The TCL Blog

Book report: Why We Sleep

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Does anyone else think it odd that squirrels sleep an average of 15.9 hours per day? I guess because they're so hoppy and acutely aware it seems they're awake all the time. It's really a bias to think that animals which are alert must be more often awake and co...


Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences - Before, During and After

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Parent-teacher conferences can be a great opportunity for meaningful conversations about how students can reach their full potential in school. To help ensure meetings are positive and productive for everyone involved, below are a few tips to consider before, after, and during conferences.


Before the Conferences

When scheduling conferences, try to of...


Featured Teacher Meghan Lanouette - August 2019

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In each conversation I’m noticing a similar pattern, which is somewhat attributable to the line of questioning:

Why did you become a teacher?

I've known for a long time that I wanted to work with kids.

Why did you become the kind of teacher you are?

Well I just sort of arrived there.

How did that happen?

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  • Journaling this Summer and Beyond

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    Mindfulness, emotional intelligence, achieving goals, communication, healing, creativity, the list goes on and on. There is a plethora of surprising benefits associated with journaling for people of all ages.

    Perhaps you’re looking for a healthy way to manage stress associated with the demands of your job. Maybe you’d like to devote some time this summer for reflecting on...


    Featured Teacher Tammy Johnson - June 2019

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    Tammy originally wanted to teach history, but there were no vacancies. In preparation for the open position in Special Education, she completed two post-secondary courses and dove into an unexpected passion. She didn’t rate it out loud to me, as such, but she is so obviously into teaching, and improving at teaching, and succeeding at teaching, and candidly offering her affinity for teachi...


    Activities to Commemorate Memorial Day in the Classroom

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    Memorial Day presents unique learning opportunities for students at all grade levels. Officially enacted by Congress in 1971, Memorial Day is a somber national holiday held on the last Monday of May every year. (This year Memorial Day is on May 27, 2019.) It is a holiday intended to honor and remember fallen veterans of the United States.

    Below are several ways you and your students c...


    Heart Mapping: A Prewriting Activity for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

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    My trip to Southern Germany with my husband, the smell of homemade cinnamon rolls baking in the oven at my Grandma’s house, taking my dog to the beach in San Diego, my two little boys, reading good books – I love writing about the people, places, things, and memories closest to my heart. With Valentine’s Day upon us, it’s a great time to give students the opportunity to...


    Building Lifelong Readers with Independent Reading Strategies

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    Happy wintertime! What better way to spend the cold, dark days than cozied up with a book, complete with a blanket and a kitty on your lap? The warmth a good book brings to the soul is significant, and there are numerous additional benefits of reading – mental stimulation, increased concentration, stronger writing skills, improved analytical skills, knowledge, entertainment…the lis...


    Promoting Positive Behaviors: There’s a Children’s Book for That

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    When working with students on kindness, empathy, friendship, and other positive behaviors, sometimes the characters from children’s stories say it best:

    “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” -The Lion and the Mouse

    “If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew.” -Pocahontas

    &ldq...


    Have you Read any Good Books Lately?

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    Summer Reading Recommendations from Teachers

    Whether on the beach or at a coffee shop, for many teachers, summer is an ideal time to catch up on reading for pleasure. There are an infinite number of great titles out there, sometimes it’s hard to choose. To narrow down all the choices, I asked my teacher friends from around the U.S. (including Wisconsin, Minnesot...