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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Building Teens' Empathy Skills


Teens need help with managing emotional intelligence (EI) skills, which as defined by EI guru Daniel Goleman is: “The capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, for managing emotions well in ourselves, and our relationships” (Low and Nelson, Texas A & M-Kingsville).

These include:
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills
By helping students increase their awareness and build these skills, you are giving them a lifetime set of tools to use. These skills are also identified by employers as those "most needed" by workers. Increasing students' EI skills can lead to future successes in school and workplaces. 

(From Texas A & M EI Program) 

Where can you find more information about EI and certification in EI for teachers?

EITRI  Emotional Intelligence Training & Research Institute

Take the plunge and include EI in your lesson plans and classroom--you'll notice a difference in students' accountability and responsibility!

Enjoy using EI!
Beth, Educator Helper

FREE EI Based Lesson--Teen Cards:








Pick up more teen cards here!

Also in Spanish:






Pick up more teen cards in Spanish here!
Both teen card sets come with inside quotes to copy, as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Explaining not Proclaiming

Explaining the "why" behind a lesson plan helps students connect learning to real life. So many times as educators we write agendas for students to view, but we fail to connect the dots to how these skills will help students in their futures. Simply stated: we proclaim not explain.

For example, you are required to have a research project in your yearly curriculum roadmap. You write your daily agenda on the board for students to see. Yet, students may view the project as over-inflated because proper MLA citations and scholarly research must be used. You hear them call you "mean" and a "tyrant" for assigning such a project. What they don't see is the big picture--how a research project will help them in their college coursework. 

With a little explaining on your part, students can understand how time management skills, research skills, and the writing process are honed while completing their research projects. In addition, these skills are needed in college courses. Sometimes, with secondary students, it helps to bring in an authority on the topic, such as a college professor or a student from the area who is now in college who can explain why these skills are important to learn. You might also mention that every student in the state is required to complete a similar project during the school year. After all, we wouldn't want to be left out or the only class of students in the state without those skills, would we?

Students do not often see the big picture--they don't understand the "why" behind assignments unless educators explain connections to them. Next time you start a new project, try explaining not proclaiming and take note of the attitude and motivation shift within your classroom.

Happy explaining!
Beth, Educator Helper



FREE Weekly Products:

Click here for complete screenshot presentation on How To Cite Sources for Research Essays







More Research Lessons at Educator Helper TpT Storefront:

Having Fun with Plagiarism

A Guide to Scholarly Research Sources

Recording Research Sources

Working with Citations

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Symbolism and MLK Day

                                     Watch "I Have a Dream" 

Martin Luther King Day is a great time to teach about Civil rights, democracy, freedom, peace, and segregation. All are terms connected to the famous civil rights leader. 

Building background knowledge about Martin Luther King, Jr. begins with basic facts. An excellent way to get students to interact with Martin Luther King, Jr. basic facts is through a comic book:


Have students color, read, and re-tell the story of MLK's life. Then, use the blank comic book page templates to let students re-write the story of MLK's life. This helps students learn about and master background knowledge about the civil rights leader. 

Looking for free? Pick up free, fun MLK puzzles:


Get the answer sheet to the puzzle by clicking here. Of course, there are lots of free resources on MLK, but it's time consuming to explore all of these. Never fear--Educator Helper has found the best FREE resources available!

An awesome way to help students explore Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life is through the use of Teaching Tolerance materials. This diverse website has tons of free resources to help teachers make learning educational and fun. For example, order Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot , a free teaching kit that comes with a documentary, lesson plans, activities, map, and more. 

Discovery Education offers an amazing video called "More Than a Dream". Lesson plans and activities are split into lower and upper levels. Students can also play interviews by acquaintances and family members who speak about Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, a fourteen chapter resource guide is listed. And, this fabulous resource is free!

Last but not least, is the King Center official website. By clicking on "Events", you can live stream the MLK 50 Celebration. There is a digital archive for students to explore, and there is even a "Dream" section. Students can add their dreams that will be posted in the forum section.  

Choosing the right resources to build background knowledge is crucial to learning, so keep it simple and let students do all of the exploring!

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
Beth, Educator Helper



FREE MLK comic book pages:






Re-tell then re-write the information:





For the complete comic book, click here!

Other MLK resources: 



Sunday, January 8, 2017

No Computer? No Problem!

If you've ever had computer issues, you know what frustration is! My computer crashed, and all files should have been backed up, but... This made me re-evaluate all those, "But, my computer crashed!" excuses given by students. The blue screen happens to all users at some time or another. 

Since the Cloud is everywhere, there is no excuse for not backing up files. Devices can even be set to automatically back up files so that no losses ever occur. This leaves me wondering if there will ever be a Cloud failure? It's a great idea to use more than one Cloud service to back up files. But, be sure to take time to go through and delete files that are not needed to keep storage at a maximum. It only takes a few keystrokes and several seconds to back up files!

Keeping the crashed computer in mind, here are some FREE lesson plans and activities that are fun and educational without the use of technology:



Click here for more Wacky Wayne's activity sheets!






Click here for more Mardi Gras activities!



Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Brand New Year




Happy 2017! It's a brand new year with new resolutions. Ever wondered what the top New Year's resolutions are? The Nielson poll lists these as: 

  • Getting fit/dieting
  • Losing weight
  • Enjoying life
  • Spending less and saving more
  • Spending more time with family/friends
Of course, many New Year's resolutions don't stick around long! To make sure your New Year's resolutions become realities, use the handouts below:








Need more New Year's activities? Check out Educator Helper's TpT store for:


FREE!!! 2017 Coloring Packet & Updates Yearly: