Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Viewing: Language Arts

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.

DARPA to create metacognitively aware robots

DARPA to create metacognitively aware robots

By on February 24, 2009

The Register reports that DARPA (Defense Advance Research Projects Agency) is currently researching how to create robots that are “like some self-aware computer systems capable of “meta-reasoning” and “introspection…”  Their goal is to “Provide machines with an ability to reason

Am I So Past My Prime?

Am I So Past My Prime?

By on February 21, 2009

Somehow, and maybe I’m reading into it here, I feel a little written off already.  Education Week is reporting that some districts are pondering the possibility of “front-loading” new teacher salaries, increasing their compensation earlier in their career to aid

“I Statements” in Expository Writing

“I Statements” in Expository Writing

By on February 18, 2009

This weekend I’m presenting at the CATE conference in Santa Clara, CA.  It’s a session on developing high level, critical-thinking commentary in expository writing.  My feeling is that great commentary is the Voice in Expository, it is the Show, Not

Here’s why test scores shouldn’t be the only criteria…

Here’s why test scores shouldn’t be the only criteria…

By on February 18, 2009

OK, so my first period’s “Advanced” group went up 40% between their 1st district assessment and their 2nd. Another period went up 37%.  Even my Honors class went from 81% Advanced to 97% Advanced, with only 1 student found in

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

NewsHour with Jim Leher: Michelle Rhee

NewsHour with Jim Leher: Michelle Rhee

By on January 17, 2009

I recently watched John Merrow’s interview with Michelle Rhee on the NewsHour.  Michelle seems like a real mixed blessing for education. On one hand, she’s willing to clean house, and education does seriously need it.  On the other hand, however,

Skills vs. Strategies: UCI Writing Project Challenge

Skills vs. Strategies: UCI Writing Project Challenge

By on January 16, 2009

The UCI Writers Project has monthly meetings for its alumni where we discuss certain topics, bringing our field studies and expertise into the conversation.  Last night we tackled an issue related to developing a common language: Skills vs. Strategies. Many

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?

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

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

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,

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

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

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