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.
Definition of a #teacherfangirl: when Teacher A thinks Teacher B is so amazing that they spend time trying to teach more like Teacher A. In this situation, Cris Tovani, a talented, thoughtful English teacher (and book writer) with decades of teaching experience is teacher A and I am teacher B (but you probably figured that out by now).
Cris has been working with my school district over the past two years to improve our literacy programming. Consequently, Gretchen and I have had the chance to delve into her work and to hear her speak on multiple occasions. She's fantastic and has altered my teaching practice in so many positive ways. So for our 100th blog post (yes -- you heard me right -- one hundred!), Gretchen and I thought we would share the love by sharing with our readers some of the truths we've learned from Cris (yes, I can call her Cris because I am her #fangirl). Because as you know, when teachers share great ideas Bubbleup.
Happy Valentine's Day Week! While kids are busy handing out Valentines and eating treats, we're focused on improving classroom instruction and increasing classroom engagement. In this week's post we explore the "Tyranny of Being on Task", the power of Global Connections for students of all age, and what happens when legislators make laws without teacher input. Plus, we've got a guide for understanding SnapChat (your students get it, shouldn't you at least understand it?) and a way to better understand yourself: Are you a Curator or Dumper? So give yourself a Valentine and Take5 (hint: it pairs well with a piece of chocolate).
Strong, instructionally-focused school library programs are not shush-y places. They are loud, vibrant, and dynamic. Their librarians barely sit down during the course of a day -- juggling a whole range of classes, tasks, meetings, and responsibilities. And still, the perception persists that libraries are quiet and still. How do we break this stereotype? How do we provide evidence of the work we do each and every day? One answer is #LibraryHourbyHour.
Take5: The Great Cell Phone Debate, Wait Time, Mindfulness, Mistakes and some inspiration from Coach Kerr
This week's Take 5 is all over the place -- much like me as I wind up one semester and head gleefully into another. There are so many things to do and so many opportunities in the months ahead for you, me and our students. In this week's post, we explore the Great Cell Phone Debate (is there a right answer?), the Power of Mistakes, the need for Classroom Silence to promote thinking, and more. I hope this Take5 will challenge you to think differently or try something new. When we share, great ideas BubbleUp. So, Take5.
About two years ago, Gretchen (my BubbleUp Classroom co-collaborator) and I decided to start a blog. Up until then, the only thing I knew about blogs was that I liked to occasionally read them. We started for two reasons: 1) to make our BubbleUp Classroom website more dynamic and interesting; and 2) we were persuaded by some teacher talk at an Edcamp that as educators we have a moral responsibility to share our work so that as a group of professionals we can all strive to meet a common goal -- to help educate our students (and I by our, I mean all students in the world) in the best way possible. And so, we started our blogging journey.
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