Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Teaching Tips’ Category

Educator Resources from the Connecticut Science Center

Teachers have rapidly had to learn a variety of new online platforms, tools, and strategies—and CEA’s member benefits partner, the Connecticut Science Center, is supporting your professional learning needs through a variety of online and social media platforms.

Educators’ Hub on Facebook
The Science Center has started a new Facebook group specifically with teachers in mind. The new Educators’ Hub Facebook group is the place to go to meet fellow educators while learning, collaborating, and just being social. Read more

More Free Online Training for CEA Members

Sign up for one or all of CEA’s upcoming webinars via the links below. To receive notice of future online training for CEA members, subscribe to BlogCEA.

‘The Big Seven’: Strategies for Healthy Emotion Regulation in Uncertain Times

Thursday, April 9
4 to 5pm

In uncertain times, it is easy to feel out of balance emotionally. Join Dr. Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, for a webinar on helpful emotion regulation strategies. Dr. Brackett will discuss how we can address some of the unhelpful ways we deal with our emotions and use evidence-based strategies to achieve greater overall well-being.

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence conducts research and offers training that supports people of all ages in developing emotional intelligence and the skills to thrive and contribute to society. The Center works with district and school leaders and educators to support the systemic implementation of social and emotional learning (SEL) and foster SEL skills in all stakeholders.

The goal of the Center’s work is leveraging emotions to create healthier and more equitable, innovative, and compassionate communities. RULER is the school-based approach to SEL developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence that is being implemented in over 200 Connecticut schools.

Register now> Read more

Keep Your Video Conference Secure With These Tips to Prevent ‘Zoom-Bombing’

Video conferencing can be a great tool to connect with students during these unprecedented times, but you need to make sure you are taking steps to keep you and your students safe.

A number of schools around the country have reported incidents of “Zoom-bombing,” where uninvited individuals have joined a class video conference and yelled profanities or hate speech.

The FBI recommends taking the following steps to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats:

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
  • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.
  • Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”
  • Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.
  • Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.

Read more

The Etiquette of Video Conferencing: Teacher Shares How to Set Clear Expectations for Secondary Students

Stratford physics teacher Kristen Record after a morning video conference with her AP students.

As learning has moved online in many districts, especially among secondary students, there has been a learning curve for both students and teachers. Video conferencing tools can enhance student-teacher interactions, but only if proper steps are taken to manage security issues and make sure students know how to use the platform appropriately.

Stratford teacher Kristen Record, a physics teacher at Bunnell High School, says she has found video conferencing to be a great teaching tool, given the circumstances, at the high school level. “I get to see my kids’ expressions and have real-time interactions and discussions. It’s also really important for students’ emotional well-being to have time with their class community.”

Video conferencing has been so successful for the 2011 Connecticut Teacher of the Year partly because, before launching into her first online lesson, she made a point to teach students both how to use the platform and the proper etiquette for video conferencing. Read more

10 Free Things for National Nutrition Month

Emphasize the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. Our recommended resources include teaching guides, lesson plans, best practices, tip sheets, online learning games, educational videos, posters, book lists, coloring pages and more.

Grades preK-12

  1. School Breakfast Week
    The first week of March is National School Breakfast Week. The NEA Foundation supports Breakfast in the Classroom and partners with organizations to provide grants for Breakfast in the Classroom programs.
  2. eatright.org
    Provides information on food, health and fitness and sections for kids, parents, men, women, and seniors.

Read more

March is Music in Our Schools Month

March is Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) website provides ideas for how to participate in MIOSM and promote support for school music. A menu offers downloadable MIOSM logos for web and print use, and activity ideas.

How to Incorporate Music in Your Subject suggests how teachers can include music in math, foreign language, social studies, and language arts classes.

Lesson Plans

ReadWriteThink.org has a number of K-12 lesson plans suitable for MIOSM, as do ArtsAlive and ArtsEdge. Here are some sample lessons and activities:

Free Resources for Teaching About St. Patrick’s Day

Check out these curriculum resources for all grade levels for exploring Irish culture and history. Resources include videos, arts and crafts, printables, worksheets, interactive maps, and tutorials.

Help your students learn about and explore Irish culture, history and traditions, including Irish folktales literature, recipes, Celtic art and mythology, the Great Potato Famine, and more.

For Grades K-5

1. Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato (8:08) 
An Irish folktale. A leprechaun offers Jamie O’Rourke the biggest potato in the world if Jamie will let him go. (Grades K-2)

2. History of St. Patrick’s Day
Nine brief videos covering the history of St. Patrick’s Day and associated traditions. (Grades K-5) Read more

Women’s History Month in the Classroom

“The First Picket Line – College Day in the Picket Line. Photograph. Feb. 1917. From Library of Congress: National Woman’s Party records, Manuscript Division. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/97500299

The theme for Women’s History Month in 2020 is “Valiant Women of the Vote.”

Honor the women who fought to win the right to vote a century ago, and for those who still fight to win that right for others.

Resources for:

Presidents’ Day Activities for the Classroom

For this Presidents’ Day, observed February 17, celebrate the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, their contributions to the United States, and the lives and contributions of all our 45 Presidents.

Resources for:

Ten Free Things for Valentine’s Day

  1. Valentine’s Day Coloring Pages & Bingo Sheets
    Valentine-themed cards, coloring pages, and 10 different Bingo games! (Grades K-3)
  2. Free printable Valentine’s Day Coloring Pages
    Add a little color to Valentine’s Day with our free coloring pages—for kids and adults!
    (Grades K-3)
  3. Heart Bookmark
    Make a bookmark template with card stock and Valentine bookmarks from decorative paper. (Grades 2-4)
  4. The Story of St. Valentine (PDF icon PDF,  22 KB, 4 pgs.)
    The legend of St. Valentine with reading comprehension questions and a brief essay assignment. (Grades 3-5)
  5. Crayon Hearts
    Make Valentine hearts to hang in a window with wax paper, crayons, and an iron. (Grades 4-6)
  6. Valentine’s Day
    An archive of art activities. (Grades K-12)
  7. How To Make A Heart-Shaped Garland
    Festoon your classroom with a Valentine’s Day garland. (Grades 6-8)
  8. DIY Double Knot Bracelet
    An instructional video. (3:44)  (Grades K-12)
  9. Valentine’s Day Facts: Gifts, History, and Love Science
    A brief history of Valentine’s Day from its less than tender beginnings in Ancient Rome to the big business it has become. (Grades 6-12)
  10. Valentine’s Day
    Twelve short videos on the history of Valentine’s Day; chocolate; the science of attraction, kissing and love; and, more. (Grades 10-12)

Bonus

  1. St Valentine’s Day Massacre (17:53)
    The History Detectives investigate a shotgun possibly used at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. This episode looks at the contributions of one of the pioneers of ballistic science and includes additional video on weapons dating and ballistics. (Grades 6-12)