Teaching and Learning

Biggest Parent Communication Mistakes (plus how to fix them)

I spend a lot of intentional time building relationships with my students’ parents, and I still get some flack. Angry messages from parents send a white heat through my body … what about you? It’s difficult to not take things personally in education. Communication has many moving parts and it’s easy to misstep, but you can minimize the damage. Here are 9 of the biggest parent communication mistakes I’ve made or witnessed. (Plus how to go about fixing them.)

Mistake #1: Using one-way communication tools

It’s critical to give everyone in a relationship a voice. Sending home a newsletter for

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26 Alphabet Beads Activities For the Classroom and Beyond

We love alphabet beads! They allow kids so many fun ways to get comfortable with letters and the sounds they represent. Here are our favorite alphabet beads activities, and the best letter beads to use with them.

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1. Put together an alphabet bead sensory bag.

This easy alphabet beads activity combines beads with cheap hair gel (really!) in a sealed bag. Little fingers will enjoy just manipulating the beads, while pre-K students can

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PBL Roadblocks and How to Overcome Them

Here’s what we know: students learn best when they have choice, a “real-life” mission, and time to develop their own questions and answers.

And that method of learning is at the heart of project-based learning (PBL). Research confirms that PBL is super effective. So why aren’t more of us trying it in our classrooms? Why is so much of learning still teacher-led? Below, we explore some of the biggest PBL roadblocks.

(Psst … if you’re new to PBL, here’s a great link explaining what it is and how to get started.)

1. How will I find time for that?

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