1. For the past year, I have integrated brain breaks into my teaching practice with great results. However, I've noticed that sometimes students need a brain break that refocuses them rather than one that simply promotes movement. This article on Edutopia by Lori Desautels caught my eye. It recommends different types of brain breaks, one for energizing and one for focusing.
2. Last year, our school hosted a week of informal observations. Teachers invited other teachers to observe throughout the week. It was casual, fun, and eye-opening. I left school energized after learning so much from my colleagues. The invention of the pineapple chart takes this approach to a new level by offering an easy way for teachers to advertise what they are doing in their room so that others can easily pick things they are interested in seeing and observe. Why is it called a pineapple chart? Read more from the Cult of Pedagogy to find out:
3. My colleague, Rich, told me about a new movement that is gaining a lot of steam; It's called #ObserveMe and it invites any and all teachers to stop into classrooms to observe at any time. I've seen it on Twitter and plan on trying it starting in October. I want our building to be more open to observations from all parties because I truly believe that when we open our doors and minds that we can learn incredible things from each other. Check out this blog post from Stories From School to learn more about the process and rationale.
4. Valerie Strauss drew my attention with this rallying cry for more civics education. While I don't think any subject should be the "core" subject, Strauss' piece in The Washington Post certainly spoke to me, especially in the midst of a tightly contested election year.
5. To wrap up, I have to share a fantastic resource with you. I've recently discovered the New York Times Learning Network. Take a look and enjoy. There's something for everyone. We used it just this week to explore data (yes, that's right math and science teachers--I am teaching my students to read charts and graphs) about Election 2016. We had rich discussions grounded in real numbers, helping to keep things real world in real time.
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