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A Response to Professors Banning Laptops. I've been hearing about big changes in education since I started teaching nearly 20 years ago. In recent years, I've actually been seeing some real innovation that has challenged teachers to move beyond the same model of instruction that we have been using for centuries. My optimism faded a bit, however, after reading an article from The Globe and Mail, "Professors Push Back Against Laptops in the Lecture Hall. " The article provides another example of educators trying to force students to conform to our outdated models of instruction rather than adapting instructional methods to the needs of students and the changing world around us.

If 85% of Your Students are Off Task... If I found out that 85 percent of my students chose to focus on something other than my lesson, I'd have to take a hard look at my lessons and ask why students weren't engaged. The Teaching Equals Learning Illusion Remove Distractions or Provide a More Engaging Experience? Featured image courtesy of Greg Pearson. Activities for the 1st Day of School. The first day of school can be a wonderful opportunity to hook students on everything that makes your classroom a special place. Make the first day a fun and exciting showcase of great academic and social activities. Have students collaborate and share.

Give students the opportunity to think, as well as share what makes them special as individuals. Try these 10 activities with your students to show them what’s in store for the rest of the year! What NOT to Do Many teachers use some of their time on the first day of school to list classroom rules or have students create the classroom rules. Instead of going through a list with students, have students collaborate with each other to show what NOT to do in classrooms. 6 Word Memoirs Students love to share stories from their own lives.

Ultimate Rock, Paper, Scissors Teachers often have several activities included on the first day for students to get to know each other. Scavenger Hunt using QR Codes Students love a good scavenger hunt. Pete's Power Point Station - A Collection of FREE Presentations in PowerPoint format for K-12 Teachers and Students. Save Time This Year With 10 Free Tech Tools for High School Teachers. Time is at a premium for high school teachers. "I think that a lot of people forget that in middle school and high school we have so many more students than the elementary school teachers have," says Stephanie Richardson, an English teacher at North Harrison High School in Ramsey, Indiana. While an elementary school teacher may teach 25 to 30 students, she says, she is expected to give each of her 150 to 175 students the same amount of attention.

"If you think about it, even if you are grading just a regular paper, it takes five minutes for a paper," she says. "Well, if you have 175 of them, that's a lot of time. " One thing Richardson can't live without is a notebook she calls her "sanity saver. " High school teachers strapped for time can also try using free tech tools that are designed to make their lives easier. [Read these four questions high school teachers should ask when vetting new tech tools.]

Organization and Productivity Teaching and Presentation​ Assessment Tools​ • Kahoot! CreativeStir: Growth Mindset... for schools? A lot of growth mindset discussions center on the traits students and adults can develop. Especially at the start of a school year. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset. Lots of debate going on. If we're asking individuals to develop a growth mindset, what about a 'growth mindset' for a school? Is weaving students into some existing and traditional school structures prohibiting growth? Here are a few ideas on how school and systems within can develop and practice a 'growth mindset.' Create a common learning language and focal points Does your school have a common set of learning values for each class?

Inquiry Research Collaboration Reflection Presentation Inquiry and project based learning... hands on, collaborative, interactive, project oriented. Analyze the class / master schedule... and make changes Analyze start time, breaks, class length, and flow from a student and adult perspective. How does your schools schedule impact family life?

Are deadlines on homework completion rigid or flexible? Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices. When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments. We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning. They refocus our neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur. Brain Breaks A brain break is a short period of time when we change up the dull routine of incoming information that arrives via predictable, tedious, well-worn roadways.

Our brains are wired for novelty. We know this because we pay attention to every stimulus in our environment that feels threatening or out of the ordinary. When we take a brain break, it refreshes our thinking and helps us discover another solution to a problem or see a situation through a different lens. 1. 2. 3. Movement is critical to learning. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 10 Team-Building Games That Promote Collaborative Critical Thinking. One of education’s primary goals is to groom the next generation of little humans to succeed in the “real world.”

Yes, there are mounds of curricula they must master in a wide breadth of subjects, but education does not begin and end with a textbook or test. Other skills must be honed, too, not the least of which is how to get along with their peers and work well with others. This is not something that can be cultivated through rote memorization or with strategically placed posters. Students must be engaged and cooperation must be practiced, and often. The following team-building games can promote cooperation and communication, help establish a positive classroom environment and — most importantly — provide a fun, much-needed reprieve from routine. 10 Team-Building Games That Promote Collaborative Critical Thinking 1. This team-building game is flexible. You can recycle this activity throughout the year by adapting the challenge or materials to specific content areas. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 6 Back-to-School Tech Projects. Have your students get to know one another by sharing with their classmates their favorite things and what they did this summer using these fun tech projects!

1. FakebookInvite your students to create a fakebook. The site is easy to navigate. ​ To save their page, they simply hit print and save their profile as a ​PDF to their desktop. Students can add blocks for friends, music, TV shows, books, video games and anything else they would like to share. Students can post images of their summer vacations on their fakebook page. 2. What is fantastic about this collage maker is that students can save their work straight to their desktops without creating a username or password! 3. 4. For the places they went, they can add what they did on vacation. 5. 6. Below is an example of an introduction video students could make on their first day back: Erin Bittman is a designer turned teacher!