Top 19 Posts of 2019

Top 19 Posts of 2019Before we jump into a new year of fantastic advice on the Free Spirit Publishing blog, let’s celebrate the top posts from 2019!

We rounded up our most popular posts this year for your (re)reading pleasure. Got a favorite we didn’t include? Drop it in the comments.

1. Movement-Based SEL Activities for the Classroom

In this post, Connie Bergstein Dow, author of From A to Z with Energy, offers three simple and creative movement activities that build social and emotional learning skills.

2. 10 Inexpensive Ideas for DIY Fidget Toys

Forget the fidget spinners craze. Blogger Andrew Hawk shares 10 ideas for simple (and quiet) fidget toys you or your students can create.

3. Teaching Students to Think Critically

One of the most important skills a student needs for future success is critical thinking. In this post, Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., author of Advancing Differentiation, provides an example of how to teach critical thinking.

4. How to Foster Growth Mindset in Trauma-Informed Classrooms

Foster growth mindset whenever possible. Blogger Amanda C. Symmes, LICSW, provides simple trauma-sensitive suggestions for incorporating growth mindset in a way that weaves the concept, language, and lens into your teaching.

5. The Power of YET: 40+ Songs for Supporting a Growth Mindset

One playlist, more than 40 songs that support a growth mindset. Grab your headphones and check it out!

6. The Upside to Conflicts in Middle School

Conflict in middle school? It’s the perfect opportunity to help students learn to navigate struggle and resolve disagreements, says middle school counselor Stephanie Filio.

7. Growing as a Teacher with the Help of a Coach

If you’re working with a coach to improve teaching practices, you’ll want to read this post about how to make the most of your time, with tips from the authors of Intentional Teaching in Early Childhood.

8. Differentiation 101

What is differentiation? A fad? Unattainable? Neither, says Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., author of Advancing Differentiation. In this post, he explains what differentiation is and provides an example of a differentiated fifth-grade social studies assignment.

9. How to Motivate Students with Effective Praise

Motivating students can be a challenging part of the work you do, but blogger Amanda C. Symmes, LICSW, explores how effective praise can help.

10. Oops! Even Teachers Make Mistakes

Oops! You made a mistake. Now what? Otis Kriegel, author of Everything a New Elementary School Teacher REALLY Needs to Know (But Didn’t Learn in College), answers.

11. Enhancing Social and Emotional Learning Through Self-Regulation

SEL alone doesn’t give kids the whole picture of what it means to be self-regulated. Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., author of Self-Regulation in the Classroom, shares the three dimensions of self-regulation for learning and how they can enhance SEL.

12. The ABCs of Self-Care for Educators

If self-care were a recipe, it would be as straightforward as ABC: Attitude, Balance, Compassion. Beth Baker, M.S.Ed., coauthor of The PBIS Team Handbook, uses the ABC framework to share three guidelines for taking care of yourself.

13. Helping Students Resolve Disagreements with Friends

Conflict resolution skills are back on our top posts list again. This post from James J. Crist, Ph.D., author of The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends, offers advice for helping friends work through disagreements.

14. Positive Emotions in the Classroom: Tips for Boosting Curiosity, Hope, and Belonging

Feelings are contagious! Christa M. Tinari, M.A., coauthor of Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School, shares strategies for boosting the positive emotions of curiosity, hope, and belonging.

15. Nurturing Everyday Creativity in Children

Building on the Torrance Manifesto for Children, Susan Daniels, Ph.D., author of Visual Teaching and Learning, shares how to nurture, develop, and sustain children’s capacities for creative expression.

16. Everyday Social-Emotional Learning

There are so many benefits to teaching social and emotional learning. In this post, early childhood education blogger Molly Breen gives examples of ways you can incorporate SEL into your current practices.

17. The 3 Rs of Supporting Grieving Teens

What can adults do to support teens grieving the death of a friend? Use the three Rs—reassure, reason, and redirect—says Marilyn E. Gootman, Ed.D., author of When a Friend Dies.

18. On Boy Books and Girl Books

Amadee Ricketts, librarian and author of Gentle Hands and Other Sing-Along Songs for Social-Emotional Learning, takes on the idea that there are boy books and girl books. (Spoiler: there are just books.)

19. 3 Visual Teaching Strategies for Students with ADHD

These strategies from Ezra Werb, author of Teach for Attention!, are simple and effective at making things visually clear for students with ADHD—and everyone else too.

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