Educators who keep on top of school trends will always find fresh material to engage their students and keep their skills up to date with what administrators want. So what's on trend for elementary education in 2018? Here are our top predictions.
More Project-Based Learning
Project-based learning not only enhances learning, it builds soft skills including collaboration and emotional intelligence. Project-based learning initiatives combine traditional skills (i.e. reading or math) with group work and technology. The project-based approach embeds knowledge deeper, so students remember key concepts for longer. (source 1)
Examples of elementary education project-based learning initiatives might include kinetic sculptures, the "Flat Stanley" doll, or classroom pen pals. (source 2)
Mindfulness Over Discipline
Schools are always looking for ways to improve student behavior. Discipline -- whether it's detention or time-out -- may be falling out of favor for mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation allows students to reflect on their behavior and choices without passing judgment or shame.
As of 2015, 18 percent of schools responding to an Education Week survey used meditation or yoga with students. (source 3) Expect mindfulness to trickle down to younger populations, providing elementary teachers a new way to help students process feelings and reduce behavior issues in the classroom.
Many educators believe AI will be the next big thing in schools.
At present, IBM's Watson technology -- the Jeopardy champ -- offers K-5 math resources in over 1,000 schools in a trial. (source 4) The teaching tool can adapt to the pace of learners, providing helpful math resources.
Artificial intelligence can help teachers triage their classrooms by providing support to slow learners or assist with materials grading, so teaches can do more with their limited time.
Teachers, what trends in elementary education are you most excited about for 2018?