Real talk.I'm late to the game on equity in schools. I've started reading, and reading, and reading. I've taken coursework examining pieces of the problem like racism, poverty, and privilege. I seek out my own resources - getting books after they come up at Edcamp conversations, on Twitter chats (thanks #EduColor), blogs I've read, or … Continue reading Real Talk – RtI and Equity
About this time last year, I discovered Breakout EDU, and I've been hooked ever since.If you're not familiar, it essentially turns your classroom into an escape room environment where students solve a series of puzzles to get INTO a box. (That part confuses them at first, but they get over it).The best part is that … Continue reading Assessing Students with Breakout EDU
So, late in 2016 - my friend and colleague Matt (@MatthewWeld) and I had a conversation about how we both wanted to blog more. We had just completed a Twitter challenge, and through our discussion came up with the idea of #12monthsblogging writing challenge.Over the holiday break, I brainstormed some possible topics and questions, and … Continue reading Better Late Than Never, Right?
I've now wrapped up my first year implementing Genius Hour with my 8th graders. I jumped in with a few questions still on the table, but it was a risk I'm glad I took.In the fall, students researched topics of their choosing, but I accidentally narrowed their output by giving too many specifics up front. … Continue reading Final Genius Hour Reflection and Wrap-Up
Tomorrow is my students' Genius Hour Expo. The day we've been talking about since we returned to school in January has arrived.After our first round of Genius Hour last semester, I realized something needed to change. My students spent a lot of time and energy on something that only I saw. The "share out" element … Continue reading ‘Twas the Night Before Expo
Grammar instruction isn't the most exciting thing in the world. In fact, people might argue that students don't really need to be able to identify subjects, verbs, and all other parts of the sentence. I do believe that being able to think metacognitively about language is a skill that students should be exposed to.One of … Continue reading BYOD, Technology Integration and 8th Graders Loving Grammar Lessons
Although I know the idea is controversial for some, my students wrote research-based argument papers as the first part of their 2016 Genius Hour projects. I was on the fence about this. Would I really be holding up the idea of Genius Hour with this kind of assignment? Would students really feel the passion about … Continue reading Genius Hour – My Personal Mid-Check
Earlier this week I had a conversation about #1S1W with my 8th grade language arts students.I was inspired by Pernille Ripp's post HERE after she reflected on the day with her students. I also adapted the discussion questions (and used the classrooms around the world and Detriot, MI article links) from Ms. Korver HERE.First we looked through … Continue reading One School, One World, One Teacher’s Reflection #1S1W
For our January novel study, I wanted to test out a new type of literature circle activity. For 8th graders, the "jobs" version of literature circles never worked quite as well as I would have liked it to. Plus, it's a lot of work to set up, and the kids never seemed to know what … Continue reading Literature Circles – Updated for Middle School
I am excited to announce that for 2016 - my classes have adopted a "Change the World" mindset for our Genius Hour.We are currently deep into the topic selection process, and students will begin researching soon! (Would have been today...but then, snow day ❄.) THIS is the website I created for this project. I have combined … Continue reading We are Changing the World!