Classroom Tools

Miami 4th-Graders Write About Their Experiences With Hurricanes
Miami 4th-Graders Write About Their Experiences With Hurricanes

When the fourth-graders in Mrs. Marlem Diaz-Brown's class returned to school on Monday, they were tasked with writing their first essay of the year. The topic was familiar: Hurricane Irma.

By Wednesday, they had worked out their introduction and evidence paragraphs and were brainstorming their personal experiences. To help them remember, Mrs. D-B had them draw out a timeline — starting Friday before the storm. Then, based on their drawings, they could start to talk about — and eventually, write about — what they experienced.

Read More
Memes, Emojis, and GIFs, Oh My! Teachers Tell How They Use Social Media
Memes, Emojis, and GIFs, Oh My! Teachers Tell How They Use Social Media

Most teachers think that social media and texting have a negative effect on their students' grammar and spelling skills, a new survey finds—but many educators still turn to social media tools to better relate to their students.

The survey, which was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Dictionary.com, asked 801 teachers—in elementary grades through postgraduate schools—about their views on social media and pop culture in the classroom.

Read More
Texas Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month
Texas Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month

During the 82nd Legislative Session, HB 3616 was passed which designates October as Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month. The bill will encourage public schools and state agencies to celebrate the accomplishments of people with disabilities, highlighting the achievements of Texans with disabilities who made significant contributions to the state and the extraordinary Americans who led the way in the disability rights movement. The bill’s intent is to increase public awareness of the many achievements of people with disabilities, to encourage public understanding of the disability rights movement, and to reaffirm the local, state, and federal commitment to providing equality and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Read More
The Most Popular High School Plays And Musicals
The Most Popular High School Plays And Musicals

The brilliant script, the "really fun" music and the exciting tech and staging feats were just a few of the reasons John Minigan decided to have his students perform The Addams Family.

"A lot of the students didn't know The Addams Family TV show at all," says Minigan, the drama teacher at Weston High School, just outside Boston. The nostalgia may be more for the adults in the audience, but the show, he says, still asks an increasingly relevant question for students: "What is the American family?"

Read More
The Missing Autistic Girls
The Missing Autistic Girls

On a recent hot summer afternoon, eight women sat at a table drawing and crafting at Felicity House, the world’s first community space devoted solely to women with autism. Opened just two years ago, the historic town house in the middle of New York City is a haven for women with a condition that limits their ability to communicate and interact with others.

Read More
Walk to School Day
Walk to School Day

Join students, families, school leaders, community partners and mayors around the country on October 4 to celebrate the benefits of walking to school during International Walk to School Day.

Read More
Teaching Sept. 11 To Students Who Were Born After The Attacks
Teaching Sept. 11 To Students Who Were Born After The Attacks

"Never forget" became a national rallying cry after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Yet America's schools — where collective memory is shaped — are now full of students who never knew because they weren't alive then. Many teachers now struggle with whether and how to teach the attacks and their aftermath.

Read More
When We Listen to Students
When We Listen to Students

As you are beginning to think about returning to school, I have a suggestion that can drastically impact your year (and it's simple): brainstorm questions to ask your students.

The kids right in front of us often have the most useful information within them -- information that can help us reach and teach them, help us engage them, and that can help us have a fantastic year together.

Read More
These Oklahoma City Schools Are Named For Confederate Generals ... Or Are They?
These Oklahoma City Schools Are Named For Confederate Generals ... Or Are They?

District leaders in the Oklahoma City Public Schools will soon head out into the community to ask this question: Should the four elementary schools they believe are the namesake of Confederate generals be renamed?

The origin of that question goes back several weeks. Right after the violence broke out in Charlottesville, Va., Charles Henry, a school board member in Oklahoma City, voiced his concern about the name of Jackson Elementary, which he says had been bothering him for a while.

Read More
This is Your Brain on Snapchat
This is Your Brain on Snapchat

Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook? Do your students spend every spare minute on Snapchat? Have you wondered how this affects your mood or your students' moods? If so, KQED and PBS Learning Media have a resource that you should share with your students.

Read More