Books to read with children after the tragedy

Surprisingly, here we are again – heartbroken and angry at another school shooting. How do we explain this recurring madness? It is wonderful that our children even have to deal with such tragedies.

Yet, despite our confusion, school shootings are a sad reality and the response to children is significant:Fear, anxiety and trauma. Our children need our help Navigate to this event. We’ve collected dozens of picture books written by highly talented authors to help you deal with children’s fears and anxieties in a comforting, age-appropriate way.

Cover image children's book rabbit listening

Taylor doesn’t know where to turn when tragedy strikes. Her animal friends offer solutions, but none of them are right. Then the rabbit arrives and gives Taylor what he needs. This sweet book gives sage advice on how to comfort and heal the people in your life by becoming a loving, gentle, listening presence.

Cover image children's books A terrible thing happened

Little Sherman witnessed something terrible. She tries to forget about it but she feels nervous and can’t sleep. Eventually, she finds someone she can talk to and gradually begins to feel better.

I get scared when the cover image is a children's book

Kids deal with scary feelings in a variety of ways. Created in close consultation with specialist child psychotherapist Dr. Sherry Coombs, this simple story helps children recognize, understand, and communicate their feelings.

Cover image children's book After the Fall

Did he have a great fall after the Humpty Dumpty? Did he just lie there? Or did he call for courage to face his fears? This story carries the strong message that sometimes comesife starts when you back up.

Cover image children's book Jenny is Scared

Jenny and her brother Sam know something serious is happening. Their mom and dad are busy with TV news and it doesn’t feel like a regular day. They want to know what is happening and how not to be so scared, but they need the help of their mother and father.

Cover image children's book Scaredy Squirrel

The cowardly squirrel does not leave its nut tree. It’s too dangerous there! He may encounter tarantulas, green martian or killer bees. But one day, the terrible squirrel left his tree and jumped unknowingly. And in doing so, he discovers something about himself and the world.

Swimming by Leo Leoni

Cover image children's book swimming

Life in the big blue sea can be scary! A favorite classic, the swimmer has helped kids of the generation learn how to be brave and use ingenuity and teamwork to overcome danger.

Cover images can be as bold as children's books

The older sister helps the younger sister deal with her fears. She shares all the things she was afraid of and the strategies that helped her. He also shared that over time, the scary feelings go away.

Cover image children's book Once I Was Very Very Scarred

Although we all have scary experiences, we may not all react the same way. In this sweet story, the squirrel and his animal friends share their experiences and how they learned to adapt with the help of adults who helped them feel safe.

Come with me by Holly M. McGhee and Pascal Lemaitra

Cover image children's books come with me

A young girl asks her father what he can do to make the sometimes scary world a better place. What he has learned is that small and seemingly trivial tasks can make a big difference in the world. An amazing story about the power of kindness, courage and friendship in the face of uncertainty.

Cover image Children's book Something Happened in Our Park

Miles’ cousin Keisha needs help from friends and family when she is shot. Eventually she learns to use her imagination and creativity to help her deal with her fears.

Cover Image Children's Book A Kids Book About School Shootings

One of the survivors of the Columbine High School shooting wrote, tHer book “Helps Children and Adults Understand Shooting at School and Encourages Us to Be Ready while reminding us that we should never be afraid of what our lives will be like.”

Also, how to talk to kids about school shooting

Age-appropriate, helpful strategies for educating children and to alleviate their worries about this scary, sad subject from Scholastic.

Advice comes from Kyle de Pruitt, a clinical professor of child psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine from the Washington Post.

Suggestions for an age-based approach to discussing school shootings with children from common sense media.

Anxiety Management Strategies: From Your Kids and Childmind to Your Own.

Tips on how to start a conversation, how children can react normally, and how to seek help if needed from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Also, 5 one-minute activities to help your students build emotional resilience

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Tell me what to say to the children

Dear WeAreTeachers:
Every day, I hear my second graders talk about what they see in the news. Often it’s about violence. Between the Buffalo supermarket shooting and the Texas school shooting, I’m at a loss. They seem so disillusioned and almost numb to another mass shooting. I don’t feel too confident in facilitating difficult conversations, so I usually jump straight in to teach my content. Lately, I feel like I can do a better job of building relationships with my kids, and perhaps engaging with current events is one way to do it. What advice do you have for talking about difficult things? -Broken heart

Dear B.,

It is not supposed to be just like this. This past week, there have been more violent shootings in our country Teachers are tired, children deserve a safe place, and many of us feel disillusioned and heartbroken. With 27 school shootings in the United States alone in 2022, it’s hard to know how to handle our big feelings. From the Buffalo supermarket shooting to the Texas school shooting, most educators are wondering what to do and what to tell the kids.

People often say that it is better not to bring these tragedies to the fore unless the children bring it up first. However, I think it is important to check in, especially since anxiety and fear can be controlled. Acknowledge the heartbreak with great empathy. Let the kids know that they are not alone and that you are here to talk and listen. Then, try to follow the school schedule as much as possible. The National Association of School Psychologists suggests that we provide a sense of routine and normalcy as well as create a safe place to talk about what they know about tragedy and how they are feeling.

“High-profile violence, especially at school, can confuse and intimidate children who may be at risk or worried that their friends or loved ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to respond. Parents and school staff can help children feel normal and secure and talk to them about their fears and help them feel safe. ”

Younger students may have bits and pieces of information and need to be reassured that teachers are working really hard to keep them safe. It is important to help children express different feelings together. We can be sad, we can be scared. Older students will probably have a stronger opinion about these recent tragedies. Listen carefully. Encourage your students to share their understanding of what happened. Ask the children to write down their ideas about what they think is happening in these heinous acts against humanity and how to make their school site and society a safer place. Be sure to share their ideas with the leadership team and follow up with the leadership to get students to respond.

We all show our pain in different ways so it is important to observe. As we work to regain mental and physical safety, it helps to remind students that watching the same news clip over and over again has a detrimental effect on their well-being. The recurrence of violent crime makes anxiety and worry skyrocket. People are ready to go beyond the gun control debate and want a change in policy that sends a loud and clear message that our children deserve better. In fact, as divisive as our country is, a recent poll found that 84% of all U.S. voters support a universal background check. We can no longer continue to be stunned, then we can express thoughts and prayers without action. We must do something different. The lives of our children depend on it.

American poet Amanda Gorman wrote in response to a recent shooting:
Schools for fear of death.
The truth is, an education under the desk,
Bent from the bullet;
That’s when we ask
Where our children
Will live
And how
And if

Dear WeAreTeachers:
It has been a beautiful and rough year. I am most proud of the connections I have made with my fourth graders We have community circle meetings every day and have really built trust over time. The kids have also shown a lot of progress, especially in writing. I’ve worked mostly well with my grade-level team, but the head teacher often shuts down my ideas. Also, when my principal visited, there was chaos with the kids. He gave me feedback on classroom management, but disciplinary issues increased and we had to suspend one of the students for a fight. My principal started a meeting with me, and I thought it was time to talk about what grade to take next year. I was shocked when he asked me to consider resigning. There was really no response. I feel quite low and like a bad teacher. How can I stay motivated for the last few weeks of school?
Low and disillusioned

Dear Dad,

You capture that life is full of moments of beauty and challenge at the same time. You’re in the throes of it, so let yourself feel all the different emotions that bubble up. Hopefully, you have someone you can trust and talk to. It’s a lot to carry on your own. Although your year did not live up to your expectations, please keep in mind the quality connections and progress you have made with the kids. That’s a big deal! Will bear those memories for you and your students. Let the words of the writer Maya Angelo wash over you: “I have learned that people will forget what you have said, people will forget what you have done, but people will never forget that you gave them feelings.”

I think it’s important to talk to your principal and communicate the desire for feedback. Your principal may not think that they need to respond legally to you. In my view, this is a professional thing. Leaders who care about the impact of teachers on students (even outside their own campus) help teachers become more aware and reflective. As teachers, we respond to help our students expand and learn. The message of growth mentality is present in all schools. This should also apply to adults. Let your principal know that you want to learn from this topic and their feedback can help.

Remember the end of the year is challenging for teachers. It is Especially Prolonged covid is difficult with the context and all the hardships that come with it. Teachers are tired. Really tired. Finishing a school year is harder under normal circumstances but it is even harder if you are asked to resign from your current reality. Teachers have to dig deep for inspiration at different times of the year and with different confluences of emerging situations. Motivation is such a personal thing. Stick-with-the-ness is hard to find, but you can do it. Try to find moments in the day that are enjoyable and meaningful to you. Above all, show it to your students as you finish the year. They deserve your best.

Dear WeAreTeachers:
This was my first year of teaching, and we were given a 10th grade honors class to teach. Previous teachers were known to be extremely strict that our honors group grades would be drastically reduced. Now that we’re finished, I’m starting to feel like I haven’t pushed my students hard enough. For example, I spotted a number of personal issues that affected their assignments. It makes me question my abilities as a teacher as a whole, and I don’t know how to overcome this fear. What are the next steps for me? – Fear of a pushover

Dear FOBAP,

My guess is that most teachers will remember their first year. The work is so dynamic and requires a lot of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual capital. We remember our wavering confidence, the risks we took, the mistakes we made, the encouragement, the resilience, the relationships with the kids, the struggles with classroom management and much more. Congratulations on your first year experience. Do you and your students have success? I bet if you take 10 minutes to write some ideas, you might be able to take a deep breath.

Try to abandon the binary approach of teaching as hard or pushover. Looks like you were flexible and supportive of your students. Kids are not motivated when they are overly depressed and their spirits are crushed. You can be tough And Kind of it is sometimes referred to as a “warm seeker”. Warm claimants are teachers who, in the words of scholar Lisa Delpit, “expect a lot from their students, explain to them their own talents and help them reach their potential in an orderly and structured environment.”

Interestingly, there is some information that says that teachers who help students gain more may not be considered their choice, and yet they were effective. Angela Duckworth shares some perspectives on how “being loved is not always the best”. “Don’t confuse popularity with efficiency,” he said. I still want my students to like me, and I think it’s possible to be helpful to a demanding teacher. But if I prioritize what students think of me at the moment, I can sacrifice their long-term education. “

As you transform into summer, fill your cup, find inspiration, reflect, be open, and then move on to a new year with a combination of high expectations and different levels of support. This combo is a sweet place that gives birth to a positive culture and deep learning.

Do you have a burning question? Email us at [email protected]

Dear WeAreTeachers:
I am a parent and first class teacher. Awakening to these different roles and responsibilities was a challenge, to say the least. This year, I missed quite a bit of school. I was out for 10 days with Kovid. My two young children needed care when they were sick. We always hear people say “family first” but when I take care of my family and myself, I feel self-conscious that my parents will think I am not prioritizing my work. During the pickup, one parent commented in front of many other families that he was surprised to see me here because I missed school so much. “Oh, you decided to come to work!” She even complained to the principal, saying that her child’s schooling experience had been negatively affected by my absence. How do you think I should handle it?

Want more advice columns? Check out our Ask WeAreTeachers Hub.

Three observations about quality school district websites

This morning I spent a few hours looking at the websites of the relatively large school districts. These are my thoughts and observations after looking at it from a parent’s point of view.

Make it clear!
Good sites make it easy for parents to find the latest and most relevant information.

Parents don’t have to dig through a variety of name menus to find the information they need about your school. I visited a district website this morning to try to find a school calendar for next fall. There was no tab or menu anywhere on the homepage labeled “Calendar” or “Schedule”. The school calendar is only available if you click on a tab labeled “Menu” then scroll down to the fourth submenu labeled “Calendar”. Information about school board members, human resources information for staff, and an old 2015-2020 strategic plan were all listed more than the school year calendar.

What does this say about your district when parents have to dig up vaguely named menus to find basic information about their child’s school day?

Social media is not a substitute for a good website

Posting on social media is not a substitute for having a well-designed and frequently updated school / school district website.

The best sites I’ve seen include embedded streams of district / school social media postings. They do this because they acknowledge that not every parent or student uses social media. In addition, when you rely on social media, you expect parents and students to follow your accounts. And even if they follow your accounts, you should expect your postings to be different from all the other updates that parents and students see from other accounts that follow them.

Who is running the website?
The best websites I saw this morning were from the school district whose staff includes someone whose job title includes communications director or public relations. The bad ones seem to have been run almost as a thought or low priority task in the IT department.

Teaching Juntinth: Activities for Students

Also known as Independence Day, the Juventus commemorates the day on June 19, 1865, when news of a federal order freed all former slaves – issued about three years before the 1863 release was announced – finally reached Black Americans in Galveston, Texas. This is an important day in American history, and it has gained notoriety in recent years as more and more people learn about its significance. Until June 2021, Juventus is officially the federal holiday of the United States. If you are wondering how this day can be taught and help your students learn more, check out these Juntinth activities and lessons for students of all ages.

Juntinth resource for elementary school students

For elementary school students, use these Juntinth activities to engage young students and teach them about the history of the day.

Juntinth Bundle

Juntinth Bundle at Aquaba Academy
K-2nd grade
Include these worksheets in your Juntinth lesson plan for young students. This bundle contains a reading comprehension passage with simplified information about Juntinth.

Juntinth Joy Activity Pack of Afrocentric Montessori
K-3rd grade
Honor Juntinth with ten activities that will help students learn about this important day in history and build community.

Adherence to social justice

Social justice observance calendar piece by Falicia O’Mard
K-5th grade
Engage students in national and international observations through this Social Justice Observations Calendar Peace Resource. Each observance includes a description and activist action for young students.

Juntinth Flipbook

Jasmine McClean’s Juntinth Flipbook
1st-3rd class
Help your students learn about Juntinth and reflect its importance in U.S. history with this flipbook resource.

Black History Month Juntinth – Distance Education by KinderCollege
PreK-6th grade
This no-prep resource includes reading passages, coloring pages, and more activities to engage students about Juntinth. It also includes an interactive activity to use Easel by TpT.

Juventus Resource for middle and high school students

Middle school and high school students can discover more about this day in history through informative lessons, writing prompts, and discussion questions using these Juntinth activities.

Juventus is a celebration of independence

Juventus – Celebrating Independence with Adventure Themes
4th-9th grade
Written in an e-Zine style, this high-interest informative text will introduce your students to the Juntinth holiday and its significance.

Juntinth presentation

The Little Health Teacher’s Juntinth Black History Presentation
6th-12th class
For middle school and high school students, this presentation introduces Juntinth and how to remember it.


Discover more exciting Resources for Juntinth In TpT.

* This blog was originally published in 2021 and has been updated for 2022.

I worked at a “no excuse” charter school and here’s what I know now

“Excuses are a tool for the weak and incompetent. I am not weak or incompetent! Therefore, I will not use excuses. “I used to hear that mantra in my next room every morning. It seemed to be a positive message of empowerment and sometimes, for some children it was. Was.

“No excuses” schools exist across the country, often as part of charter school networks such as KIPP. They are usually concentrated in urban areas, serve mostly low-income students and families of color, and generally boast of high test scores. There has been a lot of emphasis on the belief that all students can succeed and that, my administrators told me, “we sweat the little things so we don’t have to sweat the big things.” In everyday practice, it means spending money A lot Remind children to keep straight, silent lines and face forward over time.

“No excuses” schools are usually the school of choice, which means parents choose these schools for opportunities, safety and quality of education.

And some hype is completely accurate. These schools have high achievement statistics, focus on college preparation, and provide a safe and orderly place for students who might not otherwise have it. In my school, one third of our student organizations went to private high school after graduating eighth grade. Every year in May, my social media is full of pictures of their college graduates. I have found that the emphasis on personal accountability shifts children from dependent, indifferent students to confident and motivated young people. They felt empowered by the message that they were ultimately responsible for their success. For other students, the results were not so positive.

The problem is, in the end, people are not always personally responsible for their successes or failures.

When we tell kids that their future is in their hands alone, we ignore the structural problems that stand in their way. After all, if it were all intellectualism, anyone would be able to go to Harvard if they wanted it too badly, wouldn’t they? No excuses! A child sleeping in class because he works at night with his mother and only gets four hours of sleep? No excuses! If she is motivated enough, she will take her head off her desk, concentrate on class, and do two hours of homework each night, in addition to earning money to help her family survive.

When we claim that the only element of a student’s relative success is their motivation, we remove a large part of their identity and experience. Disabilities, neuropathy, poverty, learning styles or cultural differences in interactions — these are all considered irrelevant. Worse, we send the underlying message that if students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, their parents had a “grit”, lack of intelligence or drive. If your dad is an Uber driver, it doesn’t matter that he was an Eritrean engineer. There is no excuse for living below the poverty line.

What the “no excuse” school fails to recognize is the difference between excuse and reason.

If I’m late for work because I stopped buying a coffee, that’s an excuse. I should have left earlier or survived without the added harm of caffeine so I could stay on time. However, if my son’s school bus breaks down and I have to take him to school unexpectedly, I’m not making excuses for being late. That’s one reason. It’s not something I could have avoided through more preparation or better planning; This was a problem that was beyond my control. Schools often fail to distinguish between excuses and valid reasons that a student is struggling.

Don’t get me wrong: I hear a million silly excuses a day. Often they equate “my dog ​​ate my homework”. Sometimes they are more valid — I was out late for church last night — but what can the kids plan ahead of time? I spend a lot of time saying, “But you knew about this project / test / assignment three weeks ago!” Kids need to learn to plan ahead and take responsibility for their own work. But there is a difference between making excuses and explaining the reasons and we as teachers have to accept that.

If a child is out of uniform because they had to leave their apartment after a robbery at gunpoint, that is a reason, not an excuse. There is a reason why a baby cannot do their homework because they are babysitting younger siblings, not an excuse. And the kids who come to school hungry have a great reason for not paying attention and not being ready to learn every minute of the day. You may be thinking, “Of course, but those are extreme situations. Most kids don’t have that kind of challenge!” But remember, “no excuses” schools cater to children living in poverty – these problems are more common than you might think.

All we need is a “some excuse” policy.

Everyone needs grace and understanding. And everyone has an urgent and unexpected situation. Every time I hear a coworker say to a student, “Don’t worry about why your boss is late for work,” it annoys me. Is this what we really want for our kids? Growing up and working in a widget factory where bosses really don’t care about their sick child or their car accident on the way to work or their flooded apartment? Will we be in a job that only cares about our productivity and not about our well-being? (Okay, maybe it’s safe not to answer that question.)

Accountability is important. So when it comes to acknowledging systematic injustice, it makes it impossible – yes, Impossible– For our students to succeed. Teaching students, especially vulnerable children who end up in “no excuses” school, when to take responsibility and when to ask for help is important not only for their success, but also for their survival. And only when we recognize Because Our students struggle instead of calling them Excuse meCan we start providing them with the support they need?

Have you worked at a “no excuse” charter school? What are your thoughts on such a model? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Also, for more articles like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters.

25 Fun Ways to Teach and Learn Them

Let’s face it, most of us don’t need to know what “future continuous perfect” means in our everyday lives. But we do need to use it correctly. In most cases, kids pick up proper verb tenses naturally as they go along. But there are some advantages to understanding and being able to name tenses, especially when it comes to irregular verbs or learning a new language. These verb tenses activities provide lots of interesting ways to tackle the topic.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. Build verb “tents”

Small paper tents labeled with verb tenses, with paper people

Set up “verb tents” to learn about verb tense. This smart play on words turns playtime fun into a learning activity.

Learn more: Our Fun Homeschool

2. Craft verb tense rainbows

A paper cloud with colorful strips representing a rainbow, with verb tense sentences on each strip

Knowing proper tenses makes the world a more colorful place! Kids add sentences for the past, present, and future tense of any verb they choose.

Learn more: Buggy for Second Grade

3. Conjugate as you move

Stick figure drawings showing a person marching, walking, and moving their arms

As you go from one place to another (out to recess, down the hall to lunch), have students pick different movements to complete. Use those in sentences for practice: “We are going to march. We are marching. We marched to the playground. “

Learn more: Activity Tailor

4. Sort sticky notes by ending or helping verb

How Verb Show Time anchor chart with sticky notes sorted into past, present, and future

Talking about verb tense endings or helping verbs? A simple sticky note sort is an easy way to give them hands-on practice.

Learn more: Smitten With First

5. Identify incorrect usage too

Sorting activity showing correct and incorrect verb tense usage

Sometimes it can be just as helpful to see what’s incorrect as what’s correct. Try this sorting activity, or allow kids to come up with their own examples.

Learn more: The First Grade Roundup

6. Match up LEGO bricks

Lego bricks labeled with present and past tense of irregular verbs

What kid doesn’t love an excuse to play with LEGO? Use a marker to write irregular verbs and their corresponding past or future tenses on individual bricks. Then kids match them up for practice. Want other educational uses for LEGO bricks? We’ve got them!

Learn more: The OT Toolbox

7. Link sentences together with helping verbs

Paper chain made of word links with helping verbs

This is a terrific visual to show kids how helping verbs actually link sentences together. Buy a set of strips at the link, or have kids make their own.

Learn more: Ashleigh’s Education Journey — Linking Verb Chains

8. Travel in time with printable armbands

Printable verb tenses time machine arm bands and a pair of scissors

Fire up your imagination and take trips to the past, present, and future with these cute (and free) printable armbands. They’ll really help kids relate tenses to time.

Learn more: Lindy Loves to Teach

9. Roll helping verb cubes

Paper cube with helping verbs on each side and a printable worksheet for writing sentences

Get some helping-verb practice by rolling these DIY cubes. Students roll the cubes, then write sentences with the correct verb tenses shown. Create your own cubes, or buy a printable set at the link below.

Learn more: Ashleigh’s Education Journey — Helping Verb Cubes

10. Use timelines to explain verb tenses

Verb Tenses & Timelines anchor charts for simple verb tenses, progressive verb tenses, and perfect verb tenses

Verb tenses and timelines are a perfect match! Timelines help kids visualize the concept, especially when you get to the more complicated tenses.

Learn more: Upper Elementary Snapshots

11. Line up for human sentences

Kids lined up holding word cards to form a sentence

Pass out the free printable cards and have kids line up to form a present-tense sentence. Then change the tense, and see which student has the correct spelling of the word.

Learn more: Longwing Learning on TpT

12. Make simple tense mini-books

Verb Tenses printable these books for past, present, and future

Give your students a booklet they can refer to as they practice verb tenses. Visit the link to get free, printable, simple verb tense mini-books to use with your class.

Learn more: Teacher Thrive

13. Play Zip, Zap, Zop

Instructions for playing Verb Tenses Zip Zap Zop

This fast-paced game is a fun way to practice tenses! Kids stand in a circle and take turns saying the past, present, and future tenses of verbs as they’re called out. Miss one? You’re out, and the game continues.

Learn more: Teaching With Class

14. Recognize the end sounds of past tense verbs

Students matching cards with past tense verbs with the appropriate pronunciation

The sounds that verb endings make can get tricky. Is it pronounced “Stop-ed” or “Stopt”? This activity helps clear up those challenges.

Learn more: The Balanced Literacy Diet

15. Tap lights to indicate tense

Tap lights with arrows pointing back, up, and forward, with bag of Past Present Future cards

Label tap lights with arrows indicating past, present, and future. Then, pull verb cards from a bag and have kids tap to turn on the correct tense light.

Learn more: Speech Time Fun

16. Watch a verb tenses video

This video will get your students up and moving! As each word (dance, jumped, wiggle) appears on the screen, they identify the tense or conjugate as prompted. After a few watches, they can move along with the music too.

17. Play Slap It! with verb tenses

Student and adult slapping their hands on a pile of colorful cards (Verb Tenses)

Flip over a verb from the “present” pile, then start flipping cards from the “past” pile. When the correct match appears, SLAP IT! The winner keeps the cards, and the play starts over. Get free printable cards to use for this game at the link.

Learn more: Deceptively Educational

18. Try some verb flash cards

Verb flashcards with cartoon pictures and sentences in the past tense

Flash cards aren’t just for numbers! This set helps kids learn irregular verbs, regular past tense, and active and passive verbs.

Learn more: Junior Learning Verb Flashcards on Amazon

19. Tell a story from a picture

Carton picture labeled What did they do?  Box beneath has a fill-in-the-blank story to complete.

Have kids study a picture and tell a story about what they see. Set the story in the past, present, or future. Get a free printable to get you started at the link.

Learn more: iSL Collective — What Did They Do?

20. Spin and write to practice perfect tenses

Verb tenses printable game with spinner circle from The Curriculum Corner

Using a pencil and paper clip for a spinner, students flip a verb card, spin to see which tense they’ll use, and write out a sentence. Download the free printable at the link.

Learn more: The Curriculum Corner

21. Sing the Helping Verbs song

Helping Verbs song lyrics (Verb Tenses)

Helping verbs are part of verb tenses, and this catchy song helps kids learn them. After you sing it, challenge kids to write their own song!

Learn more: I Teach for Kids

22. Make a recycled verb shaker

Plastic bottle labeled Verb Shaker with word cards

This is a homemade version of an “I Spy” game. Bury verb cards in a plastic bottle filled with colored rice, then have students find verbs and use them in sentences or provide the different tenses.

Learn more: Crazy Speech World

23. Color in the tenses

Color the Tense printable worksheet with stars containing verbs in different tenses

We’ll take any reason to break out the crayons! Grab this free printable at the link.

Learn more: Terrific Times in Third on TPT

24. Display verb tenses in a simple chart

Colorful chart labeled 12 Verb Tenses in English

We often don’t realize how much it helps to know the names of the different tenses until we’re studying a new language and trying to conjugate its verbs. A chart like this one for English verbs can be very helpful in learning the concept.

Learn more: English Grammar Here

25. Play verb tenses Battleship

Battleship grid with I You He She It We They across the top and various activities down the side (Verb Tenses)

The beauty of this game is that you can play it over and over again using different tenses! Players plant their “ships” on the board. Each player takes turns saying a sentence using the chosen tense: “You will listen to music tomorrow.” The other player indicates hit or missjust as in traditional Battleship.

Learn more: iSL Collective — Tense Battleship

Love this? Try these Parts of Speech Activities That Will Up Your Grammar Game.

Plus, chat with other teachers to find out how they cover verb tenses and other grammar topics on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

The best short stories for middle school students, chosen by teachers

A good short story is a perfect learning tool. As they take less time to read, these are an easy way to introduce your students to new writers and genres. Also, the best short stories are as interesting and meaningful as the best novels. We asked our listeners on Facebook and Instagram to share some of their favorite short stories for high school students. Here’s the big list!

  1. Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder”
  2. “The Monsters Are Doing On Maple Street” by Rod Searling
  3. “Hearts and Hands” by O’Henry
  4. Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Far Tree”
  5. Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace”
  6. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
  7. Frank Stockton’s “Lady or the Tiger”
  8. Gary Soto’s “Baseball in April”
  9. Francisco Jimenez’s “The Circuit”
  10. Wendellin van Drenen’s “Flipped”
  11. “The Open Window” by H. H. Munro (Saki)
  12. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Mask of the Red Death”
  13. And Henry’s “The Ransom of the Red Chief.”
  14. “Fixed income” by Sherman Alexi
  15. Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Wife’s Story”
  16. “Bleeding on the sidewalk” by Evan Hunter
  17. Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet”
  18. Jean Davis Okimoto’s “My Favorite Chapron”
  19. “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” by Walter Dean Myers
  20. “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto
  21. “Flowers for Algaron” by Daniel Kiss
  22. “Daily Use” by Alice Walker
  23. “Lamb for slaughter” by Roald Dahl
  24. Langston Hughes’ “One Friday Morning”
  25. “A very old man with huge wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  26. Shirley Jackson’s “Charles”
  27. Click Neck Guyman’s “Click the Rattlebag”
  28. Julia Alvarez’s “Name / Name”
  29. Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”
  30. Katherine Mansfield’s “The Fly”
  31. “Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan
  32. “Liars do not qualify” by Junius Edwards
  33. Liam O’Flaherty’s “The Sniper”
  34. “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe
  35. Anne Hart’s “Everything Changed on Friday”
  36. “The Scholarship Jacket” by Marta Salinas
  37. “Amigo Brothers” by Pierre Thomas
  38. Amrita Pritam’s “Wild Flower”
  39. Luis Erdrich’s “Year of My Birth”
  40. Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”
  41. Isaac Asimov’s “The Fun They Had”
  42. “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut
  43. “Hard to Find a Good Man” by Flannery O’Connor
  44. “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros
  45. “Thanks, ma’am,” Langston Hughes said.
  46. “Believing in Brooklyn” by Matt de la Pena
  47. “Validation” by Sherman Alexi
  48. “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
  49. Maya Angelou’s “When I Lay Down”
  50. Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day”
  51. Virginia Driving Hawk Snive’s “The Medicine Bag”
  52. Gary Paulsen’s “Stop the Sun”
  53. “Mother and Daughter” by Gary Soto
  54. “The Tale-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
  55. Lucille Fletcher’s “The Hitchhiker”
  56. Roald Dahl’s “The Landlady”
  57. “The Smallest Dragonboy” by Ann McCaffrey
  58. James Hearst’s “The Scarlet Ibis”
  59. Julia Alvarez’s “My First Free Summer”
  60. Shirley Jackson’s “Lottery”
  61. And. Henry’s “The Gift of the Maggie”
  62. “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan
  63. Richard Connell’s “Most Dangerous Game”
  64. “Soul Painting, Inc.” By Meg Medina
  65. Jacqueline Woodson’s “Main Street” (link to the collection where the story can be found)
  66. Tony Ked Bambara’s “Raymond’s Run”
  67. “Moving away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin
  68. “What’s the Worst Thing That Happened” by Bruce Coville
  69. William Weimark Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Claw”
  70. Veronica Bird’s “The Bu Hague”

If you’re looking for even shorter stories, check out these recommendations compiled by the Seattle Public Library, Short Story Guide, and Burns & Noble.

Also, we like the collections: A Thousand Beginnings and Ends, compiled by Ellen Oh and LC Chapman from We Need Divers Books, and Meat Cute: Sona Charaipotra, Dhoneel Clayton, Nicola Eun, Ebie Joboi, and others. People are destined to meet.

Don’t miss our favorite high school poetry list.

Want more articles like this? Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!

I worked at a “no excuse” charter school and here’s what I know now

“Excuses are a tool for the weak and incompetent. I am not weak or incompetent! Therefore, I will not use excuses. “I used to hear that mantra in my next room every morning. It seemed to be a positive message of empowerment and sometimes, for some children it was. Was.

“No excuses” schools exist across the country, often as part of charter school networks such as KIPP. They are usually concentrated in urban areas, serve mostly low-income students and families of color, and generally boast of high test scores. There has been a lot of emphasis on the belief that all students can succeed and that, my administrators told me, “we sweat the little things so we don’t have to sweat the big things.” In everyday practice, it means spending money A lot Remind children to keep straight, silent lines and face forward over time.

“No excuses” schools are usually the school of choice, which means parents choose these schools for opportunities, safety and quality of education.

And some hype is completely accurate. These schools have high achievement statistics, focus on college preparation, and provide a safe and orderly place for students who might not otherwise have it. In my school, one third of our student organizations went to private high school after graduating eighth grade. Every year in May, my social media is full of pictures of their college graduates. I have found that the emphasis on personal accountability shifts children from dependent, indifferent students to confident and motivated young people. They felt empowered by the message that they were ultimately responsible for their success. For other students, the results were not so positive.

The problem is, in the end, people are not always personally responsible for their successes or failures.

When we tell kids that their future is in their hands alone, we ignore the structural problems that stand in their way. After all, if it were all intellectualism, anyone would be able to go to Harvard if they wanted it too badly, wouldn’t they? No excuses! A child sleeping in class because he works at night with his mother and only gets four hours of sleep? No excuses! If she is motivated enough, she will take her head off her desk, concentrate on class, and do two hours of homework each night, in addition to earning money to help her family survive.

When we claim that the only element of a student’s relative success is their motivation, we remove a large part of their identity and experience. Disabilities, neuropathy, poverty, learning styles or cultural differences in interactions — these are all considered irrelevant. Worse, we send the underlying message that if students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, their parents had a “grit”, lack of intelligence or drive. If your dad is an Uber driver, it doesn’t matter that he was an Eritrean engineer. There is no excuse for living below the poverty line.

What the “no excuse” school fails to recognize is the difference between excuse and reason.

If I’m late for work because I stopped buying a coffee, that’s an excuse. I should have left earlier or survived without the added harm of caffeine so I could stay on time. However, if my son’s school bus breaks down and I have to take him to school unexpectedly, I’m not making excuses for being late. That’s one reason. It’s not something I could have avoided through more preparation or better planning; This was a problem that was beyond my control. Schools often fail to distinguish between excuses and valid reasons that a student is struggling.

Don’t get me wrong: I hear a million silly excuses a day. Often they equate “my dog ​​ate my homework”. Sometimes they are more valid — I was out late for church last night — but what can the kids plan ahead of time? I spend a lot of time saying, “But you knew about this project / test / assignment three weeks ago!” Kids need to learn to plan ahead and take responsibility for their own work. But there is a difference between making excuses and explaining the reasons and we as teachers have to accept that.

If a child is out of uniform because they had to leave their apartment after a robbery at gunpoint, that is a reason, not an excuse. There is a reason why a baby cannot do their homework because they are babysitting younger siblings, not an excuse. And the kids who come to school hungry have a great reason for not paying attention and not being ready to learn every minute of the day. You may be thinking, “Of course, but those are extreme situations. Most kids don’t have that kind of challenge!” But remember, “no excuses” schools cater to children living in poverty – these problems are more common than you might think.

All we need is a “some excuse” policy.

Everyone needs grace and understanding. And everyone has an urgent and unexpected situation. Every time I hear a coworker say to a student, “Don’t worry about why your boss is late for work,” it annoys me. Is this what we really want for our kids? Growing up and working in a widget factory where bosses really don’t care about their sick child or their car accident on the way to work or their flooded apartment? Will we be in a job that only cares about our productivity and not about our well-being? (Okay, maybe it’s safe not to answer that question.)

Accountability is important. So when it comes to acknowledging systematic injustice, it makes it impossible – yes, Impossible– For our students to succeed. Teaching students, especially vulnerable children who end up in “no excuses” school, when to take responsibility and when to ask for help is important not only for their success, but also for their survival. And only when we recognize Because Our students struggle instead of calling them Excuse meCan we start providing them with the support they need?

Have you worked at a “no excuse” charter school? What are your thoughts on such a model? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Also, for more articles like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters.

Motivational teacher quotes to increase your motivation

Need inspiration? Don’t even look ahead! Quotes from this inspirational teacher may be something to remember exactly why you taught in the first place. Read on for quick news of love, support and inspiration from teachers.

See also our list of favorite classroom quotes!

1. I was not born to “just teach.”

I was not born "Just teach," I was born to inspire others, to change people and to never give up;  Even when faced with a challenge that seems impossible.

2. A child, a teacher, a book.

3. That teacher is really wise …

4. When you love your class, your students just know.

5. All small moments with your students.

6. Children learn best when they like their teacher and they think their teacher likes them.

7. A great teacher is a great artist.

8. See a teacher where a classroom student is admitted …

9. It is good to teach children to count, but it is good to teach what is counted.

10. A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.

11. A teacher influences eternity.

12. The lesson of compassion is just as important.

13. If you don’t like something, change it.

14. If you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow.

15. Every work has its ups and downs, but not every work can change a life.

16. The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters.

17. Choose to teach only the brave.

18. Our fingerprints do not fade from the life we ​​touch.

19. The best teacher has an intention not in the mind but in the heart.

20. Sometimes the greatest PD is the teacher below.

21. The strategy of being a happy student is to make yourself happy first.

22. The great teacher inspires.

23. Educating the mind without educating the heart is not education at all.

24. You are a great teacher.

25. Mainly associate with teachers who promote you.

26. like a Boss Teacher

27. Teaching is a profession that teaches all other professions.

28. May your coffee be strong and may your students be calm.

29. Be the one who makes everyone feel like one.

30. Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.

31. Be a leader in the school of fish.

32. Every child needs at least one adult.

33. Be great, be amazing, be you.

34. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

35. Teaching is the greatest work of hope.

36. It starts from the inside.

37. The world needs all kinds of minds.

38. Do you love.

39. The world is changed by your example.

40. Plant some beautiful seeds.

41. You are a hero to your students.

42. The best teachers are those who show you where to look.

43. I am a teacher standing in front of my class.

44. You are already a good teacher.

45. If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday.

What inspiring teacher’s quotes make you strong and inspiring? Share to our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

And if you like inspirational quotes, you’ll love these 5 free posters to celebrate.

The best short stories for middle school students, chosen by teachers

A good short story is a perfect learning tool. As they take less time to read, these are an easy way to introduce your students to new writers and genres. Also, the best short stories are as interesting and meaningful as the best novels. We asked our listeners on Facebook and Instagram to share some of their favorite short stories for high school students. Here’s the big list!

  1. Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder”
  2. “The Monsters Are Doing On Maple Street” by Rod Searling
  3. “Hearts and Hands” by O’Henry
  4. Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Far Tree”
  5. Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace”
  6. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
  7. Frank Stockton’s “Lady or the Tiger”
  8. Gary Soto’s “Baseball in April”
  9. Francisco Jimenez’s “The Circuit”
  10. Wendellin van Drenen’s “Flipped”
  11. “The Open Window” by H. H. Munro (Saki)
  12. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Mask of the Red Death”
  13. And Henry’s “The Ransom of the Red Chief.”
  14. “Fixed income” by Sherman Alexi
  15. Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Wife’s Story”
  16. “Bleeding on the sidewalk” by Evan Hunter
  17. Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet”
  18. Jean Davis Okimoto’s “My Favorite Chapron”
  19. “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” by Walter Dean Myers
  20. “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto
  21. “Flowers for Algaron” by Daniel Kiss
  22. “Daily Use” by Alice Walker
  23. “Lamb for slaughter” by Roald Dahl
  24. Langston Hughes’ “One Friday Morning”
  25. “A very old man with huge wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  26. Shirley Jackson’s “Charles”
  27. Click Neck Guyman’s “Click the Rattlebag”
  28. Julia Alvarez’s “Name / Name”
  29. Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”
  30. Katherine Mansfield’s “The Fly”
  31. “Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan
  32. “Liars do not qualify” by Junius Edwards
  33. Liam O’Flaherty’s “The Sniper”
  34. “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe
  35. Anne Hart’s “Everything Changed on Friday”
  36. “The Scholarship Jacket” by Marta Salinas
  37. “Amigo Brothers” by Pierre Thomas
  38. Amrita Pritam’s “Wild Flower”
  39. Luis Erdrich’s “Year of My Birth”
  40. Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”
  41. Isaac Asimov’s “The Fun They Had”
  42. “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut
  43. “Hard to Find a Good Man” by Flannery O’Connor
  44. “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros
  45. “Thanks, ma’am,” Langston Hughes said.
  46. “Believing in Brooklyn” by Matt de la Pena
  47. “Validation” by Sherman Alexi
  48. “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
  49. Maya Angelou’s “When I Lay Down”
  50. Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day”
  51. Virginia Driving Hawk Snive’s “The Medicine Bag”
  52. Gary Paulsen’s “Stop the Sun”
  53. “Mother and Daughter” by Gary Soto
  54. “The Tale-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
  55. Lucille Fletcher’s “The Hitchhiker”
  56. Roald Dahl’s “The Landlady”
  57. “The Smallest Dragonboy” by Ann McCaffrey
  58. James Hearst’s “The Scarlet Ibis”
  59. Julia Alvarez’s “My First Free Summer”
  60. Shirley Jackson’s “Lottery”
  61. And. Henry’s “The Gift of the Maggie”
  62. “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan
  63. Richard Connell’s “Most Dangerous Game”
  64. “Soul Painting, Inc.” By Meg Medina
  65. Jacqueline Woodson’s “Main Street” (link to the collection where the story can be found)
  66. Tony Ked Bambara’s “Raymond’s Run”
  67. “Moving away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin
  68. “What’s the Worst Thing That Happened” by Bruce Coville
  69. William Weimark Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Claw”
  70. Veronica Bird’s “The Bu Hague”

If you’re looking for even shorter stories, check out these recommendations compiled by the Seattle Public Library, Short Story Guide, and Burns & Noble.

Also, we like the collections: A Thousand Beginnings and Ends, compiled by Ellen Oh and LC Chapman from We Need Divers Books, and Meat Cute: Sona Charaipotra, Dhoneel Clayton, Nicola Eun, Ebie Joboi, and others. People are destined to meet.

Don’t miss our favorite high school poetry list.

Want more articles like this? Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!