The TCL Blog

Embrace Your Inner Nun


When I enrolled at St. Augustine’s Parish school at 5 years old my pops told me “watch out for the nuns.” He said they could be mean, set off by the most minimal of indiscretions. Apparently they carried long rulers during his tenure and smacked pupils’ knuckles if their cursive was below grade. I’d been warned, but guess what? There weren’t any nuns teaching...

Extended Learning Activities for Summer


Last fall when my son was participating in virtual learning, I hosted an in-person backyard kindergarten group for a few families in our neighborhood. I wanted to give my son and the other children an opportunity to experience some “kindergarten magic” that was inevitably missing with online learning. This article highlights some of our favorite learning activities that can be used...

Co-Teaching with Mother Nature


“I hear a woodpecker.” “There’s another birch tree, Mommy.” “Look! I found a turkey feather, it’s soft.” These are a few examples of the many daily observations of my 5-year old son, Abe, that fill me with happiness and pride.

It’s been over two months since Abe’s beloved preschool physically closed and since then we'...

Teaching and Learning During COVID-19


As we begin another week at home adjusting to life with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s heartening to witness the commitment, compassion, and creativity of educators across our nation. 

Within my own community, meals were provided by the school district on day one of the school closures. Educators worked hard to connect with families to check-in and answer questions based on th...

Multiculturalism in Education


At fifteen I accepted an exchange program for the duration of my sophomore high school year to a city outside Osaka, Japan. It was tough going but I still feel the positive effects of such a radical perspective change. Least importantly I felt tall, which hadn’t happened before and hasn’t since. I had light skin and blonde hair in a sea of Asian pigments which gave me marginal...

Teacher Recommended: ADHD Classroom Strategies and Resources


Teacher Recommended: ADHD Classroom Strategies and Resources

From graphic organizers for math to literacy-based yoga exercises, teachers work endlessly to determine ways to help students learn and succeed. Outlined below are valuable resources and strategies to support students with ADHD in the classroom shared by educators in our online course

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  • Classroom Calendar Connections – January 2020


    Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    Martin Luther King Jr. graduated from high school when he was only 15 years old. He earned his Ph.D. when he was 25 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign against racial discrimination at the age of 35. Although his life tragically ended at the young age of 39, his legendary service and teachings continue to influe...

    3 Ways to Prevent Regression for Students During Winter Break


    When I think about the upcoming winter break, the words rest, relax, and regression come to mind. Regression, in terms of education, is the loss of learned skills or knowledge during lapses of instruction (such as during school breaks). The key is to prevent regression from happening by equipping students with resources and engaging tasks to do outside of school. Outlined belo...

    Classroom Calendar Connections – December 2019


    December is filled with significant events to be incorporated into the classroom curriculum beyond the traditional holidays that one might typically think of. This article features National Handwashing Awareness Week, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and the Winter Solstice.

    National Handwashing Awareness Week - December 1-7
    Computer keyboa...

    Classroom Calendar Connections: November 2019 - Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving


    “In November, some birds move away, and some birds stay.
    The air is full of good-byes and well-wishes.” – Cynthia Rylant

    Happy November, Educators! I have a well-worn/loved copy of In November by Cynthia Rylant sitting on my bookshelf ready for its favorite month. If you don’t have your own copy, you and your students can listen and wat...

    Classroom Calendar Connections – September 2019


    For many educators and students, September is the first full month of the new school year. It’s a busy month as we transition from summer to fall and get acquainted with a new group of students. Provided below are some ideas to bring a few of the significant events of September into the classroom.

    National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month


    Tried and True First Day of School Activities in the Classroom


    Google the words ‘first day of school activities in the classroom’ and you will discover nearly two BILLION results. Thanks, but no thanks, Google - we don’t have time to weed through all that! Provided below are some tried and true activities your fellow educators have shared for all grade levels.

    Play Games

    Paul, a high scho...

    5 Back-to-School Reminders for Educators


    Although August has a sneaky way of suddenly showing up, I’m sure you don’t need any reminders that it’s almost time to go back to school. However, hopefully these five friendly reminders will help you start 2019/20 on a positive note.

    Reminder #1: “You can do anything, but not everything.” -David Allen

    Last fall I...

    Journaling this Summer and Beyond


    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...

    Teaching and Gardening: Providing Conditions for Growth


    According to the calendar hanging on my refrigerator, spring has begun! (Although snow and ice still cover the ground here in Wisconsin, I have faith that I will be able to gather my gardening tools and start planting my favorite fruits, vegetables, and flowers soon.)

    Just like teaching, gardening requires patience, problem-solving, and perseverance. Gardeners nurture their crops...

    Brain-Based Learning in the Classroom


    Your brain is 73% water. Even mild dehydration can affect attention, memory and other cognitive skills. (Drink plenty of water!)

    The human brain doesn’t reach full maturity until around the age of 25 years. (That explains a lot.)

    It is estimated that the brain’s memory capacity is one quadrillion bytes - which is about the equivalent of the storage space of the e...

    5 Priceless Gifts for Students


    Billions of dollars were spent by shoppers in the United States over the Thanksgiving weekend. The packages that arrived on my front porch - practically before the pumpkin pie was served - was evidence that I was one of the millions of online consumers wrapped up in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday frenzy.

    Upon reflection, I soon realized all the toys and other gifts that I so badly ...

    Putting Students at the Center of their Learning


    Sixth grader, Tanner, runs a business with his classmates called LDInk. Inspired by patterns found on common, everyday objects such as manhole covers, they creatively design and sell t-shirts and tote bags. LDInk is complete with a budgeting department, a marketing team, and a communication department. Students work together to determine profits a...

    Activities to Celebrate Fall in Your Classroom


    Your local farmer’s market is bustling, pumpkin spice is featured on every menu, mums greet us at doorsteps…fall is here, and it’s time to celebrate with students!

    As an elementary teacher, I usually got the party started with picking up a few small pumpkins in mid-September for my students to hold and admire, which sparked interest and excitement for this special t...