Reine L.

Recent Posts

ESSA Updates

Posted by Reine L. on Feb 27, 2017 12:21:00 PM

It has been a year since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESSA, replaced No Child Left Behind, NCLB, as the nation’s new K-12 federal law. States are working to implement their plans so that classroom teachers will be prepared for the changes that will become effective in the 2017-2018 academic school year. In a letter to all state schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos provided clarity to ESSA implementation instructing states to continue to move forward and that the Department will work to ensure that state education leaders have the state and local flexibility that Congress intended. States should continue to follow the timeline for developing and submitting their plans for review and approval and those are due on or about March 2017.

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Topics: Personal Experiences, Common Core

The Flipped Classroom: Benefits Students with Special Needs

Posted by Reine L. on Feb 22, 2017 12:28:00 PM

How does Flipped Learning benefit students with special needs? In 2009, Cole and Kritzer wrote an article in Rural Special Education Quarterly, 28 (4), 36-40, titled Strategies for success: Teaching an online course explains that the reason the flipped model is considered a strength amongst educators is that it allows for a more efficient use of class time. “. . . In the flipped classroom, students can get the most out of class time by spending it on practical application, not on inactive lecture.” Cole and Kritzer add that lecture content can be provided through electronic means, and this modality allows teachers to improve the quality of their video lecture or short instruction to a manageable length with an emphasis on important points and less extraneous information. For example, teachers support and enhance lessons by assigning reading selections through an eBook library, such as Big Universe, on specific subject matter content material in areas taught throughout the quarter. In doing so, students read ahead and prepare for active learning in the classroom, whether a writing activity, classroom discussion, or project-based learning, this is just one example of the framework in a flipped classroom model.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Technology, Literacy

High Museum of Art - Curriculum Connection

Posted by Reine L. on Feb 20, 2017 12:31:00 PM

Students who have never been to an art museum may require some background knowledge about fine art and antiquities. Engage students by first assigning Art Museum, found in the Big Universe online library collection, this way students will begin to formulate some idea and begin to ask questions about art, such as: Who are the artists? What part of the world does the artists’ work come from? This nonfiction book has vibrant, full-color photos, and students read it as if experiencing an actual field trip experience!

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

Black History Month - Civil Rights

Posted by Reine L. on Feb 6, 2017 11:25:00 AM

Was John F. Kennedy a civil rights hero, or was it Lyndon Johnson? One of the most important things to communicate to students about the Civil Rights Act is why it was needed. Legislation focusing not only on public acts of discrimination, but also on private prejudice. The comprehensive civil rights bill won the endorsement of House and Senate Republican leaders, but it was not passed; however, before 22 November 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. The bill was left in the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson. Before becoming vice president, Johnson had served more than two decades in Congress as a congressman and senator from Texas. He use his connections with southern white congressional leaders, and with the assistance of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department and the outpouring of emotion after the president’s assassination, the Civil Rights Act was passed as a way to honor President Kennedy.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Literacy

Creating A Makerspace Learning Environment

Posted by Reine L. on Jan 30, 2017 12:18:00 PM

The Maker Space is a learning environment where children, teens, adults, and families can tinker, design, and create together. Customarily, ideas range from wood working, plaster casting to electronics and 3-D printing, and the movement encourages experimentation, open-ended exploration, and belief that making mistakes is a great way to learn. Over time this new fade is based on the premise that individuals can solve problems when given the opportunity to “tinker.” A maker space challenges and inspires youth to become design thinkers and innovators.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Technology

The Open Classroom

Posted by Reine L. on Jan 23, 2017 11:19:00 AM

The open classroom, by definition, is an approach to elementary education that emphasizes spacious classrooms where learning is informally structured, flexible and individualized. Open classrooms’ focus on students’ “learning by doing” and this concept resonates with those who believe that a formal, teacher-led classroom prevents a student from being creative and reaching their full potential. The central theme of an open classroom generally does not function with daily class lessons given by the teacher that follow a detailed curriculum in preparation for standardized tests. In contrast, the setting of an open classroom provides help from the teacher, and it is designed with planned objects, books and interest centers where students learn at their own pace. Specifically, teachers structure the classroom and activities for both individual students and small work groups. For instance, students are exposed to reading, math, science, history, and art on the philosophy that children learn best when they are interested in the content and are able to understand the importance of what they are learning using project-based learning, or interest centers.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Technology

Oxford's Storytelling Schools

Posted by Reine L. on Jan 16, 2017 12:17:00 PM

The digital phenomenon and technology has an extraordinary effect on people, but little research has been done in the field of educators that gives an implicit message so that students are able to communicate and relate to other human beings and not just their gadgets. Stories lead to learning, and according to the curators of the Story Museum Storytelling Schools programme, “Storytelling is the ‘something’ I and others have all been looking for, for a long time. It’s good because it’s cross-cultural and it’s accessible; it’s about being human and it’s deep.” The tools we have acquired to enhance teaching are important, but what is even more valuable is teachers who provide literacy education in the classroom that gives each child personal power as we guide, motivate, entertain, educate, inspire and influence others through the artful use of story.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

Autism Memory and Multi-Tasking

Posted by Reine L. on Jan 9, 2017 11:47:00 AM

In an article from Science News, August 15, 2011 entitled Inflexibility May Give Pupils With Autism Problems In Multitasking which discussed primarily deficiencies, namely, how students with autism stick rigidly to tasks in the order they are given to them. According to the research, the students had difficulty with ‘prospective memory’ or remembering to carry out their intentions, thus it was concluded that this attributed to the challenges they face. My mind immediately shifted to what I have observed in schools and which brought me to share a few techniques that may enhance memory and multi-tasking with Autism students. One of the most important aspects of teaching a student who has Autism is the idea of what is going on in their world and how to multi-tasking in order to focus on a variety of tasks throughout the day.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

National Science Fiction Day

Posted by Reine L. on Jan 2, 2017 11:39:00 AM

National Science Fiction Day is celebrated each year on the 2nd day of January by science fiction fans in the United States. National Science Fiction Day, an “unofficial” holiday as it corresponds with the birth date of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. It has been shown that science fiction is a popular topic amongst children. Subsequently, on science fiction day teachers can encourage students to watch some classic fiction movies, T.V. shows, or begin to read a science fiction novel. Upon further exploration, encourage students to visit the Museum of Science Fiction website located at:

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Literacy

Essential Oils for Teachers and Students

Posted by Reine L. on Dec 28, 2016 11:24:00 AM

What are Essential Oils? Essential oils are extracts from leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds of various plants. The oils are distilled into extremely concentrated forms and contain active ingredients that are thought to have beneficial effects. The use of essential oils as treatment for various ailments is known as aromatherapy.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas

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