By Greta Pauly
The new year brings fresh hope for the opportunities to come, along with the resolve to tackle challenges old and not yet accepted. This is especially true of educators, whose vocation is inherently focused on the promise of what’s to come. But a new year is also a time to reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve learned along the way. In that spirit, we thought we’d take a look at the ideas that readers of this blog have found illuminating in the past, with the hope that they might help to light your way forward as you continue the hard work of developing bright young minds.
Check out this list of our most popular blog entries and you’re sure to find inspiration to improve the learning environments you support for the future.
10. A Teacher's 3 Essential Tools for Small-Group Assessment: Andover Middle School Math Teacher Stacey Ryan kicks the list off with the three tools she considers indispensable in formative assessments of small-group work.
9. Building a Makerspace on a Budget in 6 Easy Steps: In this post, Mountain View Elementary School Librarian and Makerspace Coordinator Robin Glugatch outlines how her school turned half its library into a makerspace on a shoestring.
8. Classroom Success Stories: Celebrating the Daily Drama of Education: In the ninth-most-viewed entry, Lightspeed’s own David Solomon relates the daily challenges and triumphs of the classroom to the after school specials of the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. A couple can’t-miss dramatic reenactments in video form paired with the interviews that inspired them drive the point home.
7. Ears: The Doorway to the Brain: J.L. McCall, an audiologist with the West Central Illinois Special Education Cooperative, explains how children’s brains change with auditory development, the auditory differences between adults and children, why louder isn’t necessarily better, and how slowing down speech can speed up learning.
6. How to Reduce Students' Fear of Public Speaking: J.M. Grasse Elementary School Principal Howard Vogel offers tips to help students overcome a pervasive fear: glossophobia.
5. 10 Tips for Troubleshooting Your Audio System: Lightspeed Technical Support Guru Jim Southard penned this post on troubleshooting your classroom audio system. Jim’s 10 simple steps are arranged into three categories: Hearing Static?, Low Volume?, and No Sound?
4. 6 Keys to Transitioning from Whole-Class to Small-Group Learning: Transitioning a class from one activity to another quickly and smoothly is a skill every educator needs. Luckily there’s no end of opportunity to practice! Malissa Etie, a teacher with the Diocese of San Jose, offers strategies she’s found helpful in her own class in our fifth most-read blog post.
3. Registering Lightspeed Products Just Got Even Easier: Complete Lightspeed solutions ship pre-registered, but sometimes you want to add or replace components, which need to be registered. In this post Lightspeed VP of Product Development Shaun Fagan offers a series of short videos that’ll have you squared away in no time.
2. The 4 P's of Presenting: Whether speaking in front of students or colleagues, educators are using presentation skills daily to engage their audience and instill key concepts. Here are four strategies to hone your skills and make sure presentations go off without a hitch.
1. The Importance of the Learning Environment: Dr. Luvelle Brown, superintendent at Ithaca City School District, claimed the final spot in our countdown and it wasn’t even close; Dr. Brown’s post beat out the number two finisher with nearly double the page views. And it’s no wonder. The learning environment is inarguably important and Dr. Brown takes a provocative stance that traditional learning environments are obsolete. Click through and find out why he’s not mourning their passing.