4 Ways to Build Relationships During Distance Learning

Four ways to build relationships during distance learning

Many of us are starting the school year doing virtual classes. It is a tough situation – for a lot of reasons. I think the worst part is how difficult it will be to connect with my students. This blog post came out of a deep need for ways to build relationships during distance learning. It is also a sincere invitation to offer your own ideas that we can all benefit from.

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ClassTag: New Favorite Tool for Teacher Communication with Parents & Students

ClassTag: The perfect all-in-one tool for teacher parent communication

Teacher communication with parents and students is always important. Somehow, though, I imagine that this coming year communication will be even more essential. There will likely be (many) days that I do not see my students in person. Parents will need to be in close connection with the workings of the classroom and the school. I need a communication tool that can do…a lot.

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eLearning Project: Make a Gif With Google Slides

Student Project to make an animated Gif with Google Slides

Many teachers in the country are in the same boat right now. We are all searching for ways to engage and motivate our students from afar. Not an easy task!

My own principal keeps reminding us to focus on quality over quantity. Every assignment has to be worth the time to complete it (for the student) and to grade it (for the teacher). It must be both rich in learning and obtainable for students who have less support at home.

That is why I love this particular assignment idea so much – it does all these things and is adaptable to just about any subject.

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Six Best Interactive Biology Websites!

teach biology interactive websites

If you are like me, you have spent hours trying out interactive biology websites, only to get frustrated and overwhelmed. Many of them are overly complicated, or require so many instructions that the message of the activity is lost to your students. 

Compiled here are six of the best interactive biology websites. These online activities are well designed and easy for students to understand. Post includes tips for how to use the activities with your students.

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Remote Learning Using Padlet to Teach Digital Lessons

Remote Learning

You and I are probably in the same boat – trying to figure out how to take months of instruction and make it available to students for Remote Learning. There are many ways to do this, the learning curves of some ways are steeper than others! That is why I love Padlet. Padlet provides a simple and easy way to give students notes, videos, links, and instructions – with their responses – all in one place, and all online.

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Best Way to do Test Corrections: Simple & Engaging

Best Way to do Test Corrections

We all want our students to learn from their mistakes. Tests are not just a grade, but a measure of where student understanding is. We want to help fill in the gaps, which usually includes going over the test or test corrections. 

But what is the best way to do test corrections? I was searching for a way that truly helped students learn from their mistakes, but did not take up a lot of time. I needed a test correction method that was meaningful, and motivated even hard-to-motivate students.

And I found it!

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Forensic Science Autopsy Activity for High School

Teach Forensic Science! How to create a Forensic Autopsy for your students.My favorite subject to teach is Forensic Science. It is the perfect mix of applied Biology, Chemistry, Math, and the Yuck-Factor that students just love!

And no topic in Forensic Science has more ‘yuck’ than the study of dead bodies. Students look forward to this unit all year! They are never disappointed.

Reading, hearing, and seeing pictures about Autopsies  just doesn’t cut it. Students need hands-on experience to really learn and appreciate the work of Forensic Medical Examiners.

But murder victims are had to come by for use in the classroom!

So in my forensic science class, we use Rats. This post is all about how to turn a Rat into a murder victim!

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Increase Learning And Save Time Grading!

We all want to save time grading.  But is it possible to give assignments that not only help your students learn more, Save Time Grading and Increase Learningbut reduce the time it takes to grade them? Yes it is!

I often feel overwhelmed by piles of student work. While I use Google Forms for quick and frequent formative assessment, multiple choice does not show the depth of student knowledge (or misconceptions) that you need to know in order to help your students.

Giving assignments that require reflection and critical thinking are crucial for student understanding and growth. The only trouble is grading those assignments! They are so time consuming!

But they don’t all have to be. Here are a few quick tweaks you can make to assignments you already have that will lead to both greater learning and save time grading!

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Classroom Management and the 21st Century Skills

21st Century Skills: Teaching and Tracking GrowthThe Classroom Management Miracle and  21st Century Skills.

This post is the second in a series that began with a desperate need to adjust my classroom management approach.

I was losing control of my classroom.

After five years of teaching with little or no classroom issues, I was now facing the toughest group of students I have ever had the challenge of teaching.

My struggle led to a system that,

  • holds students accountable
  • tracks growth for those hard-to-measure 21st Century Skills (collaboration, communication, and conduct)
  • completely changed the behavior of this group of students  and saved my sanity!

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Points for Classroom Management in High School?

Points and classroom managementThis year I had a particularity  challenging class.  After just the first week of school I was desperate for a solution.  

The class was at the end of the day, they were tired from being at school for eight hours and just wanted out. Students consisted of mostly boys who were best of friends and loved to goof around, with no regard for me or the other students in the room.

All of my usual classroom management methods and relationship building was just not working and I could clearly see this class was slipping out of control.

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