T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter | How to Study, Deeper Learning, and Horror

T.G.I.F. Teacher is a weekly newsletter featuring educational news, and teaching, personal development, and professional learning resources.

T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter | How to Study, Deeper Learning, and Horror
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Happy Friday!

This is the 41st T.G.I.F. Newsletter. This newsletter will always be free. Your support helps with site costs and provides some much-appreciated motivation 🙏.

Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.

It's been a packed week. We burned food samples in the science lab and started preparing for student-led conferences. The grand finale was the students versus staff volleyball game. The staff eeked out a victory. The "Big Win" was that none of the teachers were injured this year.

Happy Friday - Have a great weekend!

Here are some things I thought were worth sharing this week.

The News

Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.

  • Research-Based - All students can learn, but some approaches are better than others. Evidence shows that retrieval practice, spaced practice, and purposeful note-taking are effective. Flashcards work well if they are used correctly. Teaching these strategies at the beginning of the school year helps set students up for success.
  • Pictures - Use the New York Times, pictures, and one question each week to help students practice visual thinking and close reading skills. This resource will walk you through the process.
  • Deeper Learning - What is it?  Carmen Coleman defines it as “…the outcome that arises from the input of rich, meaningful experiences.” There are many buzzwords for instructional models. All of these models can lead to deeper learning. You can spot it when students are engaged in the process and reflecting while applying what they’ve learned.
  • Teacher Retention - One of the keys to promoting teacher happiness is to make sure they feel valued. School districts across the country are scrambling to find qualified teachers. Each year during The Hour of Code I show my students a video of what life can be like for someone who programs computers. They see the beautiful campuses of Apple and Google and all of the perks that come along with working there. Even the small things matter. Teachers, and students, enjoy being in environments where they feel like they belong and are appreciated. A few perks, adequate support, and a manageable workload are all steps in the right direction.
  • Lateral Reading Resource - Students are consistently bombarded by information and misinformation. It's more important than ever that they develop the skills needed to identify quality sources in order to differentiate fact from fiction. Here is how to get started with lateral reading.


Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Kindness - We are all connected. When we do something kind for others we increase our own happiness. Some tips are to analyze your motives, ditch the golden rule and be consistent. Helping others helps us take a break from our own self-importance. How would your life change after committing to 30 days of kindness?
  • Mentor - Veteran teachers are in a great position to mentor new teachers. Explore 10 Ways to Be an Amazing Mentor. Helping new teachers creates a ripple effect that continues for generations.
  • Focus - Goals are important, but systems are even more powerful. Winners and losers often have the same goals. The feeling of “goal achievement” lasts a moment. Then what? Your systems help define your way of being.


Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:

"Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability.

Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide."
— Michio Kaku
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