Recent Posts by Amy Konen

A 5th Grade Teacher’s Guide to Surviving October

It is October and I sit here wondering if I am doing enough for my students. Am I providing enough for them to be ready for 6th grade by the end of this year? Am I giving them knowledge, strategies, friendships, and hopefully, good memories of this year? My own reflections involve questions such as,…
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4 Reasons to Brand the Work We Do in Public Schools

When my teaching career began 25 years ago, I never had to face a lot of people who did not believe in public schools. People were grateful I did what I did--teach primary students; they would say to me, “I don’t know how you do that all day. I respect what you do.” Or I…
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11 Strategies to Encourage Students to Own Their Learning

How often have you run out of time during a lesson and it simply ends with a lot of teacher talk and not enough time for student processing?  Many times, I have found myself doing the talking when it is time to head out for lunch and kids simply pack up and line up without…
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5 Potential Triggers to Be Aware of During the Holiday Season

It’s here, it’s here!  My favorite time of the year!  I love the hustle and bustle of shoppers and crowds.  I love that everyone comes home to be together and that I get to play Christmas music twenty-four hours a day and sit in the glow of my twinkly tree.  I love the baking and…
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11 Total Participation Techniques That Involve Movement

“Simple biology supports the obvious link between movement and learning” (Jensen, 2005). Jensen explains that oxygen is necessary for brain function, more blood flow equals more oxygen and physical activity increases blood flow (2005). Other outcomes of increased movement are: more cortical mass, greater number of connections among neurons, and gene expression to improve learning…
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5 Questions That Help Build Our Reflective Capacity

Two nights before kicking off the 2017-18 school year, I am overwhelmed at the daily schedules, curriculums, management plans, procedures, passion projects, spelling programs, grading, testing, homework, positive incentives, etc. While these are the “things” of teaching that take up so much time to prep and organize, it is the questions surrounding the goal of…
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11 Ways to Make Every Student an Engaged Learner

When I went back into the classroom, I found myself having an easier time with behaviors, creating my learning environment, and keeping myself and my students organized.  As a first year teacher 24 years ago, these were the areas that kept me up at nights and became objects of my obsessions for the first third…
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