Erin Klein is a blogger, conference presenter, social-media guru, mother—and also one fantastic second-grade teacher. Klein shares her forward thinking ideas at conferences and workshops as well as in the digital world, where she can be found leading Twitter chats, contributing as a Scholastic Top Teaching blogger, and hosting webinars.

Here are a few of the amazing ways Erin stays ahead of the curve—from cool gadgets to terrific teaching advice!

 

The Basics

School: Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

In her past life: Before pursuing a career in education, Klein studied interior design. Not surprisingly, she places a heavy emphasis on classroom design and its impact on learning.

Teaching philosophy:
“Most of what I do is the workshop model approach. It’s very student centered.”

 

Tech Tools in Her Toolbox

Anything with a camera: “Anytime we do a nature walk or take a field trip, my students love to snap photos.”

Livescribe pen: “It not only allows kids to write using pencil and paper but also records or annotates every sound.”

colAR Mix app: “Kids like to use colAR Mix pages to work on fine motor skills and creativity.”

Cool Project

Artists in residence: Working in collaboration with art teachers, Klein’s students each choose an artist to study. In class, Klein facilitates a nonfiction literacy unit in which students learn the research process. With their research, the children write about their artist and paint an interpretation of their artist’s work. To cap off the unit, students display their masterpieces at a makeshift museum and serve as docents for their exhibits. To watch a video slide show of the project, click here.

Best Teaching Advice She Has Received

“You don’t have to perfect every single day.… What new teachers need to realize is that it’s okay to fail. In my eyes, it’s probably encouraged. There’s that famous acronym that failing is your first attempt in learning.… It’s less about how well your lesson plans are written and more about what your children do with the plans.”

 

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Photo: Courtesy of Erin Klein