Heather Wolpert-Gawron

So You Think You Can Dance + Math = STEAM

By on June 9, 2014

I just wanted to share a quick classroom resource today that I stumbled on in my TiVO feed. I admit it, I’m a So You Think You Can Dance geek.  It’s always been a great show in terms of modeling

Do You Remember the Moment When You First Learned “Grit?”

By on April 6, 2014

OK, so here’s my confession: I’m not so sure that grit can be taught.  I know, however, from experience, that it can be learned.   So I think it’s time we all had a frank conversation about the role of school

Can you trick a student into thinking critically? Or is it just a trick?

By on March 18, 2014

So my students are currently taking a publisher’s online pilot test.  We are doing it for three reasons: 1. This gives the students practice for the SBAC online test.  The format of these practice tests is meant to mimic that

Big ‘Ol List of CUE Resources

Big ‘Ol List of CUE Resources

By on March 16, 2014

Hey all!  For those who saw me present at CUE in Palm Springs, here is the list of many of the resources I mentioned in my presentation, “From Pencils to Paperless: Developing a Blended Environment for Teens.”  You may have

Speech and Debate Secret Sauce: Building Community in Any Classroom

By on March 10, 2014

As I’ve recently written, I am the coach of a very successful and very large middle school speech & debate team.  It’s a huge job to coach all of these kids, but it’s amazingly rewarding.  It’s rewarding to know that

Let’s Talk About Speech, Baby: Speech & Debate and the Common Core

By on February 2, 2014

Besides being a Language Arts teacher, I am also a Speech and Debate coach.  I haven’t written about it too much, not for any reason other than I spend a lot of time geeking out over curriculum design in teaching

What do Jeff Wilhelm and Ashton Kutcher Have in Common? : Teaching for Character

By on December 23, 2013

Earlier this December, I attended the UCI Writing Project annual conference.  Every year, this conference douses a teacher in strategies to teach writing and literacy, and every year I come away with valuable methods and implementation goals.  This year, the

Tips on Embedding Evidence: Writing with Numeracy

By on December 12, 2013

As we journey deeper into the world of Common Core, the need for factual evidence rather than emotional opinion becomes more and more vital.  So that got me thinking in a more targeted way: as an ELA teacher, what are

Tween Brains, Part III: How to Work It Out In The Classroom

By on October 30, 2013

 In part 1 and part 2 of my series on the tween brain, I covered why teachers need to become brain hobbiests and some key terms when learning about the brain.  In this final post on the tween’s crazy cranium,

The Obsession with Self-Quantification and the Consequence in Education

By on October 22, 2013

 I recently read a commentary in Time Magazine by Kathleen Parker called, Count Me Out.  It was a fascinating little diatribe about our obsession with self-tracking and quantifying success.  She was looking through the lens of folks who find ways

Going Paperless: The Digital Binder

By on September 13, 2013

I wanted to share a bit of what I’m doing in my various classrooms as a means to go paperless.  To me, the need to go paperless is about two things: 1. The reams of paper that are used in

The Work Around

By on August 25, 2013

The image in this post is a metaphor for what this year is all about so far: the Work Around. Let me explain: I know that the ideal way to wear a Nike is to wear a sock that is

When Life Turns on a Dime, You Discover Your Family

By on August 14, 2013

I want to tell you a little about what happened to me this summer, but I promise that it will come around and relate to school.  Cruddy hook, I know, but I wanted you to know there was a method

Classroom Goal: Learn 10 New Things a Week (about them)

Classroom Goal: Learn 10 New Things a Week (about them)

By on August 11, 2013

 I recently checked out a link from a Facebook friend.  It is apparently an ongoing list about current science discoveries called “10 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week.”  It was interesting, but it really got me thinking about a new

I’m Confused. What Am I Fighting For? Who Am I Supposed to Be Fighting?

By on July 3, 2013

I find myself confused about my profession and, as a result, confused about my path within it. I entered teaching with a feeling of pride about my purpose, feeling the system was working with me to help prepare students for

10 Weeks Left of School for the 8th grade class?  Think Again…

10 Weeks Left of School for the 8th grade class? Think Again…

By on April 15, 2013

There are 10 Weeks left of school for our 8th grade class.  Wait!  Not so fast.  Let’s do the math.  Take our initial timeline of 10 weeks and begin to subtract the end-of-the-year obligations: Minus one week for some teachers

Honors Classes: The Need for More Diversity – Part II

By on March 28, 2013

In my recent Edutopia post, I posed a problem that is plaguing many schools today: that of racial inequity in our honors classes.  Many of us at the middle school level are wondering what our role is in bridging gaps

Sir Ken Robinson: live at CUE 2013

Sir Ken Robinson: live at CUE 2013

By on March 15, 2013

I had the privilege of seeing Sir Ken Robinson as the keynote speaker at the CUE conference earlier today.  For those who may not know of whom I speak, here is his now famous TED speech on “Do Schools Kill

“Managing the Hidden Differences in Your Classroom” : Bam Radio

By on March 5, 2013

We must embrace our diversity if we are to emerge a country that is a leader in this global community.  I would like to think that it starts in our schools.  And if it starts in our schools, and is

BYOD? They Already Do

By on January 17, 2013

A short post today on how the debate about bringing your own device to school is superfluous and antiquated.  After all, they already do. Case in point: when a student wants to borrow a pencil, I have them leave collateral