Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Viewing: Educational Policy

Pannello blog

Pencils to 3D-Printers: A New Kind of Language Arts Class

By on February 7, 2016

  “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

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Eeny, Meeny, Mino, Moe: Which 3D Printer Should We Own?

By on January 27, 2016

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the start of my journey to create a Language Arts and ELD class that leveraged 3D printing as a means to initiate a more purposeful curriculum for reading and writing.  I will be

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5 Nonfiction Articles + Novels Series: Middle School Edition (Jan.)

By on January 20, 2016

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.

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Making, Writing, & Leaving My Wheelhouse: How This Relates to ELD Students (UPDATED)

By on January 10, 2016

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

Pannello blog

Celebrating the Refugees Already in Our Classrooms: Memories and Advice From a Student

By on December 1, 2015

In June 2001, a family of four escaped from the slaughter of Nepal and made their way across the world to safety. They arrived, not in boats dragged up on shore, but in the arms of families who helped them

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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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