The Lily Effect: Isolated Teacher Makeover

During one of the first professional development (PD) days for my district at the beginning of the school year, I worked with several teachers and had several conversations. Some were just typical teacher banter expected at the first full PD day of the new school year, but one particular comment stood out the moment it was uttered. It continues to crop up in my mind at random moments. It stirs my oppositional defiant mojo each and every time. I don't recall the specific wording, but while discussing the "new" collaboration methods our principal used on us as a demonstration, this particular teacher, an experienced teacher near retirement, said something like: I'm there to teach. Students are there to learn.

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Blogging with Google Sites? Google Classroom to the Rescue! Let the Commenting Begin!

With the new updates and revisions to the New Google Sites, many educators are wanting to use Sites for their student blogs. The problem is that there is no easy way for students to also receive comments on their sites from their audience.  There are a few ways to work around this, such as embedding blogs from actual blog sites, but at this point, I want my new high school bloggers to have control over the audience and for me to be able to keep an eye on the comments without having to do a lot of tab hopping.

Caption This! A fun, deep-thinking Google Drawings activity

This post is co-authored by Ditch That Textbook’s Matt Miller and Laura Steinbrink. Laura is a high school English teacher and tech coach from Plato, Missouri. Check out Matt's blog, Ditch That Textbook, at ditchthattextbook.com for the full post and more. Excerpt of this post: If you are like me (Laura), you are constantly searching … Continue reading Caption This! A fun, deep-thinking Google Drawings activity

Brain Science + Share + #Sketchnotes=1-2-3 Win for Students!

A favorite time of year for me is most definitely Christmas. I freaking love it. The decorating, the shopping for others, secret Santa fun, giving back to the community, the family and friend get-togethers are just a few of the reasons I love this time of year. As of last year, a new reason for absolutely loving December is the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit put on by author and speaker, Matt Miller.

Cranky Student Makeover: Graphic Organizer + Sketchnotes=This Doesn’t Suck

Ever had one of those days where multiple students, if not most of the class, struggled with the content? Maybe you were showing a movie that had important information, but the students weren't getting it because they were not engaged?  If the truth be told, we've all probably had a class, a day, or a period where the students struggled with being engaged in the lesson or content while we struggled with the students. If this is sounding a bit familiar, then boy have I found a little nugget of "This doesn't suck" for you!

The Beauty in Discomfort

This may not seem like an educational blog post at first, but bear with me. Though educators are whom I originally intended this post for, it is not limited to them. I think the implications will become clear as you dig in deeper into the post, since that is where I swing the hammer of obviousness...hard. But don't duck the swings. Even though you will see it coming in plenty of time to duck, let it hit. Absorb the blow. Find the beauty. 

Rockin’ PD: EdCamp With A Twist:

The constant struggle faced by many school districts regarding professional development generally leads to a discussion of how to bring teachers the professional development they need, tailored specifically for each of them. It's quite the tug-o-war. All District PD days generally lead to frustration by staff because their individual needs are not met, they are not given time for processing and reflecting on what was presented, and there's certainly no time for applying what was learned if by the smallest chance it did actually fill a need for some teachers.