After you have taken some well-deserved time to relax this summer, we know you will be eager to jump into planning for next year. This month’s post is full of excellent “Back to School” planning resources for you and for your teachers!
Choose a School-Wide Theme
Start the new year on a positive and uplifting note by creating a theme for your school this year. Use this printable guide to help you decide what theme would best fit the needs of your school community this year. You could even consider recruiting your older students to help choose the theme!
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.
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.
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!
Today, September 8th, is International Literacy Day. This day was founded in 1966 to keep the importance of literacy in the forefront of local communities. Tremendous progress has been made in the years since, however, illiteracy remains a world issue. This month’s resources aim to help teachers continue to close the literacy gap even in their new virtual roles.
Check out Storyline Online to stream videos featuring celebrities reading children’s books.
Browse the CommonLit Librarywith over 2,000 high-quality free reading passages for grades 3-12.
Engage your audience with Magic Blox’s large and growing collection of eBooks.
Trying to grow your classroom library and not sure what to buy? Seek advice from The Children’s Book Reviewwho publish reviews and curated book lists among other great resources.
Acquire excellent reading comprehension skills using Into the Book’s eight research-based strategies.
Mapping out your back to school plans? Join us on September 10th at 4 PM ET for the EVERFI Back to School Webinar. Come explore the latest digital resources, best practices for supporting student learning, and methods to build a strong classroom culture, whether remotely or in-person.
The new school year is here and that means so is the annual Back-to-School Educator Giveaway! To celebrate all that educators, do, Edmentum is giving one lucky educator a $500 Target gift card. Click herefor your chance to win.
The Educate Team had a great time at the EdCamp with many Step Up schools in August. Please check out the participant feedbackto see what teachers and leaders are saying about their experiences.
Through EdCamps, Educate develops learning opportunities to prepare teachers going back to school with essential skills for online and hybrid learning. These learnings are flexible for participants and all webinars are curated into a site for participants to review and revitalize with all resources provided. Some of the services include school-wide transformational coaching, workshops and webinars for teachers and leaders, EdCamps, parent webinars, and school leadership development.
Contact Lisa Lawrenz, email@example.com or Julie Emory-Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org to set up customized coaching opportunities, go over the feedback from the EdCamp, walk through a needs assessment for your school, and plan the next steps of support for your school this year.
Planning for this new school year will be unlike any other. Teachers will no doubt be juggling discussions and expectations around social distancing, remote learning, and the social emotional needs of their students. This month’s resources aim to help teachers plan for an uncertain year while still creating welcoming and exciting learning environments for their students.
How do I find resources for the grade level & subjects I teach?
The links below are sorted by subject area and are broken down into elementary and middle & high school levels. Remember, you can link the resources you find here into a digital classroom (see tutorials above)!
The site, WideOpenSchool.org,was created by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that rates education and entertainment content for children, with help from dozens of partner educational companies. The site brings together content from some amazing companies to help students, teachers and families find free, quality resources while school buildings are closed.
Who can I reach out to about purchasing devices for my students?
Demand is high for devices at this time. We will update this section with more contacts as we find them. Check back in regularly to see what options are available.
Due to the unprecedented situation nationwide, we know you are most likely in the process of exploring & implementing online and remote learning options for your students in the coming weeks. To help with this planning, we’ve compiled resources that may help you to navigate these uncharted waters. Feel free to walk through the steps below as you and your school decide what plan will work best for your students & families.
*Please note: We will continue to update the links below as we find new information and resources. (Updated on 9/10/20)
Step 1: What should I know about online learning before I jump in?
March is National Reading Month as well as Women’s History Month. This month we wanted to provide resources in celebration of both! We’ve also added a section this month with professional development resources & support for students with special needs. Check out the awesome resources below!
This course “Self Compassion for Educators” from Mindful Schools is designed for educators, caregivers, and those who work in service of youth. It is designed to help participants explore the importance of compassion and break the cycle of negative thoughts and responses in the classroom. This course is associated with a cost, but offers up to 3 graduate level credits. Learn more about this course and others here!
Resources for Students with Special Needs
do2Learn is an amazing database of resources for supporting students with special needs. Click here to explore!