first American woman and youngest person to date to enter space, would have been 66 years old.  In 1983, she boarded the Challenger space shuttle and operated a robotic arm to get a space satellite–another first.  Her life symbolizes courage, endurance, and dedication to achieving what seemed to be the impossible.  She authored several children’s books, created programs to inspire girls to enter STEM-based careers, and taught as a professor, making a significant impact in the lives she touched.  Read on to find out the ways you can honor Sally Ride’s contribution to the advancement of space and women’s history in your classrooms.

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Memorial Day: Activities Honoring Our Fallen

flag-958343_1920.jpgBeginning as Decorating Day for those Union and Confederate soldiers dying in the Civil War, Memorial Day is now a national holiday that honors those who died while actively serving in the military.  Giving the ultimate sacrifice, recognizing their contribution to the development of our nation enjoys because of their acts deserves attention and recognition within our classrooms.  Read below for ideas that’ll help you inspire your students to think beyond the typical things associated with this holiday–fireworks, cookouts, and parades.

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Asian Pacific American History Month: Five Ways to Celebrate

map-23520_1280.pngThis April is the 25th year for Asian Pacific American Month, and here at Big Universe, we want to recognize the great value Asian Americans and Pacific Americans give our society.  Representing cultures from the Asian continent as well as the island nations of the Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, it’s a time to celebrate the diversity of the culture and the people with heritage from those places.  Let these ideas below give your lesson plans life.

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Cinco de Mayo: Celebrating Big Universe Style

sombrero-2101560_1920.jpgToday is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday commemorating the Battle of Puebla, which resulted in a victory for the Mexicans fighting against the French on May 5, 1862.  This was a decisive victory for Mexico, and celebrations inclue feasting, games, and parades where some dress in soldier attire appropriate for the period.  This year it’s been 155 years since the battle took place, and it lends itself to be a great opportunity to celebrate Mexican American culture in the your classroom, as Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico and the United States.  Check out our titles and lesson activity ideas below!

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