Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Viewing: ELA

End-Of-Year Reflection: The Epic Poem Haiku

By on May 17, 2017

As we’re ending the school year, I know that the tween brains in my classroom are all silently deciding what information will be transferred to long-term memory and what will forever be taken out with the trash. To hopefully avoid

Abstract Concept to Concrete Awareness: 3DPrinting to Teach Growth Mindset

Abstract Concept to Concrete Awareness: 3DPrinting to Teach Growth Mindset

By on February 16, 2017

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

The Internet Research Game & 3D Printing: No Whammies!

The Internet Research Game & 3D Printing: No Whammies!

By on October 25, 2016

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,

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Using Pokemon Go in my 3D Printing/ELA Class

By on August 21, 2016

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

Lessons to Share: 3D Printing and Design to Learn Reading & Writing

By on June 17, 2016

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

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

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

Dear Parents: What happens in the testing room?

Dear Parents: What happens in the testing room?

By on July 24, 2009

Dear Parents,  I’m going to walk you through what happens in a testing room to help demystify your child’s test taking experience.   First off, I’m told to take down anything from my walls that might help kids out.  That

Advice for a Future Department Head

Advice for a Future Department Head

By on July 22, 2009

So generally I write a post giving advice to all you new educators out there, but this time I need the advice.    I’m the new English Department Chair for my middle school, and I’ve been set to lead a group

Standards Conversation #1: Should Education Take a Tip from Starbucks?

Standards Conversation #1: Should Education Take a Tip from Starbucks?

By on July 5, 2009

Starbucks is the ultimate in differentiation.  In fact, it’s built an empire on providing individualized, one-on-one product to any member of its clientele, no questions asked.  Cute, young baristas (some with piercings, some without) hand out drinks with a smile,

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

By on June 29, 2009

You know the old commercial: “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! Well, you got your peanut butter in my chocolate!” And just like a Peanut Butter cup, it seems that Jane Austin and Zombies go great together. Pride

Student-Designed Schools

Student-Designed Schools

By on June 26, 2009

This year, my 8th graders all produced a multi-genre project during 4th Quarter that focused on possible careers of their choice. But I went a step further with my 8th grade Honors class. They not only had to research a

How to Battle Epic Paragraphing

How to Battle Epic Paragraphing

By on May 12, 2009

Every year my nemesis rears its ugly head: the epic paragraph.  Epic paragraphs are those essays comprised entirely of one mega-paragraph with no indentations to indicate transition from thought thought. I bet you thought your kids were the only ones

Twitter as Think Aloud

Twitter as Think Aloud

By on April 13, 2009

I was reading through my Digg headlines this weekend, and I happened on this article of the top 10 most extraordinary Twitter updates.  I also did some digging (no pun intended) and found articles that range in claiming that there

Fictional Crushes

Fictional Crushes

By on April 11, 2009

OK, don’t tell my husband, but I have a fictional crush.  That is, I have a crush based on a fictitious character.  I think I’ve always had one, but the object of my literary love has always changed with my

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,

Extreme Makeover: Classroom Edition

Extreme Makeover: Classroom Edition

By on March 11, 2009

There’s been so much talk lately of deep-needed reforms for education, but we neglect just how powerful a simple makeover can be.  I’m lucky to currently work at a school that has a patch of green, which fixes the broken

The Importance of The Classroom Library

The Importance of The Classroom Library

By on March 1, 2009

I believe a classroom library is the heartbeat of a teacher’s environment.  It is the window into their own personality, and it reflects the importance of literacy in the classroom.  I believe every teacher, no matter the subject taught, should

Teacher Magazine: Test Prep Magic

Teacher Magazine: Test Prep Magic

By on February 27, 2009

Check out my article in yesterday’s Teacher Magazine outlining 5 little-thought-about strategies in teaching test prep.  Hope it helps you during your own Test Prep season. -Tweenteacher

Top 10: How to Take Control of Your Teaching

Top 10: How to Take Control of Your Teaching

By on February 25, 2009

How can you take control of your teaching, both literally and internally? Read my Top 10 list that advises a teacher on how to get what you need in this demanding job of ours, how to survive it, and how to love it.