I am a deer in the headlights kind of student, and my teaching has followed suit. I came to this work with the idea that I was going to make a difference, helping to shape young people’s lives. I thought I’d be sitting in a room with apathetic students, and that somehow a particularly brilliant activity or conversation about literature would change them forever. I believed we would sit in our workshop circles and drool over the language in front of us. I thought I...
When I began teaching full time and pursuing a masters degree simultaneously, I was under the impression that I would struggle most with the work load. I was shocked to learn that, while balancing the work would definitely be challenging, I would struggle more with managing technology:
I just graduated in May 2015 with my Masters in Early Childhood Education
A degree upon my hand, questions, reality slapping me left and right…
Is this a dream, did the wind really whispered in my ears?
Did I just hear, you are not done learning!
Is that true, I thought I was, or I hope I did!
Wow, grad school was such a journey
Cartoons: they aren’t exactly given the Shakespeare treatment in literature circles. Some scoff with derision, others giggle at the impropriety of it all, while others still meekly raise their hands and try to argue that if history teachers can get away with showing political cartoons, why aren’t English teachers allowed to demonstrate the finer points of Hamlet to toddlers through Sesame Street? But regardless of public attitude, it is fact that behind the pretty colors,...
I remember the old adage "Back when I was a boy"...and when I heard that, I knew that I was about to get a lesson on how easy I had it when I was young, compared to the difficulties and hardships my parents had. And years later, I could finally understand the adage. "Back when I was a girl, we only wrote compositions on yellow, fuzzy paper with blurry red lines. We used the Reader's Guide green books to find resources, often squirreled away in the musty, dusty, stack in dimly lit...
At the Creativity Lab, we understand the worries and headaches that often go along with trying to design and create a makerspace. Just knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. In fact, we hear enough concern over how to create a makerspace that we host an entire workshop on the subject. So, what’s the secret to a “correct”...
From June 2015:
Finally a few minutes to view the Innovation Hour presentations and I was more impressed watching them after the fact than while I was there. So much great work by students came out of these projects, but viewing the montage video has helped me think more about what I want to do differently next year.
From May 2015:
As I looked back at my journey with this project, I realized I had not provided enough opportunities for students to talk about their work with people outside their peers and receive feedback on their progress. This blog post outlines one of the times I did provide that opportunity and delves into why this is such an important component with this type of work.
From March 2015:
This post details my efforts to find resources to help students overcome their fears of public speaking and prepare a rockstar presentation for the Innovation Hour Showcase event, as well as some thoughts on...
As any teacher can attest to, trying to be innovative in an industrial-era model of school is challenging. This blog post details some of the issues I faced as my students moved forward with their projects and negitiated the new model I set up. Some things we were able to work around with grant money and a little brainstorming, other things like school policy, stymied their progress.
From January 2015:
(This originally appeared at Kevin's Meandering Mind)
Each year, when I teach Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, I make sure to read the first few chapters out loud to my sixth graders. This gives them a feel for the poetic style of writing and allows them to visualize some important elements of the setting.
It also leads me to a great passage on page 7 that always...
In the extremely rural place where I live, there is lots of space, but not a lot of public spaces in the conventional sense. No coffee houses, malls, or parklets. We do have large open pieces of public land and an amazing library.
A couple years ago, I wanted to start a seed library, and our local librarian graciously offered to host it at the library. I wasn't sure whether other people would be interested in it, but it turnout out that they...
After a few months with this project, we moved into Holiday Break which allowed some time to dig deeper into my students' blogs and evaluate the effectiveness of our approach to 20 Time. I made some big changes that alleviated some of the issues that kept cropping up across the teams.
From January 2015:
This blog represents a turning point for 20 Time in my classroom. The funding I was awarded, as well as the implementation of status reports changed the tides of student projects and progress in my class.
From December 2014:
Innovation Hour journey- Installment 4
From November 2014:
It seems like my classroom this year is a bundle of activity. I think much of it is attributable to the 20 Time projects, but some of it stems from my desire to not repeat the same lessons year to year. Changing things up each year keeps me and my students from getting bored, but it also creates a tension within myself that I never really have a handle on what is going on. Sometimes I wish I could just do the same...
As I continued with my 20 Time journey last Fall, I realized how important it is for students to see somebody who has walked the walk with following their passion. We watched lots of TED Talks and discussed how to find and follow a dream, but there is no substitute for live mentorship. This post come from October 2014: