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ISTE Aligned Digital Citizenship and New Grade-Level Updates

In a world where the majority of communication happens online, teachers are finding they are now responsible for guiding their students in becoming informed and respectful digital citizens. Starting as young as kindergarten, children are interacting with others in digital communities on a regular basis. As students spend more time online, the term “digital citizenship” is becoming more widely used. 


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Celebrating Labor Day 2021 with Fun Learning Activities

Labor Day 2021 is just around the corner, and teachers around the country will soon be bombarded with the popular question, “Is there school on Labor Day?” Instead of just saying ‘no’ on autopilot, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this excellent learning opportunity in your classroom.

By delving into American history this month, your students will see how certain historical events shaped the labor movement in the United States and how it continues to impact each of their lives today.

As a class, you can:

  • Find out when Labor Day takes place every year
  • Discover why Labor Day became a federal holiday in the United States
  • Learn some of the best ways to commemorate it over the long Labor Day weekend
  • Complete some fun Labor Day activities as a group

The options for celebrating Labor Day as a class are virtually endless. And you can even create some of your own unique Labor Day traditions in your classroom.


When is Labor Day?

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. So it changes from year to year based on which date it happens to fall on. In 2021, Labor Day takes place on Monday, September 6th.

Labor Day Activity Ideas

There are plenty of Labor Day activity ideas that your students can do at home with their families over the long Labor Day weekend. And having students brainstorm ideas for celebrating the holiday with their families and sharing them as a class can be a great way to introduce the topic for the first time.

For instance, many families enjoy hosting picnics and barbecues, attending parades, and watching fireworks displays. While other families like to take advantage of the time off by traveling on vacation or to visit close family members and friends.

Unique ideas for celebrating Labor Day and the American worker, in particular, include taking a farm or factory tour, volunteering your time, or bringing treats to your local police station, fire station, or hospital.

You can also go to a festival, attend a football game, or visit a local history museum. Many families also like to do outdoor activities like swimming, boating, hiking, building a bonfire, or playing backyard games since Labor Day also signals the end of summer.

See how many of these Labor Day activity ideas your students can come up with on their own, share them with the class, and then move into the history of the labor movement and how Labor Day became a federal holiday.

History of Labor Day

Labor Day became an official federal holiday in 1894. It was created to celebrate the workers in the United States and the many social and economic achievements being made in the country at that time.

It took place during the Industrial Revolution when the country was moving away from a farming and craftsman-type lifestyle to one that was driven by manufacturing on a large scale.

Back then, Americans worked incredibly long hours—often 12 hours per day, 7 days per week—and they were often subjected to very unsafe working conditions. Children as young as 5 or 6 years of age were often employed in mills, factories, and mines too.

As a result of the harsh working conditions, labor unions began to form in order to fight for the rights of the working class. Strikes and rallies took place to encourage employers to place a limit on work hours, pay a living wage, and make their facilities safer.

Labor activists pushed for Labor Day, which was already recognized in some states, to become an official federal holiday in 1984.

To this day, Americans continue to celebrate Labor Day and all of the American workers who have contributed to the strong economy of the United States.

Labor Day Activities for Kids

Labor Day activities for kids can be a fun way to supplement what they’ve already learned in your class. And you don’t have to spend your precious planning time creating them because there are so many already available on the internet. 

There are Labor Day worksheets geared towards learning the history of the holiday, word searches, picture matching games, vocabulary definitions, word scrambles, crossword puzzles, and many more.

If you’re looking to give your students a multimedia experience, you can show a Labor Day video for kids on Youtube. From fun facts to songs, book read alouds, and cartoons, you’re sure to find a Labor day video your students will enjoy.


And to tap into their creative side, check out some of the Labor Day art projects and Labor Day crafts for kids online. Pinterest is a great resource for all things creative, and there are tons of pins out there with fun and unique ideas that your students will really get into.

Some of the art projects include painting American flags, painting fireworks with forks, and painting patriotic lanterns. Plus, there are really fun craft ideas like making patriotic suncatchers, luminary jars, and confetti launchers.

Lastly, you can set up a competitive typing challenge among classmates with the Labor Day custom typing lesson found on Typing.com. The Labor Day-related content has already been written for you so your students can practice their typing skills in a race against the clock with little prep required. All you need to do is view our activity and log in to your teacher portal to create the lesson!



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Back-to-School Classroom Management Strategies

Back to school means it’s time for teachers to implement strategies to get to know students. Whether it’s ice breakers, activities, or routines to roll out on the first day back in the classroom, it’s important that teachers are strategic about these first few days in the classroom. Orienting students to expectations for the upcoming year sets them up for success.

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Typing as a Skill for Adults in the Workforce

In today’s workplace, employers are searching for qualified candidates to fill their jobs. They are looking for individuals with good communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills. Along with those soft skills, many employers are in search of potential employees with professional skills such as typing. Job seekers may find that they do not qualify for certain jobs because they are unable to meet the employer’s Words Per Minute (WPM) requirement. With practice and more focused work on typing, job seekers will have more success in their job search while learning a much needed skill in today’s society.

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The Benefits of Game-based Learning

In a time disturbed by COVID-19, the exploration of digital learning tools has become an essential strategy for keeping students engaged while socially distanced. Although game-based learning (GBL) is not a new concept, the benefits of digital game-based learning are more apparent than ever. 

Game-based learning and gamification have been shown to increase student engagement, foster social-emotional learning, and motivate students to take risks. So what exactly is game-based learning and gamification? How do games help students become active participants in their learning process? We will cover those questions and more in this article on digital game-based learning. 

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Digital Citizenship in the Time of Remote Learning 

The internet is a vast abyss of content. These days it seems like you can learn almost anything online—from how to change a tire to how to suture like a surgeon. The growth of edtech tools has led to a whole new range of possibilities when it comes to learning. As students and teachers leverage technology to enhance learning, it is imperative that students understand the qualities of digital citizenship.

The shift to online learning during the pandemic was a challenge to say the least; however, we can’t deny the benefits of ed tech’s capacity to engage students like never before. As we embrace a more digital curriculum, we need to be prepared to teach digital citizenship.

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Accessibility in the Tech Classroom: Including Every Learner

With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming over our heads, educators are continuously looking for ways to modify lessons to create lessons for digital learning.  The tech classroom is a place for students to learn valuable and real world skills that will help them be successful in today’s workplace. While edtech teachers work to create engaging lessons for their students, it is important for them to consider ways to support accessibility in the classroom and achieve equity in the classroom. 

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Back to School in Edtech: How to Combat Learning Loss

Ask any teacher what learning loss is, and they’re likely to tell you that it’s the forgetting of previously learned information that occurs every year while students are on summer break. After all, it’s why teachers always start the first few weeks of each new school year by having students review information and practice skills they learned the year before. 

And while learning loss certainly isn’t a new phenomenon by any stretch of the imagination, it has garnered a lot of attention ever since the covid school closures brought the issue into focus. The learning loss in the 2021–2022 school year is going to be a challenge even more difficult than it ever has been before. Kids are far behind in academics and they are struggling to make sense out of everything that has happened since the pandemic.

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