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Reflecting on Reflection

Post written by Sarah Pottle, a ClassDojo Thought Partner

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I always knew that reflection was an important part of being an excellent teacher. I teach reflection to my students when I pass back a test, essay, or other assessment. I stress the importance of it and I’m disappointed when my students don’t take it seriously. Harvard’s Business School hails the importance of reflective practice. Education gurus have written about it for decades. I always thought of myself as a reflective teacher, but last year I realized that I really don’t reflect too often. I was more of an, “I’ll do that differently next year!” type of teacher. Then next year rolled around and I forgot.

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It’s time to go digital with ELA!

Post written by Erin Dye, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at GreenLightLT

Are you wondering what you can do to improve your students’ reading test scores this year? Are you trying to supplement your lesson plans with Common Core-based resources? Maybe you’re trying to reduce or resolve the setbacks from summer?

Here are great online resources that will help your students in English Language Arts:

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Make the most out of communicating with parents!

Post written by Kelly Draper, a ClassDojo Thought Partner

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I’m not sure about other teachers, but I found talking to parents particularly intimidating when I first started teaching. Having no children of my own and being in my early 20s, I was unsure of myself and it showed. Here are some tips to get the most out of communicating with parents:

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Overwhelmed by the Common Core? Don’t be!

This post was written by Monica Burns, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at ClassTechTips

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Schools throughout the nation are embracing the Common Core State Standards as a guide for developing curriculum across the content areas and designing assessments to measure student performance. It’s important that teachers have an understanding of what students need to be able to do at the level they are teaching. For educators who reach a wide range of students in their everyday workload this can be an especially daunting task.  

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New Teacher Survival (series) #3: Classroom management 101

Post written by Emily Dahm, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at edahmteacher

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As I prepared for my first year of teaching, I was so excited for the school year to begin. I wrote each of my students a postcard welcoming them to my class. I bought each student a pencil box and used my fancy new label maker to put their name on it. I felt so ready my first day, I had everything scripted, every moment planned. And then my students arrived. Within the first five minutes of my opening circle, one of my third graders had tied his shoes together, another student had locked himself in the bathroom, and two girls were crying. I only had 20 students in my class, but I had completely lost control. Unfortunately, this day set the tone for the year, and I never quite recovered. But I sure learned a lot! Here are my top tips for managing your class:

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New Teacher Survival (series) #4: Working with challenging students

Post written by Emily Dahm, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at edahmteacher

imageLet’s face it, kids are human, and some of them are more easygoing than others. We’ve all had that one kid in our class who knew exactly how to push our buttons and seemed to make it his or her mission to ruin our day. Sound familiar? If not, you are lucky! I have at least one student every year who pushes all the boundaries and tests my seemingly endless patience.

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New Teacher Survival (series) #2: Establishing a classroom community

Post written by Emily Dahm, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at edahmteacher

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Can’t we all just get along?

Sometimes a class will just “click” on day one and you won’t have to spend too much time developing a sense of community with your students. This has yet to happen for me or anyone I know. It is easy, especially with all the pressure of new standards, to breeze through or even do away with this important first step of the year. I can’t stress enough how critical it is do something to create cohesion amongst your students from day one. It may just be the most important thing you do. Think back to your learning theory class, remember Maslow’s hierarchy? Feeling safe and included is a necessary foundation for learning.

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New Teacher Survival (series) #1: Setting up your first classroom

Post written by Emily Dahm, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at edahmteacher

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Let’s just get right into it! Here are three quick steps to set up your first classroom :)

1. Take Stock

If you are starting out your teaching career at a public school, in a classroom previously used by another teacher, you will probably be left with the dregs of furniture and junk. If that is not the case, you are lucky! I made the mistake of keeping all the items left by the previous tenant of my classroom and I never touched any of it. With the exception of books in decent condition, my advice is to throw it ALL away! It is best to start fresh.

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The Law of Attraction… in the classroom!

Post written by Kristy Lynn Brothers, a ClassDojo Thought Partner

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Ever hear the phrase, “Birds of a feather flock together”? How about, “Like attracts like”?  Or…“You reap what you sow”?  All of these sayings loosely describe an incredible phenomenon that fortunately is becoming more and more acknowledged in our society: the Law of Attraction. For those of you who have read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, you probably have a general idea of what the Law of Attraction (LOA) is about. For those of you who haven’t or could just use a refresher, LOA basically affirms that we are all made up of energy fields and we are constantly giving off energy.  The type of energy we give off at any given moment simply depends upon our thoughts and beliefs.

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3, 2, 1, Contact!

This post was written by Olivia S. Blazer, a ClassDojo Thought Partner

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Keeping the lines of communication open between teachers and parents is the key to unlocking a wealth of support and favor that will most certainly increase student success. However, the relationship between teachers and parents is often a tenuous one. How and when should teachers contact parents in regards to student behavior issues?

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