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Growth Mindset — not just for students :)

This post was written by Emily Dahm, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at edahmteacher

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If you give a man a fish….or in my case, if you attach a file to an email for a colleague, they will never learn to be self sufficient with technology! I have quite a few friendly neighbors who still call me frantically when their printer won’t work, only to have me rush over and plug it in. This is funny the first few times and makes me feel useful, but does it really help anyone? It is hard not to shake my head when this kind of thing happens (which is quite often), but it doesn’t help the problem.

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Response to Intervention with 1:1 classrooms

This post was written by Erin Dye, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at GreenLightLT

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If you have 1:1 devices in your classroom, first, take a minute to give thanks! After that, think about some of the great opportunities you have to differentiate instruction with your students using these devices. There are a lot of great resources that will track and assess your students’ work, responding to their needs and moving them forward accordingly.

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Read to the Top!

This post was written by Erin Dye, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at GreenLightLT

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Most teachers are always looking for new ways to get their students interested in reading. One of our favorite reading activities is a “Read to the Top” contest. In these contests, much like in some local library summer reading programs, students compete to read the most books.

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Make your students feel more supported :)

This post was written by Kelly Draper, a ClassDojo Thought Partner 

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In order to learn something new, students need to obviously be motivated - but they also must feel safe. When learning how to drive a stick-shift, my instructor used to shrug when I stalled at stop lights. “It happens,” he would say. My previous instructor wasn’t so understanding, and as a result I stalled a lot more. As teachers we need to make sure students feel supported, even when they make mistakes. Here are a few tips for making sure all students feel supported when learning something new:

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Safe and reliable tools for student research projects!

This post was written by Angela Kiser, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at angela_kiser

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As an fifth grade ELA teacher, one of the major assignments in my class each year is a research project. Research projects are a great way to introduce students to the discussion of reliable sources and primary versus secondary resources. One of my greatest concerns with any research project is the autonomy I am providing my fifth graders as they search the Internet for sources, images, and facts. Even with the strongest of filters, things can slip through the hands of an educator quickly. However, I have found technology that helps manage such searches, creating a much safer environment.

Here’s a small list of safe and effective tools for your upcoming research projects.

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Closing the feedback loop

This post was written by Emily Dahm, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at edahmteacher

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Have you ever sat down to write a report card, or tried to have a parent teacher conference, feeling very confident that you know how a student is doing, only to realize you don’t really have a way to show it? ClassDojo has made keeping track of behaviors very simple, but documenting learning is not an easy thing to do.

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Scaffolding behaviors leads to intrinsic motivation

This post was written by Kelly Draper, a ClassDojo Thought Partner

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I believe that people inherently want to do the right thing.  This absolutely includes our students (although it sometimes might not seem like it). Most people like to know where they stand. We all like to know what is acceptable and what will get us into trouble. Students often test teachers in order to explore these boundaries. There is nothing worse than having a teacher leaping out to enforce rules and regulations that students were only dimly aware of.

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Digitize your exit tickets!

This post was written by Erin Dye, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at GreenLightLT

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Is your administration pushing the use of exit tickets at your school? Even if they’re not, it’s something to consider. Running formative assessment during class requires preparation, management, and participation. But as with most things, having an easy daily routine can be a good way to work through some of those issues.

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Engage students with the help of your interactive whiteboard!

This post was written by Erin Dye, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who tweets regularly at GreenLightLT

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Thousands of classrooms across the country now have interactive whiteboards (IWBs) at the front of the room. Many teachers use these boards the same way they once used a pull-down screen and an overhead projector: to show transparencies and presentations. But the IWB can be so much more than that. Without much change in your classroom routine, you can use the IWB as a valuable tool for classroom management.

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Boys on one side, girls on the other…

This post was written by Melissa Myers, a ClassDojo Thought Partner

I went to a Catholic high school that had only become co-ed a few years before I attended. The boy to girl ratio was not yet balanced out, and the issue of gender bias became particularly evident in my 9th grade PE class when our teacher announced, “Boys will play football, girls can walk around the track and talk.” As a competitive gymnast, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be told not to exert myself, and there were several boys who warmed the bench for the entire quarter having been dubbed too “unathletic” to participate. But no one complained because, as 14-year-olds, it was easier to just remain in our gender enclaves where we didn’t have to deal with each other, or even worse, consider identity issues. For younger students, it’s routine that they clump themselves together on playgrounds like penguins in the arctic, but this is all the more reason for teachers to aim for a more integrated classroom, uniting students rather than dividing.

Here are some ideas for how teachers can integrate and unify classrooms no matter what the gender ratios may be:

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