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Posts from the ‘Teaching Tips’ Category

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

San Miguel de Gualdape was the first European settlement in North America. It was founded in Georgia in 1526, 81 years before Jamestown. St. Augustine, Florida was founded in 1565 and is the oldest city in the United States. Hispanic Americans have been making contributions to life in the U.S. ever since.

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month, which runs September 15 through October 15, with the following lessons, activities, videos, and more.

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Back to School Guide for Educators

Classes are starting soon at schools across Connecticut. NEA has compiled a list of articles and resources to help you—whether you’re a new or veteran educator—get ready for the fall semester.

Classroom Setup

Creative Classrooms on a Budget
Take a walk through the elementary, middle, and high school classrooms of three DIY divas for ideas on how to create your own inspiring, efficient, and thrifty space.

Three Tips for a Welcoming Classroom
Is making connections with students on your daily to do list? The most powerful thing we do each day in the classroom is not on a checklist, and it can’t be measured or analyzed.

Classroom Setups
Mastering the art of arrangement can make all the difference in your classroom. Read more

Watching the Summer Night Sky

Brush up on your stargazing skills this summer, and enjoy humankind’s first TV, the night sky. These lessons, activities, and resources will help you locate and identify celestial objects with equipment as basic as your own eyes.

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Keeping Kids Cool at School

There is a heat advisory for parts of Connecticut this afternoon and, with temperatures forecasted to rise into the 90s, some schools are sending children home early today. For schools without air conditioning, these last, summer-like days present a challenge.

Connecticut state law does not set a maximum temperature for public school buildings. Many children are better off at home on a hot day, but when students don’t have air conditioning in their house or apartment, school can sometimes be the safer option.

If you’re struggling with today’s heat, Education World recommends keeping lights and electronics off when possible. Bring in a fan or two if you can and encourage students to sip water.

The website Peaceful Playgrounds offers information on keeping kids cool in school and on the playground. Read more

Read Across America in June!

To ward off the learning loss that many children experience during the summer, sharing books is a great way to launch reading and learning adventures in your own community. Encourage readers of all ages to pull on their reading suits!

For Younger Readers

OVER AND UNDER THE POND by Kate Messner and art by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle, 2017)

As a small black boy and his mother paddle across a pond, she describes the plants and animals that inhabit that world in, under, and around the water.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

Warm summer days are ideal for combining reading and outdoor exploration. Take readers Over and Under the Pond and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt with books by Kate Messner before heading out on your own ecosystem adventure. Provide kids with a notebook to serve as their nature journal where they can sketch and note their outdoor observations, their feelings about nature, and any research they are inspired to undertake about specific plants or animals. Read more

7 Techniques for Managing End-of-Year Stress

Although many people think the weeks leading up to summer break are a breeze for educators, it is, in fact, one of the most stressful times of the year.

“There’s an incredible amount of paperwork for teachers to do, and students often take advantage of that,” says educational consultant Angela Watson, who worked as a classroom teacher for 11 years. Getting it all done while maintaining control of the classroom can be a challenge—but it’s not impossible.

NEA Member Benefits has gathered 7 stress-relieving tips to help you greet summer vacation with your sanity intact.
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Summer Reading: Resources, Book Lists, and Activity Ideas

When it comes to summer, reading may not be the first thing—or even in the top ten things—kids have in mind! But reading can be the ideal summer activity. It’s fun, portable, can involve the whole family, and will help children academically.

These resources can help you put good books into kids’ hands and connect them to vibrant summer learning adventures. Read more

11 Resources for Teaching Flag Day

American FlagHistory of the Stars & Stripes

  • Flag Day Celebrated
    A brief description of Flag Day for students in grades K-5 with images and audio files.
  • Today in History: June 14th: Flag Day
    Text, images, songs, and links to additional resources for grades 6-12.
  • Our Flag ( PDF, 11.4 MB, 56 pgs.)
    A background resource with history and images of the flags of the United States and other historical flags, proportions and anatomy of the flag, flag laws and regulations, flag etiquette, images of state and territory flags, brief history of Flag Day, and more.
  • Flag Timeline
    An illustrated timeline of flags for 1775 to a proposed flag with 51 stars.

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Promoting Physical Fitness

Get active, stay fit, and have fun doing it with sports, games, and activities described in the following lesson plans and resources.

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Students Uncover, Share Facts About Immigration

Long before #ProtectDreamers was trending, students in Amy Claffey’s Spanish classes at Old Saybrook High School were learning about the vast hurdles undocumented people face—and the misconceptions surrounding them in the communities where they live. In an effort to educate their school about immigrants from Mexico and Central America, Claffey’s students, with help from high school library/media specialist Christine Bairos, completed a project that brought greater awareness of immigration issues to their peers and the wider community.

With help from teachers Christine Bairos (left) and Amy Claffey (right), Old Saybrook students pursue questions about immigration.

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