11 Most-Read Shaped Blogs of 2020

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2020 has been a year like no other—and that feels like an understatement for those in education, whether you're a teacher, administrator, or student (parents, too!). Our whole community has been greatly affected by the school disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Before we say goodbye to 2020, we want to highlight the most-read Shaped blogs, written with you in mind as you navigated this most unusual year. I hope you’ll find some unexpected tips and strategies to make 2021 a memorable year in the classroom—whether that’s in person, virtual, or somewhere in between!

Every student should be empowered to reach their full potential, and every educator has the power to shape the future. We hope that our insights and resources have played some small part in helping you do what you do every day.

11. Social-Emotional Learning Strategies During COVID-19

Even though vaccines are in sight, the effects of the pandemic remain a real threat to our physical and mental well-being. Here are 10 SEL strategies to help students cope.

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10. Teachers in America Podcast, Season 2

Real interviews with real teachers. Teachers are our everyday heroes who do SO much for their students again and again. Here are my two personal favorite episodes to get you started: “On Embracing Native Cultures Feat. Danielle Riha,” and “Virtual Learning During COVID-19 Feat. Sharon Biava.” And if you want to hear a parent’s perspective, check out our special guest on “Homeschooling During COVID-19.”

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9. How This Superintendent Works to Ensure Educational Equity Amid a Crisis

Superintendent Johnson-Shirley shares how her district tackled online learning—and internet accessibility—in this Q&A.

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8. How to Hold a Virtual Read-Aloud

The first thing teacher Katie Risolo Radovich thought about when schools closed was how to keep her read-alouds going! For her first graders, this was the best part of their day together. Hear her tips for holding a successful virtual read-aloud.

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7. How Educators Can Address Race

This really says it all: “Not talking about race and race-related events leaves students misinformed and curious and contributes to the ongoing tensions that exist in our country.” Dr. Tyrone C. Howard gives teachers real tips for how to start conversations about race—and how to not shy away from the topic. And, here's another article by Dr. Howard on culturally responsive teaching strategies that's a good one to bookmark.

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6. Social-Emotional Learning Activities for Middle School

Even in a “normal” year, middle schoolers need a lot of social-emotional learning support. These five free SEL downloadable activities will get your students thinking about everything from self-awareness to responsible decision-making.

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5. How to Engage Students in Online Learning

How do you sustain students’ attention during remote learning? It’s natural for minds to wander in a remote learning environment, but one of our Learning Scientists offers tips to keep your students engaged in the virtual classroom.

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4. Fun Icebreaker Activities for Elementary Students

These icebreaker activities were meant for back-to-school season, but they can help if your class is in a bit of a mid-year virtual slump. Use these ideas to spice things back up in your classroom and get students engaged and interacting with each other on screen again!

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3. Welcome to the Connected Era: Digital Learning Comes of Age

In 2020, COVID-19 caused a seismic shift in K–12 education. This is going to have a huge impact on the future of teaching of learning. Here’s why HMH’s CEO Jack Lynch says this is a seminal moment for teachers. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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2. Ideas for a Very Happy Teacher Appreciation Week (and Beyond!)

In a year where teachers are showing their selflessness again and again, it’s no wonder people want to express their appreciation for them. Our Teacher Appreciation Week blog has been well read all year long. We share ways both administrators and families can show gratitude for the teachers in their lives. It’s never too late to launch a Thank You campaign!

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1. Free Teaching Resources

This is more than a blog—it’s a whole section of Shaped that is by far our most popular. Here you’ll find lessons broken out by subject and grade—straight from our extraordinary Editorial team. There’s something for everyone. It’s kid-friendly, educational content—and it’s free!

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