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How to Make and Use Stations

We are wrapping up our How-To for Teachers series this week, and I'm excited to bring you a tutorial on a topic that was a crucial part of my classroom as well as one that I think you'll like to start incorporate no matter what level you teach.

STATIONS

Often times stations, or centers, are underrated and underused the higher up in grade level you go. I think this is a super disservice to teachers because the possibilities are awesome.

First, it's important to explain the set up a bit and how I used stations in my classroom.

Station Set Up

When I first implemented stations in my high school (AP Psychology, juniors and seniors) classroom, I heard moans and groans very quickly about how I was making them move about the room.  After resisting their complaining, I realized that having about 25-30 moving bodies (rather large, adult bodies at that) in my room wasn't a great cost to reward ratio.  Too much time was taken up by the transitions and there really was no point to it...

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How to Make Digital Drag & Drop Activities

Welcome back for the second installation of our How-To Series for teachers we're currently in the middle of.  I'm excited you're back, but if you didn't catch part one yet, I encourage you to check out how to make student guided notes.

In today's How-To, we'll focus on a digital resource.  It's one that can be done on paper, with scissors and glue, but assigning it digitally furthers the benefits I sought out after when creating these types of resources.

I can explain.

Practice is a super important part of the learning process, as you know, but it also can take a lot of grading and feedback that I simply didn't have the time to provide.  There had to be a better way than assigning the activity, students completing it, I collect, grade, and provide feedback on, then return.

It was just way too long of a process for what should be quick turn on around for students on knowing if they, well, know the material or not based on how well they did applying the concepts.

This...

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How to Make Guided Notes for Students

Even as a high school teacher, providing guided notes to my students is always something I have done.  I do NOT remember that being a tool I was given as a student, and I never thought I would like or appreciate giving students that type of scaffolding as a teacher, but it has been something I've done since day ONE of teaching.

When I first started, I probably couldn't even tell you why I did - it was probably a control thing.  I wanted to control exactly what they got out of the slides I worked so hard to create.  But as I progressed in my career I realized students appreciated these notes, and not just students who truly needed the accommodation, but almost all students.

Students appreciated the structure of guided notes because,

  1. It allowed them to focus on what they were hearing without FOMO.  And it's not the kind of FOMO for Friday night's party you have to miss because you have an early ACT the next morning.  No no, it's more pressure of missing...
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Ensure Teacher Health by Empowering Your Students

From ways to avoid the teacher hustle to how to make a big shift in your evaluation conversation, we've covered a few novel ways to prioritize teacher health in this series.  My sincerest hope is that in these five posts, which are concluding with this one, you've found nuggets of information or easy techniques to implement in order to put yourself first for a change without sacrificing your effectiveness in the classroom.

Perhaps your biggest allies in ensuring your teacher health are also the ones who might just threaten it the most... your students.

I mean that last statement in the most positive way possible - your students are who you show up for everyday.  Supporting them is the reason you entered this career field, right?  So let's support them in ways that allow you to better support more of them.  And we do that by empowering students inside the walls of your classroom.

When I think about and picture what causes teacher stress, I see the...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 8 Clinical Psychology

To say I LOVE this unit would be an understatement, and here's why...

  1. It is the perfect culmination (almost) of the course because it revisits the perspectives and that crucial knowledge students need to have, and
  2. Students love this unit; in fact it's probably a huge reason why many students take the entire course.

So I want to provide you with some resources to make this unit as awesome as it should be.  Here we go.

Clinical Psychology Resources

All of the major disorder categories laid out by CollegeBoard are covered in these slides with understandable definitions and visuals to assist in your delivery of the content.  This file also includes the Psychotherapies and Evaluating Psychotherapies slides.

To accompany these slides, I've created guided notes for students so they can spend their time focusing on the content and less focused on what to write and when.  I've heard from many students and teachers that these guides really assist students in being...

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Teacher Health: Shifting the Conversation in Your Evaluation

My first evaluation (more like my first ten evaluations) as a new teacher was probably the most terrifying day of my life.  I am blessed that although I'm a sweater (I sweat frequently #tmi), I don't normally sweat through - ew!  But, on that day, I definitely did - as if I wasn't feeling self-conscious enough already.

Evaluations.

Man, that's a word that will make your tuchus pucker any day of the week.  

It's loaded with emotion, and teachers generally don't have the fondest of memories tied to that word.

Which is unfortunate, because it could very much be a valuable learning tool for teachers and administrators alike.  If you have valuable experiences around your classroom observations and evaluations I am super happy for you.  I have mostly good experiences, but nothing overly enlightening or inspiring.

Until a couple years ago when I was chatting with a colleague friend after my post-observation meeting.  I told our lunch crew all about...

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Teacher Health: Shame Resilience

Hey there and thanks so much for returning to our little world here at Teach On A Mission for our series on Teacher Health.

For a refresher on why we are chatting about this important topic, be sure to check out Part One on finding balance as a teacher and Part Two on overcoming the pressure of "hustle" in education.

This week, we're back for the conversation, this time continuing the necessity of being candid.  There's no need to complain or what some perceive as only focusing on the negative.  No, that's not our goal or purpose in developing this series.  It's about having the candid and necessary conversations about teacher health so that we can empower teachers and keep them in the classroom longer.

This week I'll be starting back with our weekly Live conversations on Facebook - be sure to check those out on our page.  The drive behind the Facebook lives is that we have the conversations that are so necessary to get teachers in the right mindset, allowing...

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Teacher Health Series: The Teacher Hustle

 Welcome back to the Teacher Health series here at Teach On A Mission.  I'm so glad you decided to carve out some time to join me in this reflection and consideration of ways we can build up teachers and bring them a healthier lifestyle.

In last week's post, Part One of our Teacher Health series, I shared some details around the not-so-secret trend that's occurring in education today... teachers not entering the field in the first place and teachers leaving the field once they get there.

I believe that this exit of teachers en masse is largely due to the unsustainable, super-human pace that's necessary to be effective and a "good" teacher.

This week I'm going to start by sharing a little secret of mine.  One that, now that I think about it, I don't think I've even mentioned this to my husband.

*GASP*

It's not a dirty secret, per say, but it's one that reveals my flawed perception of the teaching field when I first entered it and, therefore, the larger, collective...

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AP Psychology Resources for Unit 7 Motivation, Emotion, Stress & Personality

Phew.  I've finished up the biggest haul of resources to date because of CollegeBoard's reorganization with the new CED in AP Psychology.

Seriously - phew!

I can't wait to show it all to you, and to provide you with a fun free resource you can use to get your students up and moving just for sticking around here at Teach On A Mission.

So, what do we have here in Unit 7 - well it's a big one.  Much like Cognitive Psychology, you'll want to be sure and keep this one nice and compartmentalized for students, helping them know where they are in their studies at all times.

I hope you find these resources helpful so you can spend time connecting with your students rather than on the wheel of content creation.

Slides

Let's start with the slides.  There are 12 sets of powerpoint slides in 12 big topics covered throughout the unit.  I like this unit in a flipped classroom, as I do all units, but I have to say the discussion that comes from these topics in class is pretty...

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The First Way to Find Balance as a Teacher

It’s the new year; gym memberships have soared through the roof, everyone under the sun has some kind of personal fitness goal that they are striving toward as a New Year’s resolution, so I thought I might contribute to that conversation.

Well... kinda.

The contribution won’t be about personal, physical health - although I'm totally game for a competition on my Apple watch - but instead about teacher health in general.

Over the next few weeks, five to be exact, I’ll be exploring a few topics that all have something to do with how we can improve teacher health. And what I mean by teacher health is a teacher's overall well-being including and especially their mental health as determined by things like time management skills, daily routines, mindset, and the small, seemingly insignificant choices we make on a regular basis that are contributing to poor teacher health as a whole.

Let me be more specific - what I mean by teacher health is small ways teachers can...

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