MAT Blog

14 Back-to-School Ideas From Busy Teacher.org

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Aug 27, 2014 2:53:03 PM

If you haven’t started the new school year yet, opening day is just around the corner. To help you begin with a bang, we’d like to share a couple of infographics courtesy of the folks at BusyTeacher.org. Enjoy!

Backt_to_School_Infographic_1

 

Backt_to_School_Infographic_2

 

15 Ways to Kick Start the First Day of School

Tags: first day of school, back-to-school

If a student's life was a Penguin Classic, what would the cover be?

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Jul 23, 2013 9:29:00 AM

Penguin Classic BookIf you’re sitting near your bookshelf, take a glance at it and find a book published by Penguin. It didn’t take long, did it? Readers know a Penguin classic when they see it: the orange zing of the book spine; the distinguishing minimalism of the cover design; that adorable, bow-tie wearing penguin.

Our love of this publisher got us thinking about your students. What if they designed their own Penguin book covers? If their lives were Penguin classics, what would the covers look like? Designing their own book cover could be a creative way for students to introduce themselves at the beginning of the year—or you might even use this as an alternative to the tried-and-true book-report assignment.

To download a PDF version of the templates, simply click on the images below or stop by the Penguin website.

Penguin Classic Book
penguin classic book

penguin classic book

penguin classic book

If your students need a little inspiration as they design their own book covers, refer them to A Penguin a Week.

 

15 Ways to Kick Start the First Day of School

Tags: icebreakers for teachers, writing strategies, Writing, writing fluency, writing skills, back-to-school

Newspaper Blackout: a creative way for students to introduce themselves

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Jun 22, 2013 6:00:00 AM

blackout artExperimental artists have been creating blackout art long before Austin Kleon, but it was his bestselling collections—Newspaper Blackout (2010) and Steal Like an Artist (2012)—that gave us an idea: What if students used blackout art to introduce themselves on the first day of school?

First, what is blackout art?
All you need is a newspaper article (or any form of print media) and a Sharpie. Once you hand out the supplies, explain to your students that you want them to tell you one thing about themselves by blacking out all of the words on the page that they don’t intend to use in their sentence.

So instead of starting with a blank page and worrying about what in the world they should write, your students are simply eliminating words they don’t need.

Once your students are done, have them share their sentences with the class. And just think, it’s only the first day of class and already you have cool new artwork to hang on the walls!

If you’re interested in a few more creative writing strategies, check out three of our blogs:

 

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Tags: icebreakers for teachers, writing strategies, Writing, writing fluency, writing skills, back-to-school

Top 10 Reasons for Teachers to go to Graduate School.

Posted by Colleen Cadieux on Aug 24, 2012 1:21:00 PM

Marygrove MAT outlines top ten reasons why teachers need grad school!Whether you've just completed your teaching credential, or have some teaching experience under your belt, you may be considering whether or not it's worth your time to look into graduate schools. There are a variety of excellent reasons why most teachers go back to school to receive some form of higher education.  

If you're considering a graduate degree, here is a list of 10 reasons why it's a good career move for teachers.

  1. Career Advancement.  There is a need for teachers with extra education and specialized career training.  Not only is grad school a requirement for any teacher desiring to work in administration, it is also necessary for specialized niches - such as heading up literacy programs, ESL instruction, technology departments, and certain areas of Special Education.
  2. Inspiration. If you've been teaching for a while, your engine may be running out of steam. Graduate schools offer an intellectual arena for teachers who love their jobs but need something to spark the inspiration embers. It is a great opportunity to stay current with the latest in teaching practices and theories, as well as new administrative policies. Even teachers with the best of intentions can struggle to keep up on those things on their own time.
  3. A Higher Paycheck. As much as it might be nice to think none of us teach for the money, extra money in the bank has never been a source of complaint. Having a graduate degree can significantly increase your salary. We should note, however, that sometimes it is better to seek a graduate degree after you have tenure at a school where you are happy and plan to stay. For new teachers, or teachers who want to change districts, having a graduate degree can sometimes decrease your chances of getting a job when districts are under budgetary strains.
  4. Increased Retirement. Just remember, the higher your paycheck, the more you are putting into your retirement fund. When you look at that collectively over the period of a decade or two, it can make a significant difference.
  5. You Love To Learn. Hopefully, part of your desire to become a teacher was that you love to learn, and want to inspire others to feel the same about the learning process.  Graduate schools keep your intellectual sphere in expansion mode.
  6. To Diversify. Getting a graduate degree offers you the opportunity to add to your skill set. For example, if you are naturally good with technology, or want to improve differentiated teaching skills with ESL students, you can get a graduate degree/credential in an area that has always interested you.
  7. It's Easier Than Ever. Many teachers are also spouses, parents, grandparents, coaches, etc. so attending grad school can seem like an impossibility. But with the variety of online grad school programs, that can be custom designed to meet your schedule, it is easier than ever before.
  8. Become a Professor. If you have found that teaching K-12 really isn't for you, graduate school is your ticket to teaching adults. With a master’s degree in your subject area, you will be able to teach at a junior college and/or some state colleges.
  9. Get a Better Job. Perhaps you want to work for an elite private school, or a charter school with strict teacher requirements. A graduate degree will make you more appealing to any institution looking for candidates with a little something more.
  10. You Just Want To. Sometimes, we just have to fulfill a long-time need. If having a master’s degree is something you've always wanted, go for it!

Graduate schools offer a wonderful opportunity to advance your career, increase your annual earnings, and re-stock your inspiration supply. Check out Marygrove College’s Master in the Art of Teaching program. It’s not too late to enroll for fall, but hurry and contact an enrollment specialist at (855) 628-6279 or apply online for FREE right now!

 

Apply to the Marygrove MAT

Tags: back-to-school, graduate school for teachers, higher education

Top 10 Things Teachers Should Know for the First Day of School.

Posted by Colleen Cadieux on Jul 28, 2012 5:44:00 PM

Marygrove MAT helps teachers prepare for back-to-school jitters!It’s almost back-to-school time; the first day of school will be upon us whether we’re ready or not. Back-to-school jitters are normal for new and veteran teachers alike. But if you are just starting out in the profession, or are assigned to a new building, there are several things you should know before the bell rings. Sometimes even the most obvious information can be overlooked. Being prepared will help you start out the year on a confident note. It’s just good classroom management.

Before you report to class, you should know:

1.Your school hours, bell times, and when you are expected to report to work.

2. Your classroom and curriculum duties and responsibilities.

3. Any additional duties/responsibilities assigned to you such as bus, hall and lunch duties.

4. The district's and/or school's policies on:
                           Homework
                           Dispensing medication
                           Referrals to special programs
                           E-mail and Internet usage
                           Grading
                           Fire drills and lockdowns
                           Field trips

5. How to handle a sick day, personal leave day or an emergency for you.

6. Who to contact in case of a classroom or school emergency.

7. When faculty, team or other regular meetings are held.

8. Where and how to get classroom supplies.

9. How to best communicate with parents, telephone, e-mail etc.

10. What day Open House is scheduled for, and what the policy or procedure is for it.

You can probably knock off most of these by perusing your district’s website. Set aside a few minutes each day to make some phone calls or send some e-mails to make sure you have all of the answers you need.

While you’re floating on your raft in the pool, you might want to collect your thoughts about your overall classroom management style this year. Mrs. Feinman from Houston has some excellent classroom management ideas that she implements right off the bat, on the first day of school.

A big part of classroom management is establishing an attractive, organized classroom. Could your decorations use a makeover? When it comes to classroom decoration, we found two teachers who really hit it out of the park. First grade teacher Mrs. Tabb displays her ideas in her blog, How I Decorated my Classroom for Under 25 bucks! Her beautiful ideas will inspire you.

And as always, we can’t help but brag about our own master teacher, Christina Bainbridge who has been busy this summer preparing for her new classroom in a new school. It’s hard to believe that she could top last year’s classroom, but she did it.

It is so important to create an engaging and colorful learning environment for students of all ages. It is definitely worth the time you put in. So don’t wait until September!

Need some more classroom management ideas to chew on while you’re basking in the summer sun? Download our free guide to get you thinking creatively about how to make the most of your class time to reach every single student, every single day!

Download our Free Classroom Management G

 

 

 

Tags: first day of school, classroom management, download, back-to-school

Engage Parents Throughout the Year For Homework Success.

Posted by Colleen Cadieux on Sep 29, 2011 11:00:00 AM

engaged parent assisting with homeworkAt Back-to-School nights all across the country, many K-12 teachers take the opportunity to communicate their classroom and district homework policies to parents. Here are two perplexing issues for your consideration:

Homework

Despite our best efforts at clear communication, many teachers receive homework questions from parents in the days and weeks following Back-to-School night.  Prepare yourself well this year, to get maximum cooperation from parents and optimal results from your students.  

The US Department of Education hosts a site with helpful homework hints for parents:This site explains what teachers already know: homework, when used properly, offers students the chance to

  • review and practice what they've covered in class
  • get ready for the next day's class
  • learn to use resources, such as libraries, reference materials and websites to find information about a subject
  • explore subjects more fully than classroom time permits
  • extend learning by applying skills they already have to new situations
  • integrate their learning by applying many different skills to a single task, such as book reports or science projects.

Homework also can help students develop good study habits and positive attitudes. It can

  • teach them to work independently
  • encourage self-discipline and responsibility

In addition, homework can help create greater understanding between families and teachers and provide opportunities for increased communication.

Communication Creates Engagement

We encourage you to communicate regularly with parents. Some schools schedule several informational parent events throughout the year, in an effort to narrow the teacher-parent gap. Establishing a good rapport with parents by using routine, clear communication will make all the difference to you, if and when a problem arises.

To help get things off on the right foot, offer a variety of ways for parents to get involved. Not every parent can volunteer on-site during the school day, and not every parent can afford to buy items for the classroom.Think about off-site tasks or projects parents can do to help the class, and offer ways to volunteer that ask for nothing except the value of a parent’s time.

Send notes home and make phone calls on a regular schedule. Elementary teachers who write two notes or make two phone calls each school day will contact every child's parents at least once a month. Secondary teachers with larger class loads can follow the same schedule and stay in contact at least once a quarter. Remember to contact the parents when students are successful - don't call only to report a problem. Positive communication creates an environment of trust which pays dividends when there is a challenge.

Engaging parents plus assigning meaningful homework is a powerful combination that will add up to successful results for your students! We offer a Guide for Teachers with creative ways to extend your classroom for optimal success. We guarantee you’ll find new, time-saving ways to attack old problems!

 

Click me

 

Photo Credit: Peter Gene

 

Tags: download, Classroom Climate, Marygrove MAT, Extension of the Classroom, MAT Program, back-to-school, Homework, Parent Engagement, Homework Tips, ED.gov, district policies

Top Ten Things New Teachers Should Know for the First Day of School.

Posted by Dreu Adams on Aug 11, 2011 6:10:00 AM

top ten back to school 150x137

Blog Hopin' is linking up to offer words of wisdom for new teachers this year. Although we hope you find our list helpful, head over to Blog Hopin' for additional insight from teachers accross the nation.

Teachers are also linking up at Ms. Tunstall's blog, posting ten reasons why they know it's time to go back to school. Check out the fun.

First-day jitters are normal for new and veteran teachers alike. But if you are just starting out in the profession, or in a new building, there are several things you should know before the bell rings. Sometimes even the most obvious information can be overlooked. Being prepared will help you begin the year on a confident note.

Before you report to class, you should know:

  1. Your school hours, bell times, and when you are expected to report to work
  2. Your classroom and curriculum duties and responsibilities
  3. Any additional duties/responsibilities assigned to you such as bus, hall and lunch duties
  4. The district's and/or school's policies on:
    • Homework
    • Dispensing medication
    • Referrals to special programs E-mail and Internet usage
    • Grading
    • Fire drills and lockdowns
    • Field trips
  5. How to handle a sick day, personal leave day or an emergency for you
  6. Who to contact in case of a classroom or school emergency
  7. When faculty, team or other regular meetings are held
  8. Where and how to get classroom supplies
  9. How to best communicate with parents, telephone, e-mail etc.
  10. What day Open House is scheduled for, and what the policy or procedure is for it.

Tags: Classroom Strategies, back-to-school, Top Ten

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