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.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Integration 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.

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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.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Literacy

Individual Learning Styles

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jan 25, 2017 11:15:00 AM

Last week we discussed how to incorporate technology into your classroom. This week we will focus specifically on Individual Learning Styles and how technology can meet student needs. Technology allows students to work independently and as educators you need to discover ways meet their various learning styles.  

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Integration Ideas, Technology

10 Amazing Ways to Use Big Universe

Posted by Big Universe on Jan 12, 2017 11:22:49 AM

Get ideas from other educators for using Big Universe. Read success stories.

  1. Increase Reading and Support Teaching with 10,000+ eBooks
    Students can read like crazy at school, at home or just about anywhere by finding books that appeal to them. Teachers can quickly locate topic specific content for every subject.
  2. Integrate Literacy Across the Curriculum 
    Find authentic texts for every subject and genre to support and enhance your lessons. Stunning photos and illustrations are perfect for display on electronic whiteboards.
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Topics: Big Universe News, Integration Ideas

Goodbye, Core Academic Subjects, Hello, ESSA's Well-Rounded Education

Posted by Reine L. on Nov 28, 2016 11:45:00 AM

Teachers have felt tied up in knots, for more than a decade, due to the threat of No Child Left Behind, NCLB, sanctions for failing to meet unrealistic proficiency levels. Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA, opens up many opportunities for states and local school districts to develop curriculum programs for a "Well-Rounded" education for all students. The term "Well-Rounded" appears 24 times in the law, and includes everything from Arts, Physical Education, Science, Civics and Government, Music and Foreign Languages – all of which are programs eligible for federal funding under ESSA.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Integration Ideas, Literacy

Google Can't Find Robert E. Lee- Teaching Research Skills in a Snapchat World

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Nov 17, 2016 11:27:00 AM

"Google can't find Robert E. Lee." I had assigned my  middle school students with a civil war research topic, and I remember her face as she brought me the news: According to Google, there was no one named Robert E. Lee that had been involved with the Civil War. 

She was Crestfallen. Truly an earnest student, she was genuinely concerned that this obscure Lee character was going to ruin her chances of a good grade.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Technology, Literacy

Easy & Eye-Popping Student Work Displays

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Oct 12, 2016 12:25:00 PM

You’ve already kicked off the year with inspiring and rigorous learning activities, now it's time to show off some awesome student work!

With Back-to-School Nights, Parent-Teacher Conferences, and Halloween/Harvest Parties looming on the calendar, it's the perfect time to put together some water-cooler worthy student work displays.

And since eye-popping, not time-consuming, is the name of our game, below are 4 strategies to hook you up with minimal effort:

1. Informal & Student-Selected Work Displays:

This is where you put the onus where it belongs- what have your students done that they are proud of? Not only does this exercise self-reflection, but it cleans up clogged backpacks and lockers everywhere by displaying, rather than crumpling, that poem or math paper. These examples are designed to be informal. Let it be!

               A. Graffiti Wall- Used for any Subject
B.The Fridge- Students Select What to Display

               C. Thought Bubbles- Student Pictures and Open-Ended Answers or Displayed Work

2. Quick & Creative Design

Want “Fix It & Forget It” - but also want something beyond the stapler and the cork board? These ideas capitalize on space and can be switched out all year long. Even better, they are deceptively elaborate.

None of us went to college to design bulletin boards, but we also fully recognize the power of a good ‘Wow!’ on conference night.

               A. Ceiling Displays- Go Natural!
B. Outside the Box- Just Use Page Protectors for Easy Switching! C. Hanging Frames with        Clothespins

3. Surf The Trends

Teachers know when to steal, and how not to reinvent the wheel. Want caregivers to remember the relevancy of your lesson design? These strategies use the potency of a well-placed image, 144-character poem, or bit of technology to catch the eye and showcase work product.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Integration Ideas, Literacy

Election 2016, Teaching Tolerance

Posted by Reine L. on Oct 10, 2016 11:39:00 AM

The 2016 presidential campaign is unlike any other campaign in recent history. For the most part, election 2016 has carried an inflammatory tone in both the news and social media that the issues discussed have seemingly elicited fear and anxiety in both youth and families.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Integration Ideas, Technology

Breaking Down the Standards

Posted by Kristie J. on Sep 27, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Gone are the days that teachers decided what to teach in their classrooms. Now, we are left with the “How?”  Generally, your state provides your standards which are a list of items that must be taught for a particular year. Some states may provide timelines as well as resources. We all have now been introduced to a little thing referred to as “Common Core.”  As a first year teacher, it is easy to become overwhelmed with a stack of papers set before you that dictates everything you must cover in the school year. Breathe. Standards may be ambiguous in some ways. There is not always a clear-cut directive on what the student must learn. An example may be that a student must be able to recognize and formulate figurative language. In this case, you may want to teach similes, metaphors, and onomatopoeia. It is not stated in the standards, but using inference skills, you determine the details. Here are some tricks to help you understand exactly what you are expected to teach:

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

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