Walking around schools, I still see rows and rows of desks. What? It's not every classroom, but it shows that some of us are still teaching in the 21st century using 20th century design. So if you are one of those row people (I used to be one too), this post is for you. Some of us are willing to jump in and change everything all at once. But perhaps you want to redesign your classroom in more manageable chunks; dip your toe in the water with one or two changes.
Whatever changes you hope to implement, I highly recommend thinking them through before students set foot in the door. Classroom design should support learning; it needs to be planned and implemented before the school year begins so that your focus can then shift to building relationships with students, teaching content, creating your classroom community, and fine-tuning your classroom design. Here is checklist of sorts for establishing a more flexible space. You can do all of them, one, or a combination of a few. So bust up the rows and make the 2018-2019 a year of positive change for you and your students.
We're in the midst of summer and I've been thinking about how to ensure I am ready to jump into the new school year refreshed and full of energy to bring out the best in myself and my students. I love summer for the time it offers me with my own children, for its slower pace, for spending long days out in the sunshine. I also like that in the education profession, summer gives us a reset. This week's Take5 focuses on ways teachers can use summer to its fullest.
Happy Fourth of July to our BubbleUp Classroom readers! In the spirit of all things summer, we hope you'll check out one of our favorite past posts: Summer recharge: reflect, reach out, reimagine. We'll be back next week with a new post. Until then, we hope you find yourselves reenergized by sunshine and the company of friends and family this week and all summer long.
-Corey and Gretchen
Take 5: Student Attention, Relationship Building, Civic Education, the Homework Debate, and Classroom Design
This week's post is all about being student centered. How can we increase student attention to classroom tasks, build relationships with students, and increase their advocacy skills? Moreover, this post delves into research about the never-ending homework debate. The numbers are in... the question is now what do we do with them? Lastly, we close with a look at classroom design over the past century, with an eye on where we are headed. So kick up those feet (after all, it's summer,right?) and Take5.
My son just finished seventh grade, his first year of middle school. As a middle school educator in the same school district, it has been fun to see the world of middle school in a different light -- as a parent and through the eyes of my own child. With that in mind, I thought it would be valuable to share some of the things I have learned.
Take5: the Power of Houses in Schools, Alleviating Math Anxiety, Books to add to your Summer Reading List and More.
While many of you are already basking in summer, some of us are still teaching. Our school year ends for students this week, but I know many East Coast schools are still in session as late as next week. Whether you are winding down this school year or already looking to the year ahead, we hope this week's Take5 helps inform your teaching. We touch on the weighty topic of suicide prevention. We also offer tips for supporting the creation of Houses in schools to promote belonging, strategies for spotting math anxiety in kids and stopping it in its tracks, and share a newly developed method for tracking cell phone use. Lastly, consider adding YA books to your summer reading by checking out a Best of 2018 YA List. So take a few minutes to Take5.
You've heard me say it before. Being a librarian is the best job in the building. One reason why is that librarians are in a unique position to impact instruction because we are the only teachers in the building who have the opportunity to teach every student across every content area and every academic level. This means that at various points in the year we co-teach math. This can be challenging for librarians because we don't always think of the math team as natural library collaborators. However, at Kilmer our math department includes some of our most open and willing partners with whom we have worked on a number of fun instructional activities. Check out some of the ways we have supported our math curriculum.
This week our Take5 has a bit of a library focus (surprise: I'm a librarian!), but There are take-aways for classroom teachers as well. Strong school library Instagram accounts and great read-alouds, meaningful makerspaces, a fun inquiry activity, and creating a menu of lessons -- check it out and share what's been sparking your interest!
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