October is known to be a month full of scares, but parent teacher conferences shouldn’t cause you any fear! This month we’ve put together resources to help you tackle your upcoming conferences with ease. Check out the tips below for both in-person and virtual conferences!
Do you have students struggling or feeling uncomfortable in class? Explore this article from Edutopia to support a safe and inclusive environment for your students. Learn more about students who may have different needs to feel safe and included in the classroom. One way to learn more is through training from Equality Florida. The more deliberate teachers can be about creating safe and inclusive classrooms the better the classroom environment for everyone.
Welcome back to a new and exciting school year! We know many of your students have come to you at very different levels of readiness this year. This makes differentiation in the classroom that much more important. This month’s post focuses on pre-assessment strategies that will help you gauge student readiness before you begin a new unit!
What is Pre-Assessment?
Determines what students may know and understand about the content you are presenting.
Should be used regularly, usually at the beginning of each new unit or topic.
Can be used to determine flexible groups.
Shows students’ readiness level.
Shows growth and is easy to incorporate into your lessons!
Click herefor a free downloadable list of pre-assessment options!
It’s that time of year again! In just a matter of weeks we will be welcoming students back into our classrooms for a new and exciting year. We’ve included some excellent back to school resources that are sure to inspire you and help you plan for a fantastic year!
We know it’s only July and schools don’t open for another month or so, but back to school season is already gearing up. Most major retailers are already pushing school supplies and uniforms. And while most teachers are dreaming up new themes and décor, we want you to prepare to put organizational systems in place that will last you all year long. Well thought out classroom organization can go a long way to reducing chaos and stress while keeping everyone working effectively and efficiently.
Here are some of our favorite classroom hacks to stay organized all year:
Student Display Space
For this hack from BoredTeachers.com, use laminated colored paper and a clothespin to create a special space to display student work all year. Students will love having an honored place to show off their hard work.
Color Code Classroom Technology
Color code your technology with this hackfrom Prodigy. Use colored tabs to help students find the right spot for the device and the matching cable!
Say Goodbye to Glue Sticks
Make glue sponges. All you need is glue, a sponge, and a small Tupperware container. This hack found on WeAreTeachers.com will save you so many glue sticks!
Dry Erase Dots
Use dry erase dots on your group table. Save yourself the trouble of getting out the dry erase boards and storing them all year. Create a dry erase board right on the table with this hack from BoredTeachers.com.
Create an “AWOL” binder (Absent Work Organizational Log) with this hackfrom WeAreTeachers. Use this binder to keep track of what was done in class each day as well as any assignments that are due. Be sure to insert any handouts or other assignments.
Congratulations! You made it through an unprecedented year. This month’s resources are here to help you reflect and refresh. Take a moment to celebrate your success and reflect on all the challenges that you overcame. Explore all the free professional development options for summer learning and growth below!
In honor of all your hard work, patience, and flexibility this year and every year, we are dedicating this post to celebrating YOU! Thank you for your patience, empathy, positivity, enthusiasm, knowledge, flexibility, leadership, kindness, perseverance, humility, and resilience. Check out all of the freebies and giveaways below!
Thank you teachers!
We are so proud of the work you do every day to make a difference in your students’ lives. This month, the Student Learning and Partner Success team is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card.
Have you heard about the Choice in Education Celebration? This celebration is in lieu of our annual Choice in Education Conference. We are throwing a virtual party to close out the school year and show appreciation for our private school leaders, educators, parents and students. This FREE event will be held virtually on May 20th from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. We will hear from Keynote Speaker Gerry Brooks, and giveaway fabulous prizes! Save your seat and REGISTER TODAY!
In honor of National Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, this month’s post highlights resources to support the success and acceptance of unique learners in your classroom. We hope you will use these resources throughout the year!
Person First Language
A disability does not define an individual! Identify the individual first rather than the disability. Explore the resources below to learn more about person first language and be sure to adopt this practice in your classroom and your everyday life.
Social stories are a great way to explain simple concepts or experiences with visuals. This is a great tool to use BEFORE a student experiences something. If a teacher knows a fire drill is taking place soon, she can review a fire drill social story to prepare the students.
Visual tools are a great way to promote functional communication. The resources below offer options to use for visual schedules, social stories, behavior charts, etc. Both resources offer functional graphics that are simple to interpret.
Check out the Symbolstix resource from n2y. This service offers quick access to communication tools and a library of over 60,000 symbols visuals to use for $129 per year. There are more free resources for IEP’s to explore from n2y here.
It is important for all students to understand and accept people with autism! Autism Speaks created the Puzzle Piece Project to increase the understanding and acceptance of students with autism in all grade levels.
In honor of Read Across America Day, this month we’re featuring a March Madness Reading Challenge! And, because every month should include stories of diverse American heroes, the theme of the reading challenge is: Unsung Heroes of Black History. Challenge your students to get to know these 16 influential little-known heroes. Which inspiring story will become your favorite unsung hero?
Looking to inspire your middle and high school students?
Sometimes middle school or high school students struggle to connect authentically with history lessons. One way to inspire them to pick up a biography about a historical figure is to show a documentary tied to that figure’s life and structure class discussion around the documentary. Consider viewing Mighty Times: The Children’s March, a 2004 American short documentary film about the Birmingham, Alabama civil rights marches in the 1960s, highlighting the bravery of young activists involved in the Children’s Crusade and using discussion questions provided by Learning For Justice. You just might inspire your students to pick up a book about movement leaders Rev. Andrew Young and Rev. James Bevel, or Carolyn McKinstry, one of the marchers profiled in the documentary.
Houghton Mifflin offers resources for teachers with in-depth discussion of project-based learning. This site includes an overview of the issues surrounding PBL, the student’s role in the process, and several projects to get you started (including the popular “egg drop” experiment and “Mission to Mars”).
Check out Natalie Wexler’s book “The Knowledge Gap.” Through the stories of educators, students, and parents, “The Knowledge Gap” dives into the real issues at the heart of what we call the achievement gap. The book zeros in on the importance of building knowledge of the world rather than focusing solely on skills. It’s a deep dive into the heart of reading, literacy, and the disparities in our education system that you won’t want to miss!Click here to learn more!
Happy New Year Teachers! As we begin 2021, we wanted to tackle the often overlooked topic of accommodations. This month’s resources will help you access, select, and implement accommodations for students with unique abilities in your classroom.
Here are ten resources to assist with accessing, selecting, and implementing accommodations for the students in your classroom:
This document published by the Florida DOE in 2010aims to assist school district personnel and parents when making decisions about the use of accommodations by students with disabilities in instructional situations. View the slightly shorter updated version of the manual here.
Free One-Day Teacher Summit with Professional Development Credit from Arizona State University:
REMOTE K12: The Connected Teacher Summit, hosted by ASU is a free, one-day virtual event to be held on January 9, 2021 to help K-12 educators deliver better online and blended learning experiences. Learn and network with educators from across the country who will share learning techniques and insights on assessment, collaboration, instructional design, innovation amid adversity, instructor presence, self-care and wellness, student engagement and more. Click here to learn more and sign up for Free!
Free Building Inclusive Schools Professional Development options through Step Up for Students:
All trainings are FREE thanks to support from Step Up For Students and our generous donors.
Foundations of an Inclusive Community (Vanessa Douyon – Promise 54)
Is Your School Anti-Racist? (Vanessa Douyon – Promise 54)
LGBTQ Culturally Competent Best Practices (De Palazzo – Equality Florida)