Teaching and Learning

50 Brain Breaks for Kids that Your Students Will Love!

Classrooms are busy places, that’s for sure. There’s so much to accomplish in such a short amount of time. That’s why it’s important to purposefully build time into your schedule for breaks … in particular, focused brain breaks for kids that help give you some control over the energy level and mood in the classroom.

Research shows that giving kids frequent brain breaks to reset their energy level improves their ability to focus, retain more of the concepts you are teaching, and stay on task. 

Here are 50 of our favorite brain breaks for kids that will increase productivity in

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The Big List of Student Writing Contests

When students write for teachers, it can feel like an assignment. When they write for a real purpose, they are empowered! Student writing contests are an easy and inspiring way to try writing for an authentic audience. On the other end is a real panel of judges, and also the possibility of prize money! We’ve gathered a list of student writing contests. Take a few minutes to see if any of them suit your curriculum, and get prepared to see some motivated students.

Best Student Writing Contests for High School

1. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

With a wide

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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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