So during the last 3 days of each school year, for the past 15 years, I do an assignment called The Courtesy Contract. Sometimes, students reach out to me years later to see what they had written during middle school
esearch has shown that collaboration is one of the most effective strategies in student achievement. But to be really successful, a classroom needs to use collaboration techniques beyond the time period alotted for a any one project. It has to
have been using revision stations for a few years now in one way or another. Revision stations are a way to structure learning that allows a student to rotate to different locations and/or activities that each serve a different purpose.
Here’s my new screencast showing two ways I ensure that any unit I design or adapt is aligned to our required standards. In a nutshell: Plan around a particular standard and design with that standard(s) in mind from the
For Part II in my PBL video series, I thought I’d share how I integrate student-generated questions throughout the sequence of the unit. In other words, the students generate the prompts that help propel them along the PBL journey. This
I know that when teachers learn about Project Based Learning, many times they walk away with the rationale, the research, and the overview of what a unit might look like. But sometimes teachers still have questions about the day-to-day implementation.
So it’s the beginning of the year. You’ve probably spent a few out-of-contract days setting up your classroom to look ready for the masses. You’ve hung brightly colored bulletin boards and surrounded them with stapled up content-related borders. The same
One of the things I like about 3d Printing in middle school is that it makes the abstract more concrete. Middle schoolers need that because of where their brain is at developmentally. They straddle the threshold from concrete thinking to
Lately, I’ve been getting really deep into Screencasting, in particular for my English Language Learners and special ed students. I know it’s been around, and we’ve all heard about it, but finding resources out there that make it concrete can
So in an attempt to broaden the use of the 3D printers in my room, beyond that of my Maker-themed ELA class, I thought I’d leverage the curiosity for the devices as an incentive for my additional classes. That way,
This year, I was given a class of LTELs (long-term English Language Learners) and recently exited SPED students with the goal of focusing my lesson implementation on engagement and more social-emotional learning. So we’re leading up to our first grade-level
I’ve written before about the power of using pop culture in the classroom, and this fall will be no different in Room 1. Admittedly, I can’t say I’m a huge Pokemon fan. It’s one of the cartoons I limit in my
So I just finished my first week with my Make Writing class. This class, as I’ve written about in the past, is intended to help those long-term EL students who have become disengaged with school and with learning. These kids
So, I’ve been writing lately about my new class that I’m developing for next year called Make Writing. I’ve been writing curriculum for this class that leverages 3D printing in order to teach Literacy and Writing. The class itself is
“Grading, in kids’ brains, parents’ brains, administrators’ brains, and even teachers’ brains, is a final snapshot after which there is no beyond. But if we can start thinking about assessments as a means to drive feedback, NOW you’re on to something.”
“Whether they’re doing a portfolio or a performance task, they still want to see How do I stack up?” I had a lot of fun being interviewed for Larry Ferlazzo’s podcast about alternatives to grading and traditional assessments. The follow-up
“The printers have been ordered. Fingers crossed. Here we go…..” This was the email I received two weeks ago from my principal who is working with me to develop a whole new kind of Language Arts class. The plan
Mutually Beneficial Animal Relationships (Photos) Written by: Huffington Post Staff Published On: The Huffington Post “The ostrich isn’t very good at smelling, while the zebra can smell pretty well. The zebra though, doesn’t have good eyesight, but the ostrich does.
I first began blogging to reflect on what I was learning during my summer with the Writing Project. After each day, I returned home, head spinning, needing to simply process. Finally, my husband said, “Why don’t you try starting one