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November 2017
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  1. Top 12 Ways Teachers Can Rock Summer Break

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    With summer just around the corner, it’s the time to make sure those sunny school-free days don’t pass us by. Let’s make the most of this summer without blowing out the budget.

    Here are my top 12 ways to rock your summer break on a budget!

    Summer Break Staycations 

    Now is the time to make the most of your hometown and explore your own backyard.

    Step 1: Set aside a day or two with your family or friends to dedicate to your hometown adventure! Otherwise, you’ll all get caught up in your own thing.

    Step 2: Choose your destination.

    • Did you want to go hiking in the mountains? Check out national parks or other local landmarks for a day trip.
    • Did you want to go to DC? Then hit up your local museums and other historical sites.
    • Did you want to go to the beach? Take a blanket and picnic over to the park on a sunny day and soak up those rays. To go above and beyond, find a park with a sand volleyball court and get the full effect!

    Step 3: Have a blast!

    Keep Learning Alive

    Though you may not be ready to say good bye to summer, that doesn’t mean you don’t miss your students and the way learning encapsulates your life during the school year.

    Get your fix by creating fun learning opportunities for the kids in your life. These steamy days are perfect for lemonade stands, family book club or field trips to museums, aquariums, or local nature preserves.

    Plan Lunches with Your 9-5 Friends

    Summer weekends get packed way too quickly. Take advantage of your weekday freedom to get back in touch. It’s a nice escape from the office for them and an entertaining afternoon for you.

    Become a Baseball Junkie

    With 162 games in the MLB system, America’s pastime is all but impossible to escape and way more fun than your typical full-time job. Why not embrace that fact and inject some hard-hitting excitement into your summer? Hop on the bandwagon for your local team.

    If you’re not usually baseball fan, it’s a good excuse for an afternoon in the sun or evening under the lights, not to mention the tasty snacks. Local, semi-pro teams also offer the same good times for a much smaller price tag.

    Enjoy the Outdoors and All It Does For You

    • Stop reading this post immediately and GO OUTSIDE!
    • I don’t think you don’t understand quite how pale and unhealthy you look [most of the year]. Most teachers I know don’t get nearly enough sunlight, fresh air, or exercise; they’re stuck in windowless caverns and rarely if ever have the opportunity to walk outside (let alone leave campus) while the sun’s still up.
    • More sunlight benefits you physically and helps ward off depression. More importantly, getting outside gives you a great opportunity to get some exercise and play with your family and friends, the benefits of which are immeasurable. So while I can’t blame you for wanting to peruse the high quality articles here on I Want to Teach Forever, you need to get out from behind the computer and spend at least part of this break outdoors.” ~ Read the rest of Mr. D’s List .

    Get Back into an Exercise Routine

    Summer is a great time to get back into walking, biking, jogging or just playing outside with your kids. Getting active now will make it easier to keep it up when you go back to school in the fall.

    When the summer hits the heat wave season, it’s all about swimming, boating and anything activities you can do in the water.

    And remember: a rockin’ playlist leads to a happy, healthy workout.

    Take Advantage of Free Festivities

    Put together a calendar of all the fun, free events around town so there’s always an option when you find some glorious free time.

    You may find yourself enjoying movies and concerts in the park, street fairs, bike trails or other fun favorites you always talk about doing, but never get around to.

    Read Your Way Through Book Shelf Backup

    Reading is such a relaxing yet guilt-free way to unwind. Anytime I actually have time to read though, I forget about all the amazing books on my to-read list and end up drudging through whatever’s lying around.

    A little tip I picked up recently: Saving wishlists on Amazon or Goodreads.com can be a great way to keep track of books you want to read when you have more time.

    Make Progress in Professional Development

    Figure out what continuing education you need for your credential/license and take care of a few hours when you’re not so busy with school work.

    Many districts offer PD opportunities during the summer. It’s tempting to stay as far away from school as possible, but you’ll be happy you gave up an afternoon when you had the chance.To find other free or inexpensive PD options, check out Cheap Ways to Sharpen Your Teaching Skills This Summer.

    Spruce Up Your Happy Home

    If you’re anything like my HDTV-junkie friends and family, you’ve always got big plans for how to make your home or yard even more amazing than it already it. Tackle a small project of two while you’ve got the time.

    Don’t be afraid to use your teacher status to get discount. Home Depot, the Container Store and Lowes all have some kind of discount in place for educators. You may be able to find deals on outdoor furniture and décor.

    A tip I picked up from the best DIY gal around: always check the pre-mixed paint options customers didn’t want at your local home stores. If you see a color you like, you’ll get it at a big discount.

    Here are more Cheap Yet Chic Home Improvement Ideas the Chicago Tribune gathered from design experts.

    Get a Head Start on the School Year

    Taking a few hours a week to think about the school year, plan your classroom setup or prepare the first few units will make the transition in August/September that much easier.

    For some more tips to keep those teaching muscles from atrophying over the summer, check out Teacher Training in the Off-Season.

    Volunteer / Local Break Out

    The crazy day-to-day requirements of teaching make volunteer work seem nearly impossible, but summer break is a great time to jump in.

    Try volunteering for local programs through your park or religious organization. For more excitement, volunteer with a local Habitat for Humanity program (as a group or an individual) to really feel like you’ve accomplished something. It’s also so different from teachers that it won’t feel like another day at work. For the rest of my life, I can say I built a flight of stairs in someone’s home. That’s pretty cool.

    A Nice Summer Snore

    My favorite thing to do on breaks: Sleep, sleep and sleep some more!

    That also includes rest for those of you who are working over the summer or whose summers at home with the kids are more taxing as your days in the classroom. This is your chance to take a break, so DO IT!!

     

    By: Ishan

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  2. Mathematics, Everywhere for Everyone

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    The idea of “learning math” often conjures the image of a student hunched over his desk, solving problems using a set formula he copied down from his teacher. Math, we tend to think, is a strict set of algorithms, practices, and rules — all emanating from inside the classroom. New... Comment
  3. Effective Co-Teaching Strategies

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    With inclusion on the rise, teachers are sharing classrooms more than ever and becoming an effective co-teaching partner is a teaching essential. With the onset of a new school year right around the corner, meanwhile, it’s imperative to begin devising and building positive co-teaching strategies. A co-teaching team typically includes... 1
  4. Google for Teachers: 100+ Tricks

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    From super-effective search tricks to Google for teachers tools to tricks and tips for using Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar, these Google for teachers tricks will surely save you some precious time when using technology in the classroom. Google for Teachers Search Tricks These search tricks can save you time when... 2
  5. Top 12 Ways to Increase Student Participation

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    Call it “active learning,” or “classroom participation” — every teacher wants to know how to motivate students to participate, and how to nurture more involved students and fewer apathetic ones. With a little extra planning, that is possible. Below are four common reasons students don’t participate and techniques to solve... 1
  6. Nine Characteristics of a Great Teacher

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    Years ago, as a young, eager student, I would have told you that a great teacher was someone who provided classroom entertainment and gave very little homework. Needless to say, after many years of K-12 administrative experience and giving hundreds of teacher evaluations, my perspective has changed. My current position... 1
  7. Keys to Effective Parental Involvement

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    In this comprehensive and insightful article on parental involvement in Review of Educational Research, University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign psychology professor Eva Pomerantz and graduate students Elizabeth Moorman and Scott Litwack ask a provocative question: Is more necessarily better? The conventional wisdom is that increasing parents’ involvement in children’s academic lives is... Comment
  8. What makes a great teacher?

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    What makes a great teacher? Teaching is one of the most complicated jobs today. It demands broad knowledge of subject matter, curriculum, and standards; enthusiasm, a caring attitude, and a love of learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques; and a desire to make a difference in the lives... 1

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