Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) in the Elementary Classroom

Having non- or limited-English speaking students in your general education classroom can be a challenge, especially if you have little experience working with English Language Learners. In the elementary classroom, it is difficult to support the different needs of all of your students, and adding a language barrier to the mix only makes it more challenging. Luckily, there are [...]

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Navigating Parent-Teacher Conferences

It’s almost time for the first parent-teacher conferences of the school year. Whether this is the first round of conferences of your teaching career, or your hundredth, communicating with parents can be intimidating. Remember, despite the stress and challenge of these conferences, your mission is to partner with parents to ensure your students’ success. Here are a few tips to [...]

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Keys to a Stress-Free Back-to-School Night

Even though you stand up in front of students every day, back-to-school night might make you anxious. In many schools, back-to-school night begins with a meeting in the auditorium in which parents are welcomed by the principal who then introduces the teachers. Teachers are excused to return to their classrooms while parents stay to hear a speech from the principal. [...]

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Developing Digital Citizens: A Guide for Grades 6-12

How do you think your students spent their summer vacation? More than likely, many of them spent thousands of hours connected to the online world on social network sites, shopping, and/or gaming with friends. In fact, according to the most recent study from the Pew Research Center (2015), 92% of teens report going online daily, including 24% who say they [...]

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​Teaching Digital Citizenship in the K-5 Classroom

As you begin the school year, you may be eager to try a variety of fun digital tools with your students. And as you integrate the Common Core and P21 learning standards in your classroom, it’s required that you incorporate technology in the classroom. While we love technology, it’s important to take some precautions when engaging students—especially young [...]

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Question Stems to Stir Discussion Early This School Year

Teachers ask students roughly 300-400 questions every day. With so much of your time spent asking questions to students, it’s important to plan thoughtful, open-ended questions in order to make the most of these interactions. Questioning may seem easy, but there is an art to crafting questions that will not only stir discussion and push student thinking, but that will [...]

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Alleviating Anxiety in the Classroom

As you begin this school year, you may feel anxious and stressed. While these feelings are normal, finding ways to reduce them will lead to a happier and more productive start to the school year. We often try to escape anxiety the moment it surfaces, but that can actually make it worse. In fact, one of the most effective ways [...]

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​First Day Teaching Tips for First Time Teachers

You’ve finished your student teaching and you’ve landed that long sought after job. But the first day of school is almost here (if it hasn’t arrived already), and you’re beginning to feel a little nervous. What do you do to prepare for the first day and ease your nerves? First, be assured that having some butterflies is totally normal. [...]

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​Two Easy Teacher Tips for a Seamless First Day

It’s almost the first day of school, and you probably have a list of things to do and consider before the morning bell rings. What will my students be like? Is my classroom set up in the best possible way? How will the first day go? Whether you are a new teacher or a veteran, the first day [...]

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Back-to-School Icebreakers for Every Classroom

The school year is quickly approaching and with it comes excitement, anticipation, and maybe even a little nervousness about the first day. One strategy for helping you and your students feel more comfortable during the first day—and the first few weeks—is to use icebreakers. Icebreakers are quick and easy activities that allow your students to get to know each [...]

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