Take5: Grading Made Easier, Underfunded Public Schools in Pictures, Design Thinking, How Librarians are Leading the Way and More.
This week's Take5 is all over the map (in a good way). We've got strategies for improving your grading practice. Seriously, it doesn't have to suck out the essence of your soul. We've got practical ideas for using Design Thinking in your classroom to stretch kids into problem solving as well as the BAAR strategy for creating a safety net for kids at the secondary level. We also focus on the news of the day, recent teacher strikes by taking a closer look at the have-nots in public education. Far too many of our schools and buildings are falling apart. The proof is in the pictures. Lastly, to end on a positive note - a powerful infographic about the multifaceted work of school librarians, because well, librarians rock. Happy Tuesday.
So one thing Gretchen and I firmly believe is that kids learn best by doing. Luckily, we work in a school where our fellow history teachers embrace this philosophy and as a result we do several history simulations throughout the year, including Ellis Island, Factory Life, and WWI Trench Warfare. We design our own simulations as a grade level team, as we've found that the ones you can purchase are well, expensive, and never quite exactly what we are looking for.
Today, in celebration of our 100th blog post (yes, I can't even believe it). We wanted to share one of our favorite simulations - The Oklahoma Land Run! We hope you can use it when teaching Westward Expansion. Feel free to use as is, or change it up to meet the needs of your students. When teachers share, great ideas BubbleUp; so let's giddy up and get going ya'll.
We're back from spring break and back to doing the job we love: teaching. While away last week, these articles, touching on wide-range of topics, caught my interest by offering ideas for improving best practices and student engagement. I hope something here will light a spark in you as we all jump into the final months of the school year.
A few weeks ago I was looking for something new to try with my students in our 1920's Unit. I think a critical part of teaching is to change things up -- to keep your teaching and in turn, student learning fresh and vibrant. Gretchen mentioned that her son Charlie was doing a Wax Museum Project in his 7th grade history class. Yes! This was the answer. I have to give a shout out to his history teacher (and my friend): Carrie Guild of Rachel Carson Middle School. Carrie -- If you're reading this know that learning about your project inspired me: thanks! I took the idea of a wax museum and ran with it. My students presented last week and it was a great success. This project has it all: collaboration, research, communication, creativity, learning, public speaking and technology. Plus, it is versatile and really will work for any unit involving a variety of influential people. I'm going to give you a little run down of what I did (with the help of our fantastic librarians: Gretchen and Susanna). I've also linked to a few resources and handouts. I hope the idea helps you in your lesson development -- when teachers share, great ideas BubbleUp!
BubbleUp Take5: Mental Health, Restorative Conversations, Capturing Student Voices, Discussion Strategies and Dogs!
This week's Take5 is full of strategies to promote student engagement and even more important, student well-being. From a new teaching practice -- Restorative Conversations -- to giving students a bigger voice in schools to the use of therapy dogs in classrooms across the country, we're focused on students' ability to communicate and to feel a sense of belonging at school. Together, we can all take steps -- big and small -- to help our students thrive not only academically but also emotionally.
Amy, an English teacher, facing the 8th grade Writing SOL (Virignia's standards of learning tests) in the upcoming weeks, came into the library with an idea to help her students review. She was armed with data from assessments showing the specific skills on which her students needed extra support and was hoping we could help her build a lesson. After some planning with Amy, Susanna (my co-librarian) and I delved into the 8th grade writing standards to figure out exactly what we needed to teach. What evolved was a review activity that surprised even us with the level of student engagement.
Who We Are
Join our list!