> Lesson Plans | Study Guides | Activities | Teacher CommunityMarch is Time for Spring Cleaning Do you ever feel as if your lessons are becoming a l

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March is Time for Spring Cleaning

Do you ever feel as if your lessons are becoming a little "flat"? Many teachers know that feeling -- they've used the same strategies with the same material a few too many times. Although the material is new to the students, it's old to us, and students can tell if our enthusiasm wanes.

March is a great time for a little Spring Cleaning!

First, look at your classroom.

Do you have something you no longer use, something that's just taking up space? If it's worn out, throw it away and don't look back. But if it's still good, recycle it – give it to a new teacher down the hall!
Is there someone you might trade resources with? Set up a swap meet during lunch for a week -- people can drop off what they're willing to part with and pick up something gently used.
How many times have you used the same bulletin board materials? Try letting students prepare a bulletin board that supports the next unit.

Next, look at your old lesson plans.

What choices do you offer your students for your projects? Might one or two of those options be ready for an update?

Is there a way to change one objective quiz or test to a project instead?
Could you incorporate some multimedia into an assignment -- a slide presentation, an audio interview, a video? Start a class blog? What lessons might your students present?

Finally, look at your own professional growth:

Read a new book and discuss it with some colleagues.
Start a Twitter account; find and follow other educators who teach in your field.
Attend a free webinar in your field!
Join a community like those at eNotes. Share questions and tips!


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Cool Sites for Teachers

If you're planning to incorporate some new resources, here are some sites to check out:

Census in Schools
K-12 curriculum materials to help students understand the census and to address standards in social studies.

Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Could your student produce an audio podcast like this?

Digital Citizenship
Register for 4 free downloadable lessons on intellectual property and creative rights. Each unit includes activities, handouts, and assessments.

Operation: Heart Transplant
Students participate in a virtual heart transplant, learning about the heart and about surgical procedure.

The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is seeking K-12 teacher leaders to help with its planned national teacher network. The Library of Congress Teacher Network will provide teachers nationwide with online and local opportunities to learn collaboratively about teaching with primary sources.

Selected applicants who participate in the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Mentor Advisory Group will contribute to the Library of Congress Teacher Network's development.

Deadline for application is April 28.