Newspapers… On television and in the movies, they’re something dad reads every morning over breakfast while the family buzzes around him, or on the subway to work as he is jostled and pickpocketed… Does your school produce a student-run newspaper?
Yes, unless you teach in a year-round school, that part of the academic year when you start looking at ways to wrap it up is here (or coming very soon).
This is why I like the new Fold & Go: Math books from The Mailbox, even as a hardened lover-of-words and disliker-of-math. These new books help educators meet Common Core State Standards, which should be immensely helpful. Plus they contain 36 already-laminated booklets that make the journey to math understanding one that is student driven.
Celebrated or demonized, it’s tough being a teacher in an election year, or any year, for that matter. At The Mailbox, it’s our aim to support you everyday with tips, ideas, and resources that work in your classroom. If you’ve got standards you’re teaching to, our activities help you meet them. If you have students with special needs, we can help. If you’re a first-year teacher trying to find your way, we’ll get you organized. If you’re just a few years from retiring, our tools and projects will keep your classroom feeling fresh. But we also care about how you’re doing.
Schools across America are reopening right now for the new academic year. Space exploration is much different today than it was—gulp—40 years ago. But I wonder, will you be talking about Curiosity in class this year? And if so, what do you plan to do to make it exciting and inspiring?
I had a social studies teacher who placed a premium on understanding current events. Each week a different group of students was selected to coordinate with each other to put on a fake television news broadcast for the rest of the class on Friday. We were expected to deliver actual news, from the local community to the world stage, with some degree of accuracy and understanding.
At some point in a teacher’s summer, one’s thoughts turn to the coming school year. Instead of hitting the snooze button 47 times in a row, you hit it 32 times one day, then 18 times soon after, until you’re finally down to just twice. You find yourself glancing longingly at your local teacher store when you’re on your way to the community pool. When you see the “School Bus Stop Ahead” sign when you’re driving to the beach, you wonder if you’ll see students standing there.
People who have known me for more than a few years won’t be surprised to learn that my study skills prior to college were what experts call “atrocious.” And, as long as I am in a confessional spirit, I should probably extend an apology to my students. I don’t think I was at all good at guiding their study habits either.
Light dawning on marble head is an exciting thing to witness in the classroom. It is one of the (we hope) frequent perks of being a teacher. Whether we recognize it through a student’s arched eyebrows, suddenly upright posture, exuberantly raised hand, unsolicited burst of “I get it,” or some combination of all these, we want to witness it as often as possible.
From my perspective as a teacher, I have both similar and quite different feelings about the effectiveness of small groups. Whenever I would bring a small-group project to my classroom, I was inevitably left with two questions: Who is doing the lion’s share of the group’s work? Why is it so loud in here?keep looking »