Blogs on Upper Elementary (3-5)

Blogs on Upper Elementary (3-5)RSS
Maurice EliasSeptember 19, 2013

As the new school year starts, there is value in asking all of our middle and high school students (at least) to think about something most will have heard of, but not thought about very deeply. Why? Because ultimately, education is about looking more deeply at the world around us, asking the critical questions, not simply accepting what is being presented, and creating new knowledge.

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Lisa Michelle DabbsSeptember 18, 2013

"The whole morning meeting not only sets a really good tone for the students, but it sets a tone for me." - Teacher in Louisville, Kentucky

When I first learned about the Morning Meeting model, I was working as an elementary school principal in Pasadena, California. I was new to that school, so I was skeptical about launching too many initiatives, but also curious about how it could work to transform my school and the lives of our students.

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Karen BantuverisSeptember 16, 2013

Do you find yourself wanting (more) help from parent volunteers, but are either not getting it, or not getting the kind of help that would be truly useful to you and your students? Is managing parent volunteers time-consuming or burdensome? If so, you're not alone, according to a new survey (see infographic) of a thousand educators and parents by WeAreTeachers and my organization, VolunteerSpot. Even though guardians and teachers overwhelmingly agree that parent volunteers in the classroom are an important ingredient in student success, the study also reveals big gaps in expectations and problems with communication. These issues leave teachers feeling unsupported and parents feeling left out!

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Rebecca AlberAugust 30, 2013

Ah, listening, the neglected literacy skill. I know when I was a high school English teacher this was not necessarily a primary focus; I was too busy honing the more measurable literacy skills -- reading, writing, and speaking. But when we think about career and college readiness, listening skills are just as important.

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Matt DavisAugust 22, 2013

How will the Common Core shift English-language arts learning in elementary school? Well, the transition to more nonfiction readings has certainly received the most attention, but that's just one subtle way. To help parents understand these shifts, we've compiled some of the best Common Core resources from around the Web.

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Lisa MimsAugust 21, 2013

It's that time of year again! You wake up in a sweat, shaken from the dream where your clock doesn't go off and you are late. You know what I'm referring to -- "The First Day of School!" Whether veteran or rookie, we all have mixed feelings of excitement and fear about that day.

Thank goodness, it's never as bad as it is in your dreams. My last 28 "first day of school" experiences have been pretty good. As a matter of fact, like a good wine, they have only become better with age.

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Beth HollandAugust 15, 2013

Think about 2008 for a minute. Wikipedia was only two years old, and Facebook had only existed for four. I was supporting a research project with a group of sixth graders studying ancient history. Throughout the process, I asked student after student, "Where did you get this information?"

The stock response: "On Google."

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Anne ShawAugust 14, 2013

Unlike many of the current posts and articles in educators' discussions these days, this post does not address anything related to technology or the CCSS. It addresses a topic of much greater importance -- the emotional environment of the classroom. Without an excellent, intentionally designed, emotional environment (one which builds authentic community in the classroom), the standards and the technologies are of little value. As Steven Covey and many others have said, "First things first!"

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Homa TavangarAugust 12, 2013

My most important back-to-school supply doesn't fit in a backpack, and it can't be ordered online. It's as essential as a pencil, but unlike a pencil, no technology can replace it. In a sense, like a fresh box of crayons, it can come in many colors. Better than the latest gadget, it's possible to equip every student with it, and even better, when we do, it can transform our world.

It's actually a "muscle" I've been working on all summer. It's empathy.

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Elena AguilarJuly 17, 2013

"Why?" he asks, over and over, as I attempt to narrate a series of historical events. I'm not prepared for these questions and I'm surprised, and a little disappointed in myself, that I was caught off guard.

But who has adequate answers to the "Why?" questions when you're trying to teach children about the horrors that have been perpetrated on innocent humans? Who is able to sufficiently explain war?

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