10 Life Lessons Worth Teaching Next Year

10 Life Lessons Worth Teaching Next Year

by Dawn Casey-Rowe

What should you be teaching? Every class has standards and curricula to attend to, but we have so many options for teaching our materials. Creative instruction is important to maximizing learning for students and enjoying our classroom time as educators. What happens when we teach from a slightly different angle–when we layer our teaching with elements of social and emotional learning, empathy, creativity, analysis, and the arts, and consciously access the different learning styles? Can we use our content areas as a vehicle to teach skills and add in the other areas?  If we can, we create well-rounded students who want to learn.  This week’s Learnist feature is dedicated to showcasing places where we can multitask, using our subject areas to teach other important life lessons and Common Core based skills at the same time.

Pay It Forward: Teaching Kids About Kindness

Carrie Sorenson models how to teach kindness in the classroomas part of the day-to-day activities, reinforcing the three R’s. Using kindness as a filter from a very young age produces students who want to be helpful, respectful, and do good things.

Teaching Argument

Argument is a big cornerstone of the Common Core State Standards. Students must be able to analyze material, detect perspective, and formulate an argument. This is a skill that will carry them through life. Professor Maggie Messitt argues that you must argue too…in the classroom.

Teaching Primary Research

This is another skill that’s extremely high-priority in the Common Cores and in the world of work. Maggie Messitt’s board teaches the skill of conducting primary research, using skills like interviewing, interpretation, and analysis. This is aimed at the undergraduate level, but contains skills that can be introduced in an age-appropriate way to the younger student.

Teaching Kids Compassion And Empathy

Rabbi Mike Schultz shows the importance of teaching empathy. The next generation of kids must grow up showing compassion and caring for society. Here, he makes the case for consciously incorporating empathy into schools.

Teaching Document Analysis

Document analysis is at the center of good research. Research skills are essential skills for higher-level learning, entrepreneurship, and success in many careers. This is why they are emphasized in the Common Cores. In this board, history teacher Gwen Duralek shows how and why to teach this critical skill. She also includes databases of primary source documents you might use in your lessons.

Teaching and Learning Through Fine Arts

Leading experts say that using the fine arts to teach creates creativity and lessons that last a lifetime. This board contains the argument for using the fine arts in the classroom, relying upon experts like Sir Ken Robinson. It also gives both digital and print resources for teaching and accessing the arts.

Teaching and Learning with Videos

E-learning and community facilitator Heiko Idensen shows that teaching with videos makes an impact with today’s learner. There are so many things that can be done with Youtube in the classroom. I have used it with great success. I started the year including primary source and documentary clips on Learnist boards, because YouTube and Vimeo were not available in my class. Now that they are, these Learnist boards serve as multimedia units that can be packed along on a student’s mobile device or used right in class.

Survival Guide: Teaching Reading In All
Content Areas For Common Core Success

Cassy McCoy shows us that we must cross-reference literacy skills in all areas of our teaching. Every subject area teacher is also a literacy and reading instructor. We can all reinforce each other’s disciplines creating highly literate learners across all subject areas. Perhaps you have never taught reading in a targeted way? This board shows you how you can do that, using your subject-area expertise.

What Makes A Great Teacher?

This isn’t a board on a lens through which to teach, but it’s a reminder of why we teach. We teach because we want each student to have a rock-star experience when they leave our class–to talk about what they learned when they go home; not to say “nothing,” when asked “What did you learn in school today?” Then, we want them to convert what they learned to greatness.  Teaching is that simple–taking students, and making them love learning. It is my hope that you will add to this board, reminding us all why we teach, and what makes us great.


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