What will your #1st5days be like this year?

Welcome back! You’re doing amazing.

#1st5days icon: which word will define your start to the new school year?Oh those heady #1st5days of school. So much shrieking, so much laughter — and students to contend with as well. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran, new to the classroom or somewhere in between, we’ve gathered some resources you can draw on as you jump back into the year.

As always, let’s start with students. Here are 5 resources for getting to know your students.

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Summer reading 2018

Get your red hot summer reads right here!

summer reading 2018Or your chilling-in-the-AC-far-away-from-sunlight summer reads. We don’t judge. For educators, summer is a time to relax, recharge and maybe fit some professional development in, but honestly, not til like, August, easily*.

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How to plan a service learning project in 5 stages

Leland & Gray lead the way

a model for service learningLeland & Gray Union Middle and High School, in Townshend, VT, used a popular 5-stage framework in planning their service learning: investigation, preparation, implementation, reflection, and celebration.

And they used this framework to improve their school’s infrastructure in powerful ways.

Outdoor classroom, anyone?

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Why and how to teach education for sustainability

Teaching to heal the world

place-based learning“How can we improve the systems we’re a part of?”

That’s the question my team posed to our 4th- through 6th-grade students last spring at The Cornwall School, in Cornwall VT. It was the start of a deep dive into education for sustainability.

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Evolving student roles in a big (BIG) PBL project

As Dorset’s coop dreams became a reality, students gathered new skills

real world project-based learningWhat does it look like to break one enormous project into several project-based learning units?

For Dorset students to go from dreaming about fresh eggs to actually building a chicken coop required two strategies: breaking the PBL into phases, and asking students to assume different roles along the way.

Let’s break down just how Dorset’s chicken coop project stayed true to its PBL roots and manageable for students and educators.

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How to create empathy with your community

Meet the Compassionate Faces of the Shires

community-based learning the humans of burkeHow do your students recognize compassion? Do they recognize it in the faces of your community?

In Manchester VT, one educator set about teaching her students to recognize and honor compassion in community members.
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The power of documentation in meaningful learning

Exercises for an LMS

year-end reflection tools and activitiesThis past spring, a small group of Stowe Middle School students gathered to help their teachers and peers solve a problem. As students worked on independent interest projects, they periodically reflected on their learning. All were interested in finding ways to make this reflection meaningful, for both students and teachers.

But what does meaningful reflection look like? And how can we scaffold exercises that create meaningful reflection?

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Welcome to your in-school internship

What work looks like at St. Albans City School

a model for service learningStudents at St Albans City School, in St. Albans VT,  have the ability to apply for in-school intern positions such as Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Director of Communication and a whole lot more. What would it look like if your students could do an internship right there in school?

Here’s what it would look like.

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How to build up STEAM

Making time for making at Ottauquechee

makerspaces and project-based learningSTEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics — gives students the opportunity to create. To make. Maybe to fail. To try again! And to make something that improves a condition, solves a problem, or makes the world a better place. But if your school currently doesn’t offer a STEAM time, it can be daunting to figure out where to begin. And that’s where we pick up our story of Ottauquechee School, in Quechee VT, where we used Design Thinking, a portable makerspace and one amazing library space to figure out how STEAM Time could work at this school.

Welcome to Ottauquechee STEAM Time.

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The Importance of Eating Earnest

What food education looks like in Cornwall VT

The 21st Century Classroom podcastIntegrating food studies into schools leads to thinking about interconnectedness in other ares of study. But don’t take my word for it: meet some amazing students from The Cornwall School, in Cornwall VT, who definitely won’t be surviving on Pop Tarts, ramen or mac and cheese when they grow up.

“My favorite root vegetable is probably the beet because you can do so many fun things with it. In a beet salad, you usually have thinly sliced beets with some Feta cheese on it, and sometimes, you’ll add some brussels sprouts or something, like maybe a hard-boiled egg or two on top. Another great thing to do with beets is to put it on a pizza, so pizza crust with a little Maple syrup on top with beets, Feta cheese on it.”

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