How to Engage Student Senses with Paint Chip Poetry

how to engage student senses with paint chip poetryConfession: In addition to loving #teacherlife, TeacherPop adores all things home improvement. So when those two worlds collide—like they did this week with the Poet Warriors Project’s latest student poems—well, we’re pleased as punch.

Laura Haller’s 2nd grade class at Vanguard Classical School in Colorado experimented with several forms of expression for their Poet Warriors’ curriculum, but their “Painting Words in Colors,” a series of metaphors and similes written on Behr paint chips (like Jared Orta’s to the left) captured our hearts. See more samples of the students’ work and read helpful hints for introducing paint chip poetry to your class.

How to Effectively Track Student Progress

How to Effectively Track Student Progress

Tracking student progress plays a key role in being an effective teacher. Having students see their growth and review how it relates to bigger goals increases student investment. Plus, tracking helps you, as the teacher, stay invested and continue to increase your own effectiveness by seeing trends in student data.

Learn more about tracking student progress in the following post adapted from a lesson by Teach For America alum Ashley Boven.

Eating Bugs for Earth Day

Earth DayHappy Earth Day! Last month we introduced you to Britney and Rafael, Lou Lahanna’s students at the Island School in Manhattan, whose cooking experiments with insects were a hit with fellow students and environmentalists alike.

Recent reports claim eating insects might not be the long-term, sustainable solution we’re searching for, but environmental stewardship is all about personal responsibility and conservation—and we’re super impressed by Britney and Rafael’s ingenuity.

4 Ways to Combat the End-of-School-Year Slump

yougotthisIt’s the last quarter of the school year, and the ball is in your court. Before you clean out your desk and wish your students a happy summer, make one last giant push to motivate your students—and close the achievement gap.

Here are four handy tips that will invigorate your classroom, improve your data, and relieve the end-of-school-year slump.

1. Communicate with parents.

How to Create a Student-Driven Top 10 List of Classroom Expectations

How to Create a Student-Driven Top 10 List of Classroom Expectations

Most teachers would agree that creating a classroom culture in which students are empowered to follow the rules and eager to work together as a team is a win-win for everyone. One way to achieve this happy synergy is to implement a top 10 expectations and rewards system, developed and created by your students. Learn more about how to get your students invested in creating an efficient, focused classroom.

This post was adapted from a longer article titled “Implementing a Top 10 Expectations System” by Adam Brumer.

5 Ways to Build Little Citizens

5 ways to build little citizens

Every day on my way to work, I pass a billboard that reads, “Sink or Swim Isn’t a Teaching Philosophy.” If I had seen this billboard before I started teaching, I would have screamed a confident, deafening “DUH!” But eight months in, it’s not an easy task. The billboard serves as a daily reminder that prompts me to question my own teaching philosophy. Am I letting my students sink, or am I teaching them how to swim?

Next Level Teacher Organization: The Power of the Notebook

Next Level Teacher Organization: The Power of the Notebook

When my assistant principal suggested that I sign up for a teacher organization professional development, I was offended. I always turn in my lesson plans on time, I never miss meetings, and unread emails don’t stack up in my inbox. I’m already ahead of the curve, aren’t I?

But then again, I also couldn’t find the old email that explained the training. And when I showed my assistant principal the half sheet of paper that acted as my planner for the week, she laughed at me. (I don’t even have an example of this; it would always go in the trash at the end of each week.)

The Cloud in the Classroom: Tech Solutions for Teachers

If you find yourself still buried under stacks of paper each term, it may be time to take the leap. Put down the dead tree and take a trip on the cloud. From Dropbox to Google Docs, the cloud has revolutionized teaching and freed up time and resources for educators.

Not sure where to start? The good folks at SingleHop put together this handy infographic to show all the ways you can use the cloud to keep yourself on task inside and outside the classroom.