Learn about the benefits of science education, building a positive school culture, and the importance of art.
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T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #65
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Thirty-Day Challenges are a powerful tool for personal growth and development. By committing to a small challenge for a short period of time, you will build new habits, break old ones, and learn more about yourself in the process.
Happy Friday 😀! This week the sun was shining and my spirits were lifted. Here are some things I thought were worth sharing. Have a great weekend!
In today’s newsletter…
- Science education develops critical thinking in children (and adults too)
- Harnessing your change agent superpowers
- Learn how to become a skilled napper
Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.
- Skills in Action - Science education is crucial for a child's development. Encouraging children to ask questions and seek answers helps them understand the natural world and builds lifelong skills like problem-solving and critical thinking. Consider using investigations to encourage exploration, making connections between the classroom and everyday life, and implementing collaborative learning. Science class is a great place to practice the skills taught in math and ELA. Check out this article on how to support children's science learning for more information.
- Culture Club - Getting school culture right paves the way for happier staff and students, and removes the barriers that get in the way of learning. Learn how co-teaching, an anti-burnout curriculum, improved collaboration with support professionals, and harnessing your change agent superpowers can improve your school culture.
- I’m Done - What should you do when your students finish their work early? One idea is to have them delve deeper into the topic by creating their own games. Other options include Genius Time and Passion Projects, completing a self-assessment, and working on Anchor Unit projects. You can find a list of 20 ideas for students who finish their work early here.
- Book - Are you curious about how artificial intelligence (AI) can revolutionize education? Check out "AI for Educators: Learning Strategies, Teacher Efficiencies, and a Vision for an Artificial Intelligence Future."* by Matt Miller. This book provides practical strategies for teachers to integrate AI into their classrooms, improving student learning outcomes and streamlining administrative tasks. Discover how AI can support personalized learning and how educators can use it to shape the future of education.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Cat Nap - Do you find yourself feeling tired and unmotivated after lunch? Do you struggle to get a good night's sleep? If so, maybe you need to learn how to take the perfect nap. Naps are most effective when they are planned periods of daytime sleep, rather than episodes of irresistible sleep that are not intended. While napping shouldn't be used daily to compensate for lack of nighttime sleep, a mid-afternoon nap can help boost your brain power. By mastering the art of napping, you can say goodbye to mid-afternoon slumps and hello to increased productivity and learning
- ART-ificial Intelligence - According to a growing number of scientific studies, art has a measurable effect on the brain and its structure. Making art increases the brain's plasticity. People who engage in the arts are better learners, and the arts provide the kind of brain development that's really important for building strong neural pathways. Write a poem. Paint a picture. Compose some music. It’s good for your brain.
- Control the Temperature - Are you a thermometer or a thermostat? Humans are easily influenced by the moods of those around us. Build a stronger "spidey sense" for when someone's "vibes" are different than usual and become the thermostat that sets the mood for the room. This involves intentionally choosing body language, tone, and words to positively affect what happens next. When things go awry, try naming what's happening, ask open-ended questions, and encourage breaks when a cool down is needed. By practicing these skills, you can become a more effective communicator and add a dose of positivity to your work environment.
"A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty." — John Grogan (Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog)*
- Perspective - Look at life from the perspective of a 19-month-old boy. How we look at things has a bearing on what we end up seeing.
- Good Examples - Model lifelong learning. Teachers spend so much time giving kids assignments and directions. Spend time talking about what you’ve been learning on your own. Ask your students the same question. Over time, what you do holds more weight than what you say. [#threethings]
- Wally - I can’t share a quote about good dogs without mentioning our family dog Wally. He‘s a good boy and he’s always happy.
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