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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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Safer Internet Day

aHKb3UyL.jpg.partHow 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:

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Creating A Makerspace Learning Environment

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 2.54.10 PM.pngThe 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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Individual Learning Styles

Laptop Work-4.jpgLast 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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Activities for National Opposite Day

nrm3.jpgI love quirky holidays and celebrations! On January 25th, set your sights on a day filled with National Opposite Day activities. Research done by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock (2001) have created discussions on the benefits of comparing and contrasting. This concept provides the basis for effective instruction. I have included fun activities to boost students reading and writing skills in the classroom for National Opposite Day while still meeting the demands of your standards.

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The Open Classroom

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 9.44.51 AM.pngThe 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. Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 9.39.28 AM.pngThe 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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Learning Styles and Technology

Laptop Work-10.jpgTechnology can be a great tool for meeting the needs of your learners. Whether you choose to use an individual or group approach to teaching, your students will learn through the use technology if implemented correctly. This post will discuss ways to incorporate technology to meet your students learning needs in both an individual and group learning environment.   

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National Kid Inventors Day

Children-using-digital-tablet.jpgNational Kid Inventors Day is celebrated on January 17 each year. It honors the original kid inventor, Benjamin Franklin, who designed the first swim flippers at only twelve years old! National Kid Inventors Day exists to encourage creativity in our youngest members of society. As anyone knows, kids can come up with the darndest things! Of course, some of it may be outlandish, but children have a unique perspective of not being burdened down with the details that adults can’t help but acknowledge. The best thing about National Kid Inventors Day is that it can be celebrated school-wide. Inventions occur every day. From new building materials to applications, even the sky is no limit! Here are some ways to encourage your students’ creativity:

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High Achieving Students

iStock_000016012136Small.jpgIf you are like me, you are in the middle of progress monitoring for your end of quarter comparisons. Do you have students that haven’t progressed at all? If you look closely, some of those students are your “bright” students. So what can you do to help those high achieving students to engage in your classroom?

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Write About It: Celebrating National Letter Writing Week

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Every year during the second week of January, our country celebrates National Letter Writing Week. The art of letter writing may seem foreign—or antiquated—to a generation surrounded with instant messaging, texting, and social media platforms that make communicating with people across the world almost instantaneous. Once you review the basic parts of writing—heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature, students can write letters of all kinds to anyone! Check out the ideas we have below as you celebrate National Letter Writing Week!

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