Today is the first day of Black Lives Matter at School week and the first week of Black History Month. We know that teachers are working toward representation and inclusion every day in their classrooms. Here are some resources to help you foster critical conversations in your classroom and continue to create an inclusive environment in your school. We hope you can use these resources all year long!
With holiday parties, parent nights, school-wide performances, and end of term exams coming up, it’s easy to get buried under a mountain of grading and planning this month! We’d like to share some strategies that will ease the stress of grading and help you make the most of your planning time all year.
Create your to do list the day or night before. During your planning time, choose 2-3 items you know you can get done and set a time limit for each. Use the timer on your phone to keep yourself on task. Shut the door and get things done!
Don’t Try to Grade Everything
There is a purpose for every assignment or activity in your class, but that does not mean every assignment or activity needs to be recorded for a grade. Consider checking some assignments for understanding, while grading and providing detailed feedback on others. Consider providing quick feedback via a sticky note rubric- click here to learn more!
Utilize a Copy Box
Use a folder or an inbox on your desk to place the master copies of the pages you need for the next week. Resist the urge to go make copies as soon as you finish one lesson. Collect your copies during your planning time and then save 5-10 minutes at the end of your time to go make the copies.
Choose One Day to Stay Late
As teachers we are notorious for coming in early and staying late. Consider choosing just one day a week to stay late. During this time, you can work after students are gone, distraction free, to finish any grading, planning, or copying that needs to be done for the following week.
Teachers: Have you heard about Algebra Nation?
Accessible anywhere and anytime, Algebra Nation offers an individualized approach to teaching and learning Middle Grades Math, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2.
You’re invited to join the Step Up For Students SuperFans program. Become a social ambassador for Step Up and help us spread awareness of our scholarship programs.
When you sign up, we will send you our most exciting news through email to share with your friends and followers. You choose where you share our content. You can share it through email, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or all of the above. Sharing our posts helps not only spread the word about Step Up to those who need it most, but it could also benefit your private school.
The best part? The more you share and participate, the more points you’ll earn towards a monthly giveaway. This month we’re giving away a $20 Target gift card and one Step Up’s new promotional items of your choosing (from a selection).
To join now, click on the link below and connect with one of your social networks.
For most teachers, tackling STEM in the classroom can be a daunting endeavor. What is STEM? Where do I begin? How do I find lessons, activities, and experiments? How long will it take?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math. Three of the most important components of a good STEM lesson include:
Problem Solving or Challenge Based Learning
Real World Applications
Integration of Multiple Disciplines
The goal of STEM activities is to put students in the driver’s seat and encourage them to think critically to solve real world problems using ideas and concepts from many different subject areas while reflecting on their successes and their challenges.
It turns out incorporating STEM in the classroom can happen in all kinds of ways, not just in the form of complex experiments. November 8th is National STEM Day and we’ve dedicated this month’s post to helping you get started with STEM using 5 easy to implement ideas.
1. Start with a Book or an Article
Unsure of where to begin? Find a short book or an article that touches on a problem or STEM career you wish to highlight. Reading this story aloud with students can be a wonderful starting point to get students in the problem-solving mindset.
For Elementary Students- Consider books like Rosie Revere Engineer, by Angela Beaty, or The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds.
For Secondary Students- Consider starting with this PBS article about a 15-year-old student who invented a new test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.
2. Create Maker Time and Maker Space
Set aside an area in your classroom for students to build and create. STEM Bins are an easy way to organize materials for students to build with.
Would you like to try out an awesome resource for elementary science activities aligned to NGSS for FREE for the rest of the year? Click here to check out MysteryScience! They are offering a free subscription to teachers through June of 2020.
4. Plan a Field Trip
No budget for field trips? TrySkype in the Classroom! You can take your class on a digital field trip to museums, national parks, laboratories,and even to the ocean floor!
Do you have hands on learners? The National Park Service offers “Traveling Trunks” that are filled with artifacts and hands on materials to learn about over 100 different topics and locations!
5. Expand on Careers & Real-World Workplaces
Have you heard of EVERFI? Step Up for Students is excited to share our continued partnership to bringEVERFI’s digital learning platform to your school at no cost. These Lessons are student-paced, grade themselves and come with supplemental lesson plans.
The courses address topics such as Character Education, Financial Literacy, Bullying Prevention, STEM education and many more.
Your school is already set up and has full access. 1) Visit EVERFI.com/register2) select Florida 3) type in the first part of your school name to get started. EVERFI also provides training and support to your teachers cost-free. Contact Liam Obrien at firstname.lastname@example.org 241-886-0690 with questions or to schedule a training for your staff.
We know teachers spend a lot of their own money buying supplies and resources for the classroom every year. We want to help offset some of that cost for you and #clearthelist by giving away four $25 Amazon gift cards! Click here to enter to win!!
Our post this month aims to provide you with some low cost ideas to increase classroom engagement! We’ve also partnered with a couple of educational companies that are offering discounts to our schools through September 30th. Check out the offers from Reading A-Z and Edmentum here!
4 Ways to Increase Classroom Engagement without Breaking the Bank
Meaning: To create buy-in, students first need to know why they are doing an activity.
For help communicating the objectives of your lesson or activity, check out this FREE printable posterthat can be laminated and displayed in your classroom. Update it with each new goal!
With the start of school quickly approaching, we wanted to provide some resources for your pre-planning needs! Explore our unit planning resources to get a jump on the year. Learn about ways to create a positive classroom culture from day one! Get to know your students in a way that helps you plan instruction. Plan creative ways to communicate procedures & expectations to make the most of the first few days of school!
Check out our free training from the Office of Student Learning on “Unpacking Unit Plans to Communicate Clear Learning Goals” or “Planning, Presenting, and Understanding New Knowledge.” See the instructions to register below!
Click on the Lesson Planning or Classroom Management.
Register for a course in your region. Trainings are currently being scheduled and more will be added throughout the year. If you are interested in hosting any of these trainings at your school, contact your regional coordinator!
We know teachers deserve to be celebrated every week, but this month we wanted to support and encourage teachers by providing connections to FREE resources, giveaways, discounts, and so much more! Check out the complete list of deals, freebies below!
Are your students good at explaining science or math? Khan Academy is partnering with the Breakthrough Junior Challenge video contest for a chance to win a $250,000 scholarship. Check out breakthroughjuniorchallenge.org for more details. Deadline June, 15th.
Check out edweb.net! It’s a free professional learning network that hosts education-based webinars and other resources. New free webinars each month!
How many of us have heard the phrase, “I’m just bad at math,” from a student in our class? Oftentimes, it’s not that students dislike math, but rather that they dislike the feelings often associated with math- confusion, embarrassment, frustration. This month we have a whole host of ideas, examples, and freebies to help your students get excited about math and science!
FREEBIE ALERT! Try using Post-it notes for check ins, differentiation, group work, & whole class engagement! Check out these FREE Post-it Printables for Math! Print this blank template first, stick on your post-its, and print some mini graphs to add some excitement to your next math lesson!
Science Resources for the Classroom:
Khan Academy AP Courses– The courses below have hundreds of exam-style practice problems designed to set your students up for success on their AP exams. Khan Academy also has a wealth of resources & practice for students in general math courses!
Our friends at the 1MillionProject provide free, high-speed internet connectivity and devices to school districts across the United States. Districts must be within Sprint’s coverage areas and meet eligibility criteria including having at least 50 eligible students per year. Email 1Million@1MillionProject.org with questions!
Congratulations to the winners of our Book Giveaway!
Ms. Warren- The Foundation Academy
Mrs. Koch- Incarnation Catholic School
Ms. Mateo- Basilica School of Saint Paul
Mr. Belcher- Beacon of Hope Christian School
In honor of Read Across America Day, this month’s resources are all about reading!
There’s no better way to kick off this month’s reading theme than with a BOOK GIVEAWAY! We are giving away a book to FOUR lucky winners! To enter, please email your name, school name & school address, and GRADE LEVEL TAUGHT, to email@example.com. Entries must be in by March 15th, 2019. Winners announced March 18th. Each winner will be randomly chosen and will receive a surprise book to add to their classroom library that is appropriate for the grade level they teach!
10 Ways to Encourage Reading in Your Classroom & School
Read Aloud! This is important for students in all grades as teachers are able to model fluent reading, help students construct meaning from text, and improve student processing and comprehension.
Create opportunities for students to talk about reading. Book clubs, reading groups, literacy circles, or invite students to share a “review” of a book with the class to encourage others to read it.
Choose Books that Relate to Current Issues or Relate the Books you Read to Students’ Lives. Check out this report from Renaissancedetailing what books kids love at each grade level!
Organize a “Read-In” Night– Encourage students and their families to attend a read-in! Use the gym or multi-purpose room, set up blankets, wear PJ’s, and encourage parents to bring a picnic snack or provide pizza to eat while students read books with their families or friends. Be creative! Invite parents, community members, local authors, or sports figures to be mystery readers each hour! Click this link to get some ideas for your own Read-In!
Take a Field Trip to the Local Library. Many libraries host children’s book readings and even have tours & presentations specifically for high school students on quality research strategies.
Talk About How Much You Love to Read! Share your favorite books, read passages from them, talk about how excited you are to read.
Create an Audio Book Station for Students to Listen to Books. Consider borrowing free audiobooks using your library card through hoopla digital! Make this a center activity, or a free time station.
Invite Authors to Speak Using Skype in the Classroom. Check out the link to see available authors for elementary, middle & high school.
Invite Guest Readers to the Class to Read to Students. Guest Readers could be other students, parents, community members, etc. You might also consider using these videos of authors reading students’ favorite books.
How do I start Project Based Learning in my classroom?
As many teachers can attest, without many breaks, February is a month we often struggle through. This month’s resources are designed to inspire you to easily integrate engaging and challenging projects that will improve your students’ literacy, writing, speaking, and 21st Century skills! February is also Black History Month, and what a great opportunity to let your students learn about heroic men and women that helped shape our country. Let’s jump into Project Based Learning to make Black History Month come alive!
Creating Meaningful Projects to Engage Students in Honor of Black History Month
Good teachers incorporate the rich history of African Americans throughout the school year, but Black History Month gives educators an opportunity to dig deeper! Project Based Learning can be a great way to encourage your students to not only dig deeper, but also make connections to the world we live in today. Below you’ll find some great resources and ideas!
Living Museum – Challenge your students to become an important figure from history. Students research the life and impact of an important historical figure and create a display and brief oral presentation that conveys the impact of this person’s life. They will role play this person in a “living museum” at your school. Other students & parents will be encouraged to walk through the museum to hear the story of each important hero.
Digital Storytelling– Students create a digital story about a defining moment, message, or lesson from a historical figure of their choosing. Students collect images, record voice overs, and create a final film product to be presented on the big screen for their parents or school community at a digital storytelling exhibition night at your school.