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Reflection on Teaching After a Lesson

I was recently teaching a math lesson using addition with regrouping. During the second day of the unit, my classroom seemed to brighten as the light bulbs came on and my students were smiling with confidence. I quickly jotted a few details on a sticky note and stuck it to my reminder board. At the end of the day I reviewed my sticky notes to reflect on the fine points of the day. Reflection after teaching a lesson is vital for growth as a teacher and for your students.

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National Poetry Month in the Classroom

We’re in the swing of April, which for 21 years has been known as National Poetry Month. Poets all around the world gather to celebrate the genre, with activities, events, and more. Here at Big Universe, we’ve got you covered, and I want to introduce you to some great ways you could recognize this month using resources we have available.  May this list make your planning easier and lesson more engaging.

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Reading Around the World

Little-Asian-Girl-With-Computer.jpgAs part of my graduate studies, I had to enroll in a class that focused on children’s literature from different cultures. It was not a class that I had high hopes about, but I was pleasantly surprised! For instance, did you know that your local public library carries an array of children’s books that focus on Middle Eastern and African cultures? I was not aware of this until my class assigned me a scavenger-type hunt of books that reflected different cultures. Many of the books I located had won several high-profile awards. You definitely have to search I think this is a fabulous way to celebrate diversity. As an adult, many of the stories were captivating.

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

Laptop Work-10.jpgThis 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…….

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Full STEAM Ahead: Six Tips In Planning Effective Lessons

explore-1140431_1920.jpgWhen 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.

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STEM Integration- Celebrate National Inventor’s Day

desk-912577_1920.jpgToday 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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Black History Month – Civil Rights

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 8.36.19 AM.pngWas 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 Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 10.44.43 AM-1.pngRepublican 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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Writing a Legacy: Celebrating Black History Month


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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