Studying volcanoes in class next year, this would be a great time to talk about Kilauea. Tons of resources out there about the event. NatGeo has a great page for teachers with a ton of resources.
Category Archives: Article
Collaborative projects can easily fall apart in the classroom. You start with a great idea but next thing you know, you have half of your students checked out. So, how do we fix this? Listen to
After listening to the podcasts I’m rethinking my group projects. How do you get all parties involved in the project? Buy in? How do you get students to own the process? John Spencer does a great job in giving teachers ideas how how to do this. But obviously each classroom is different, and something that works for me might not work for you. And there will always be that one or two students you just can’t get to work. Its frustrating I know, but its one of the things Teachers have to accept, its called “human behavior” (well that’s what I think). The classroom can’t be perfect.
“It’s complicated, John Spencer says and its because kids are complicated”.
I know the projects that are successful in my classroom are the one’s that students are engaged and have ownership. “Creative Collaboration”, definitely agree here with John Spencer. Our earthquake towers are one of the most successful projects we do in class. Students take ownership and work together on building something.
I’m definitely taking some of John Spencer’s suggestions and implementing them in the some of my projects in class.
Thank You Mr. Spencer great article!
I was painfully bored during my K-12 education. I looked forward to college anticipating that it would be different – more engaging, more interesting, more innovative. I was wrong. My undergraduate education, except for a few bright spots, was just an extension of my K-12 education including more grill and drill with sages on the […]
Below are just a couple of quotes from the blog post that I truly appreciate. I’m not interested in reading this book. Carl Rogers, Freedom to Learn.
Much significant learning is acquired through doing. “Placing the student in direct experiential confrontation with practical problems, social problems, ethical and philosophical problems, personal issues, and research problems, is one of the most effective modes of promoting learning” (p. 162).
One cannot measure the difference in attitude, the increased interest, the growing pride in self-improvement, but one is aware that they exist. (Rogers, 1969, p. 19)
This is a continuation from the previous post.
5 summer stress free secrets include tools to help you make a plan to complete tasks during the summer that will make your year less stressful. An example, the first question the challenge or plan asks is “What do you want your life to like when school starts again? So, what do I want my life to look like when school starts again? Good question. Well stress free of course. I wanted to have first quarter ready to go, or my plans completed. I want to be prepared. When we get back to school I always feel like I’m not prepared for school.
So to keep up with this vision and Ms. Watson’s challenge for the summer, I signed up for email notifications. Her 5 Summer Secrets started with number one “Eliminate unintentional breaks”. This is common sense, meaning be to be more productive you must task manage. By straying from your work, you create an environment that wastes time and you don’t complete your tasks. Sounds familiar, yep sounds like the kids. Keep them on task. Well what about the teachers? I find myself doing this especially during the school day. I start one project and end up straying from that task, going down a rabbit hole as they say. Eventually that project takes me a lot longer. According Angela Watson we take unintentional breaks. So, she talks about how you need set a break later and work for a good amount time doing one thing. An example is I’ve decided that I should work through my planning period grading and not go off on a tangent doing something else. Hopefully this will give me some solid time to complete some tasks.
Second “secret” is avoid “task-Switching”. Work ahead and avoid task-switching, which I’ve caught myself doing many times. You need to batch together similar tasks and stay on task. Don’t allow yourself to stray from those tasks. Again, sound familiar. I find there are times where I’m working on something, I’ll stray away and go on to something else. So, what happens I’m unproductive and end up not getting what I need done. Seems all commons sense right? well then why do we end up not following that common sense. Got me, but I tried to correct that this summer.
The third “secret”, use scheduling to create your boundaries around time. I found this to be very helpful. I scheduled different tasks I needed to get done during the summer on certain days and hours. When I did this, and followed the plan I got a ton of stuff done. For example, on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I would work on lesson plans. When I kept to the plan it worked and I got a lot things done. Once I strayed from the plan, well let’s just say very little got done.
Number Four on the list is “Figure out the main thing and do it first”. So, what is the most important or main thing you need to get done this summer. Or, which is the most urgent and an overwhelmingly large task that you need to do. My main task would be my lesson plans and activities. I know, summer is almost over, but this does work during the year also. The most important tasks need to be done first. Make a list, put the most important at the top of the list.
The last secret is to look “for innovative ways to relax any standards that create unnecessary work”. Look for ways to make things easier on yourself this year. Relax and say no to unnecessary work. Look for activities or assignments from another teacher. Adapt them to your class but don’t reinvent the wheel. If something didn’t work last year, then change it to suit your class, or don’t do the assignment. With this one I have a tendency to create an assignment that is a lot more intricate then has to be. More work for me. Simplify things, let the students take control of their learning. This is where Blended Learning and Flipped Learning comes in. Collaborate with another teacher to make things a bit easier on yourself. All good advice, that I sometimes must admit I forget.
When I followed this advice, I felt good about the beginning of the year. I still do even though I strayed a bit. This is great advice and does work. Try it. I know the summer is coming to an end, but some of this can still be done during the year. I would advise you subscribe to Ms. Watson’s newsletter and podcasts, she really does have some great advice.
Anglea Watson The Cornerstone for teachers
I came home after watching this movie with a sense of wonderment (no pun intended). I think, and I’m not expert, this was a great movie. Mr. Rollins has some really neat ideas to use this movie and other superhero movies for the classroom. Check out some of his ideas about Wonder Woman.
Discover our planet’s changing climate through the eyes of satellites with Climate from Space, a new digital book for iPad and Android tablets featuring interactive maps and video interviews with top scientists.
This looks like a great tool for students when talking about Climate Change.
When I was in high school I spent most of my time playing sports (football and basketball) and worrying about my so-called social life. In school, I rarely was allowed to explore my interests, and
Never really thought about the difference between the two. Now I’m curious about the whole process. I look forward to reading the book “EMPOWER”. I’ve already read their first book “LAUNCH” and recommend it to anyone interested in trying to get the Genius Hour project off the ground in their class.
Do you think you could use this in class today? I’m willing to try this out next year. But I would start at the beginning of the year so students knew where I stood on their grades and reflection. If you do try it let me know how it works.
I am an adjunct faculty for several teacher education and educational technology programs. I have been so for a few decades. During that time I have noticed the changing nature of student behaviors and expectations regarding their class projects and assignments. Students seem to expect perfect grades for not so perfect work. I can predict that when I “mark down” a student, I will receive a complaint about that mark down (it happened just this evening) even with clear cut and concrete grading criteria like uses references to support ideas in blog posts, includes copyright available images.
I have been studying, blogging and presenting about the growth mindset (see The Educator with a Growth Mindset: A Staff Workshop). When speaking of a growth mindset, a fixed mindset also needs to be discussed and described. Fixed mindsets are associated with avoiding failure at all costs. What I don’t see mentioned as…
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“Followership” what is it? Read about it here. Qualities listed include “a purpose, principle or person outside themselves and being courageous honest and credible” Robert Kelley professor at Harvard.
But instead we seek a society of caring, creative and committed people, and leaders who feel called to service rather than to stature, then we need to do a better job of making that clear” Susan Cain Author of the “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”
Invite Your Students to Create Their Own Countries With this Geography Design Project – WeAreTeachers
Your students will transform into world explorers in search of new land.
This looks like a cool lesson for Geography or History Teachers. A new twist on it could be using it for Alien Planets when doing an Astronomy Unit.