universal design for learning

What is Universal Design for Learning?

There are tons of different methods of learning, just as there are tons of different types of schools.  So how do you know which one is the right one for your class?  This is sort of a trick question because no teacher uses only one method.  And many teachers use methods that they have developed themselves over years of experience. …

student teacher ratio

What is the Average Student Teacher Ratio? (And How to Make it Work for You)

For almost as long as I’ve been in the upper grades of school as well as my adult years, student teacher ratio has always been a topic of discussion.  Because I attended a small private school from 7th-12th grade, it was always a subject to capitalize on the advantages of being in a small private school. Then as an adult, …

articles regarding technology in the classroom

Relevant Articles Regarding Technology in the Classroom

There are all kinds of opinions on technology in the classroom.  And regardless of what our opinions are, technology in the classroom is here to stay. Not only is it here to stay, it is also going to be completely changing life in our classrooms.  And in spite of any drawbacks of problems that causes, it is actually a really …

self-care books for middle schoolers

Self-Care Books for Middle Schoolers

Just about all of us remember what a difficult time middle school was.  Very few of us would ever want to repeat it.  And things have not gotten easier or better for our children.  While some aspects of life are easier and better, so much more is complicated far beyond what we experienced. So what are some ways to help …

classroom scavenger hunt

Creating a Scavenger Hunt for Your Classroom

Everybody loves a good scavenger hunt!  The minute I told my students that we were doing a scavenger hunt to review their material, they were visibly excited.  When you create a scavenger hunt for your classroom, your students will be over the moon excited.  They will love that this is the form of review you are using instead of just …

virtual field trip

Perfect Virtual Field Trips

Right now pretty much the whole country is shut down because of Coronavirus.  So finding the perfect virtual field trips from around the world is a great idea right now for lots of reasons.  But when all of life gets somewhat back to normal, this list is just as effective. We cannot take field trips around the world with our …

classroom management strategies

Best Classroom Management Strategies for Middle School

We’ve all been there.  No matter how hard we are trying to rein in an unruly classroom, nothing seems to work.  And then, the principal, another teacher, or someone just as important, walks by your classroom.  And hears everything.   You feel like a total failure.  And you just want to fall into a hole in the earth. While this scenario …

madeline hunter lesson plan

The Madeline Hunter Lesson Plan: Should We Still be Using It?

The Madeline Hunter lesson plan has been functioning in schools since the 1970’s.  It was very heavily used nationwide throughout the 70’s, 80’s,  and 90’s. So what made the Madeline Hunter lesson plan so popular and should we still be using it?  Also, what aspects of it caused a lot of controversy?  And finally, what makes it such a popular …

5e lesson plan

The 5e Lesson Plan: Everything You Need to Know About It

The 5e lesson plan is a very student-centric learning program. that was developed by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study in 1987.  The philosophy behind it maintains that students learn much better when adding experience to their knowledge. For those of you that have read my blog, you know that I am all about experiential learning and using the senses to …

middle school block schedule

Middle School Block Scheduling: the Pros and Cons

Middle school block scheduling has become a popular alternative to traditional school schedules in many schools across America. Block scheduling is a method that schools use, generally in middle and high school.  The purpose is to have fewer large blocks of time to concentrate more on their subjects so that learning can progress better. Block scheduling was first implemented into …

problem based learning

Problem-Based Learning: Boost Your Students’ Success in the Real World

Problem-based learning may be one of the best techniques to teach your students how to live and thrive once they get out of the classroom and into the real world. So what is problem-based learning and how does it boost your students’ success in the real world?  Problem-based learning is introducing your class to a real-life problem and then working …

teachers get fit

How Do Teachers Get and Stay Fit? Inspiring Ideas for Every Teacher

With a Printable Teacher’s Guide to Fitness Infographic This week the weather got significantly warmer in my city.  The first thing I thought of was getting back out to walk.  During good weather days, I will walk 3.5 miles of absolutely beautiful bayside walking. But that kind of walking is very time consuming, so I can’t do it every day.  …

literature to combat bullying

Using Literature to Combat Bullying

I bet just about all of us can think back to a time in school when we were bullied in some way by someone.  As it turns out I was very fortunate in this regard.  I was bullied by one particular person two or three times (while she did behave in bullying ways, I would not consider her to be …

strategies of highly effective readers

7 Strategies of Highly Effective Readers

According to the Institute of Reading Development, “When skilled readers open up a new book, they jump into reading with confidence and a sense of curiosity. They move through the text easily and at a good pace. They get absorbed in the story, connect it to their own lives, and look at reading as a source of pleasure.  Strong readers …

Why technology in the classroom is necessary

Why Technology in the Classroom is Necessary

For many years, technology in the classroom was taboo.  Teachers, parents, and administrators didn’t want technology to interfere with students’ learning.  They felt that integrating technology into the classroom would be too distracting for the students to learn effectively. But times have changed.  Teachers, parents, and administrators now know that technology in the classroom is necessary.  Not only is it …