No More School Bells

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SDepositphotos 4758042 s 2015 300x199 No More School Bellsince it opened in 2013, Rancho Mirage High School, near Palm Springs, California, has never used bells. An audio recording of a rattlesnake, which is the school mascot, can be heard in the hallways at the beginning of the school day, the end of lunch, and when school is over. The rest of the day, students rely on their personal cell phones and watches to keep track of time. Indeed, getting rid of school bells is a growing trend that has been sweeping American schools. But just because it sounds trendy and new, doesn’t mean it is the right choice for everyone.

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Teacher of the Year Infographic

Meet the teachers who truly stand out as some of the most effective and inspiring educators from across the country in our Teacher of the Year Infographic – 2017!

Don’t miss our Teacher Of The Year 2017 Blog post! Get more details about these 6 educators plus one outstanding principal!

Teachers of the Year 2017 Infographic Teacher of the Year Infographic


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Teachers Of The Year – 2017

It takes a lot of creativity, dedication and love to be chosen as a teacher of the year. In a sense, every teacher that has inspired students, made them feel that they matter every day, and helped them attain some real academic progress, is worthy of this title. It was not an easy task, given all of the exceptional candidates, but these teachers of the year -2017 really stand out as some of the most effective and inspiring educators from across the country.

Don’t Miss Our Teacher Of The Year Infographic!

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Say No To Peanut Free Schools

Depositphotos 88034422 s 2015 150x150 Say No To Peanut Free Schools When I was growing up, there was no such thing as a “peanut free school”, at least as far as I knew. I had a few friends who carried around Epipens, and I remember learning how to use one at the staff orientation for a camp that I worked at. Things have certainly changed in the past two decades. Now the country is full of peanut free schools, camps and play areas. It’s great that public spaces are trying to accommodate the needs of all children. However, the real question is whether any of this makes a real difference in the lives of children with severe allergies.

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Smart Seating Charts: A Revolution in Classroom Seating Plans

smartseatingDepositphotos 36184557 s 2015 300x199 Smart Seating Charts: A Revolution in Classroom Seating PlansEvery experienced teacher knows that there are distinct advantages to having assigned seats in the classroom, not matter what kind of seating arrangement you have. Learning clusters are great, but they are much less helpful if students are not working well together. Smart seating charts allow you to create classroom seating plans which fit your needs and preferences, without spending hours agonizing over the logistics.

Creating a seating plan that fulfills every student’s needs is quite difficult. There might be students with visual impairments who need to sit near the front, students who learn better when they are sitting near a wall, students who absolutely cannot sit together, and the list goes on. There are an unlimited number of possible parameters that can lead to the ideal layout. Once a teacher knows what is best for each student, creating a setup that fulfills the best interests of every individual in the classroom community can be extremely time consuming.

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Allowing Fidget Spinners in the Classroom is the Right Choice

fidgetspinnersDepositphotos 153120180 s 2015 300x199 Allowing Fidget Spinners in the Classroom is the Right ChoiceIt seems like fidget spinners are everywhere I turn. I walk into a lesson, and instead of seeing faces, I just see small propellers spinning all over my classroom. While some teachers have chosen to ban spinners because they have become more of a distraction than a tool to enhance focus, I think that they can actually be helpful in the classroom, when used with the right guidelines.

Personally, I have never been so bothered by students doing small things on the side in my lessons. I don’t even mind when students eat in class, as long as they don’t make a mess or distract their friends, and they can still write and pay attention. So allowing fidget spinners in my classroom is a logical rule, as I have seen that they actually can help certain students focus, or at least zone out for a minute or two in a non-distracting way. As long as the students are writing and reading when they are supposed to, spinners offer a great way to take a mental break for a minute or two.

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The Day the Principal Banned Tag

tag Depositphotos 78712954 s 2015 300x199 The Day the Principal Banned TagDo you have nostalgic memories of running around the school yard, chasing after friends? Well, it looks like kids from Gold Ridge Elementary school in Folsom, California won’t be sharing those experiences. On a Friday in March, Principal David Frankel sent a message to parents stating that “students were instructed that physical contact during tag games, touch football, etc. were not allowed on the yard.” The ban on tag and other games involving physical contact raises a very important question. While the question is a complicated one, banning tag does seem a bit extreme.

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Cheating in the Age of the Internet

Depositphotos 129318460 s 2015 300x201 Cheating in the Age of the InternetWhile browsing a local website dedicated to job listings, I recently came across an ad recruiting high-quality, college-level writing. When I clicked on the link, I found myself on a website dedicated to “helping” college students write academic papers. At first glance, the original posting looked like a legitimate job, but when I followed the links, it became all too clear that the website was dedicated to recruiting people who would write college-level papers for other people, rather than really tutoring and helping students write on their own. My experience is just one of a myriad of examples of how cheating is evolving in the age of the internet.

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Hertz Furniture Announces Winner of 2017 New Year’s Success in the Classroom Contest

Angella Hall, of Bullhead City Elementary School in Bullhead City, Arizona is the winner of the 2017 New Year’s Success in the Classroom Contest

kore 300x238 Hertz Furniture Announces Winner of 2017 New Years Success in the Classroom Contest

To enter the contest, teachers shared their goals and plans for success in the school year on social media attaching #hertzfurniture.  Angella Hall’s upbeat winning response was :

“…in 2017 my students and I will enjoy learning, being a part of a fun, loving and caring classroom environment together.” 

Ms. Hall will receive 1 Kore Executive Stool for herself and 4 Kore Wobble Chairs for her students! These wobble chairs are the perfect addition to her 21st century classroom.

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Hertz Furniture 2017 New Year’s Contest

New Year’s has finally arrived and at Hertz Furniture we made a resolution to start off the year by giving back to some of our favorite heroes, classroom teachers! We are giving away 1 Kore Executive Stool and 4 Kore Wobble Chairs to whomever has the best ending to this sentence.

In 2017 my students and I will be successful because __________”

Copy of Hertz Furniture New Years Contest 4 300x168 Hertz Furniture 2017 New Year’s Contest

Tell us how you will be a better teacher in 2017.  Why?  Because doing so can win you 1 Kore Executive Stool and 4 Kore Student Wobble Chairs for your students! Use your brand new Kore stool and wobble chairs to focus your most active students, as a center for a collaborative activity or as a prize for well-behaving students.

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Information Literacy: How to Combat Fake News

Fake News and Information Literacy For Students

Depositphotos 135157494 s 2015 300x300 Information Literacy: How to Combat Fake NewsIn a world where click-bait rules supreme and anyone can publish what they want, it is downright difficult to separate the truth from fiction. The internet is full of people manipulating the truth to serve their own agendas, at best. At worst, there are those who are deliberately lying to sensationalize people or events. If, as adults, it is difficult for us to know where to get reliable information, and when stories are blown out of proportion, how can we possibly expect our students to beat these challenges? If educators don’t make information literacy a priority, we run the risk of allowing precious minds to be contaminated unknowingly with all manner of falsehood and lies.

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7 Tips for The Successful Principal

Successful School Principal Tips

principalDepositphotos 59345033 s 2015 300x199 7 Tips for The Successful PrincipalWhether you are in your first year as an administrator or you have decades of experience, it’s always a good idea to periodically take a few moments and reflect on the effectiveness of your performance. These 7 tips for the successful school principal will help you stay focused, set goals and create a manageable workload so you can serve your students, parents and faculty in the best way possible.

1. Delegate and Trust Your Staff.

Don’t be the go-to person every time a student is late for class or misses a homework assignment. Do be present and available when serious discipline and safety issues arise. Empower teachers to manage their relationships with parents and students, and to approach other support staff such as department chairs, the school psychologist and the vice principal(s) when they are in need of a consultation or assistance. Teachers need support and people to bounce ideas off of, but you don’t need to be the one they reach out to on a daily basis. 

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Designing and Optimizing Your 21st Century Higher Ed Learning Space For Millenials

Administrators, Department Heads and Facilities Managers: Section 1: Setting Up Ideal Learning Conditions for Millennial College Students
Professors, Lecturers, Instructors, and Teachers: Section 2: Using Your Learning Space to Be a Better 21st Century College Teacher

exchange p87 pinwheel flipIT up 300x240  Designing and Optimizing Your 21st Century Higher Ed Learning Space For Millenials

The best practices in higher education spaces have evolved. University education isn’t what it used to be. Enormous lecture halls with hard seating and tablet-arm chairs, professors speaking with a monotone from printed notes, and standard library tables with old-fashioned seating are out. They have been replaced by collaboration, project-based learning and modern technology. If you want to stay in the game of higher education, you must update your space and learn how to utilize 21st century learning tools.

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5 Great Back To School Technology Projects and Activities

Depositphotos 85046956 s 2015 300x214 5 Great Back To School Technology Projects and ActivitiesThere are lots of ways to incorporate technology projects into your back to school repertoire. With students and teachers just getting to know each other, using technology in the classroom can be a great way for everyone to shine as an individual. There are lots of digital tools out there which can help make this year’s return to the classroom better than ever for your entire school community.

Back to School Technology Projects and Activities

1. Fakebook Pages

This Facebook-style website allows you to create profiles which can then be printed as a PDF. By incorporating colorful images and personal details that they would like to share with the class, students can express their individuality. Profiles can be printed and hung up around the classroom to add an engaging personal touch, or presented individually directly from the computer, giving each student the opportunity to shine and work on presentation skills.

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Can Cell Phones in the Classroom Be Educational Tools?

CellphoneDepositphotos 31995557 s 2015 Can Cell Phones in the Classroom Be Educational Tools?The odds are that you will find cell phones in the classroom no matter where you are, unless you are in a school enforcing a zero-tolerance policy. Kids in elementary school are already engaged on an almost constant basis with personal devices. While the initial reaction to smartphones in the world of education was to eliminate phones from lessons, today there are so many ways to promote productive cell phone use in class. With the right tools and the right attitude, an educator can transform cell phones from a constant distraction into one of the coolest educational tools.

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