Brain Breaks and Focused Attention Practices Prime the Brain for Learning. I’ve enjoyed creating and sharing brain breaks and focused attention practices here over the past few years—practices that benefit every student as their brains prepare to learn. Brain breaks create a state of relaxed alertness, while focused attention practices help students slow down and focus on a stimulus, enhancing their executive functions of sustained attention and emotional regulation.
These practices address discipline proactively, before any problems arise. I hope you and your students enjoy these activities as you prime the brain for attention and a state of relaxed alertness. These all work well with elementary students, and some can be used with older students as well. Brain Breaks Peeling a tangerine: Give every student a tangerine. Next, ask them to hold the tangerine behind their backs—or just close their eyes—and peel it without looking. Paired mirror drawings: Have students find a partner. Have students switch roles, so the other person can lead. Edutopia. 8 Epic Ideas for Ending the School Year. Our time is important. The kids that we teach are precious to us, and they need to know that our time together was worth it. So don’t just let the year end: Celebrate learning, celebrate the moments you’ve had, and savor the time you have left together.
At the end of the race, we like to hear cheers, and when kids graduate, it’s a climactic event. Really, the end of every school year should be climactic. It should be exciting. 1. Dave Burgess suggested having kids make their Top 10 list of what they had learned during the school year. 2. Todd Finley told me about a college professor whose students took their final exam in a room filled with food, decorations, and the promise of a celebration. 3. Angela Watson reminded me in a recent conversation that we don’t need to take the decorations down too soon. 4. This is the one that I’m working on this year, adapting from John Berray’s original idea. 5 Ways to Say Goodbye to Your Graduating Students. I remember the first batch of seniors I said goodbye to. I was a brand new teacher and had just spent the last nine months, an hour and a half a day, talking, reading, and writing with them in a creative writing class.
Then came that final class period. They shuffled in laughing and excited about the ceremony and parties to come. I, too, felt joy and a celebratory spirit -- more so for some who having enough credits to graduate had proved a close call. Nevertheless, the mood was a festive one. Some of the things we teachers say to graduating seniors that last day: "Of course I'll sign your yearbook! And then they walk out the door.
I recall at the close of my rookie year, following that last day, I lamented, "Argh, I should have done something! " I found from my own years teaching seniors and in my discussions with twelfth-grade teachers: There is no activity or gesture too small when it comes to saying goodbye to graduating students. School's Out: Why Embracing Technology Will Only Expand What's Possible - Education Reimagined - Education Reimagined. If we can take on this challenge, the coming century in education will witness the convergence of many technological advancements and resultant societal challenges (aka opportunities), resulting in mutually beneficial solutions.
Oscar Brinson IT Consultant On October 8th, five educators published School’s Out—an invitation for communities “to explore how profoundly we need to alter our perspective on the meaning, feel, and delivery of learning.” To amplify the voices of these learner-centered leaders, we have invited each to author articles that express the context from which they approached the question: What if school did not exist? The fourth article in this series comes from IT Consultant, Oscar Brinson, who throws open the curtain to reveal just how far and fast technology is going. There is a striking negative correlation between the intentions behind conventional school building construction and wholesale changes in pedagogy and curricula.
How To Not Quit Teaching. Four of every ten new teachers leave the profession within five years. That is a staggering number. It’s made all the more alarming given that teacher shortages in the US are expected to exceed 300,000 by 2020. Although low starting pay, large class sizes, and lack of autonomy are certainly factors . . . Most of the reasons for dissatisfaction are within the teacher’s control. That isn’t to say that it’s their fault. Teacher ed. programs do a terrible job preparing teachers for the realities of the classroom, and individual schools and districts aren’t much better. But with the right knowledge and commitment, anyone can have a long and happy career. Here’s how: 1. This is by far the most important thing you can do to begin enjoying your job. Your confidence soars, your stress plummets, and the work becomes deeply satisfying—despite the craziness and politics outside your classroom walls. Student time on task increases dramatically and even test scores are positively affected.