A to Z Challenge: The blogging kicks off tomorrow!

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As a global provider of professional learning solutions for the education sector, Teachers Media International is proud to partner with innovative educators from around the world.

For the A to Z Blogging Challenge this month, we’re excited to showcase some of this amazing work, from shared best-practice videos and articles, through to tips and strategies for implementing new ideas in your classroom—and so much more.

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]We’ll be blogging every day throughout April—except Sundays—and we hope to see you here, starting tomorrow! Be sure to follow the blog so you don’t miss a post. We look forward to your comments and thoughts as we travel the globe together—from Afghanistan and Australia through to Zimbabwe.

For full details about the A to Z Blogging Challenge, click here. And then grab your suitcase, because we’re about to embark on an educational 26-day world tour!

~ The Teachers Media Team

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Is your school emergency management plan up to par?

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Photo by Karl Baron/Creative Commons

Recent events around the world have forced schools to re-examine their emergency plans in the event of a security threat, such as a bomb threat or an act of terrorism.

This kind of event not only impacts the school, administration, students and the community, but it also has a profound impact on parents—and communication to them is critical.

In a new article published on the Teachers Media International website, author and educator Sam Sapuppo outlines the seven essential elements of managing a school emergency. From the development of an effective communication system, through to the important review process, Sapuppo’s tips will help to identify any weak points in your school emergency management plan.

What emergency procedures are in place at your school? When was the last time it was reviewed?

To read Sapuppo’s seven tips in full, head over to the Teachers Media International website, where you can access this article and thousands of online best-practice resources to complement your professional learning.

~ The Teachers Media Team

 

Should evolution be taught in lower grades?

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In a new article posted to the Teachers Media International website, two senior lecturers from the University of Worcester explore the topic of teaching evolution to younger students.

While acknowledging that it’s a potentially contentious topic perhaps best reserved for secondary students, the professors—and authors of the new book, Key Concepts in Primary Science—provide a compelling case, with tips on how to overcome some of the potential barriers.

Suggested activities include encouraging students to study their ancestry, or looking at how humans have promoted advantageous traits through selective breeding of plants and animals.

“At the heart of our book, not only will you find a focus on subject knowledge, but also ideas on how to make science practical and exciting for children,” say the authors. “We hope that when you read it, it will inspire you to follow suit. We hope it will help to inform you as a reader to promote science as a valued part of learning.”

To read the full article, please visit the Teachers Media International website, where you can access more than 3,500 best practice resources including videos, articles, professional learning packs and more.

Are you teaching evolution to your younger students? What advice would you share?

~ The Teachers Media Team 

Note: This article is intended for Grade 1-9 teachers and speaks to helping younger students understand how living things have adapted over time. 

Story starter: What a character!

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Creating characters is arguably one of the most important aspects of storytelling. Sure, plot is important, but even with a compelling story, readers will only be interested in “what happens next” if they care about the characters at the heart of the action.

thFor your primary class, consider breaking down the characteristics of a well-known fictional character—the wolf from Red Riding Hood or Cinderella, for example. Use photographs to help students identify key physical characteristics, and then further brainstorm to include other aspects of characterization such as family, occupation, geographical location, etc.

Now, using this character sketch, ask students to write a paragraph (or more) in answer to the following question:

What was this character doing the day before the actual story begins?

In the case of Red Riding Hood, for example, students may consider what the wolf was doing the day before he found Red Riding Hood in the woods—perhaps spending a few hours at the dentist polishing up those LARGE teeth?

thFor older students, consider brainstorming a new character as a class, and then having students individually create that character’s back story by writing a few creative paragraphs about how the character might react to a certain situation.

For instance, yesterday, your character witnessed a bank robbery. Based on the characteristics you have created as a class, each student may have a different creative interpretation of how the character responded—did he chase after the robber? Did she go straight to the police? Ignore the situation altogether? 

And you never know, these character backstories may just spark a new fictional adventure. Let us know how it goes!

~ The Teachers Media Team