Our latest infographic

36 Brain Breaks for Students

Subscribe via E-mail

Your email:

Spring Deadlines

Follow Me

25 Classroom Management Tips

  New Call\u002Dto\u002DAction

New Webinar

Social Media Strategies for Teachers

Marygrove College Helps Teachers Change Lives

Best of 2013 Teaching Resources

Marygrove College MAT best of 2013 teaching resources

Reading Comprehension

Book Talk Review 2

Michigan Teachers

Michigan Reading 510

Posts by category

MAT Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

An Inspirational Quote for Educators


Whenever I come across an inspirational or thought-provoking quote, I always add it to an ongoing list I've been keeping over the past couple of years. Here's one that I came across this morning. I'm always looking to expand my list, so please feel free to share some of your own!

quotes for educators

140 Interactive Maps for History and Social Studies Teachers


social studies teachersI love interactive maps and this morning, Stumble Upon took me to what may be the holy grail of free interactive maps!

My Reading Mapped gives users the opportunity to digitally experience history through over 140 Google Map formatted documentaries on history and science. 

Forty maps in the collection are linked to free eBooks that allow users to read more about explorers and their expeditions. Each location plot is cited with a quote, page reference, web link and/or other source. 

Maps have been categorized by the following:

If you’re looking for more interactive maps, check out one of our recent blogs posts, “5 of the Best Interactive Maps for Social Studies Teachers.”



Social Media Strategies for Teachers

9 Ways Students Can Develop a Growth Mindset


Last week, Larry Ferlazzo reblogged a photograph of a growth-mindset chart he came across on Twitter. I liked so much that I decided to reformat it into a printable version. To save, simply right click on the image and "save as."

Growth Mindset

New Call to action

5 Ways Students Can Celebrate Earth Day


earth dayOn April 22, communities across the world will celebrate Earth Day. Students can seize this opportunity to raise awareness and educate their parents and friends about the importance of caring not only for the planet, but their local community as well. Here are some high-impact ideas for students to make a difference this Earth Day:

Plant a tree
Leaves trap and filter pollutants; they also provide cooling shade in hot urban environments. Here’s another fun fact: An acre of mature trees can potentially absorb the CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles!

Do you know a neighborhood in need of trees? If you live in the Detroit area like we do, you can help “green” your community by applying for The Greening of Detroit’s Community Tree Planting Program. If you live in another part of the country, visit sites like Arbor Day Now, Trees for the Future, or ForestNation for more information about planting a tree.  

Promote environmental responsibility through your student organization
Your student groups may not yet be environmentally conscious, but we’ve got a simple way to change that:

Encourage your student organizations to hold a tree kit fundraiser! Selling tree planting kits raises awareness, supports environmental efforts at home and around the globe, and raises money for school organizations at the same time. For every tree kit planted, another tree is planted elsewhere. This is made possible through a partnership between The Earth Day Network and ForestNation.

Buy in bulk—or better yet, skip the packaging altogether
Instead of purchasing individual packages, try to buy in bulk. Better yet, support a local organic garden and buy food without packaging. Purchasing fresh food not only decreases packaging, it keeps you healthy and reduces waste. Urban farms reduce carbon emissions by reducing the number of miles food must travel to make it to a grocery store thereby decreasing fuel consumption in the shipping process.

Take part in community spring clean-up efforts
This one is easy, free, and requires little equipment beyond a good pair of gloves. Snow is melting, revealing our long winter’s dirty secrets - trash. It’s everywhere. Go pick it up, even if it’s not yours. Check your community newspaper to find clean-up initiatives in your area.

Take care of your local wildlife
Birds are perfectly capable of building their own nests, so why should we build homes for them? It’s unfortunate, but as a result of deforestation and human development, animals are increasingly losing their homes. Helping birds find a new home is easier than you might think. All you need are a few supplies, most of which you’ll probably have lying around the house. Below you’ll find instructions for building your own birdhouse.

What you’ll need

  • One empty half-gallon cardboard milk carton
  • Scissors
  • Approximately two feet of wire—light enough to bend, strong enough to hold the weight of the birdhouse
  • Two nails and a hammer
  • Dried grass
  • Waterproof packing tape

What you’ll do

  • First, completely open up the top of the carton and wash it with soap
  • Take the scissors and cut a hole about the size of a doorknob in one side of the milk carton, a few inches below the top folds. This is the “door.”
  • On the other side of the carton, make two holes—one above the other with a nail. The top hole should be about 1/3 of the way down from the top. The bottom hole should be 1/3 of the way up from the bottom
  • Now put the wire through the top nail hole, along the inside of the carton and out the bottom hole
  • Make a bed for the birds by putting dried grass inside
  • Close the top of the carton and seal it with tape
  • Find a pole or tree outside that’s not surrounded by other trees, poles, or buildings
  • Bang the nails in with the hammer, about a foot apart, one above the other
  • Hang the birdhouse on the nails by wrapping one end of the wire around one nail, and the other end around the other nail. Make sure it’s good and tight so the carton will stay up!

    New Call-to-Action

Photo credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Best of the Week: Volume 3


best of the weekThere’s never enough time to blog and reblog all of the interesting resources we find during the week, so we decided to start a Best of the Week List where we share all of the education-related blogs, articles, apps and resources we come across every week.

Classroom Management

Reading and Language Arts

Technology in the Classroom


History and Social Studies

Random Links

  • What Happens in One Minute Around the World?
  • Education Quotes: The Best of All Time

    36 Brain Breaks for Students

2 Free Posters to Teach Students About Digital Citizenship


digital citizenship

To download the full-size, PDF-version poster, click here or on the image above.

Digital citizenship

To download the full-size, PDF-version poster, click here or on the image above.

An Inspirational Quote for Educators


Whenever I come across an inspirational or thought-provoking quote, I always add it to an ongoing list I've been keeping over the past couple of years. Here's one that I came across this morning. I'm always looking to expand my list, so please feel free to share some of your own!

inspirational quotes for educators


Write on the Classroom Windows: A Simple Student Engagement Strategy


student engagementI bookmarked Eric Berngen’s blog back in February, but like a lot of sites I add to my visual bookmarking tool, I forgot to repost it!

As Eric aptly points out in his post, capturing the hearts and attention of our students often requires us to take an unconventional route. Here’s how Berngen put a new spin on one of his tried and true activities:

During one lesson in particular, I asked the students a question and they responded in their journals. When it was time to share, instead of me writing their responses on the board, I walked over to the window instead. I pulled out an expo (whiteboard marker) and began writing frivolously, to the students shock and awe. Mouths began to drop and shortly thereafter, all eyes were on me as I was discussing their responses. One student muttered questioningly, “You can do that?”  I responded, “Why not?”

Shortly thereafter I gave the students another question—except this time they were to work in groups and write their responses on the window. All students were thoroughly engaged and loved the opportunity.  Afterwards, we did a gallery walk and all students got to share out their responses from the group.

It’s a simple idea, but I never would have thought of it on my own. If you decide to give this activity a try, let me know how it goes with your students!


New Call-to-Action

3 Ways Students Can Help Save the Earth


Earth DayIn case you forgot, Earth Day is just around the corner! To help you celebrate, we’re sharing three activities from a book we’ve been reading called The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth.

Pack a no-garbage lunch
You may not know it, but lunch trash is the second-largest source of waste in American schools! Every year, Americans discard 380 billion plastic bags and nearly 2.7 billion juice boxes—and just think about all of the other items that we turn into trash every day!

To cut down on waste, try packing a no-garbage lunch. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Use a brown paper bag. When you’re done with it, save and reuse for tomorrow’s lunch
  • Even better, pack your lunch in a lunchbox; you can reuse a lunchbox for years!
  • Carry a sandwich or other food in a reusable container
  • Save your zip-lock bags; these can be rinsed and reused
  • Buy snacks in large packages instead of individual ones. Not only do you get more food, you also get less packaging
  • Bring more natural snacks. When you eat apples and bananas, your “packaging” is always biodegradable
  • Bring your milk or juice in a reusable thermos
  • Instead of using paper napkins, bring a cloth napkin

Be a Water-Leak Detective
Even a tiny leak can waste a lot of water. For example, a leak that fills up a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste 3,000 gallons of water in a year! Cutting down on water waste is not only good for the environment, but it can also be a useful learning activity at school.  

For example, students at the Homestead-Wakefield Elementary School in Bel Air, Maryland investigated their school to find leaks; then they analyzed how much water was being wasted by leaky faucets in their school. After crunching some numbers, the students all wrote letters explaining the problem and sent them to the faculty to find solutions.

Here’s a simple way to check toilets for leaks:

  • Take the top off the toilet tank. Now put about 12 drops of red or blue food coloring in the tank
  • Wait about 15 minutes. Guard the toilet so no one uses it while you’re waiting
  • Now look in the toilet. If colored water shows up in the bowl, you’ve found a leak!

Raise awareness about endangered species
When students hear about “endangered species,” many of them think about animals that are thousands of miles and many continents away. Unfortunately, there are many endangered species in our home states. In Michigan, where we live, the northern long-eared bat, the Kirtland’s warbler,  the Hine’s emerald dragonfly and the piping plover are all on the endangered species list—and these are only a few of the species listed! So what can students do about this?

New Call-to-Action

How zombies can keep your students from using passive voice


Worried about your students using passive voice? Here's a simple, zombie-inspired strategy to help them avoid it. Enjoy!

writing strategy

New Call-to-Action
All Posts