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Students Riding on Coattails during Group Work? Five Simple Ideas to Try

  1. Design a group project in which the students work in phases.
  2. Develop an element of the project that allows group members to make their own choices.
  3. Within a group project, include a component requiring individual students to submit non-onerous individual work.
  4. Devote a segment (30 minutes or so) during class before all group projects begin to implement two important steps.
  5. Prepare students to expect the unexpected.


5 Quick Classroom-Management Tips for Novice Teachers

I made a good number of blunders my first year teaching that still make me cringe. I learned though. And it’s fair to say, when it comes to managing a classroom, most of what we learn as new teachers is trial by fire. It’s also smart to heed the advice of those who have walked — and stumbled — before you. If you are struggling with discipline, here are five tips that you can start using right away

image via flickr:CC | Renato Ganoza

How do you encourage a growth mindset in your school or classroom?


I tell my students about the scaffolds I have in place and why I try to put things in an order in the first place. They ask lots of questions about why we’re doing this or that, and I get to tell them about their brains getting new information by playing around with it in different dimensions - with their bodies, their writing, their words, etc. - in a social environment. That’s why we do particular warm ups when we’re trying to achieve certain goals during a lesson, and why the warm ups change and evolve as our goals get more challenging. 

We also talk about how learning is like lifting weights (you don’t just go to the gym and stare at the weights! you have to lift them and sweat and be sore and want to give up and get thru it to get swol!) I love my job - theatre is a wonderful discipline to experiment with growth mindset because of its historic recognition as a craft and lifelong practice.


Blended Learning in the Mix: The Proactive Teacher

In a blended learning environment, the need to plan and develop thoughtful units of instruction has emerged as one of the most critical factors in creating a successful instructional program.

When creating units of instruction, focus on larger themes and big-picture concepts. Too much emphasis on small skills and minutiae will have you feeling like you are drowning in apps, digital content, and 25 individual student learning paths and lesson plans. Reflect on your blended learning philosophy and evaluate its presence in your unit design. If you find you’re not using the tool in the manner that you initially intended, make adjustments.

image via flickr:CC | queensu


There’s no such thing as a “normal brain.” In fact, there’s a lot of diversity in how different brains process information — a challenge for educators tasked with teaching a diverse group of learners. Dyslexia is a common variation that affects how kids read, but what’s really going inside the brain of someone affected by it? Kelli Sandman-Hurley’s TED-Ed video explains.

What’s Going On Inside A Dyslexic Student’s Brain?



A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions by Amy Saltzman MD


A Still Quiet Place presents an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program that therapists, teachers, and other professionals can use to help children and adolescents manage stress and anxiety in their lives, and develop their natural capacities for emotional fluency, respectful communication, and compassionate action. The program detailed in this book is based on author Amy Saltzman’s original curriculum, which has helped countless children and adolescents achieve significant improvements in attention and reduced anxiety.

One of the easiest ways to find the still quiet place within is to practice mindfulness—paying attention to your life experience here and now with kindness and curiosity. The easy-to-implement mindfulness practices in this guide are designed to help increase children and adolescents’ attention, learning, resiliency, and compassion by showing them how to experience the natural quietness that can be found within.

The still quiet place is a place of peace and happiness that is alive inside all of us, and you can find it just by closing your eyes and breathing.

Find it Here

I am hoping to use some to use this book this year to help create a culture of mindfulness in our classroom. I will be sharing a number of other books on mindfulness that I hope to use in the classroom this year.

-Adventures in Learning

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