Raising the Bar
You’re in the gym, you’ve grabbed the bar, and now it’s time to start raising that bar!
This week, we are ‘raising the bar’ into the second level of our IntegratED framework. In this second level of the IntegratED framework, we are Challenging the Norm. We are beginning to exercise our “muscles” that may not have been exercised recently. The muscles of creativity, flexibility, fun, and excitement! This level is wanting to grow you as an educator, showing you the possibilities and success you can have when integrating content in the classroom.
When thinking of this level, we think of how your mindset is already changing. You have already committed to wanting to make a change for yourself and your students and have stepped up to the bar. Now you are challenging yourself and your students to do things that may be outside your comfort zone, pushing yourself and your students just a bit further. You may also begin to challenge other educators' mindsets on what should be considered “normal” in education. At this level, there are so many opportunities for educators and students to grow in exponential ways.
In our classroom, this level is often seen as “partially holistic”. Clear as mud, right? We use this level to have almost every subject area integrated within our day, with usually one subject as an outlier, a subject that doesn’t seem to fit naturally or authentically with the others. Oftentimes it is the subject of math that becomes the outlier, but not always.
We use the biggest uninterrupted amount of time for this level, creating what we call our “IntegratED Learning Workshop”. Within this workshop students are still working on multiple subject areas and standards, but doing it in a way that is engaging and more time effective. We are also creating classroom experiences that our students can draw from to maximize their learning presently and for in the future that falls within our IntegratED Workshop time.
Similar to the Confronting the Norm level, here in this second level we have a technology and arts component. The difference is in the Challenging the Norm level we encourage both a technology AND an arts component, not an “either or” situation. You may be thinking, “That’s a lot! Both technology and an arts component along with all those subjects!?” Yes. That is exactly what we are saying. We promise you that it works and it is not as difficult to plan/create as you may think. With multiple subjects being taught around a common thread, the technology pieces and art pieces usually flow quite naturally. You may even come up with multiple throughout the unit/lesson! And remember, the arts doesn't just mean drawing a picture. It could include song, dance, drama, storytelling, and movement.
To help you get started on “raising the bar” in your IntegratED teaching, we want you to have a resource that we use to help us plan…the IntegratED planner! Click on this button and it will take you to a free sample of our IntegratED planner that you can download and use right away to help you get started!
Now, do you feel ready to get started but are wanting some more coaching and support along the way? Don’t hesitate to get a hold of us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more individualized and in depth learning on multi-subject integration in the classroom, be on the lookout for the upcoming IntegratED cohort starting August 2022! Limited spots will be available!
Stay tuned for next week’s blog on Disrupting the Norm: Level 3!
Stepping Up to the Bar
It’s January 2 and you are determined to keep and meet your New Year’s resolution. That resolution… Go to the gym. When you get there, your friend recommends weights. It’s a great workout that will keep you healthy and gain strength. There’s just one problem. You don’t have much experience in lifting weights. So as you begin this journey becoming a new healthier better version of yourself there are two things happening. You are confronting this new challenge as well as learning more about this new skill and the possibilities that lie ahead.
In this level of integration we are bringing you face to face with the possibilities of what “could be” in your classroom. Just as you would approach the bar to begin to lift it above your head, we ask you to approach this level much the same. With an open mindset, the excitement to try, and the driving passion for a much needed change.
“Confronting: to bring or meet face to face.”
The confrontation that we are referring to comes from the normalization of education “should” look like and what we have all grown accustomed to. Confronting the norm is an interracial part of the framework. It may be lower in the framework in terms of how much you are integrating into your instruction. However, it is vital that this level of integration is included in the framework because of the disruption of one's mindset and the growth of expanding one’s understanding of what could be possible in instruction.
Thinking of this level and its purpose in our framework, reminds me of a teacher in our building that we work with. She is an incredible athlete. And even recently, amidst injuries, she still trained and grew as an athlete, not only physically but also mentally. She has encouraged so many in our building and across our community to become better versions of themselves, coaching and encouraging everyone along the way. One thing she teaches , no matter your level of athleticism, is that your mindset, the why and how you approach workouts and nutrition, is where you will either succeed or fail in reaching your goals. When it comes to teaching and education, it is much the same way. Your mindset can very well determine the success you may or may not have with your students.
Our first level of integration is taking 2 core subjects and integrating, or combining them together. We often say do one subject that you absolutely love or feel most comfortable teaching, paired with one that isn’t as strong. If you start with a strength, it encourages and motivates you to keep going! We take 2 core subjects and look at the standards for each. Now, at this stage you may or may not have already looked at bundling priority standards. If not, here is your time. Look for common threads in the standards that would feel natural to put together.
Then, after looking at the standards and what you might be able to achieve with two core subjects, find the theme that you could create a learning experience on or with. These learning experiences are designed to create an experience in which students can stick information, memories, and learning to. We will be talking more in depth on learning experiences in upcoming blogs!
Last but not least, in this confronting the norm level we want educators to think of a technology or arts component that they could integrate with their unit/lesson. Virtual reality field trips, augmented reality apps, book creation, or video creation, are just a few ideas to help you get started with the technology piece. If you need more ideas, go check out our past blog posts on learning and creation apps!
The art component can be so many things. Ranging from song, movement, drama, drawing, painting, etc. With art, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes the art can also be a part of the learning experience!
Now if you are looking at the first level and are thinking, “Well, that doesn’t seem so hard.” Awesome!!! Then this is a perfect spot for you to start! If you look at this level and think, “That seems like a lot…” Perfect! This is still the perfect level for you to start. This is the point where you get to decide if you are wanting to step up to the bar to start making a change in your teaching, your classroom, and in education! Teacher friends…Grab that bar and let’s go!
Do you feel ready to get started but are wanting some extra coaching and support along the way? Don’t hesitate to get a hold of us! Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @Integratedk12 or email us at email@example.com
For more individualized and in depth learning on multi-subject integration in the classroom, be on the lookout for the upcoming IntegratED cohort starting August 2022! Limited spots will be available!
Stay tuned for next week’s blog on Challenging the Norm: Level 2!
Our IntegratED Framework
The last semester of the school year has always been my favorite time. My second graders are starting to put together all they have been learning and are becoming more independent. It is also a time to really dig into our IntegratED units!
If you have wanted to try our IntegratED Framework but are not sure where or when to start we recommend the later part of the year. It seems that fourth quarter’s standards always line up nicely when planning an IntegratED unit, making it a great time of the year to give it a try! And it is the time of the year when something new and different is needed to help kids be engaged and motivated. A perfect time to start an IntegratED workshop! Integration will take some extra planning in the beginning but is always worth it when you start the IntegratED Workshop in your class. Whether you are a beginner or a master integrator, we hope this article brings you inspiration to ‘give it a go’ before this school year comes to a close.
“If you do nothing it feels safe, but everything stays the same. If you do nothing, there is less to experience, less to love, and less to learn.” -Yamada
Educators are realizing that something needs to change but we are not sure how. This is where our IntegratED Framework comes into play. Our IntegratED Framework isn’t another curriculum. We have designed a framework that teachers can implement with their favorite resources and district and school expectations, WITHOUT following a written script. We want teachers to have the freedom to be creative in their classrooms. We want teachers to teach not for or to a test, but for growing students’ knowledge and experiences. We have challenged the education system and started to disrupt the norm in the way we are teaching and planning.
This framework will guide teachers in bringing back the love of learning into their classrooms by giving educators the freedom and creativity of using what they already have and creating learning experiences for their students to remember. Our goal and focus is on changing the norm of our entire instructional day to create a more holistic approach to student learning.
Our classrooms today have less behaviors, more student involvement, and the love of learning because we have implemented our IntegratED Framework in our instruction. When we first began this process in our own classrooms we realized we were integrating at different levels throughout the school year. We began to realize that we would often move through different levels of integration depending on time of the year, our ability to bundle our priority and supporting standards purposefully, district expectations and assessments, and our knowledge of what we knew students needed instructionally and what they could handle socially and emotionally.
Throughout this month we will be featuring each level independently to give you a better idea how each one works in our classroom. We will try to provide you with ideas to take to your classroom and try before the end of the school year.
So, now where do you begin? Well my advice is to take a core subject you LOVE to teach and add another core subject that makes sense to put together. A lot of time our integrated units start with a science or social studies concept. Then we start to look for priority reading or writing concepts/skills that need to be taught. These standards might be based on district recommendations or requirements or you may have the freedom to choose. We then add supporting standards that help support those priority standards (spiraling throughout the year). After the work is done with standards and deciding on the end goals (assessments), the fun begins.
After the work of bundling standards, looking at end goals, and deciding on what assessments to use, we start to plan different but very purposeful classroom experiences that drive our units. This is where teacher creativity plays such a big part in our framework.
Unfortunately, we are not able to teach you all of the things in one blog post, otherwise this blog would become a book. However, there is a way you can learn more!!! :)
In August, we will be starting an IntegratED cohort that will take you step-by-step through our IntegratED framework, provide you with free resources, collaboration with a community of teachers, learning from amazing guest speakers, and so much more. Be sure to watch for more information about the cohort!
Watch for our next week's blog on Confronting the Norm, level one of our IntegratED Framework.
Are you ready now and need help getting started for the fourth quarter? Send us an email and we would be glad to help.
As some of you might know, Megan and I have been in one -to- one classrooms for the last 6 years. What that means is that we have iPads in our classroom for every student. Now, since the pandemic this has become a much more common practice. One big concept that we stress to our students is that technology is just not for games, because for many of our younger students that is all they know technology/tablets to be used for. We teach them that technology is a tool that allows us to learn so much about our world and allows us to create what was once not possible. Technology is a powerful learning tool when used the correct way.
Throughout our years of experience with being one-to-one classrooms, we have come across many different apps and resources; some great, some not so great. In light of so many of us using technology to teach our students now, we thought we’d share with you some of our favorite learning apps for our students! We have so many apps/resources that we love. We like to categorize them in different ways. We have our “creative/creation” apps, learning apps, and teacher resources/planning apps. We have recently posted a blog about our favorite creation apps for students, linked below. Now it is time to share with you a few of our favorite student learning apps!
This week we asked our IntegratED family to take time to shout out other teachers who have brought and spread love to them, students, and others. We have received some amazing stories about other teachers this week and we would love to share some of them with you.
Matt Carl: He is dedicated to helping all of our skills students. He also is a great boss with a huge heart. - Sam Fulton
Stacey Dickson: She conquers anything and everything that is put in front of her! She has always believed in me and has never, ever given up on me! She is an inspiration to many and deserves so much! -Heidi Nannemann
Missy Zipperian: Miss is a giving, caring and selfless teacher who makes her students a priority! Missy meets her students where they are “at” academically and is so encouraging and empowering. Missy makes lasting relationships with students and families. She has taught students of all ages and abilities. 3-5 graders, GATE and now currently at the tech facilitator at TBHS - Amanda Bailey
Hallie Kaufmann: She is so patient and caring to her students even when she is giving them a consequence. She truly has their best interests at heart. - Tami Bondurant
What is love… a 2nd grader's perspective
This week our students wrote and published a book called Love is. We used a version of the template from A Cupcake for the Teacher
To start this lesson we used the read aloud book Love is…a children’s picture book about love.
Here is what some of them had to say...
Love is when my dad and mom take me to a soccer tournament.
Spreading Love in the Classroom
I don’t know about anyone else, but January felt like a hard month. Usually coming back from Christmas break students and teachers are rejuvenated, excited, and ready to tackle the rest of the year. However, this year we personally have not felt that. Teachers and students alike came back tired. Anyone who has worked with children (or adults for that matter) in any capacity for any amount of time knows exactly what happens when people get tired…they get crabby!
A component of our IntegratED Framework is integrating learning opportunities for students to work on social/emotional skills, as well as academics. Since January was such a difficult month with attitudes, behaviors, and low morale. Students seemed to be hyper focused on what everyone else was doing wrong in some way. Megan and I decided that we should integrate something into our teaching that would help the students focus more on the positive aspects of one another.
Last year we did a technology activity that stemmed from those sweet little heart candies, the ones that say “hug me” and “miss you”. We knew this group might not do as well with the technology piece because we haven’t spent much time on google slides with them yet so we went searching. We found a super cute activity that mimics our digital idea. We found it on TPT from Rainbow Sky Creations a Valentines Kindness Bundle.
Together we created a kindness anchor chart. Students brainstormed different words that they might use to describe someone. As a class, we talked about how we know each person differently and that each heart they write for their peers should reflect their unique relationship with them. Then, we shared some ideas with each other and the students started to notice how good it felt to hear someone else speak kindly of them.
The focus on these social/emotional skills and building positive relationships with one another didn’t come with an attached standard. The area in which these students needed help with wasn’t a specific standard that we needed to cover for any state tests. However, our students needed guidance to find joy and spread kindness. Our world right now is filled with so much negativity. We need to show students how to be a light to others and how kindness can make change.
If you are interested in our digital kindness activity check out this blog called " Incorporating Technology and Kindness".
In college, as I (Kara) was learning and preparing to become an educator, during the summer I was a camp counselor. I counseled junior campers (3rd grade - 6th grade, junior high campers, and senior high campers. I LOVED being a camp counselor. I loved the hussle, the relationships I built with campers and other staffers, planning activities, you name it, I loved it. Looking back, it definitely was the right job for me becoming a teacher!
The reason I bring up this experience is because I learned something very valuable at a very young age and at an early stage of my career…. Read the dang book!
You may be wondering how camp counseling and read-alouds go hand in hand? Well, one thing I did as a counselor is every night before lights out, or even after with a flashlight, I would read aloud. EVEN TO MY SENIOR HIGH KIDS! I read aloud every single night, no matter the age level I had in my cabin. And do you know what, every age level loved it and would end up asking me to read more than one a night by the end of the week.
This experience showed me then and reminds me now, that kids need to hear us read those dang books! NO MATTER THE AGE! Whether they are a kindergarten experiencing school for the first time, or a sixth grader finding his/her own way in the world, or a junior in highschool making decisions for their future, they are all still KIDS. They are all still looking for the fun, the adventure, the escape a read aloud can bring.
As teachers we often get so rushed by the events of our day that we so easily push that read-aloud aside, especially the older our students get. I want you to take a second and think, how often do you read aloud to your students? How often do they hear you or another teacher read to them? Studies have proven the benefits of students being read aloud to, but somehow it can feel difficult to squeeze into our day.
I encourage you now, pick up that book and read it to your students! Make time for it in your daily routines. Read-alouds are powerful tools in the classroom and at home.
Some of Our Favorite Read Aloud Books
We Really Love Books!
Maybe by: Kobi Yamada
Not a Box by: Antoinette Portis
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
You are Special by Max Lucado
The Old Women Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Say Hello by Jack and Michael Foreman
Memory Jars by: Vera Brosgol
A book is a gift you can open again and again."
The last two years have brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “teacher tired.” Last year we were teaching face to face with our kiddos. We wore masks, used dividers, and kept 6 feet apart the best we could. It seemed like every week we had a staff meeting, the rules were ever changing in order to follow the guidelines. I don’t need to get into all of the other things that played into last year to make it work because if you know…you know. You are either doing it right now or you have experienced this way of teaching already.
Now we are teaching what seems to be “back to normal”, but really, it's not. We are still in learning recovery mode with our students. We are trying our best to be there for our students emotionally, socially, and academically. We want to create a safe place for them to learn and give them a person to trust but we are also looking for the same things in our own workplace. We are tired. We are tired because we want what is best for our students. We are tired because we have had to relearn ways to teach our students again and again in such a short amount of time. We are tired because with all that seems to go against us, we still care… so much.
Even through it all, we are still in the classroom working everyday trying to give the best to our students. How can we keep the energy up? How can we keep the momentum going in a positive direction? We have created a list of some ideas to help you feel less teacher tired and more excited to be in your classroom. This is not to say that these ideas are a fix all. Not in the least. But we are here to tell you that these ideas will at least help you create momentum, create some positive energy and joy in your teaching and classroom. We still have days, but we are here to encourage you, cheer you on, and help in any way we can!
IntegratED Workshop: We are always saying we have too much on our plates and we do not have the time. This is true more than ever right now. With our workshop model we are helping teachers get back some of that time, meeting multiple standards, and enjoying our time in the classroom.
Recharge: I don’t know about any other educators, but I always feel guilty taking a day unless I am so sick I can’t function. It is easier to be at school than to make sub plans and be gone. But I am here to say that it is OK to take a day to recharge! There is a saying, “If you are better you will do better.” Take time to write those plans and take a day for yourself. Rest, recharge, rejuvenate.
We spend time every day recharging our phones but often go months without recharging ourselves.”
Stand with each other: I have seen so many posts talking about how schools wouldn’t run without teachers and that it's not stainable. Here’s the thing. If we work together and do what we know how to do best…teach. We can sustain and create a learning environment for our students and we can love.
Your Circle: One thing that has been a huge impact in my career, both positive and negative, is who I surround myself with at work and in my personal life. It is important that at work you are surrounding yourself with those who are encouraging you and supporting you. Negative talk and thoughts spread like wildfire and can be so harmful to one’s mindset and attitude. Who do you have in your circle?
Laughter is the best medicine: In our classrooms every morning we do Joke of the Day. Some of these jokes are terrible but hilarious. One morning our janitor stopped me in the hallway and said that one of our students tells him our joke of the day everyday at lunch. A smile can change someone's day. Imagine what laughter can do?
Do something you love: I have been so busy with all that comes with teaching right now I wasn’t making time for things that I enjoy doing. I decided this year to start reading books again…for fun! I take time at the end of the day to enjoy reading what I want to. What would you choose to do? Even if it's only for 20 minutes. Try to find something that brings you joy that is not school related.
“Tick, Toc, Tick, Toc…” How many of you pictured the crocodile from Peter Pan? If you have seen Peter Pan this simple phrase brings you back to the scene where Captain Hook realizes he is not alone in the water. As the viewer you are immediately engaged. You have background knowledge of what could happen to Captain Hook, you are wondering why the crocodile sounds like a ticking clock, and you continue watching because you need more! This is not the time to pause the movie to get a snack. The movie has your complete attention and that was their goal. You have been hooked!
What is a Hook?
A hook is when a teacher uses an engaging way to grab their students' attention before the lesson. Hooks can be used to connect background knowledge to the lesson, bring excitement into the students' learning, and/or provide objectives to the content. Hooks can be short around 2-5 minutes with a short video, photograph, sound clip or they can take some time by doing a virtual field trip or a movement. Think about your classroom of students. What do they respond to best? What are their interests?
Why Hook Them?
You’re standing at the front of the classroom. One student is playing with his shoe laces. Another student is watching what is happening out the window and about 8 others are daydreaming about what's for lunch and what they’re going to play at recess. Diving into rigorous content when the majority of your class is not cognitively present is for a perfect storm for a flopped lesson, confused students, and a teacher walking away frustrated. Hooks give teachers that edge they need to bring students attention back to the classroom, spark their interest, and give them the boost of energy they need to delve into the upcoming content. Did you know that the synonyms for the word “Hooked'' are enamored, captivated, absorbed? Are those not the words we want as teachers to describe our students in the act of learning!? If that alone doesn’t convince you to incorporate hooks into your lessons, maybe these reasons will!
Leads into asking questions (lingering questions)
Creates an event that students can connect to
Makes content feel more relatable and relevant
Builds classroom community and classroom culture
A vehicle for Deeper Discussions
Now that we have given you some background on what a lesson hook is and why it's so beneficial, it's time to get to what you all have been waiting for...ideas on how to implement this into your teaching! Below, we have listed some hook ideas that can be modified to any grade level or content area.
Engaging Photo: Sparks lots of discussion and predictions.
Mystery Box: Put different items in the box to give clues to what you will be learning about. Students make predictions and discuss what they believe these objects have to do with the upcoming learning. Check out Matt Miller's blog on “Unboxing” for some great ideas! Our mystery/unboxing video was created in Flipgrid!
Listen Up! Music/Sound Clips: Create or find short music or sound clips that lead to the topic of the lesson.This could be a song, verse, or sounds. If you are teaching a lesson about an ecosystem put together or find sounds of animals you might hear in that ecosystem. For an older grade, if you are studying different important historical moments take small recordings like the MLK speech to play.
Short Book or Paragraph: Find a reading that engages students and gives them a clue as to what they will be learning about.
Gallery Walk: Many times gallery walks are used at the end of a lesson/unit to showcase students’ work. However, this activity does not always need to come at the end! Have your lesson/unit start with a gallery walk. Students will observe, gather information, and ask questions. It is a great way to spark their curiosity and guide their inquiry.
Get up and MOVE!: Kinesthetic movements are a great way to engage students at the beginning of a lesson. There is also research showing that integrating movement with concepts/skills taught, students are more likely to remember those concepts/skills. And… It's FUN! (In the video clip we have students up and moving using augmented reality learning about different animals in the desert habitat.)
If you are a beginning “hook” user it can be challenging to decide or know what to do. Remember to keep your students in mind and to start off simple.
Now that you have some background knowledge and ideas, go give it a try! See for yourself how these lesson hooks engage students, keep them motivated, and bring back the joy of learning in your classroom!
Student engagement isn’t ‘silliness’ that defeats true academic work. It can be a catalyst to the learning of our dreams.”
As I said goodbye to my students, turned off the lights and walked out of my classroom for spring break of 2019 I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach I wouldn’t be returning to finish the school year with my students. Schools all around us were shutting down and the world was starting to panic. The next few weeks was an unknown waiting game. Would we return back to school? What would online teaching look like? How was I going to teach my school kids and my own? So many unknowns.
Teaching through the pandemic has taught us so much about importance, perseverance, resilience, and ourselves. Whether you are teaching online, hybrid, or face to face you have changed your way of teaching, maybe without even truly noticing that you have. We have learned so much in such a short amount of time on how to meet the needs of our students, even when they were no longer physically with us inside our classroom walls. Some of what we learned was to survive, while other things taught us, even if it was a bit unconventionally, how to be better at our job now. We learned that the “normal” we were operating in wasn't the best mode in which to teach and deliver instruction to our students. We need to find a way to change and mold education for the better. What a better time than now?
Since the pandemic began, we have heard the term “learning loss” from multitudes of people, administrators, and teachers. But we don’t agree with that term. Students were learning, even in an unconventional way. They were also learning many things other than just academics. We prefer the term “learning recovery.” We are wanting to help students recover the social, emotional, and even academic things that may have been neglected or forgotten over the course of time. In thinking in terms of learning recovery, we have created a list of ways to help learning recovery in the classroom. We hope some of these ideas will resonate with you and will be helpful to you and your students.
Learning Experiences: Create engagement, integrate content, build vocabulary, background knowledge by incorporating learning experiences into your teaching. These give a level playing field for students learning by providing the same opportunity. We incorporate these into our IntegratED Framework. If you would like ideas or need more information visit our other blogs, podcasts, and find us on social media.
Soft Start: Even as adults we are not ready to get started right away when walking into a PD day. We like to talk, get coffee, and other things before we are ready to be engaged. In my classroom we have a soft start cart that has different things for students to do after their morning journals before class begins. Some ideas to put on your soft start cart are: play-dough, puzzles, coloring sheets, thinking mats, drawing books, card games, etc. This helper students get their brains ready for the day, builds their soft skills by collaborating with peers, problem solving, and connecting.
Being aware of different learning styles: We are all different learners so being aware of your different learning styles in your students is important. Teach to students’ strengths: social, movement, auditory, kinesthetic, etc… Also, be consistant of what learning styles you are catering towards in a given lesson and/or unit. Be sure that you alter the different modes of learning styles you are tapping into all the learning styles of your students. If you are in older grades, having students take a learning styles survey at the beginning of the year, semester, or quarter, will help give you an idea of what kind of learners you have in class.
Integrated planning/teaching: Incorporate our IntegratED Framework throughout your quarters or semesters. Our IntegratED Framework guides you in delivering multi-subject and multi-standard instruction. By pairing multiple subjects together, this allows students to use their strengths to build up their weaknesses in different content areas. Need more information on this topic? Visit our blogs and social media for more ideas on how to plan and get started!
Click here to use our free template to start planning an IntegratED Unit.
Need help? Send us an email.
Community Building: Students have been separated from each other and their teachers for a long time. We need to remember to build relationships with our students face to face and earn their trust as teachers. We also need to provide students with opportunities to build relationships with one another. Students need practice working and playing together.
Classroom Culture: Build a safe and trusted learning environment by doing daily class meetings, joke of the day, or ending the day talking about what brought you joy. If you need or would like more ideas on this, check out our other blogs or podcasts!
Friends Friday: Collaborate with an older or younger grade level to practice different skills. If you teach an older grade level, use your students as role models, giving younger students help and guidance in academics, problem solving activities, etc. If you teach a younger grade level, this is an excellent opportunity for your students to receive some one on one time and help in whatever area you feel would be best. So not underestimate the power of student helpers!
Collecting Data: I know data can be boring and seem like busy work sometimes but it can also be a tool for students’ growth when done and analyzed in the right way. One idea is to be more specific with students on what they are missing when working one-on-one or in a small group. Be honest with the students and set goals WITH them, not FOR them. You can also try to create different small groups based on their goals as learners.
Be Consistent: Both us as teachers and our students need consistency. Adults and children alike need to know what to expect throughout the day. Show consistency with your students and your colleagues. Consistency with schedules, discipline, and expectations will make or break how smoothly, efficiently, and effectively your classroom runs. The hard work of keeping consistency will pay off in the long run!
Self Care: An important piece of learning we took away during teaching through the pandemic is the importance of taking care of ourselves. We have to remember to take some time to breathe so that we can still be there for our students. If we are better we will do better.
Back to Normal?: You are enough and you are doing your best. You are doing what you feel is best for your students. Stay positive and confident you are doing what you can for your students.