Heather Wolpert-Gawron

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Judging Websites for History Day

Judging Websites for History Day

By on December 19, 2008

Yesterday I was proud to judge a number of our group website entries for our History Day competition.  Three of our history teachers use History Day as a project-based learning opportunity for all of their students.  These students have their

Book Review: The Hunger Games

Book Review: The Hunger Games

By on December 9, 2008

Kids killin’ kids for TV viewing pleasure? Great tween reading fun! I just finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins . It took me awhile to get a hold of it because the minute I brought it into my classroom

Budget Cut Victim – Textbook Adoption

Budget Cut Victim – Textbook Adoption

By on December 5, 2008

We just got word that we will not have our scheduled textbook adoption for ELA this year as planned.  I have to admit, it is disappointing.  I mean, yes it meant I was going to be out of the classroom

Second-Career Teachers…Aren’t we All?

Second-Career Teachers…Aren’t we All?

By on November 22, 2008

The Illinois News-Gazette recently reported an increase in second career teachers.  But, really, aren’t we all second-career teachers?  I mean, unless we bopped from high school to a BA to an education program and landed directly into the teaching field,

CUE 2009

CUE 2009

By on November 16, 2008

I have two sessions that I will be presenting at CUE in March this year.  I thought I’d share a little of what I sent to them to give you a little preview of what I’m going to be talking

Fundraising Mafia

Fundraising Mafia

By on November 15, 2008

I’m being stalked by two of the tiniest, cutest 7th graders I’ve ever seen.  Big eyes.  High voices.  You know the type.  They are apparently the heavies for Yearbook, sent out into the wilds of 8th period to swing open

Obama and World of Warcraft

Obama and World of Warcraft

By on November 11, 2008

Where were you when?  It’s a question I asked my readers and my classes the day after the election, and you know what answer I heard the most often?  Ironforge.

Book Review (sorta): Thoughts on Neal Shusterman’s The Schwa Was Here

Book Review (sorta): Thoughts on Neal Shusterman’s The Schwa Was Here

By on October 26, 2008

So I just finished reading Neal Shusterman’s The Schwa Was Here.  I know, I know.  For all you librarians out there, you’re probably saying: “What?  It took you THIS long to read it?  Jeesh, what kind of tweenteacher are you?” 

When it works, it’s amazing!

When it works, it’s amazing!

By on October 3, 2008

I’m referring, of course, to my new Interactive Whiteboard. I think I’m going to name my second child Promethean.

The Excitement Graph: Plot and Word Choice

The Excitement Graph: Plot and Word Choice

By on October 2, 2008

Every year, I do this activity when teaching Narrative Plot.  I’ve used it from 3rd grade to 12th grade.  I learned a version of it first in 1993 at a UCLA Extension class on “Teaching Reading to Secondary Students” and

The snail wins the race…with RSP

The snail wins the race…with RSP

By on October 1, 2008

Just a brief post of victory to share: At the beginning of Sept 2007, I gave a pre-assessment to my class in order to learn their levels and begin the process of differentiation.  I looked through the results and my

What’s my role in this debate?

What’s my role in this debate?

By on September 28, 2008

Dear Fellow Edubloggers, Many of you have been blogging far longer than I have.  I have many of you on my Google Reader and I admire your wit, your writing, and would now love your advice. Last week, I posted

Book Review: Breaking Dawn (Cliff Notes of the Stephanie Meyer’s series)

Book Review: Breaking Dawn (Cliff Notes of the Stephanie Meyer’s series)

By on September 26, 2008

Look, I’m a big believer in reading what the kids are reading, so I picked up the first in this crapfest of a series.  I was a big Anne Rice fan during my middle school years, so clearly I’m not

Should a free education be unconditional?

Should a free education be unconditional?

By on September 6, 2008

So you know when you get your group of kids on the first day, there are those who immediately set off your alarms?  Well, that definitely happened to me on my first day. I have a student who clearly needs

Find the Fib…First Day Activity (UPDATED)

Find the Fib…First Day Activity (UPDATED)

By on September 5, 2008

I learned a version of this activity from Erick Gordon this summer at the UCI institute. Basically, it’s a get-to-know activity where the students get to learn a little about me and then learn a little about each other. It

Oh, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a’comin…

Oh, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a’comin…

By on August 30, 2008

So, in a move reminiscent of a 12-year old girl caught up in the riot mentality of rumors, I believed the whisper I heard about not getting my Whiteboard for 2 months.  But I tell you now: it was false,

Hurry up & Wait – My New Interactive Whiteboard: Part II

Hurry up & Wait – My New Interactive Whiteboard: Part II

By on August 24, 2008

So, I had my online training.  I met the Whiteboard sales guy in my classroom to discuss where the board is to be mounted.  I talked with my principal to develop an interactive whiteboard presentation during our first staff development

My new Interactive Whiteboard: Part I

My new Interactive Whiteboard: Part I

By on August 11, 2008

Is the tale of the recent surge of Interactive Whiteboards a grade-B horror flick or a Cinderella story?  Are they the villain or the belle of the ball?  They’ve begun creeping into trendsetting classrooms, taking over precious wall space and

Joanne Jacobs comment:”Stop facilitating and start teaching”

Joanne Jacobs comment:”Stop facilitating and start teaching”

By on July 6, 2008

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer posts a not-so-intelligent take on teacher vs. student-directed classrooms.

Collaboration…Blocked by a Firewall Near You

Collaboration…Blocked by a Firewall Near You

By on July 2, 2008

I just saw Doug Fisher's presentation on ELL students in the Language Arts classroom. I got me reflective on tech's role in collaboration in the classroom.