Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Viewing: Curriculum

Movie Trailer Review:  Where the Wild Things Are

Movie Trailer Review: Where the Wild Things Are

By on March 27, 2009

Yes, it’s true.  I’m reviewing a movie review.  But when you watch it, you’ll understand why. Spike Jonze of “Being John Malkovich” fame (amongst other image-rich movies and videos) is directing a movie version of the Maurice Sendak classic, Where

Teaching Secrets: Finding a Job That You Love

Teaching Secrets: Finding a Job That You Love

By on March 25, 2009

Know a teacher who got a pink slip?  Maybe my newest post at Teacher Magazine can help.  Click here for the article. It’s Step 1 of my Top Secret New Teacher Handbook.  Hope it creates some shortcuts, a machete even,

Finding Your Own Theme in Life

Finding Your Own Theme in Life

By on March 20, 2009

I have an article in the new March/April issue of Imagine Magazine, put out by Johns Hopkins.  It’s a beautiful magazine, whose audience is gifted middle schoolers.  It’s always a pleasure to write for a middle school audience.  I can

The “Sweet Spot” in Interactive Whiteboards courtesy of Robert Marzano

The “Sweet Spot” in Interactive Whiteboards courtesy of Robert Marzano

By on March 9, 2009

CUE scored Marzano.   As he began his keynote presentation on Friday at the 2009 Computer Using Educators conference, Robert Marzano confessed that he had been slow on the tech bandwagon, only recently researching enough to see what all the

CUE Conference: Podcasting with 70 Middle Schoolers – RU Crazy?

CUE Conference: Podcasting with 70 Middle Schoolers – RU Crazy?

By on March 7, 2009

So here’s my Keynote presentation for all of you who wanted to flip through it for some reminders.  To open up my handouts, click here.   Hope you all enjoyed the session, and feel free to drop me a line

The Death of Teacher Conferences or I Can’t Believe I Miss My Canvas Bag

The Death of Teacher Conferences or I Can’t Believe I Miss My Canvas Bag

By on February 23, 2009

So, CATE (the California Association of Teachers of English) just came to an end.  The hotel was lovely.  All ran smoothly.  We were greeted with smiles aplenty, and everything ran on time.  Sheridan Blau, Kelly Gallagher, Carol Booth Olson, Taylor

Starting from scratch in teacher training

Starting from scratch in teacher training

By on February 18, 2009

I recently heard Judy Willis (of “syn-naps” fame) speak at a conference.  In her pre-teaching life, she was a neurologist and she brings her knowledge to the classroom and to her lectures.  (See my recently published article in Teacher Magazine, “My

Is EdTech changing how students think or is it addressing the changes in student thinking?

Is EdTech changing how students think or is it addressing the changes in student thinking?

By on January 29, 2009

Science Daily is reporting that there has been a shift in how students are thinking as a result of their use of technology.  They believe it possibly lowers critical thinking skills and analysis.  Additionally, they wonder just how much schools

Metacognitive Poetry: Writing About Thinking While Writing Lesson

Metacognitive Poetry: Writing About Thinking While Writing Lesson

By on January 23, 2009

Here’s a great metacognitive lesson that integrates poetry.  Or is it a poetry lesson that is metacognitive?  (Shrug)  I believe that good writing and great structure can be taught through mimicking great authors.  Using this philosophy as my guide, my

Recalling your own Metacognition

Recalling your own Metacognition

By on January 20, 2009

I’ve been working on metacognitive lessons with my middle schoolers in an attempt to teach reflection and the act of thinking about thinking.  Anyway, one of the most important elements in teaching about thinking is in your own remembering of

Is Cursive Really a 21st Century Skill or is it History?

Is Cursive Really a 21st Century Skill or is it History?

By on January 5, 2009

Look, we all agree, that our job is to prepare our students for their future by teaching 21st Century skills, right?  Well, then why is cursive even a continuing debate?   We can no longer afford to spend time on

Differentiating New Teacher Support Programs

Differentiating New Teacher Support Programs

By on December 23, 2008

OK, so we preach about differentiating our lessons.  We preach about differentiating our students.  We preach about differentiating our assessments.  But what about differentiating the requirements of our new teacher programs?

XWikiWorkspaces

XWikiWorkspaces

By on December 1, 2008

I thought I’d share a little of what I’m doing in the classroom with XWikiWorkspaces.  So, going off the frustrating fact that my district is blog-o-phobic, I was wracking my brain in how to teach internet literacy while still catering

Grammar Snafu and Dances with the Stars

Grammar Snafu and Dances with the Stars

By on November 3, 2008

OK, I admit it.  I’m a Dances with the Stars Fan.  Although I do believe that the series has jumped the shark with the group hip-hop number two weeks ago (did we really need to see Cloris Leachman in short-shorts?),

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?” 

Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Book Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

By on October 20, 2008

You know when you enjoy a book so much you begin to slow down towards the end just to make the sweetness last?  Well, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is one of those.  NG writes with a rhythm in his

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

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,