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More than a Dream: Using King’s Legacy to Foster Civil Responsibility In Students

non-violence-1158317_1920.jpgIn just a few days our nation will celebrate Martin Luther King Day, which recognizes the contributions that famed Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. made to advancing racial equality through non-violent means.  Since 1986, the third Monday in every January people take part in various activities–speeches, marches, community service projects, or visiting sites that highlight King’s life and legacy.  As educators seeking to create independent, conscious thinkers, how can we get them to use their words and knowledge to affect change in their schools?  As King wrote as a junior at Morehouse College, “…Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction” (as cited in The Seattle Times, n.d.).  I’ll share with you some ways to get your students and school to maximize the day’s significance.

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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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Primary Sources in the Science Classroom for Lower Elementary: Primary Sources Across the Curriculum Pt. 2

Working Hard-2.jpgNot everyone thinks about primary sources when planning science lessons for students in lower elementary.

However, teaching students to rely on facts and evidence as close to the reference point as possible is an incredible way to build critical thinking early on.

The good news is that science primary sources are everywhere:

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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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National Trivia Day Challenges

Expressions-16.jpgCelebrate National Trivia Day on January 4th with jokes and riddles. 

Higher level thinking skills can be developed through exposure to jokes and riddles. If you haven’t considered them as a teaching tool, you may want to start if your students meet the following criteria.

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National Science Fiction Day

Screen Shot 2016-12-29 at 2.34.11 PM.pngNational 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: http://www.museumofsciencefiction.org/welcome/

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