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Brought to you by Teach For America, TeacherPop provides real talk, tips, and activities that teachers can use in the classroom. Writers offer advice for all of the challenges new teachers face, sharing everything from difficult reflections on their darkest days to quick tips for sprucing up their classrooms and their lives.

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Math Students in Baltimore Achieve Success

Teach For America alum Julie Oxenhandler (Baltimore ’09) understands math is often a challenging subject for her students at Afya Public Charter Middle School 337 in Baltimore. It can cause stress and anxiety, she says, and sometimes students even develop a negative association with school in general, as a result.

“My students are curious, active, intelligent middle schoolers,” Ms. Oxenhandler says. “They ask a lot of questions, hold themselves to high standards, and want nothing more than to have a positive impact on their school and neighborhood.”

This year, Ms. Oxenhandler is working diligently to ensure her students’ focus, hard work, and determination lead to success. She admits a lack of supplies could put a damper on her plan, so she’s turned to DonorsChoose.org to raise funds to purchase the basic materials her students need to step up to the challenge of math.

“By helping us get more folders, expo markers, erasers, and pencils you are ensuring that every student, every day, doesn’t waste time seeking out supplies because they will already have access to them,” Ms. Oxenhandler says. “Nobody likes to feel embarrassed because they don’t have a pencil or need to ask to borrow materials from their teacher or friends. With these extra supplies ready to go in the classroom, you’ll help build a culture of honesty rather than excuses.”

Please consider supporting Ms. Oxenhandler’s project today—and thank you, as always, for supporting teachers and the kids they serve.

By |January 25th, 2017|General Pop, Your Stories|Comments Off on DonorsChoose Pick: Help Math Students in Baltimore Achieve Success|

7 Teacher Reads for the Weekend

Looking to kick back this weekend and catch up on some of the most interesting teaching-related articles making waves on the web? Well, TeacherPop has you covered! Check out our latest installment of the best teaching-related reads from the last two weeks.

Check out this episode of Fresh Air featuring journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who discusses the reasons why she made the decision to send her daughter to the public school in her neighborhood. She also wrote about the experience for the New York Times Magazine, and her story was recently nominated for an Ellie award.

The fine folks at MindShift and Edutopia explore how “peer critique” can improve the quality of work students produce. They even speak to Teach For America alum and Two Rivers Charter School Executive Director Jessica Wodatch (New York ’93) who shares strategies on how to implement peer critique in your classroom.

As you find your feet firmly planted in the second half of the school year, it’s always worthwhile to explore ways to bring new life to your lesson plans. Edutopia offers five strategies to keep things fresh in the classroom.

Looking for a few teacher-recommend apps to introduce in your classroom? Well, Scholastic has few recommendations that will help engage your students and make your classroom even more interactive.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Mashable thinks these 49 PEN America finalists should be on your reading list. We agree!

And yes, if your students tell you that cows eat Skittles, they’re not lying.

What’s on your reading list this weekend? Share your stories below!

By |January 20th, 2017|General Pop|Comments Off on 7 Teacher Reads for the Weekend|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Honor Diverse Cultures in Minnesota

Teach For America alum Kelsey Uribe (Twin Cities ’12) teaches a group of young readers at Hiawatha College Prep who are eager to discuss the books they are reading and reflect on how these stories connect to aspects of their own lives.

To further develop her students’ sense of identity through literature, Ms. Uribe is working hard to build a classroom library filled with a diverse set of books—with titles that will help her students understand multiple perspectives and allow them to see themselves in the stories they are reading. And in preparation for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, she’s hoping to add books that feature AAPI protagonists to the classroom’s collection.

“Students will learn about the incredible diversity present in this region of the world, and broaden their understanding of just what it means to be Asian American,” Ms. Uribe says. “I’ve researched high-interest titles, and now all that’s left to do is get them in students’ hands.”

To add these titles to her library, Ms. Uribe has turned to DonorsChoose.org to raise funds to purchase books, such as Shooting Kabul, Words in the Dust, and Rickshaw Girls, that her students can use as tools in their pursuit of a more equitable world.

“By providing books that feature people of color, you will help students see themselves in the world as vibrant citizens, part of culture, and eventually, change-makers,” Ms. Uribe says,

Please consider supporting Ms. Uribe’s project today—and thank you, as always, for supporting teachers and the kids they serve.

By |January 18th, 2017|General Pop|Comments Off on DonorsChoose Pick: Help Honor Diverse Cultures in Minnesota|

Top 17 Pinterest Picks for Active Indoor Learning

Looking for some fun indoor activities to engage your students when the weather’s not cooperating? From classroom classics like Four Corners and Charades to Laundry Basket Skee-Ball, TeacherPop took to Pinterest to find some of the top indoor activities for the classroom. Check out these 17 Pinterest Picks to bring recess indoors this winter season.

  1. Target Golf

  1. Pass the Clap

  1. Make Your Own Play Snow

  1. Number Puzzles

  1. Baby It’s Cold Outside

  1. Laundry Basket Skee-Ball

  1. Fire Breathing Dragon Craft

  1. Four Corners

  1. Balloon Tennis

  1. Wild Animals!

  1. GoNoodle

  1. Charades

  1. Yoga Obstacle Course

  1. Sensory Bins and Bags

  1. Wire Sculpture Art

  1. Classroom PE Activities

  1. Indoor Camp-Out

Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for many more ideas!

By |January 17th, 2017|General Pop, Teaching Tips|Comments Off on Top 17 Pinterest Picks for Active Indoor Learning|

Weekend Sales: 10 Deals to Kick Off the New Year in Style

Whether you’re trying refresh your wardrobe with some new, stylish additions this new year—or just want to stay warm, cozy, and comfortable during the winter season—TeacherPop is here to help. Check out these awesome deals to kick off the new year in style!

J.Crew: Take up to 70% off original prices on final sale styles with coupon code SHOPNOW through Sunday.

LOFT: Save 40% on full-price styles—and an extra 60% on sale styles—for a limited time.

The Limited: Save 50% on sweaters for a limited time.

Ann Taylor: Take 40% off full-price styles with coupon code WOW40 for a limited time.

Urban Outfitters: Save up to 70% during end-of-season sale through Monday.

Anthropologie: Take an extra 40% off sale styles with coupon code TAGTIME for a limited time.

Land’s End: Take 25% off your order with coupon code OFF 25 and PIN 5829 for a limited time.

Target: Take up to 25% off bed and bath items—and save an extra $10 on purchases of $50 or more—through Saturday.

Michaels: Save 20% on your entire purchase with coupon code SAVE20JANW for a limited time.

Barnes & Noble: Save 15% on any one item with coupon code BNJAN17 through Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

By |January 13th, 2017|General Pop|Comments Off on Weekend Sales: 10 Deals to Kick Off the New Year in Style|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Illinois Keep in Tune

As a music teacher, Teach For America alum Amber Kenis (Mississippi ’11) is sharing her own love for music with students at Simmons Middle School in Oak Lawn, Illinois. And in just four years—since the reintroduction of the music program after an eight-year hiatus—the school’s music program has grown from a small group of 10 students to more than 250.

“These students have set a solid foundation for the program so that it highlights some of the district’s best qualities,” Ms. Kenis says. “They are eager and excited to learn more about music. We just can’t keep them busy!!” (She admits this is a great problem to have, but not the only one they’re facing.)

Due to the growing interest in the music program, the average size of their ensemble rehearsal is upwards of 90 students—which makes tuning instruments very difficult. As a result, Ms. Kenis has turned to DonorsChoose.org to raise funds to purchase 12 clip-on tuner pick-ups for their current tuners. These new pick-ups use the vibration of the instrument to help students properly tune and won’t pick up the sound of other instruments that are playing at the same time.

Ms. Kenis adds, “Our kids were totally fascinated by this and it was a great way to incorporate science into the music classroom.”

Please consider supporting Ms. Kenis’ project today—and thank you, as always, for supporting teachers and the kids they serve.

By |January 12th, 2017|General Pop, Your Stories|Comments Off on DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Illinois Keep in Tune|

Top World History Resources for the Classroom

 Whether you’re looking to kick your lesson planning into high gear or just need a few extra fun factoids and anecdotes to cap off your world history curriculum this school year, TeacherPop has a few suggestions to make the history of the world even more interesting for your students. Check out these top world history resources to keep your students at the edge of their seats!

SHEG’s World History Lessons

From Stanford History Education Group, these world history lessons are a great resource for students and teachers to use to learn and create engaging curriculum surrounding the history of the world. From the pyramids of Egypt to China’s Cultural Revolution, teachers can access detailed lesson plans on any number of interesting historical topics from all over the world. The fine folks at SHEG already have nearly 40 world history lessons available, and even more are on the way.

Children & Youth in History

There’s no better way to teach the history of the world to your students than from the perspective of children their own age. Children & Youth in History provides teachers the opportunity to scour primary sources about youth in history, and even offers a handy guide for students on how to get started accessing the vast array of resources that have been collected.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The online exhibitions housed on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are a valuable resource for teaching students about the Holocaust. Teachers can create lessons around important topics like anti-Semitism and what Jewish life was like in Europe prior to the Holocaust. There are also a number of online activities and research projects students can participate in by accessing the museum’s collection of resources.

KidsPast.com

KidsPast.com offers students and teachers the opportunity to “take a blast through the past” with a number of interactive games and online activities that make learning about history fun and engaging. And whether you’re creating a history lesson on prehistoric humans or the French Revolution, you’ll find KidsPast.com’s free online textbook to be an important tool.

History Channel

Looking to complement your history lessons with video clips and audio from celebrated speeches and interviews of the 20th and 21st centuries? The History Channel features a great collection of audio clips from some of the most famous recorded moments of recent history.

Teaching History

TeachingHistory.org is perfect for students and teachers interested in learning how to think like historians. This site features plenty of lesson plan guides and other teaching materials to help teachers shape their world history curriculum into one that’s fun and engaging for both teacher and student. Be sure to check out their website reviews section for even more valuable resources for teaching your children about the history of the world.

PBS LearningMedia Crash Course

PBS offers the best in digital education with its Crash Course series on world history. Students can watch engaging and imaginative videos ranging in topics from the dawn of human civilization to the fall of the Roman Empire.

National Geographic

This famed magazine hosts a wide array of articles on its website covering almost every imaginable facet of world history from the fall of the Soviet Union to the face of a 9,500-year-old-man. Take some time to browse its collection of engaging stories and features for great material to round out your world history lesson planning.

Do you have a favorite world history resource you utilize in your classroom? Share your suggestions below!

By |January 11th, 2017|General Pop, Teaching Tips|Comments Off on Top World History Resources for the Classroom|

7 Teacher Reads for the Weekend

Happy Friday, y’all! As we warmly welcome the first Friday and full weekend of 2017, why not kick it off by cozying up with a few teaching-related reads? Check out these seven teacher reads to ring in the new year.

“I’ll see Joanie and Lisa at work, and recess becomes a band meeting, but then we start talking about our students and sharing notes about our students and really living the successes of each other’s students—and then we’re back at band practice again. They are so intertwined.” NPR talks to three elementary school teachers from southern California who have started a rock band.

This New Jersey teacher shares her experience relinquishing control in the classroom and embracing more student-centered approaches to classroom management.

Mind Shift—with help from TED-Ed—explores what happens to the brain when imaginations are at work.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is right around the corner, and Edutopia has a rundown of great resources for educators to use to teach and honor King’s legacy.

Have a case of the winter blues? Check out these tips from Edutopia to create your own self-care plan and improve your mood this winter season.

“If we don’t show up, then we lose generations of children, and we’re just repeating what I often say is generational genocide, that when our children aren’t learning here in our classrooms, then they can’t teach the next generation to be better, they can’t teach them to aspire, to want more.” Principal Nadia Lopez talks with PBS Newshour about how she’s helping students in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn “defy the odds.”

Have you resolved to simplify your tech life this new year? Well, the New York Times has a couple tips to help you make things easier tech-wise in 2017.

By |January 6th, 2017|General Pop|Comments Off on 7 Teacher Reads for the Weekend|