Showing posts from December, 2017

5 Ways Students Can Share What They've Learned

There are so many amazing new ways students can share what they've learned and create incredible projects, videos, websites, and presentations to show what they've learned. This is a quick list of 5 I've used this year that my students and I really liked. I won't go into too much detail about each product, this more of a whirlwind tour then an in-depth tutorial. Enjoy!  If you live anywhere on social media, even if you spent like 5 seconds on twitter this year, you probably already know about this one. It's not my favorite (and to be honest, my students don't LOVE it) but it has a ton of potential and has some really amazing features.  How It Works:  Students record up to 5 minute long videos reacting to a prompt. Students can comment and react to each other (but those features can be turned off) feels like instagram of videos but is self contained (you control who has access to the grid and can post.). What I like about it: It feels like s

Book Review: Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

This book changed how I approach reading in my classroom and the results were amazing. I want students to be active in their reading, I love when students annotate and write in the margins while reading, but I was having trouble turning readings into engaging discussions that were student led. That changed when I read this book. This book makes a compelling case for why we need to change how we approach reading in our classrooms in order to save democracy. That might sound cheesy or too bold of a stand for an education book to make but when I tried the practices in this book, I don't think they are too far off from their goal. The framework and practices in this book encourage students to talk about what the text says, what the text makes them think, and how the text makes them feel. This might sound too obvious or simple but often in classrooms we aren't asking students to do all three and we aren't giving time for students to talk about all three. I know I was

"How Is It December?" or "When You Don't Have Something Nice To Say..." or "How Year Four of Teaching Came to Be My Best Year Yet"

I've done a terrible job with my goal of regularly blogging this year. Part of that is because this year has had some real low points for me and I did not want to fill this space with negativity. There are a lot of scary statistics out there about the attrition rate in the first five years of teaching. Since I started, every year has had moments where I felt like I wasn't going to make it but this year was particularly hard because the things that made me feel like I wasn't going to make it through to year 5 had nothing to do with work load or students or parents, it had to do with a small handful of other educators. There is a book out there called Escaping the School Leaders Dunk Tank , I started reading it earlier this year thinking it would help me with the challenges I was facing but it just made me more angry. It makes me angry that so few negative voices can have such an impact on school culture. It makes me angry that this is so much the norm in education that an