The Thrill of Breaking Out

The Thrill of Breaking Out

Sixty minutes remaining.  I started the count-down on my phone as the bell rang announcing the start of French three.  All around the room posters of futuristic cars, bioluminescent animals and locked boxes were positioned, poised, and ready for action.  On each student’s desk a copy of “L’Évasion des Scientifiques” “The Escape of the Scientists”…

Utilize Your Students and Surveys to Measure Your Teaching Effectiveness

Utilize Your Students and Surveys to Measure Your Teaching Effectiveness

A teacher’s stakeholders’ satisfaction with their course is an important measure of instructional effectiveness that is too often overlooked or outright ignored. Of course, it’s absurd to hope to satisfy every young adult’s needs and wants equally throughout an academic year, but to endeavor to do so seems a requisite to respecting student voice in…

Appreciating What, Where and How Boys Read [Infographic]

Appreciating What, Where and How Boys Read [Infographic]

Unfortunately for many boys, what gets in their way of reading for pleasure are very well-intentioned adults who try to steer them in the “right” direction. That’s why the greatest gift we can give boys this season is an appreciation of their reading preferences! Using and Viewing the Graphic The above infographic is published under…

Marbotic Smart Letters and Numbers Review: Tech Toys With A Soul (and Major Fun Factor!)

Marbotic Smart Letters and Numbers Review: Tech Toys With A Soul (and Major Fun Factor!)

The Product Marbotic offers wooden letters and numbers that work with six apps (free with the purchase of the letter and number blocks), which together allow your child to practice number- and letter-recognition, addition, subtraction, tens and ones units, spelling, and early reading. You can get the wooden letters and numbers as separate items or as…

The Benefits of Reading to Children—More Than Just Quality Time Together

The Benefits of Reading to Children—More Than Just Quality Time Together

“The more rich and multifaceted the learning experiences, the more neurons are fired. What fires together, wires together.” —Dr. Betty Rintoul (NC Infant Mental Health Association, Baby Steps, Fall Newsletter, 2013.) This is a great quote that I have used during presentations when talking about the number of benefits of reading to children. First, there is…

Checklist: Digital Design Principles for English Language Learners

Checklist: Digital Design Principles for English Language Learners

There is a growing population of students using digital tools to support their specific learning needs. One population of these students are the English language learners, ELLs. Almost 5 million students were enrolled as English learners in US public elementary and secondary school during the 2013/14 school year—that’s almost 10% of the total student population….

The Creation of a Picture Language

The Creation of a Picture Language

During the 1990s, a most amazing collaboration arose in Lund, Sweden between a rehabilitation engineer from the University of Lund and an artist who ran a day program for adults with intellectual disabilities. Although not well-known outside of Sweden, the program’s development of a picture language has had implications for people with linguistic difficulties around the…

WordsEye: Using Text to Create Art in the ESL Classroom

WordsEye: Using Text to Create Art in the ESL Classroom

Too many people outside of the ESL classroom assume the students inside simply aren’t as bright as others in the school. Of course that’s ludicrous; many of those students simply don’t have to language to express the creative, insightful, and beautiful ideas growing in their minds. WordsEye is web-based software that allows those ideas to…

Getting into the Habit of Writing a Poem a Day for National Poetry Month

Getting into the Habit of Writing a Poem a Day for National Poetry Month

Participating in competitions of any kind involve difficult and exciting challenges. National Poetry Month, starting this week, materializes into an even greater bittersweet struggle: one in which writing every day turns out to become an ambitious achievement but also one in which you are dedicating yourself, making a promise to yourself, to make the time to…

Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

Every year, a host of students come from all over the globe to attend a school exchange program in the United States. If you’ve chosen to host an exchange student, prepare for a life-changing experience that you and your family will learn from and enjoy immensely. A Fun Welcoming Party When your exchange student arrives,…

Why Aren’t We All Using Poetry In Our Classrooms?

Why Aren’t We All Using Poetry In Our Classrooms?

Poetry is an incredibly rich and versatile landscape that can be used to explore a wide variety of subjects, from quantum physics to racial prejudice. As well as reading and analysing poetry, writing poetry can also encourage students to think creatively, and to engage with the subject matter in new and exciting ways. So why…

4 Great Reasons to Bring Nature Into Your Classroom

4 Great Reasons to Bring Nature Into Your Classroom

It’s finally spring, but with the end of school fast approaching, it’s just so close to summer for many of us. If your students are anything like my sweet first graders, they’re itching for that last day, and a ticket to summer freedom. However, we still have so much to accomplish. Although it can be…

Using Duolingo to Enhance and Extend Language Learning

Using Duolingo to Enhance and Extend Language Learning

Overview Duolingo is a free language-learning platform that uses the crowdsourced power of its learners to translate text from around the web. A fascinatingly novel approach to solving two massive language problems, the platform and its associated apps offer an adaptive learning experience, that has netted it awards such as iPhone App of the Year, Google’s Best of the Best…

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