So, my entrance into social media as an educator in 2016 has sucked me into the whirlwind of letting go of those pesky New Year's resolutions in favor of that one adoring word that can guide us through the upcoming year. That word can be a light that shines down on all that we do, illuminating areas in our lives and the day to day grind that are applicable. My first tentative #OneWord was born that January, 2016.
Sure. I know what you're thinking. Why in the world would Laura waste an entire blog post to talk about water. Drinking water is good for us. Everybody knows that. I know, but bear with me. I have included this in my SEL series because despite how easy and simple it is, drinking water might be the most important.
We weren't born to follow Deep Breaths: It’s no secret that deep breathing is nature’s best anti-stress medicine. It has stood the test of time as an old wives tale, primarily because there is some very powerful science behind why it is effective. One analogy used by Matthew MacKinnon MD in Psychology Today, describes it … Continue reading 4 WAYS TO SNEAK IN SEL AT EVERY GRADE LEVEL: PART 3 DEEP BREATHS
The holiday season is especially tough for some students and adults, so taking time out to focus on gratitude can really have a positive impact on students and adults in your building or even district. If you’re thinking about doing it, here are some ways you can utilize it with students at every grade level or for yourself.
We celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband's family on Thanksgiving Eve. It is a fabulous time with his mom, sister and family, and friends. We are not a family only kind of crew, and often we collect very interesting attendees, but this year it was a small intimate gathering of family and friends, food, traditions, and connections. We loaded up the counter to serve dinner buffet style. Everyone prepped the food they brought, nibbled as we set up the appetizers, carved the turkey, visited, laughed, and enjoyed the pandemonium as Grandma's beautiful pair of half grown Great Danes rushed into the house every time a child inadvertently let them.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL), or teaching the whole child is beginning to gain a more prominent foothold in education. Starting it in your classroom may seem daunting, even though you understand the value and research behind it. It was for me, but as I begin to see benefits, sometimes immediately, then as I do with anything, I dive right in with both feet. What does SEL look like in the kindergarten classroom? In 8th grade? What about at the high school level?
Games are fun. They add excitement, engagement, and some friendly competition. Building your games around a theme takes your gamification to a whole other level. Here is a guide for getting started.
I recently had a conversation with a first year teacher that caused me to reflect on the value of struggle in learning. It isn't a new concept, but the balance of making a learning activity challenging but still attainable is a tricky slope. Some educators fall down the slope, trying so hard to make students struggle that they get caught up in trying to be the tough teacher, and then forget that it isn't about us. If an entire class does poorly on a test, that isn't a valuable struggle. It's poor test writing, didn't assess what was taught, or a combination of both. That slope is a tough one to master, but just like that gritty Russian grizzly cub in the YouTube video that went viral, we have to keep climbing.
In the spirit of #GratitudeSnaps, the #4OCFpln Voxer group decided to do a joint blog post about all the things we are thankful for now that Halloween is in the rear view, and Thanksgiving is just a couple curves away. Our individual author information is listed prior to each post. I'll kick it off on my site with my post, so grab a snack or refreshment, get comfy, and enjoy the reflections of our group.
I had a student recently complain that the quiz website I wanted everyone to take their quiz on was "not working." I know that most everyone else in class was on the website taking the vocabulary quiz, so that meant the issue was with that student's Chromebook. "Did you restart your computer?" I asked when she told me the quiz website wasn't working. "Sure." I turned my teacher eye on her. "Did you really? Off then on?" "Uhgggg!" She groaned. "That will take a whole 12 seconds!"