Heather Wolpert-Gawron

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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

Tips on Embedding Evidence: Writing with Numeracy

By on December 12, 2013

As we journey deeper into the world of Common Core, the need for factual evidence rather than emotional opinion becomes more and more vital.  So that got me thinking in a more targeted way: as an ELA teacher, what are

The Obsession with Self-Quantification and the Consequence in Education

By on October 22, 2013

 I recently read a commentary in Time Magazine by Kathleen Parker called, Count Me Out.  It was a fascinating little diatribe about our obsession with self-tracking and quantifying success.  She was looking through the lens of folks who find ways

Going Paperless: The Digital Binder

By on September 13, 2013

I wanted to share a bit of what I’m doing in my various classrooms as a means to go paperless.  To me, the need to go paperless is about two things: 1. The reams of paper that are used in

The Work Around

By on August 25, 2013

The image in this post is a metaphor for what this year is all about so far: the Work Around. Let me explain: I know that the ideal way to wear a Nike is to wear a sock that is

When Life Turns on a Dime, You Discover Your Family

By on August 14, 2013

I want to tell you a little about what happened to me this summer, but I promise that it will come around and relate to school.  Cruddy hook, I know, but I wanted you to know there was a method

Classroom Goal: Learn 10 New Things a Week (about them)

Classroom Goal: Learn 10 New Things a Week (about them)

By on August 11, 2013

 I recently checked out a link from a Facebook friend.  It is apparently an ongoing list about current science discoveries called “10 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week.”  It was interesting, but it really got me thinking about a new

10 Weeks Left of School for the 8th grade class?  Think Again…

10 Weeks Left of School for the 8th grade class? Think Again…

By on April 15, 2013

There are 10 Weeks left of school for our 8th grade class.  Wait!  Not so fast.  Let’s do the math.  Take our initial timeline of 10 weeks and begin to subtract the end-of-the-year obligations: Minus one week for some teachers

Honors Classes: The Need for More Diversity – Part II

By on March 28, 2013

In my recent Edutopia post, I posed a problem that is plaguing many schools today: that of racial inequity in our honors classes.  Many of us at the middle school level are wondering what our role is in bridging gaps

“Managing the Hidden Differences in Your Classroom” : Bam Radio

By on March 5, 2013

We must embrace our diversity if we are to emerge a country that is a leader in this global community.  I would like to think that it starts in our schools.  And if it starts in our schools, and is

BYOD? They Already Do

By on January 17, 2013

A short post today on how the debate about bringing your own device to school is superfluous and antiquated.  After all, they already do. Case in point: when a student wants to borrow a pencil, I have them leave collateral

A 1st Grader’s iPad Contract: An Acceptable Use Policy for the Home (Updated)

A 1st Grader’s iPad Contract: An Acceptable Use Policy for the Home (Updated)

By on January 2, 2013

A few weeks ago, my parents called to tell me that my mom was getting the new iPad.  They wanted to know if they could give my 6 year-old, Ben, her original one.  We hadn’t been planning on getting him

Ring in the New Year by Remembering the Good

Ring in the New Year by Remembering the Good

By on December 26, 2012

The weekend after Sandy Hook (see my brief thoughts here) I began thinking of ways to access the topic in different and more effective methods for my classes.  They had left on that Friday not knowing what had happened.  Of

New Shakespeare Collaborative Project: Anyone Interested?

By on September 23, 2012

Rarely do I hit up my readers for help, but I’m looking for classrooms to participate in, what I believe to be, a cool interdisciplinary Project Based Learning opportunity that combines Shakespeare and the digital era. I was talking to

Middle School Classroom Management Tip: Collaboration and Fluid Grouping Trick

By on September 1, 2012

Here’s a little fluid grouping trick I’ve written about in the past.  I thought it might be fun to just record something to make it a little more tangible.  The basic thought is that you can insert a little content

Edutopia Post: How Can We Make Assessments Meaningful?

Edutopia Post: How Can We Make Assessments Meaningful?

By on August 1, 2012

My most recent post for Edutopia focuses on Meaningful Assessments.  I’m currently working on that chapter for my new book, and it’s been on the brain as of late. In this post, I talk about using the 4Cs (Creativity, Critical-Thinking,

What’s In a Name? – The Questionable Branding of the “Common” Core

What’s In a Name? – The Questionable Branding of the “Common” Core

By on July 14, 2012

Every staff meeting, in every school, is the same.   OK, so maybe that’s hyperbolic, but I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another: an administrator comes in and declares the new instructional practice du jour. There are

The Common Core Tabloid: Truth vs. Hearsay

The Common Core Tabloid: Truth vs. Hearsay

By on February 29, 2012

So much is hearsay right now about the Common Core, it feels like the educational system has become a tabloid in their interpretation of what does not even exist yet.  In fact, from this level of speculation has sprouted a

Edutopia Post: Trying Something New in Your Classroom for 30 Days

Edutopia Post: Trying Something New in Your Classroom for 30 Days

By on December 19, 2011

I’ve just recently posted a new article on my Edutopia blog, one that challenges teachers to try something new in their classroom for 30 days. As many of my readers know, my students are currently working on their Advocacy/Memoir speeches

A Tribute to Tony, our School Counselor

A Tribute to Tony, our School Counselor

By on December 15, 2011

At times, I find myself in awe of some of the dedicated and self-sacrificing individuals that have devoted themselves to our students. These are the diamonds, the people who live this work, who breathe it, who take home the lost