Teacher Wellness Series – Part 1: Make Every Week “Teacher Appreciation Week”

Article by Tammy Metcalf

May is every teacher’s favorite month. Why? Because of Teacher Appreciation Week, of course! But what if every week were Teacher Appreciation week? It can be, but we have to make it happen for ourselves.
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What’s in Your Suitcase? Unpacking Standards

Article by Dorothy Reynolds, Sharon Cooley, and Pam Groach

Why is unpacking the standards an important aspect of teaching?
Imagine yourself on a family vacation with your suitcases filled to the brim! Your spouse wants you to quickly gather your beach items and head to the beach. But wait! Where did you put the sunscreen? Which suitcase has the popup shelter? How about the swim suits? And your wide brim hat? Yikes! Before you make your way to the beach, maybe you should unpack the suitcases and organize your belongings. After all, you do have multiple events scheduled this trip. You do not want to find yourself on the beach without the essentials.
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Starting the Year: Remember to Establish Habits!

Article by Dora Daniels

When thinking about the beginning of the school year, it’s important to plan for classroom transitions and how things are going to flow. Here are some good prompts for opening the year:

  • How are students going to enter the classroom? What are they going to do when they walk in?
  • How are students going to be prepared for the class?
  • How are students going to know where they are sitting?
  • How are students going to transition and turn in papers?
  • How are students going to transition at the end of class?

All of these items need to be practiced for the first two or three weeks of school. While we might want to introduce such ideas once, many students need multiple exposures before these behaviors become habit.
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Sharing Data with Families

Article by Katie Currens

As the school year ends many teachers are actively preparing portfolios or summaries of individual growth for students to take home. This is a wonderful way to make sure the parents and guardians get their hands on the data you’ve been collecting throughout the year. However, the reality is that many of those acronyms and numbers mean nothing to families. It’s important that we work to ease frustration by providing a clearer understanding of student progress.
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High School Teachers Need Love, Too!

Article by Anne Allen
As I stand outside my 1st grade daughter’s classroom with a mason jar collecting single flowers from her classmates, I think about how different this is from the high school scene. “Big kids” from the older grades stop by to give the teacher a quick hug before heading off to the 3rd or 4th grade and I wonder if these teachers know how lucky they are. As a high school teacher, I can tell you the teacher appreciation jealousy is real.
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I’ve Collected Data. Now What?

Article by Katie Currens
By the end of the year it is not uncommon to see files no longer in drawers, but resting on desks and cabinets throughout a classroom. It’s not because educators have become lazy. Rather, they’ve collected so much data and evidence of student growth that they can no longer fit all the files in their respective places. As the school year ends there is often a debate of “what’s next?” What should one do with all this data now that the student has completed this year?
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“Math Chat” – Free Graphic Organizer

I recently collaborated with some math teachers, and we reviewed a couple of Marzano’s strategies, specifically the notion of “probing incorrect answers by low expectancy students.” (See “Design Question 9” at this link.) The more we talked, the more we wanted to get students analyzing worked problems, and then articulating how they concluded whether the solved problems were correct or incorrect. That’s when we had an idea: Math Chat!
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Ohio’s Revised Learning Standards – Resources and Strategies

Ohio’s Department of Education (ODE) recently announced its new “Learning in Ohio” webpage. In addition to the revised standards, ODE also provides other resources and strategies that can be useful to classroom teachers. This item summarizes some of our favorites for ELA.
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Finding Time for Tech

Article by Katie Currens

Many teachers don’t have time to fit keyboarding or computer games into their already too-tight schedules. As a consultant, I like helping teachers look at their time in a different way. We certainly don’t want to add anything to plates that are already full, so instead we can look at how to integrate technology into what we already do. Below are a few ways you can add a technological spin in your class.
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Inspiration, The Podcast: Debatability

Do you want to breathe new life into your classrooms? Check out our free podcast on “Debatability” from our “Inspiration” series (embedded below). If you want to learn more, click here to sign up for our new PD scheduled on January 26, 2017. Administrators and teachers will not only learn new strategies and examples for infusing classrooms with inspirational traits, they will also leave with one of our new teaching guidebooks, Inspiration: Breathing New Life into Classrooms (included in registration fee), designed to help teachers (and schools) transform their practice.
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