By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

It’s here. We are finally in 2017. I don’t know about you but 2016 didn’t feel like 365.25 rotations. Did we maybe go for 2 revolutions around the sun and no one told us? Either way, we made it. With 2016 in our rear view, we can reflect on what went well and what didn’t. You started the school year with a new classroom culture and ultimately set out to make your students feel safe and valued. With the close of a very volatile president election, rife with dissenting opinions and name-calling, perhaps it’s now time to revisit and revise. Our K-12 Education platform can contribute to and enhance your classroom culture. Plus, a positive classroom culture can boost achievement.

Defining a positive classroom culture

Caitrin Blake of Concordia University defines a positive classroom culture as being “characterized by a non-threatening atmosphere where students feel that they are able to speak, offer ideas and take risks without fear of reprisal or mockery. Teachers cultivate healthy classroom environments by focusing on students’ critical thinking skills and are consistent in following rules and disciplining students.” Ythirteen.jpgou discussed your classroom rules and by now, you’ve demonstrated what happens when those rules are broken. Blake pushes educators to use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior instead of focusing on the bad. But in today’s age, with everything so accessible, it’s easy for you students to find ways to justify bad behavior and for you, as the educator, to maybe want to scream. We want to help you start 2017 with a fresh start.

eBooks for a positive classroom culture

OverDrive gives you an opportunity to apply the facets of a positive classroom culture through content and the benefits of a completely digital platform. Our content speaks for itself. We offer millions of titles to help you stock your digital collection with the type of stories your students need to read. It’s difficult to teach kindness and empathy, let a story do it for you. We offer a wide-range of titles that address bullies and the bullied. Stories like Bullied Kids Speak Out where real students share their experiences with bullying and how they stood up for themselves. Your students, all students, can learn from their peers as they express true feelings of fear, pain, and strength. We have options in fiction as well. Classics like Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl which beautifully celebrates individuality and first love while exploring the pitfalls of popularity. Or perhaps, Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why which explores the worst of what bullying can do and how silence is sometimes the loudest and harshest aggressor.

note sample.pngYour students can enjoy this content from your custom OverDrive website, behind the safety of a screen. They can read at their own pace and take advantage of our readability features that include a dictionary tool, note-taking feature, dyslexic font, and an account that tracks their history and annotations. We pride ourselves on a service that delivers individualized learning. When teaching your students how to be better people, why not start with reading? As I’ve said before, it all starts with reading.

Get started with Overdrive today and make 2017 the best year yet.