Freedom Writing: Students Expressing Ideas About Current or Controversial Events

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Feb 10, 2017 11:36:00 AM

How can we support kids as they process their feelings about current or recent events happening in our world? Today's students had a front-row seat to school shootings, terrorism events, political conflict, and drug-related deaths for example within recent years, and they might have feelings of confusion, fear, or frustration. Educators have to navigate discussing these conversations and encourage students without promoting their personal views. Though it may be challenging to do, you can take these moments that have real impact students' lives and make it a teachable moment for students.  Here's how I've done this in the past when working with my students.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Technology, Literacy

"Hope is a Song in a Weary Heart"- A 3-Part Series on Lesser-Known Heroines for Black History Month

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Feb 9, 2017 12:08:00 PM

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rosa Parks

Harriet Tubman

Pauli Murray

Your students probably recognize the first three names of incredible and resilient leaders from previous studies of Black History Month, but do they recognize the fourth name?

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Technology, Literacy

STEM Integration- Celebrate National Inventor's Day

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Feb 8, 2017 11:49:00 AM

Today we will be discussing STEM and the process of implementing it into your teaching. Many schools are using STEM to enrich their students. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This is not a program that is implemented in schools, but a philosophy based on problem-solving. By doing STEM activities, you are promoting problem-solving skills. These components are vital to teaching 21st century skills that  involve your child's ability to cooperate, collaborate, and communicate. You can build these skills and teach STEM through everyday activities. National Inventor's Day is celebrated on February 11th. We will brainstorm ways to get ready! These activities are meant to be simple, yet exciting to your preschool all the way to your high school students. Students will learn that by working together through their answers it promotes life-long learning and leadership.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Integration Ideas, Technology

Safer Internet Day

Posted by Kristie J. on Feb 7, 2017 11:48:00 AM

How many individuals do you know that do not utilize the Internet in any form or fashion? I would say that you would be hard-pressed to name even one. The Internet has taken over our society. Although it has its pros, there are also cons. We’ve seen an increase in cyberbullying as well as the broadcast of material previously thought to be private. How do we prepare our students to utilize the Internet effectively and safely? One way is to acknowledge Safer Internet Day that is celebrated on February 7 this year. This day of recognition began in Europe over a year ago. It was designed to promote the safe and responsible use of the Internet and other digital technology to children and young adults. Safer Internet Day was officially recognized in the United States in 2012, but became a highlighted day of recognition beginning in 2013. This year’s theme is “Uniting for a Better Internet.”  The idea is to recognize and feature good deeds and leadership of children and young adults. Some ways that you can get your students involved:

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Technology

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.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Literacy

Writing a Legacy: Celebrating Black History Month

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Feb 3, 2017 12:33:00 PM

How does a culture survive through the ages?  The written word's impact on politics, faith, education, science, history, and more certainly demonstrates why it's a critical component to sustaining any culture.  Black American poets, playrights, authors, composers, and philosophers contributed many works throughout American history, so we at Big Universe want to recognize some of those who, through their talents and words, captured the essence of their times and diversified the perspectives of African American culture.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Literacy

28 Ways to Celebrate Reading

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jan 31, 2017 11:59:00 AM

February is affectionately called "I love to Read" or "Book Lovers" Month. Every day in February can be made special by completing a reading related activity. Here is a list you and your students will LOVE!

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, 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.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Technology

Xin Nian Kuai Le: Celebrating Chinese New Year

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Jan 27, 2017 12:01:00 PM

The phrase "Xin Nian Kuai Le"  is Happy New Year in Mandarin.  The new moon closest to the start of spring dictates the beginning of the year in their culture, and each year i)s combined with elements of the earth (gold, wood, water, fire, earth) with twelve animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig/boar).  This is the year of the fire rooster, and here at Big Universe, we want to give you some idea as to ways you can use to help in celebrating this popular time for so many people around the world.

Read More

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Reading Lists, Literacy

Success Story: From Struggling to High Achieving Students, Leveled eBooks Support Learning Across the Curriculum

Posted by Big Universe on Jan 26, 2017 1:27:34 PM

Cary, NC - Throughout the Wake County Public School District students are reading — in class, in the library, during reading camp, and even at home. “Our goal is to get more books into the hands of students,” shares Sherri Miller, Director, K-12 Literacy. But when you walk through Wake County’s elementary schools you may not see children with books in their hands. Instead, you’ll see them in computer labs or reading on iPads, laptops, and even smartphones. That’s because since 2014 Wake County has relied on the Big Universe digital literacy solution to expand access to quality nonfiction and fiction text to all students and teachers. As a Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools district, Wake County is a pioneer of innovative learning and leadership practices, including the use of eBooks.

Read More

Topics: Success Stories

Big Universe Referral Offer