Classroom Management

Bitmoji Classrooms: Why Teachers Are Buzzing About Them

—Image courtesy of Morgan Miller/Bitmoji via Twitter

If social media posts are any indication, Bitmoji classrooms are becoming a teacher obsession. Since so many teachers are planning to “return” only to online classrooms in the fall, they’re building these colorful virtual environments for their students featuring avatar versions of themselves. 

In thousands of posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, teachers are sharing the classrooms they’ve built. Using the Bitmoji app to create their avatars, and other tools like Google or Canva to build the classroom backdrop, they’re making welcoming spaces, complete with colorful rugs and posters, that can serve as

Read More

The 8 Things Teachers Know for Certain When Schools Reopen

First Person

—francescoch/iStock

The idea of reopening schools is rife with uncertainty. Here’s what teachers can hold onto

By

Casey M. Bethel

COVID-19 is taking a toll on everyone, but the pandemic is an especially tense time for teachers who are grappling with a separate list of concerns. You can tell from the questions being posted on teacher-discussion pages: How and when will schools open fully? How prepared will students be to learn when they do? With the way last semester ended, how much did students miss? With no camps this summer, how much did they slide?

Did any of

Read More

Want to Maximize Student Learning When Schools Reopen? Minimize Classroom Interruptions – Teaching Now

During even the most normal school year, there are a lot of little interruptions to teaching and learning each day—a tardy student walking into class, an announcement over the loudspeaker, a call to the classroom phone. 

Those interruptions can add up to the loss of between 10 and 20 days of instructional time, a new study finds. And as schools across the country prepare to welcome back students in the fall after a disrupted spring, they will need to address what is expected to be significant learning loss. Reducing external interruptions in the classroom could be one way to

Read More

Can Teachers Really Do Their Jobs in Masks?

Students raise their fingers to answer their teacher Sandrine Albiez, wearing a face mask, in a school in Strasbourg, eastern France May 14.

—Jean-Francois Badias/AP

There’s a lot of uncertainty about how schools will eventually return to in-person instruction. But in many places, teachers will likely be encouraged—or required—to wear masks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all school employees wear cloth face coverings, and many school and district leaders are incorporating that guidance into their reopening plans. Some states, including California and Texas, are providing millions of masks for teachers in an attempt to

Read More

Q&A Collections: Classroom-Management Advice – Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo

During the summer, I will be sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past nine years. You can see all those collections from the first eight years here.

Here are the ones I’ve posted so far:

This Year’s Most Popular Q&A Posts

Race & Racism in Schools

School Closures & the Coronavirus Crisis

Today’s theme is on Classroom-Management Advice. You can see the list following this excerpt from one of them:

* ‘It’s Vital to Focus on Student Engagement’

Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Rita Platt, Gabriella Corales, Leticia Skae-Jackson, and Madeline Whitaker Good offer their best classroom-management

Read More

Teaching in the Fall: Get Ready to Meet Students Where They Are

First Person

By

Ariel Sacks

As this extraordinary school year wraps up, with all its chaos and trauma, and many unknowns swirling about the future, one big question looms: Where should we focus our attention as we prepare for the coming school year?

People are understandably concerned about academic backslide. But before we rush to catch students up to prequarantine goals, we need to understand what’s happened and where it leaves our students. Our job has always been to meet students where they are, never more so than now.

Normal Is Gone

Before we begin planning for students, we must

Read More

Instruction During COVID-19: Less Learning Time Drives Fears of Academic Erosion

Natasja Billiau’s two children, Victor, 8, and Anna Laura, 5, study at the kitchen table in their Seattle area home during the coronavirus school building shutdowns. Billiau devised a learning schedule for her children that closely matches what they would have done at school.

—Natasja Billiau via AP

The picture of instruction that has emerged since the coronavirus forced students and teachers into remote learning is clear and troubling: There’s less of it, and the children with the greatest need are getting the least. These dynamics carry serious implications as schools plan to reopen in the fall.

But even though

Read More

Artificial Intelligence in K-12: The Right Mix for Learning or a Bad Idea?

—Getty

Last year, officials at the Montour school district in western Pennsylvania approached band director Cyndi Mancini with an idea: How about using artificial intelligence to teach music?

Mancini was skeptical.

“As soon as I heard AI, I had this panic,” she said. “All I thought about were these crazy robots that can think for themselves.”

There were no robots. Just a web application that uses AI to build original instrumental tracks from a library of prerecorded samples after a user selects a few parameters.

Equipped with Chromebooks, Mancini’s students could program mood and genre, manipulate the tempo or key,

Read More

How Educators Can Use Artificial Intelligence as a Teaching Tool

—Getty

Deb Norton spends her days helping teachers in Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Area school district get more comfortable with technology tools they’re using to engage students. A few years ago, she started seeing increasing mentions of artificial intelligence. Around then, the International Society for Technology in Education asked her to lead a course on the uses of artificial intelligence in the K-12 classroom.

She was initially intrigued when she saw students light up at the mention of artificial intelligence. It soon became clear to her that they were already experiencing AI in their daily lives, with tools like Instagram filters or

Read More