8 tips for creating classroom routines and norms

classroom routines and normsThere is no tired like teachers at the beginning (or end) of the school year are tired. Establishing routines, procedures, community and trust takes time and lots (and lots!) of energy.

How can  you create classroom routines and norms so the class feels safe, comfortable, happy and ready for learning? Here are eight ideas.

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How proficient are you with proficiency-based learning?

#vted weighs in again on twitter

proficiency-based learningIs your school implementing proficiency-based learning?

It’s an idea that’s taking hold all over, so some folks from Vermont’s education community wrestled with the opportunities and challenges presented by implementing proficiency-based learning.

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Get #ready2launch your team this year

New ways to approach teaming

ways to approach teamingHave you every showed up to in-service wondering what the new initiatives for the year will be? Or wondered how to continue to meet the demands of the district and school while balancing the the needs of 21st century young adolescents?

*takes a deep breath*

The answer, I suggest, is teaming, but with a new focus.

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Meet @ThisIsVTED

A twitter showcase of amazing Vermont schools

@ThisIsVTEDWish you could see more of the innovative ways Vermont students and educators are changing learning? Have difficulty finding a full year to travel around the state?

Let twitter help. With @ThisIsVTED.

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Service Learning 101: a guide for busy teachers

How to get started with service learning

#ready2launch service learningService learning can play a key role in middle level curriculum, yet it can seem daunting to many educators. But it’s so rewarding for students and valuable to the community, and most of all, easy to get started with.

Let’s take a look.

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(Re) Designing PLPs with students

What Vermont students really think about personal learning plans

plp_redesignPut 47 middle-level students together, challenge them to think differently about ways to create effective, relevant and meaningful Personalized Learning Plans, and watch the magic happen.

This past summer, we did exactly that.

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3 ways to create a student-led open house

Student leadership at a school Open House? You betcha.

#ready2launch student-led open houseYou’ve heard of student-led conferences, but how about a Student-Led Open House? An idea so strange it just might work.

When we partner with young adolescents, we give them voice and choice. We know that is one of the best practices of middle level education. In theory, schools and teachers engage in this throughout the school experience. But let’s face it, sometimes giving up control can feel a little intimidating. Let’s look at 3 easy ways to move towards a student-led open house

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4 ways to partner with students around Genius Hour

1% teacher inspiration & 99% student-led

#ready2launchGenius Hour is a leap of faith in which educators set aside their most precious resource, time, for students to pursue their passions. It doesn’t get much more student-centered than that.

But there are actually several aspects of Genius Hour where students can be involved as partners to amp up the genius quotient.

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5 ways to partner with students in a makerspace

Whose Makerspace is it, anyway?

#ready2launchA Makerspace can take many forms, but fundamentally it should be a locus of student engagement and creativity.

So engage them from the start by turning over as much of the design and operation of your Makerspace as possible. Continue reading

Designing learning spaces for students

Create open, flexible, engaging spaces for active student learning.

#ready2launch flexible classroomsThe beginning of the school year! Desks, mailboxes, coat hooks labeled. Books organized, materials in bins. This task is often overlooked and underestimated in terms of time. How can you create a welcoming, flexible and inspired space? Here are some tips and ideas.

Just get some help dragging those desks around, okay?

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