Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Viewing: Educational Policy

Pannello blog

The Invisible Strategies of Teaching: #whatpeopledontsee

By on November 23, 2015

hen you walk onto a middle school campus and even into the rooms themselves, it can look like chaos. After all, middle schoolers are wired to be active and wired to be loud. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t learning

Pannello blog

Boy Talk at Recess: Pokemon, Light Sabers, and Things That Go Boom!

By on October 11, 2015

y most recent post for The Huffington Post just went live.  It chronicles my embarrassment when my 9-year-old son chose his classroom’s parent-led art session to voice his recent interest in bloody talk.  It also chronicles my son’s frustration at

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.58.49 PM

DIY Project Based Learning for ELA and History

By on August 16, 2015

’m excited to announce that my new book, DIY Project Based Learning for ELA and History has arrived and is now available for purchase. The point of the book was to break down the process of PBL into day-by-day chunks


How to Host a Twitter Chat with your School Community

By on August 9, 2015

very year schools sit and brainstorm ways to communicate and engage its families. How will we reach out to parents? How will we gather information about their needs or give them a little insight in what we do as educators? A


The Full Interview with Dr. Spiros Michalakis

By on October 30, 2014

s part of my recent superhero PBL unit, I brought in Dr. Spiros Michalakis to talk to my students about research for their science-fiction based narratives.  Spiros is a Quantum Physicist who consulted on the new Marvel movie, Ant-man.  Sure,

Screen shot 2014-10-26 at 12.27.47 PM

Training Judges for a Speech Tournament: A Reflection on How Students (Even Adults) Learn

By on October 26, 2014

e just finished hosting our first quarter speech tournament on Friday night.  Our league, to our knowledge, is one of the largest middle school leagues in the country, and the coaches meet frequently to ensure that our tournaments run as


What is the Purpose of School?: Understanding Purpose Helps with Student Motivation (updated)

By on August 11, 2014

start my school year with a little blog post about what students think school is all about.  It begins a year-long conversation about purpose that I then refer to throughout the school year.  “What is the purpose of the digital


Organizing Google Drive For Your New School Year

By on July 25, 2014

I have drunk the Google Drive Kool-Aid.  I used it daily last year, and I am now a convert.  However, as a result of my recent condition that I’m calling Googlenthusiasm, my inbox and Drive are now ready for a


Having Any Nightmares About the Start of School Yet?

By on July 22, 2014

I posted the following on Facebook earlier today and got such a fun response, I just had to put it out there in a bigger way:   Had my first start-of-year-stress-dream last night. My collaborative tables had been replaced with


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

Cant becomes can. Motivation concept

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

brain workout

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


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

screaming kid

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,

Brass scales 3D concept isolated on white

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

Modern education and online learning

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