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The Classroom Commute
15 minutes | Jan 17, 2022
H(APPY) Hour - Digital Tools & Apps for Teachers and Students: TRELLO
READY TO GET YOUR TEACHER LIFE IN CHECK?We all have our favorite apps and digital tools that we can’t live without. Tools to keep us organized. Tools to remind us of tasks. The list goes one. I love sharing my favorite digital tools and apps for teachers AND students, so I’m starting a new series on the podcast called H(APPY) Hour!And since it’s January and we often focus on organization and productivity this time of year, I thought a great place to start this new series would be with my favorite app that helps me stay organized, and that app is: Trello!In this week’s episode, I’m going to share with you what Trello is and how it has helped me stay organized in the projects that I work on and in the resources that I create. I’m also going to share how it can be a powerful organizational and productivity tool for classroom teachers, as well! So, if you’re feeling like you’re all over the place when it comes to organizing your teacher brain, then this episode is perfect for youYou’re gonna walk away with lots of ideas of how you can put Trello to work for you in your classroom including how you can use it in planning your curriculum and even in collaborating with other teachers!LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODEClick here to sign up for Trello. Join the LINKtivity® Learning Membership and get access to my entire vault of LINKtivity Interactive Learning Guides - CLICK HERE to join.For complete show notes visit: classroomnook.com/podcast/103
13 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
Digital Citizenship: Making Healthy Media Choices and Finding Balance
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH (OF A GOOD THING)?We’ve talked so much lately about cultivating a 21st century classroom and the components that make up a modern classroom. And although it’s fun to talk about all the bells and whistles and shiny objects that can come with a 21st century classroom - powerful and engaging components like technology and multimedia - it’s also important that we explore the other side of what it means to use technology and raise students in our digital world - and that is digital citizenship.With all the amazing things that come with implementing classroom technology, also comes responsibility. Just as we want to prepare our students to navigate new technology, we also want to teach them the responsibility that comes with it.There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to digital citizenship, and if we’re going to truly teach our students what it means to be a positive digital citizen and take ownership of their digital lives, we need to approach it from a variety of angles. In today’s episode we’re going to start at the foundation, which is helping our students make healthy media choices and finding balance. Just as we want students to make healthy choices when it comes to food and moving our bodies, we want students to learn how to make healthy choices in their digital lives. Teachers can be a part of this by modeling a healthy balance in how digital resources are used in the classroom and through the conversations we have with students as it relates to media.For complete show notes: classroomnook.com/podcast/102LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODEJoin the LINKtivity® Learning Membership and get access to my entire vault of LINKtivity Interactive Learning Guides - CLICK HERE to join.
26 minutes | Jan 3, 2022
Positive Thinking with Victoria from The Mindful Apple
The time for positivity is Now.It only takes turning on the news for a few minutes to have a negative outlook on life.Young students don’t always know how to process negative situations and experiences. Just like students need to be taught math skills, science concepts, or reading strategies, they need to also be taught the skill of positive thinking.The ability to think positively allows students to feel more in control of their own mindset, even when the situations around them feel out of their control. Students hold the power to positivity, and in this episode, Victoria from The Mindful Apple joins us to share how teachers can help students develop the skill of positive thinking.Victoria brings with her years of experience in working with students to help develop social emotional learning skills, like positive thinking, and gives students these life skills to build stronger mental health.Links & Resources Mentioned in the EpisodeEPISODE 86: Making Social Emotional Learning MORE Than a BuzzwordEPISODE 93: Exploring Growth Mindset with Victoria from The Mindful AppleFREE RESOURCE: FREE Positivity Classroom Posters (And when you grab the free posters, you’ll be entered in to win the ENTIRE Positivity Social Emotional Learning Unit)Victoria’s Social Emotional Learning CurriculumConnect with Victoria:Join The Mindful Apple community for your weekly brain food : tips, strategies, and resources for your social emotional tool kit! Shop social emotional resources for the elementary classroomLearn with Victoria at TheMindfulApple.com
34 minutes | Dec 20, 2021
10 Ways to Use LINKtivities in the Classroom
MAKE THE MOST OF LINKTIVITIES IN YOUR CLASSROOMIt’s no secret that both teachers and students LOVE using LINKtivity® Interactive Learning Guides with their students.I hear from upper elementary classroom teachers daily just how engaged and motivated students are when they use a LINKtivity® to learn a new skill or strategy.And, when you start using LINKtivities with your students, it’s kinda like a train you can’t stop coming (nor do you want to!). So- when you start using them on the regular in your classroom, it’s fun to switch it up.With LINKtivities available in every content area (even seasons and holidays!) - and growing every month - changing up the ways you use LINKtivities with your students keeps it fresh and exciting!In this episode, I’m sharing 10 different ways that teachers are using LINKtivities with their students.LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODEEnter here to win a FREE YEAR of the LINKtivity® Learning Membership. VIDEO: 10 Ways to Use LINKtivities in Your Classroom Join the LINKtivity® Learning Membership and get access to my entire vault of LINKtivity Interactive Learning Guides - CLICK HERE to join.
14 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
Classroom Technology: A Simple Model for Using it Effectively
WE OFTEN THINK THAT ALL TECH IS CREATED EQUAL…It’s not. I love using tech in the classroom as a way to engage and motivate student learning. Tech provides opportunities to support our students in ways that other learning methods can not. These opportunities include things like adding audio support to read text to our students, or allowing students to record their responses rather than writing something. Technology often helps us to eliminate barriers to learning success.But - just using classroom technology for the sake of using classroom technology is not an effective model for making decisions around technology with your students.I think learning with multimedia and technology is an essential component of a 21st century classroom, but technology comes in all shapes and sizes, and in this episode, I want to introduce a simple model that we can follow when making decisions about technology in our classroom so that we can use it in the most effective way!LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODEEPISODE 95: What is a 21st Century Classroom??EPISODE 97: Creating a Multimedia Classroom (Part 1: What the Research Says)EPISODE 98: Creating a Multimedia Classroom (Part 2: Applications for the Classroom)SAMR ModelJoin the LINKtivity Learning Membership and get access to my entire vault of LINKtivity Interactive Learning Guides - CLICK HERE to join.
17 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
Creating a Multimedia Classroom (Part 2: Applications for the Classroom)
WANT TO CREATE A MULTIMEDIA CLASSROOM?A better questions to ask would be: HOW do we create a multimedia classroom?Over the past couple of weeks we have been exploring what it means to be a 21st century classroom. We talked about how a 21 century classroom… includes creating a collaborative and creative environment and encourages students to reflect on their learningtakes the focus away from a teacher-directed learning approach, and puts students in the center of discovering and exploring their own knowledge.puts technology and multimedia in a larger role to create a bigger impactWe’ve also unpacked what the research says about multimedia instruction and laid the groundwork for what effective multimedia instruction looks like, as well as how the brain processes multimedia and the positive impact it has on long-term learning.But - not all multimedia is created equal and if done incorrectly - it could lead to brain processing overload. It’s that whole - too much of a good thing...is no longer good idea.So, let’s explore how we can implement effective multimedia into daily classroom instruction.LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODEEPISODE 95: What is a 21st Century Classroom??EPISODE 97: Creating a Multimedia Classroom (Part 1: What the Research Says)RESOURCE: Discovery Learning FoldersJoin the LINKtivity Learning Membership and get access to my entire vault of LINKtivity Interactive Learning Guides - CLICK HERE to join.
14 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
Creating a Multimedia Classroom (Part 1: What the Research Says)
19 minutes | Nov 15, 2021
6 Components of a Successful Lesson
ALL SUCCESSFUL LESSONS HAVE A FEW THINGS IN COMMON.I don’t know about you, but I’ve been guilty more than once of making myself the star of the show - meaning - as a teacher - I often made the lessons more about me. Me — standing in front of the classroom with my anchor charts, doing all the talking, inviting minimal participation. When I did invite participation, I was sure to call on those students that I know would have the answers.Guilty, as charged. But - I’ve noticed, and I’m sure YOU’VE noticed that the days of standing in front of the classroom while students just listen and absorb just don’t work. And to be honest - it likely never worked, we just didn’t know any better. It may have worked for some students - the ones that can learn in basically any environment — but for the students that needed to be more engaged, more interactive - not so much.So, today, I want to explore 6 components or elements of a successful lesson.Links & Resources Mentioned in the EpisodeEPISODE 94: 3 Tips for Increasing Student Success (That You Can Start Using TODAY!)POST: Giving Students More Choice in the ClassroomLINKtivity: 5 Regions of the United StatesJoin the LINKtivity Learning Membership and get access to my entire vault of LINKtivity Interactive Learning Guides - Click here to join.
16 minutes | Nov 8, 2021
What is a 21st Century Classroom??
WHAT IS A 21ST CENTURY CLASSROOM?If you have been tuning in to the podcast the past few weeks, you may have picked up on the fact that I’ve been putting a lot of focus on the modern classroom, and what’s actually working right now. I’ve also been challenging some of the teaching ideas and practices that have dominated in the classroom for the past decade or so, and have really been questioning whether or not they are relevant anymore.We first talked about whether or not learning styles are a myth (learning styles like visual learners vs auditory learners vs kinesthetic learners...etc) — you know all those educational philosophies you were likely taught in college. We then talked about what’s working right now in the classroom to increase student success. These strategies draw upon modern best teaching practices -things that maybe we didn’t do 10 or so years ago. All of this conversation has begun to set the stage to a larger question:What is a 21st century classroom?If education is changing (which it totally is...). If some of the educational philosophies that played a larger role and had a bigger influence on our teaching practices are no longer relevant...then where does that leave us? How can we begin creating a 21st century, modern-day classroom that can meet the demands of the students in our classrooms TODAY?Well, we are just starting this journey, my friend. Because there is a lot to unpack - but I first want to start today with laying the groundwork for what it means to be a 21st century classroom. That way, as we move forward in our discussion, you can reflect on how it compares to your own classroom.So let’s get started!Links & Resources Mentioned in the EpisodeEPISODE 45: How to Use Rubrics for Assessment AND InstructionEPISODE 55: Easy Tips to Boost Student Participation While Building a Strong Classroom CommunityEPISODE 90: Using Podcasts in the Elementary ClassroomEPISODE 91: The TRUTH About Learning StylesEPISODE 94: 3 Tips for Increasing Student SuccessJoin the LINKtivity Learning Membership and get access to my entire vault of LINKtivity Interactive Learning Guides - Click here to join.
22 minutes | Nov 1, 2021
3 Tips for Increasing Student Success
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR STUDENTS SUCCEED. 🙋🏻OK, I think I already know the answer to that question, but it’s worth asking out loud. Of course you want your students to succeed! It’s likely one of the main reasons you became a teacher (that and to have holidays and summers off, if we’re being honest)But actually GETTING our students to be successful is certainly a challenge.Well, I’ve actually been doing a lot of research lately on the causes of student success and what actually helps students to be successful.And what I’m finding is that, although there are some tried-and-true teaching methods that stand the test of time, there is cause for some true reflection on best teaching practices. What’s working right now in the classroom? What are the needs of today’s students? And how have these need changed over the past 5, 10 or even 15 years. The needs have definitely changed (and our awareness of these needs has certainly been elevated), but our ways of teaching practices may have not caught up to these changes.So, I actually wanted to invite you along on this journey of researching and studying so that we can all become better educators and supporter of our students.Here on the podcast I’m going to begin exploring what is means to be a 21st century classroom. I’m seeking out new ways that we can help our students succeed in a changing world.In this week’s episode, I’ll start by sharing 3 tips for increasing student success (all based on current research findings and best teaching practices)But don’t worry - I’m not just gonna throw out a bunch of research data at you, because that would be boring…I’m going to give you some actionable strategies for your classroom so that we can take what we are learning and apply it directly to the students you are teaching.LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODEEPISODE 91: The TRUTH About Learning StylesLINKtivity Membership - Click here to join. Grab my FREE LINKtivity here!
26 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
Exploring Growth Mindset with Victoria from The Mindful Apple
Students don't just need to grow academically.As teachers, we aim to teach the whole child, right?This of course includes helping our students learn to read and write and everything in between.But - we also want to help our students learn that they have control over their ability to learn. They can train their brains to push through when things get challenging. Students have the ability to see failures as learning opportunities, to see struggles and successes in the making.This is at the heart of growth mindset. It’s the idea that learning is a journey, a process - not a talent. Having a growth mindset can help students on all levels, abilities, and walks of life to overcome obstacles and develop a love of learning.In this week’s episode, I have brought back on our resident expert on social emotional learning, Victoria from The Mindful Apple. As a school social worker, Victoria works with teachers and students alike to help develop a growth mindset so that they can be successful, not just in the classroom, but in life.Links & Resources Mentioned in the EpisodeEPISODE 60: Easy Calming Strategies for Elementary StudentsEPISODE 86: Making Social Emotional Learning MORE Than a BuzzwordRESOURCE: FREE Growth Mindset Sort Victoria’s Social Emotional Learning Curriculum Connect with Victoria:Join The Mindful Apple community for your weekly brain food : tips, strategies, and resources for your social emotional tool kit! Shop social emotional resources for the elementary classroomLearn with Victoria at TheMindfulApple.com
20 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Getting Started with Interactive Notebooks
SO, YOU WANT TO TRY INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS, EH?Of course you do! They’re super cool and students love them.But, they aren’t just something you can start without putting a little thought into it.In fact, launching into using interactive notebooks with your students without thinking through the process from start to finish could leave you in puddles of glue and up to your elbows in paper scraps. And no one has time for that!So, come along with me in this episode. I’ll be sure to help set you up for success so that interactive notebooks can provide meaningful and authentic learning experiences for your students.LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:POST: Setting Up Classroom Routines and ProceduresRESOURCE on TpT: Interactive Notebook Grab my FREE Interactive Notebook Rubric
9 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
The TRUTH About Learning Styles
ARE STUDENT LEARNING STYLES A MYTH?I remember very few things about what I learned in my college education classes.Most of what I learned about being a successful teacher I learned through my actual experiences in the classroom.But - there is one things I DO remember. Does multiple intelligences ring a bell, anyone?How about learning styles?In college you, too, likely learned all about the different ways your students interact with and process new information - we refer to these as learning styles. I was taught that we all have our own unique style of learning — a programmed way of how we like to consume new concepts. And, by absorbing new information in the way that fits this learning style, we learn better. Seems to make sense, right?Well - recent studies show that this theory just simply doesn’t hold up.Bummer.Or is it?In this week’s episode, I unpack these new findings and explore what it actually means for students and teachers.
15 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Using Podcasts in the Elementary Classroom
PODCASTS ARE THE *NEW* LISTENING CENTER… (& SO.MUCH.MORE)I can still remember. It was 2006 and it was my first year of teaching. One of my friend’s mom wanted to help out a first year teacher (me) by sponsoring my classroom. She asked what I needed and I told her that I desperately wanted a listening center for my classroom. Being the new teacher, I got last pick on supplies. All the good stuff was taken and the only thing that resembled a listening center was a super old tape player.Imagine my complete delight when I got a beautiful new (blue) listening center that could play cassette tapes AND CD’s. It came with 6 headphones and and adapter to plug all 6 in at the same time.It.was.glorious.The listening center got a LOT of use over the years. I went to the library often to borrow books on tape and I even began recording my own.Fast forward 15+ years later.Listening centers are about to get a major upgrade!Enter: podcasts!Have you considered using podcasts in your classroom for your students? They aren’t just for adults anymore. In fact, with over 2 MILLION active podcasts, there is no shortage on podcasts for everyone - including kids!There are so many ways that podcasts can enhance student learning and in this week’s episode, we’ll begin to just scratch the surface!LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODERESOURCES FOR MAKING YOUR OWN PODCAST: Audacity Anchor SpreakerPODCASTS FOR KIDS:The 25 Best Podcasts for KidsBest Podcasts for Kids of All Ages19 Great Learning Podcasts for the ClassroomGrab my FREE Kid Podcast Recording Sheet inside the Members Resource Library under “Student Assessment Resources.”
19 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
10 Lessons Learned in 10 Years As The Classroom Nook
REFLECTION FUELS GROWTH.In September of 2011, I started a journey and had NO IDEA where that journey would bring me.Well, let me tell you, it been a journey. And I have learned so much about myself as an educator and as a person. I believe that we go further when we stop often to reflect upon where we’ve been.If we want our students to reflect on their progress and their journey, then we must also develop those same habits.In this episode, I’m sharing 10 of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned since starting and growing The Classroom Nook. I hope that these lessons are not only true for myself, but that you may also find that they speak to your own growth and progress as an educator.
13 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
Helping Students Grow as Readers Through Goal Setting
GROWTH COMES FROM GOAL-SETTING.We can teach until we are blue in the face, but often, we take the one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to reading.We teach everyone the same skills and strategies…at the same time.But the problem is, students are often in different places when it comes to their most immediate need. And while it’s fine to teach a reading topic to the whole class, we must also make sure that we are giving equal instructional time and attention to the individual reading needs of our students.That’s where individual student goals can help.In this week’s episode, I’ll be covering why it’s important to have your students set individual reading goals and how to help them achieve those goals through an action plan. Readers come in all shapes and sizes, so let’s make sure our approach to reading is custom-made by helping students develop goals that help them to grow!Links & Resources Mentioned in the EpisodeEPISODE 31: How to Use a Reader’s and Writer’s Notebook in the Upper Elementary Classroom EPISODE 87: Developing Student Writing Goals & Why Your Students Need Them!POST: Teaching Students to Choose "Just Right" Books During Independent ReadingRESOURCES:Student Reader’s NotebookLaunching Reader’s WorkshopGrab my FREE “Just Right” Bookmark inside the Members Resource Library under “Reading Resources.”
23 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
Developing Student Writing Goals & Why Your Students Need Them!
Want to see more progress in your students’ writing?Then it’s time to take a hard look at how we approach writing in your classroom.We spend a lot of time teaching skills and strategies for writing, but not every student needs work on the same skill or strategy.That’s where helping students to develop writing goals can make a huge impact. Setting individual writing goals gives purpose to student writing, and helps students to make progress on what THEY need. Goals drive instruction and serve as a road map for what to work on during independent writing conferences.But - to help students achieve more success in their writing through goals, we must break it down into a simplified process. In this week’s episode, I’m doing just that.Links & Resources Mentioned in the EpisodeEPISODE 63: Conducting Writing Conferences: A Simple Goal-Driven ApproachRESOURCES:Launching Writer’s WorkshopStudent Writer’s Notebook
25 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
Making Social Emotional Learning MORE Than a Buzzword (Applications for the Classroom)
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING.It’s such a buzzword lately, especially as teachers try to navigate the aftermath of the pandemic. Now more than ever our students are struggling socially and emotionally. Months of learning at home, isolated from teachers and friends has brought a series of issues that teachers are now learning to work through.Social emotional learning, or SEL for short, is not new, but has certainly created a new buzzword.The thing is, the social and emotional well-being of our students isn’t just the responsibility of school social workers and counselors - it’s all of our jobs. Students can not effectively access learning until their social and emotional needs are met. These needs sit at the foundation from which all learning grows from.That’s why I’ve invited Victoria from The Mindful Apple to come back on the podcast to help us set the stage for the new school year with one big priority: social emotional learning.She’ll give us the essentials and beyond to empower all educators with the tools to support our students beyond the academics.Links & Resources Mentioned in the EpisodeEPISODE 60: Easy Calming Strategies for Elementary StudentsConnect with Victoria at The Mindful Apple: Check out her Teacher and Student ResourcesTake a peek at her WebsiteFollow her on InstagramFREE Check In Sheet for Checking Students Social Emotional NeedsCheck out Victoria’s growing social emotional learning curriculum
18 minutes | Aug 30, 2021
Reflecting on Best Teaching Practices (& What to STOP Doing NOW!)
Dear old version of me...We all look back on your first few years of teaching and cringe at some of the things that we have done with our students.Sometimes, we just don't know any better...until we do. Now, I won’t waste your time telling you all about my mistakes, but I do want to share a few things that you can change about your teaching practices today to make a bigger impact with your students. LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODEGrab my FREE “Show What You Know Cards” in our Member’s Resource Library under “Student Assessment Resources.”
22 minutes | Aug 23, 2021
Readers & Writers Workshop: Top Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE Getting Started
STOP.Before you get started with readers and writers workshop this year, we need to talk.I know you want to launch into your first reading and writing unit. I know you’re anxious to start that first novel or that first writing piece with your students. It’s exciting to start fresh. BUT — before you do, don’t.Have your properly set yourself up for success when it comes to launching readers and writers workshop? Have you considered all.the.things. to make sure you have crossed all your t’s and dotted all your i’s? In this week’s episode, I’m covering ALL the essential questions you should be asking yourself BEFORE you hit the ground running with your reading and writing curriculum. From simple questions like: Where will your students keep their reading and writing materials? to more thought-provoking things to consider like: How will you fit conferencing into your workshop time? …and everything in between.LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODEEPISODE 29: How to Launch Reader's Workshop in Your ClassroomEPISODE 30: How to Launch Writer's Workshop in the Upper Elementary ClassroomEPISODE 62: Why You Need a "Share Chair" In Your Reading and Writing WorkshopRESOURCES:IntelliScanner (affiliate link)Online catalog like Book Source Classroom Organizer. Smart phone apps like iBookshelf, Book Crawler, and Book Buddy Launching Reader's and Writer's Workshop Bundle Grab these TWO FREEBIES inside our Members Resource LibraryTeacher’s Guide to Reader’s Workshop — under “Teacher Resources” sectionTeacher’s Guide to Writer’s Workshop — under “Teacher Resources” section
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