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6 Ways to Heat up Your Classroom When it’s Cold Outside

Are your students unmotivated this time of year? So are mine…In fact, so am I!

For many students, February can be a difficult month. The holidays are no more than a The Teacher's Academyfaded memory and summer vacation is still far off the future. Add to that, freezing cold temperatures and short daytime hours, and often you are left with a classroom of tired, unmotivated kids. This is the time of the year I need a kick in the butt, an exciting venture, a new trick up my sleeve. Why not try something new and outside the box with your students?

70% of High School Drop Outs Cite Lack of Motivation as Major Cause

This lack of motivation is not only a hindrance to your students’ success at school, but can be a real danger to their futures. When surveyed, 70 percent of high school dropouts reported lack of motivation as being a cause for dropping out (Bridgeland, Dilulio and Morison, 2006). What are some things that we, as teachers, can do to bring back that excitement into our classrooms?

 1. Empower!

Give students more control. Kids are much more likely to be excited about an activity when they are empowered. Hold classroom meetings, ask for feedback, engage your students in the process of learning. Project Based Learning is a great way to get students The Teacher's Academyinvolved in a meaningful way. This method of learning is centered around a question or a challenge that students work on for an extended period of time. When done effectively, PBL can change the entire dynamic of your classroom. Your students will learn to work together, solve problems, and take charge of their own learning. Teach Thought provides links to a dozen online resources that will inspire and assist you in making Project Based learning a reality in your classroom.

2. Mindfulness leads to focus.

It’s not only the kids who feel the winter blues. Many adults feel it as well. Enthusiasm is infectious! Being upbeat and passionate about your lessons is one of the greatest motivators you can give your students. But finding that enthusiasm this time of year is the hard part. Take three minutes a day- with or without your students- and complete a guided meditation, write in a journal or do one good deed. These mindful acts pave the way for success both short and long term. The Teacher’s Academy offers a course on how to incorporate mindfulness exercises in the classroom. February might be a good time to look into it!

 3. Move!

One of the most difficult things about this time of year is the lack of exercise. Recess may be limited to indoor play, and after school sports may not be an option. The lack of movement can affect kids’ energy levels and motivation. Find creative ways to get your kids moving. Infuse today’s lesson with a “Brain Break.” Incorporate dancing and/or stretches into your routines. Take short walks around the campus when the sun is at its brightest. Or, simply take a field trip to the window to play a quick game of “I Spy.” A recent trend that has already hit the corporate world and now gaining popularity in schools to replace chairs with exercise balls. Many teachers have found that exercise balls keep kids more alert and ready to learn. Check out Go Noodles for some other great ideas to get your kids hopping!

 4. Performance Arts

Music, story-telling, role play, visual arts and drama are enormously helpful in motivating students. A study by Shirley Brice Heath of Stanford University found that young people The Teacher's Academywho participate in the arts regularly are much more likely to win awards for school attendance and and to be recognized for academic achievement. Teaching and the performance arts go hand in hand. Want more ways to infuse performance arts into the classroom? Check out The Teacher’s Academy course and earn professional development hours for your time.

 5. Make ‘em work!

Every opportunity should be taken to make students feel like part of the classroom community. Being responsible for daily classroom chores helps give kids a sense of purpose and commitment. Feeling that deeper connection can be very helpful in motivating The Teacher's Academystudents to come to school and do their best, even when they are not feeling up to it. Scholastic offers some unique ideas on how to make classroom jobs an engaging part of the school day.

 6. Be Encouraging!

The truth is, no matter what you do to make your classroom a stimulating environment, there will still be rough days. Whether there are difficulties at home, academic struggles, troubles with friends, or just the winter blues… students will sometimes be so entrenched in their own issues that it can seem impossible to motivate them. A warm, positive attitude and encouraging voice are sometimes the only things that get students through the roughest days. Display students’ work, recognize improvement, and make note of their successes, both big and small.

Teachers need a boost too!

Winter can be a difficult time, not only for students, but for teachers as well. However, as adults, we understand that no matter how unmotivated we may feel, we must remain accountable. One of the biggest responsibilities for teachers is fulfilling professional development requirements. Driving to take courses after work or on the weekends during the winter can be draining. The Teacher's AcademyLet The Teacher’s Academy make this task a little easier for you. Our helpful courses can be taken from home, at a time that is convenient for you. All of our courses fulfill Act 48 requirements and are accepted in most states. Contact us today and let us help you achieve your professional development goals quickly and effectively so that you can reserve your energy for the important work of teaching.

The Teacher’s Academy is Heading to Hershey!

Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference Welcomes The Teacher’s Academy

Hey, Teachers!  It is that time of year again!  The Teacher’s Academy is super excited to attend the Pennsylvania Educational Technology and Expo ConferenceThe Teacher's Academy! We love learning about the new educational technologies available (or soon to be available) and getting inspired by motivational speakers!  The exhibits, workshops and keynote speakers give us an opportunity to recharge and gather new ideas for the following year.   It’s also the perfect chance to celebrate all you hard-working teachers. This year we will be giving away several inspirational prizes and promoting our Teacher Feature opportunities.

 Free books for your class library- Booth 122!

As part of our out-reach program, The Teacher’s Academy will be handing out free books to teachers who stop by our booth.  We have gathered gently used books from classrooms that have gone digital, teachers who stacked bookshave left the industry and other donations.  Our hope is that these lovely treasures find new homes in the hands of curious readers all across the tri-state area.  We have a limited number of books so visit booth #122 as soon as you can on Monday!

30+ Winners in The Teacher’s Academy Drawing!

PETE & C is the place for sharing ideas, getting inspired and putting what works for others into your own practice. That’s why this year we are rewarding teachers for their ideas!

To celebrate teachers, we will be giving away three (3) $50 Amazon Gift Cards and thirty (30) light-hearted, inspirational copies of A Tribute to Teachers, signed by Richard Lederer.  To be entered into the drawing, simply fill out our postcard and write your favorite teaching practices, a bit of advice or a techy idea that works in your classroom!  After the conference, EVERYONE’S ideas will be featured in our upcoming blog, “After the PETE: Advice and Ideas from PA teachers.” We hope to encourage as many teachers as possible to participate in sharing their ideas and winning prizes!

Do you have what it takes to be a Teacher Feature?

The Teacher’s Academy celebrates teachers every month by sharing their cutting edge practices with thousands of other teachers across the nation.  Our blog post, “Teacher Feature” has been an amazing way to transfer expert strategies, resources and tips, from inside the classroom, to teachers everywhere.  So far, we have encountered teachers who use social media for enrichment purposes, cope with the loss of their arts program, share the very best free tech resources, use the world outside to experience real science and much more. We know teachers are the most creative and innovative thinkers and above Teacher Featureall, love to share their ideas.

Why nominate myself for a Teacher Feature?

This year, we will be inviting all of the teachers we meet at the PETE conference, to nominate teachers for our 2016-2017 Teacher Feature blog.  Why not nominate yourself or someone else for this great honor?

  • Unique strategies and approaches to teaching and classroom management will be shared with others.
  • Your story is likely someone else’s. Sharing it will only help other teachers looking for inspiration.
  • You work hard and a little (positive) media publicity never hurt anyone! Once the blog is written, you can read, make edits and changes and have the final say before it gets posted! Then, we hope you share your publication with your peers. People should know the impact you have on your students!

Professional Development from The Teacher’s Academycategory26

The Teacher’s Academy celebrates teachers. As teachers ourselves, we understand how difficult it is to find relevant professional development that’s convenient and affordable. Check out our courses (written by teachers) to help satisfy your PD needs. All of our courses Act 48 Approved. As a matter of fact, you may already know us in PA as Act 48 Academy!

The PETE conference in Hershey, PA is an incredible event for anyone in education.  Meet new educators from Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Scranton, Allentown, Pittsburgh, to name a few, and share your teaching experiences! Being in Hershey makes it that much sweeter!

So, stop by booth #122 and meet the hard-working PA teachers who want to help make these few days in Hershey fun (and rewarding) for you!  Can’t wait to see you there! (Tell us you read the blog and there’s something special in it for you!)