We've returned to school after spring break and found ourselves knee deep in the busiest time of year. We're in the final quarter, heading into state standardized testing, and racing to finish curriculum. Teaching is hard, we've talked about that before. But it is also incredibly rewarding so we need to take moments to find joy and to remind ourselves and our colleagues, that we do in fact love this work. This week's Take5 is all about helping us all find ways to bring joy and happiness into our classrooms for our students and into our own lives.
We're on Spring Break this week -- taking time to rejuvinate with our families and re-energize as we head into the end of the school year.
We'll see you back here next Tuesday!
-Corey & Gretchen
Aloha! If you are a regular reader of our blog, you've heard us reference our school's Literacy Committee. This committee consists of teachers from various content areas who work together to help embed literacy (reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking) in all of our school's classrooms. We are in charge of a lot of professional development and it can be a real challenge to keep things new and engaging. We recently developed a fun, meaningful PD session that could easily be replicated in any building for any professional development content. It's the complete antithesis of sit and get professional development, blending the sharing of strategies (by the experts: educators) and a little whimsy. People walked away with new ideas and new energy, so all and all - a success! If you have a PD session to plan in your future, check out our Literacy Luau. We'll walk you step by step through what you need to do to make this a fantastic PD event for you and your colleagues.
This week's Take5 explores a new approach to grades, the problems created by extremely early lunch times in some schools (9 am, really?), and compassionate ways to manage your classroom. Also, we talk about new tech tools for the classroom and a dynamic resource from TED-Ed that gets kids using TED Talks to make connections beyond the classroom walls. So Take5.
In an earlier post, I mentioned the connection that my co-librarian Susanna and I have made with our reading teachers this year. We scheduled monthly lessons focusing on a particular skill or activity (as well as encouraging book check out). One quick lesson was aimed at building our students' inferencing skills, an important component of reading comprehension.
The other day my daughter was using a choice board for an assessment in her elementary science class, and I realized that, while I love giving kids voice and choice, I hadn't actually used a choice board before. Honestly, I think they are more commonly used in elementary classrooms but in secondary settings - not as much, which is why I want to share these idea with our BubbleUp Classroom readers. What might be a tried and true method in elementary could be something new to middle and high school classrooms. (If you are a long time reader, you've heard me say time and time again that elementary methods can be modified and applied to upper level settings with great success). Choice boards empower students by giving them a variety of ways to show what they have learned. They are also super versatile; a few quick edits and a choice board can be adapted from one unit to the next. They involve less than project based learning (which I also love but don't always have time for), but at the same time give the kids the chance to do their own thing which equals buy-in and engagement.
Graphics are a great way to make something clearer and easier to understand. I am constantly bookmarking and saving interesting posters and infographics that I find on the web. Today, I'm sharing five with you that I think are most relevant for classrooms and libraries, focusing on social emotional health, growth mindset, physical movement, and (surprise-surprise) reading!
So, Take5 mintues and spend some time checking out these thought provoking graphics. Do they resonate as much with you as they do with me?
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