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30 Jul 2020

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Aimee Copple, Kahoot! Academy’s teacher of the week, shares how her class motto and morning routine set her students up for success

My name is Aimee Copple, a Verified educator on Kahoot! Academy, Kahoot! Ambassador, and 2nd grade teacher in Oklahoma; I teach math, ELA, and everything in between. Here, I’ll let you know my 5 biggest secrets on how I approach teaching and engage learners!

As teachers, we make countless decisions every day. With all of the uncertainty and unknown that back-to-school holds, I hope that my classroom routines and guiding practices help make those decisions a little easier and give your students what they deserve. Let’s get started:

1. We need to be willing to try new things, even if it feels challenging and scary.
I am a risk-taking teacher who is always willing to try new things with my students. Sometimes you read about a really cool classroom tool, and when you try it out, it absolutely doesn’t work. Sometimes, however, you try something new, and you don’t understand how you have been teaching without it! Trying new things not only helps you as a teacher, but it also helps your students learn flexibility and resilience. It’s okay to make mistakes, and the only way to give your students what they deserve is to try something new.

2. Technology should be used to help our students become more technologically literate, not to babysit them.
I love being able to use technology to enhance my students’ learning! When we give our students technology just to babysit them, we are not preparing them for their future. To integrate technology effectively into your lessons, look for where it will be beneficial for your students. I use various apps in our literacy centers and math activities, and I use the SAMR (substitution, augmentation, modification, and definition) model to see where I can include technology into my basic lesson plan.

3. Begin your day with activities to unite, connect, and disengage stress. It’s worth it!
In my classroom, we start every day with a Brain Smart Start, which is from a program called Conscious Discipline. During this morning routine, we engage in activities that unite us, connect us, and disengage us from stress, such as a sing-along or a dance to a silly video. We also make a commitment to ourselves to commit to what we want to work on or do differently that day. On days when I don’t have time to start my day like this, I notice my kids have a harder time staying focused and getting started on their work.

When our kids don’t know how to handle when they are disappointed, upset, or angry, they cannot listen and absorb content.

Aimee Copple

4. We must provide our students with the tools they need to handle emotions and new situations.
I feel really passionately about giving my students the tools to manage their emotions, handle new situations, and deal with conflict. When our kids don’t know how to handle when they are disappointed, upset, or angry, they cannot listen and absorb content. It’s important also to teach these tools in the moment: It’s one thing to tell them, “here’s what you should do when you feel XYZ,” and it’s another for them to be feeling it and you take a moment to help them through it.

5. Your motto should be “mistakes help you learn and grow.”
My ultimate goal for my students is for them to know that mistakes help you learn and grow. This is my motto and my class motto, and I have it posted on my classroom door to reference it every day. I also want my students to understand how to learn from their mistakes, so they don’t continue to make the same mistakes again. Mistakes or no mistakes, I want my students to know that they are loved very deeply, and no matter what their morning, lunch, or recess was like, they are safe, valued, and appreciated.

Check out my Verified profile on Kahoot! Academy to find original standards-based quizzes to support your teaching and engage your learners!

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