Classroom Ideas

Fakebook Lesson Plan – Creating Facebook Profiles for Historical Figures – Education Article

I love to engage my middle school students by incorporating one of their favorite things: social media. And one of their all-time favorites is the Fakebook project. Here’s how it works: Students use their notes to create a Facebook-style social media profile for a historical figure. What I love most about this assignment is that it allows students to express their humor and creativity. Since nearly every chapter contains numerous notable figures, this project is versatile and can be used for…

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15 Creative Book Report Ideas for Every Grade and Subject – Education Article

In some classrooms, the mere mention of the phrase “book report” brings groans of dread. Visions of endless writing and tedious presentations feel overwhelming to students. But reading an awesome book and telling others all about it can be one of the great pleasures in life! Here are 15 creative book report ideas that will be sure to get your students excited about their next assignment. SOURCE: Teacher Thrive There are so many super creative, open-ended projects you can use…

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The Most Popular Kids Books According to 8.7 Million Students – Education Article

For more than a decade, I’ve been researching student reading habits and identifying the most popular kids’ books at each grade to help educators match kids with titles they’ll love. This year, my team analyzed the reading records of more than 8.7 million students across the United States to produce the latest edition of the world’s largest annual study of K–12 student reading habits. That’s a lot of data—these students read more than 289 million books last school year! From…

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Using Immersive Stimuli to Drive Student Inquiry – National Geographic Education Blog – Education Article

The following post was written by 2017 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Sarah Harris, a K-12 social studies curriculum specialist and middle school teacher, after her expedition to Antarctica. The Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program is a professional development opportunity for pre-K–12 educators made possible by a partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education. Sarah observes a gentoo penguin colony on Barrientos Island. Photo by Peg Keiner As student inquiry becomes a primary focus of social studies and science instruction, educators across the nation are designing…

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Building Active Listening Skills in the Classroom [5 Fun Ways] – Education Article

The importance of oracy skills is undoubtable. From the early years through to university level and, of course, out in the workforce, the ability to speak clearly, fluently and confidently is undoubtedly vital. But sometimes in the quest to build speaking skills we overlook the other, equally important component of spoken language: listening skills. We will now focus on the importance of building active listening skills in the classroom. To be able to speak fluently, first you must build active…

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Five Fresh Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day – National Geographic Education Blog – Education Article

Once again it is that time of year when hearts, flowers, poetry, cozy romantic atmospheres, and all things red and pink are sought by individuals and couples alike in an effort to express and impress. Have you ever wondered if there was a better—or at least different—way to go about this whole “celebration of love” idea? I admit the thought crossed my mind a time or five, so in order to put my curiosity to rest and, hopefully, give you…

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20 of the Best Science Bulletin Boards and Classroom Decor Ideas – Education Article

Looking for ways to take your science lab or classroom up a notch? Look no further than these amazing science bulletin boards and classroom decor ideas! 1. Explore the solar system. It’s the 3D planets that really make this solar system board pop. Have students help create them from styrofoam balls or papier-mâché. Source: Abbot Beyne 2. Make science sparkle!  Science bulletin boards aren’t the only way to go. Turn your classroom door into an explanation of the science of…

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I Marie Kondo-ed a Cluttered Classroom, and Here’s What Happened – Education Article

It seems as though almost everyone is decluttering and organizing their homes, thanks to Marie Kondo and her books and Netflix series about “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” For teachers and their students, the classroom is a ‘home away from home.’ And what classroom couldn’t use a little tidying up? But what teacher has the time or energy to follow Kondo’s mindful, systematic approach? To hold every book, every piece of paper and curriculum, and decide whether it “sparks…

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Do Your Students Need Help With Pencil Grip? Try These Tricks! – Education Article

Nowadays most of us, especially kids, often “write” by swiping or pressing buttons. Who needs an actual pen and pad when there’s an app for that? Is good pencil grip even important? According to the decades of research, the answer is a resounding yes. As a teacher, you’re probably well aware of this. There’s tons of research about the importance of pencil grip, especially for kindergarteners. Indeed, good pencil grip is a key to developing strong readers, writers, and long-term…

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Best Presidents’ Day Activities for the Classroom – Education Article

Ahhh, Presidents’ Day. A holiday that often means buy-one-get-one deals, closed banks, interest-free financing on furniture, and excellent lease terms for well-qualified car buyers. But for teachers, it’s a great opportunity to kick those American history lesson plans up a notch with a few Presidents’ Day activities. Presidents’ Day became a holiday in the late 1800s to honor George Washington, whose actual birthday is February 2. But since Abraham Lincoln was born in February as well (are we sensing a…

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Classroom Coding & Robotics … Everything You Need to Get Started – Education Article

Our Getting Started With Coding Guide includes how-tos, fun robot activities, offline games, and more! Your guide features: Ideas for setting up a makerspace in your classroom Best practices for project expectations and classroom goals Free activities for grades 2–8 Unplugged STEAM games to take coding fun offline And more! <p… This is only a snippet of a Education Article written by WeAreTeachers Staff Read Full Article

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How I Use Choice Boards to Increase Student Engagement – Education Article

One of the most common challenges that teachers face is planning engaging, hands-on lessons that are accessible to all students. Teachers know that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. That’s why I’m a big fan of the choice board. Choice boards can be implemented for any grade level or subject. They typically include a wide array of activities of varying difficulty. As a result, all students, regardless of learning style, are able to get the skills and learning they need. Here’s…

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23 Close Reading Anchor Charts That Will Help Your Students Dig Deep – Education Article

Close reading means reading a text multiple times and using strategies to understand the text’s deeper meaning. To help you teach close reading, here is a round up of some of our favorite close reading anchor charts.  Start with a definition.  Introduce the steps of close reading to your students with this anchor chart.   SOURCE: Two Little Birds This chart lays out the process nicely.   SOURCE: Ms. Houser Close reading is reading a text multiple times.  These anchor charts explain how and why…

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32 Children’s Books to Celebrate Valentine’s Day – Education Article

Mix together adorable main characters and lots of sparkly hearts with sweet messages about kindness and love and you have a the perfect reading list to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your young learners (PreK–2).  Even the grouchiest of ladybugs deserves love! This sweet story is all about making the world kinder, one friend at a time.  Will Groggle ever finish making the perfect valentine for ‘beast’ friend Snarlina? Not if he can’t control his impulsive appetite! A beautiful…

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These Candy Heart Science Experiments Will Blow Your Mind – Education Article

Looking for an excuse to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your students, and, you know, eat candy? We have it right here with these candy heart science experiments and math activities. While the company making the beloved candy hearts went bankrupt last year (though there is hope for a future revival), you can still buy conversation hearts from other brands. Grab some Brach’s conversation hearts, or try the Sweethearts brand, if you have the heart (see what we did there?)—and budget. …

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How to Increase Classroom Automation and Cut Back on Paperwork – Education Article

I’m not afraid to admit it—I used to be THAT teacher. The one where when you walked into her classroom, your immediate thought was, “How does learning take place in this room?” or “how can she find anything she needs?” What I needed was some organization. That’s when I got the idea of increasing classroom automation to make my life easier. Sounds kind of robotic or technical, right? Whatever you want to call it… it saved my sanity and my…

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Esports in Schools Is Here to Stay, and Experts Tout Many Benefits – Education Article

When the athletic director at Mount Saint Charles Academy asked teacher Rick Simard if he’d coach the school’s inaugural esports team, Simard hesitated for a moment. “To be honest with you, my first thought was that’s a thing?” says Simard, a veteran teacher and hockey coach. Twenty years ago, when Simard started coaching hockey, esports, or competitive video gaming, was most definitely not a thing. Ball-based sports dominated school athletics, and video games were still predominately a private leisure activity.…

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18 Nonfiction Anchor Charts for the Classroom – Education Article

When it comes to teaching nonfiction reading and writing, anchor charts are a valuable tool to solidify the what, when, why and how in learners’ minds. Not the artistic type? No worries—we’ve collected some of our favorite nonfiction anchor charts for you to recreate in your classroom.   What exactly is nonfiction? Nonfiction is informational text that uses facts to teach learners about something.  SOURCE: The Designer Teacher What are some examples of nonfiction? Nonfiction texts can be found in a…

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Think Self-Regulation Can’t Be Taught? These 3 Schools Are Doing It – Education Article

When it comes to social emotional skills, self-regulation—the ability to manage emotions, focus, and handle frustration—is critical. Schools that emphasize school-wide social emotional learning, or SEL engage the entire school community in creating caring, participating, and equitable learning environments that provide social, emotional, and academic growth.When students attend schools that are doing a good job at SEL they report higher academic achievement and better preparation for life compared to students in schools that aren’t teaching SEL skills. Indeed, SEL skills…

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Slow Down, Connect, and Flip Your Perspective – National Geographic Education Blog – Education Article

The following post was written by 2017 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Wendi Pillars, a high school teacher, after her expedition to the Arctic. Wendi is also the author of Visual Note-Taking for Educators: A Teacher’s Guide to Student Creativity. The Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program is a professional development opportunity for pre-K–12 educators made possible by a partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education. Wendi takes in natural splendor from a Zodiac. Photo courtesy Wendi Pillars Imagine seeing a blue whale for the first time,…

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How Schools Are Encouraging More Mindful Screen Time – Education Article

For most tweens and teens in the United States, screen time is a constant, both in and out of school. One study shows that tweens spend 4.5 hours of time on screen every day, while teens spend 6.5 hours. But there is a growing backlash against screens in schools, especially as new research demonstrates the profound impact screen time has on brain development.  With that said, schools are taking concerted effort to examine the use of tech, in some cases banning…

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18 Perfect Read-Alouds for Teaching Growth Mindset – Education Article

One easy way to encourage growth mindset is through engaging, purposeful read-alouds. Here are some of our favorite growth mindset books for kids, all of which can help jumpstart conversations about failure, risk-taking, and persistence.    In this story, a child discovers that it takes courage to take chances and say yes to new opportunities. But in the end, taking chances can lead to incredible experiences.  Little Jabari is absolutely, maybe, pretty sure that he’s ready to jump off the…

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What Is Coopetition, and Why Does It Belong in the Classroom? – Education Article

In my mind, collaboration and competition have always been contradictory concepts. Either you work together or against one another, right? So I was surprised to learn that many researchers actually view collaboration and competition on a continuum (Varner 2013). In fact, in the business world this concept is known as coopetition. What is coopetition? Coopetition is collaboration between competitors, in the hope of mutually beneficial results. Both collaboration and competition have advantages, but they also have their respective challenges. Coopetition, on…

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Why Every Classroom Needs Jigsaw Puzzles, Plus Our Top Picks – Education Article

Jigsaw puzzles are a common sight in PreK and early elementary classrooms. Little ones learn spatial reasoning, hand-eye coordination, and basic concepts like shapes and letters using these puzzles. By late elementary, puzzles are usually relegated to a game shelf to be brought out during indoor recess, if at all. But jigsaw puzzles offer benefits for all ages, and teachers can use them in a variety of ways, some of which may surprise you.  Classroom Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles Older…

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Ways to Encourage Good Behavior, Without the Prizes or Treats – Education Article

Looking for creative ways to reward positive classroom behavior? So was primary teacher JL when she wrote in with this question: “In previous years I have rewarded my students with special recognition for positive classroom behavior. This year, however, my students are expressing a strong expectation to be given something tangible instead (treats and goodies). I want them to learn to do the right thing for the sake of being a quality person, not just for something in return. I…

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Teaching Strategies [That Actually Work] – Education Article

What works best in education? It’s surprising just how many people think they know the answer to this question. Education is a unique industry. Almost everyone has experienced teaching strategies in some way, whether that be as a student or a teacher. It is true, everyone has an opinion, but at the end of the day, whether it is coming from the headmaster or your plumber, it is important to remember that it is just that, an opinion. Is homework…

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WeAreTeachers Storytime Videos Bring Authors into Your Classroom – Education Article

Looking for a new way to engage your readers? Storytime videos to the rescue! At WeAreTeachers, we believe that reading aloud is powerful when it comes to building strong readers, encouraging literacy, and developing lifelong learners.  And it’s not just for kindergarteners either. There are so many benefits to reading aloud in older grades—even in middle school. That’s why we created our Storytime video series, featuring some of our favorite children’s books, authors, and creators. Subscribe to our WeAreTeachers YouTube channel…

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DIY Fidgets You Can Make On a Budget for Your Classroom – Education Article

Kids and adults alike have always needed to fidget, some more than others. There used to be an expectation that students sit up straight and still for long periods of time in class. But now the idea of doodling, using sketch notes in the classroom, and even fidgeting are much more accepted and promoted. Sometimes fidgeting is even encouraged and supported.  You can find many fidget toys on the market, but what if you’re a teacher on a budget? We’ve got…

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Here Are The Best Volunteer Opportunities for Kids – Education Article

Teaching students the value of giving back to their communities is essential, and teaches them important social emotional learning skills. But how can teachers make student volunteer projects truly meaningful? What’s going to spark that spirit of volunteerism in your students and make it stick? Ownership! Having your students participate in choosing and planning a service project will provide them with a sense of purpose, as well as help them hone their SEL voice. That’s why we have compiled our…

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Cultivating a Sense of Wonder with Early Elementary Students – National Geographic Education Blog – Education Article

The following post was written by 2017 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Breigh Rhodes, a STEM specialist and elementary school teacher, after her expedition to Antarctica. The Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program is a professional development opportunity for pre-K–12 educators made possible by a partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education. Breigh responds to students’ questions about Antarctica. Photo by Tammy Wood Scientist and author Rachel Carson wrote in The Sense of Wonder, “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he…

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