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Don't Panic: I'm a Teacher

Navigating the Galaxies of 21st Century Learning

When your students are just the best!

Let’s just talk for a minute about how amazing my students are. Continue reading “When your students are just the best!”

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Why Did You Become a Teacher? #sol15

When our entire days become about lesson plans, students, grading papers, learning the new student information system, or when we’ll get to actually use the restroom, it’s important to reflect and take some time to remember why we teach. I’d like to invite all the teachers in my life to join me in reflection tonight.

Continue reading “Why Did You Become a Teacher? #sol15”

Mastering the Book Review

http://theyuniversity.tumblr.com/image/129179874920

Not a huge fan of traditional book reviews, but I AM a big fan of infographics!

I Love My School: 10 Things to Celebrate- #celebratelu

What are you celebrating today? Thanks to Ruth Ayers for the Celebrate Link Up.

Discover. Play. Build.
As I reflect on the first week of school, I look past the anxieties to focus on the joys.
Can I celebrate coffee?
Can I celebrate coffee?

Continue reading “I Love My School: 10 Things to Celebrate- #celebratelu”

The “Writing Autobiography”: A New Tradition?

Over the next week or so of classes, I’ll be asking my students to write their “Writing Autobiography.” I used to ask them to write me their mini autobiographies and, while I loved reading them, it now feels intrusive to ask my students to tell me their life stories right off the bat. I want to build some trust first. Let’s face it: Writing can be brutal.  Everyone has gotten negative feedback about their writing, and that can REALLY damage a person’s willingness to give it another shot. On the other hand, we also get praise from audiences who like our writing.

I want my kids to write about the good, the bad,  and to start thinking about possibilities.

Continue reading “The “Writing Autobiography”: A New Tradition?”

Old-School Teaching Ritual #SOL15

There is a certain comfort that comes with routine.

I am a pretty tech-savvy teacher. I mean, I have my own blog, after all. Over the past couple of years I have gained a reputation as someone people can come to for tech support with all sorts of programs. I was an early user when my school adopted Office365 as our “approved” cloud, I have actively maintained a class website, and last school year my students and I embarked on a video project that took up almost all of fourth quarter. So far this school year, I have been typing away on my tablet (it has an attachable keyboard) at every PD and meeting, usually updating my various OneNote binders.

So it might come as a surprise that I am one off the few people who still actively uses one of these lesson planners:

"Modern" is ironic, I think...
“Modern” is ironic, I think…

Continue reading “Old-School Teaching Ritual #SOL15”

Navigating the Tabs: A “Don’t Panic!” Reminder for Teachers

Although I typically try to keep all images posted on my blog self-made, I could NOT get this meme out of my head today:

Since today was the first day of school-based professional development (my district gives us eight work days before the school year officially kicks off), I have successfully navigated the following tabs: [TL:DR Summary: a ton of stuff.
Continue reading “Navigating the Tabs: A “Don’t Panic!” Reminder for Teachers”

Intervention: Feline Edition

It’s hard to choose a “slice” today to talk about, since today has been full. Although it is still technically summer vacation for another week, I am working part time (pro bono?) to get a writing center started at my school, I am teaching my adult education class, mentoring a teacher new to our school, preparing two presentations for the beginning of the school year professional development series, and somewhere in there I’m working on a ten day fitness challenge.

I’m exhausted.

As I sat down to work on my agenda for my first mentor/protege meeting, my cat intervened. Continue reading “Intervention: Feline Edition”

Using Goodreads.com in the Classroom

Digital Learning Sunday Linkup with Reflections on the Teche
Digital Learning Sunday Linkup with Reflections on the Teche

I hate reading logs. Seriously. I haven’t had any meaningful success with real students using them. I mean, they’re great in theory: keep track of books and pages read. Some teachers even have parents/guardians sign the reading logs in order to add some extra authenticity to them. But, all I’ve ever faced is frustration. By the time I am asking my teens to fill out their page count for the day, they are packing up to leave or they’re ready to move on to the next thing. Some of them fake numbers for fear that they are disappointing me (they’re not–for some students, just getting through a few pages is an accomplishment) and some just flatly refuse because they don’t see an authentic connection to anything in their lives, academic or otherwise.

Enter Goodreads (available online, apps for Apple and Android devices) 

Goodreads Book View
Goodreads Book View

I wanted to find a way to do reading logs that would reflect an authentic reading life. Continue reading “Using Goodreads.com in the Classroom”

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