Courtney’s Teacher Tips

Cultivate Conversations, Engage Students, Build Fluency, and So Much More!

Courtney Lofgren

By Courtney Lofgren, Senior Topic Editor, Editorial and Instructional Design

Hi there! I’m Courtney Lofgren and I’m part of the editorial team at Learning A-Z. I taught kindergarten for eight years and first grade for three years, then worked as an instructional coach supporting elementary teachers, so I understand what teachers deal with, and I remember the questions I asked and the challenges I faced as a teacher.

I’m here to help you with useful teacher tips that you can try in your classroom today! I’ll share my tips on social media once a week and we'll collect them all here with updates each month on the Breakroom blog, so check back soon to get new tips!

Professional Learning

If you're like me, you look for meaningful opportunities to grow your professional knowledge, but time is always an issue. Try viewing on-demand videos, recorded webinars, and podcasts to help you provide great literacy instruction while enjoying convenience and flexibility. Many are free and easy to access through different technological devices. Try setting a goal for yourself to participate in at least two professional learning opportunities each month. Whatever you choose, never stop learning!

Science Experiments

Are you using science experiments to help your learners build skills that will help them follow directions, organize information, and think critically? Through science experiments, students can expand their scientific knowledge while simultaneously building literacy skills, as many experiments require learners to read and record information. Walk your students through easy-to-follow science experiments, encourage them to record notes, and have them discuss their findings in small groups or with a partner. As students become comfortable with the process, they can suggest ideas for experiments, which increases engagement in the classroom. Your students can even bring their scientific learning home as they explore different experiments with caregivers and other adults, demonstrating deeper understanding and interest in the subject matter.

Digital Writing

Are you looking for ways to build student excitement for writing? Try incorporating more opportunities for students to build their writing processes and keyboarding skills through the use of technology. Have students complete a variety of real-world, digital writing assignments such as emails, blog posts, and research articles. Watch as your students develop proficiency and appreciation of writing while exploring topics they’re passionate about.

Winter Celebrations

Many cultures around the world enjoy holidays and celebrations during the winter months. Help your students learn about different traditions that accompany these special events and build their literacy skills at the same time. As a class, in small groups, or independently, have students research different winter celebrations and create detailed posters about each one. Invite students to share what they learned about some of the different cultural traditions that accompany winter celebrations.

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