Fidget spinners! Kids love them, but teachers...not so much. Fidget spinners can be distracting, just like any other fad (hey, anyone up for some water bottle flipping?) and their popularity can detract from their usefulness for kids who do actually use them as a concentration tool.
As the school year draws to an end, it's a great time to ask students to think back on the work they've done this year and examine what they've learned and how they've grown. After all, classroom time is part of a larger picture that includes the wider world in which they'll use the knowledge they've gained to make inquiries, ask questions, do research, and wonder.
During the course of a school year, teachers and librarians are likely to be with their students during some of the toughest moments. Whether a kid is socially anxious, overwhelmingly nervous about school work, working to manage emotions such as anger, or just needs the occasional calm-down, it’s the adults in the room who need to know how to help.
The Holocaust can be a difficult topic to teach to any age. The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of more than 6 million Jews and countless other people, including the mentally ill, disabled, and the Romani during World War II.
Last night, despite the six inches of wet snow on the roads, I made my way to my oldest son’s high school band concert. It was a regional concert, which meant the middle school band was there, too. You know, one of the best ways to feel good about the world is to watch a group of kids ranging in age from 11 to 18 belt out the "Star-Spangled Banner" with their trumpets, oboes, flutes, snare drums, bells, and other implements of enlightenment.
I grew up in a house built in 1812, and there was one room in the basement that my grandmother believed had been a stop on the Underground Railroad.