Top 3 Literacy Support Materials for the Classroom

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classroom literacyBuilding strong literacy and language skills is so important. They are what forms the basis for learning in all subjects. With effective instruction and literacy development in early childhood education classrooms, teachers and educators can have a substantial impact on these skills.

With many schools and districts focused on increasing literacy skills right now, we turned to our friends at Steps To Literacy to help us gather the best support tools to help you. Steps to Literacy specializes in curating customized classroom libraries based on reading levels, genres, topics and specific students’ needs. The expertise they have developed from providing thousands of teachers with literacy solutions has led them to develop some exclusive support materials for the classroom. Back in July, S&S brought on a handful of our favorites. We are excited to take a closer look at them below and share with you how you can use them in your classroom. Continue reading



How to Use Storytelling Yoga in the Classroom

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classroom storytelling yogaIf you have an extra 15 minutes you can accomplish three things in your classroom:

  • Calm yourself and your students
  • Engage them in a story
  • Become more physically fit

You can accomplish all of this through Storytelling Yoga. It combines two popular yet age old activities; storytelling and yoga. The benefits of both activities alone are incredible, but when combined, you will likely engage more students than you normally would using only one of the two. This appeals to visual learners, audio learners and kinesthetic learners. Continue reading



Cosmic Bowling Activity for PE Class

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cosmic bowling Pe classPhysical education teacher Andrew Beckner shares this creative cosmic bowling activity that he uses for his PE class.

One week per school year, the lights are turned out in the gym, but the students’ energy levels are turned way up! It’s cosmic bowling time. The same cosmic bowling that most adults have had the opportunity to enjoy at least once in their lives.

Gym Set-up for Cosmic Bowling

For this event, the gym is illuminated with a combination of holiday (Christmas) lights, and two disco type colored lights that change patterns (the smallest version of the ION Audio Block Party). Finally, we projected a visual effects scrambler design that can be displayed through Windows Media Player, by placing the projector on the other side of the gym. This stretched the image across the whole wall. Next, my teaching partner and I set up 12 “lanes” of plastic bowling pins. Since it can be a little difficult to see whose pins are whose in the dark, we put colored tape on the top of each pin, as well as matching colored tape on the floor where each pin should be reset. Continue reading



Classroom Management for Middle School Teachers

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Middle School Classroom ManagementKISS – Keep It Simple Strategies – Classroom Management for Middle School Teachers

Now that we have covered the elementary grades, we now move on to Middle School. We can all agree; we’ve now entered a world of aliens, populated by students whose behavior tends to be guided by hormonal factors beyond our control.

Strategy #1: Are you prepared for Middle School kids?

I’ve seen so many frustrated and unhappy Middle School teachers who just haven’t embraced the concept of understanding and connecting with Middle School kids. It may sound simple but it isn’t. If you think you are a teacher that is struggling with connecting to this tricky group, consider sitting down with Human Resources in your district and asking for another assignment, perhaps a classroom in grades K-5. Continue reading



Classroom Management for Library Media Specialists

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Library Media Specialists

Today’s Keep It Simple Strategies (KISS) – Classroom Management for Library Media Specialists

For discussion purposes, let’s assume you are a Library Media Specialist at the Elementary level. There is so much information about organizing school libraries in ways that will make the facility fun to visit. That’s my priority as a Library Media Specialist. I really want kids to want to be there. Here are some tips on how to go about making your library a popular place!

Make it Easy to Navigate and Understand

We teach Dewey Decimal system at this level and it helps, but sometimes a shy kid will need some extra assistance. I have prepared podcasts for listening on iPods in our library. Continue reading



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