by Shaun Fagan
A new school year is a great time to set realistic and attainable goals for ourselves and reflect on last year’s lessons learned. One important aspect of starting the year off right is getting to know your students: did you know that on average, teachers affect more than 3,000 students during their career? And when teachers spend time to get to know their students, it can have a positive effect on their performance, engagement, and even test scores.
Don’t gloss over getting to know your new students as unique individuals this year. Try using these icebreaker ideas to support a collaborative and meaningful learning environment for your classroom.
By Gerard Dawson
“Classroom culture” is one of those vague terms that can send shivers down a teacher’s spine. One mention by an administrator or thought leader, and it’s easy for your eyes to glaze over and your ears to shut. But the truth is, improving classroom culture consists of concrete steps that teachers can take to ensure a better learning environment for their students. While the results may not be easy to collect data about, they can certainly be felt. Here are some of the first steps I recommend.
By Gerard Dawson
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that school gets crazy before a break.
It may be the shopping- and baking-filled days before winter holidays. Or that long “no man’s land” leading up to spring break. And don’t forget that last month, slow as molasses, on the approach to summer vacation. Students and teachers both feel it, but not in the same way.
By David Solomon
The Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD) in Houston, Texas is one of the most innovative districts in the nation. Following a bond package passed in 2014, CFISD will have Lightspeed systems in all 91 of their campuses by the end of 2018. The new technology has been a proven success for both teachers and students in an open classroom setting.
By Shaun Fagan
Technology plays an essential role in everyone’s life. Whether you’re using GPS to navigate to a new destination in the car or using a cell phone to check the radar to see if a storm is headed your direction, we live in a society that is always online. This is true even in the classroom. Did you know that students check their phones in class 11 times a day on average? A recent study found that students spent 20 percent of their classroom time using digital devices for activities unrelated to class: mostly texting, surfing the web, and checking social media.