Skip to main content

Winding Down

I just finished reading a book called Blended Learning by Catlin Tucker It was a great time to read this book because now I am even more fired up about the next school year!  I will be spending some of my summer looking for ways to implement what I learned in this book!  Tucker  discusses ways to use technology in a meaningful way with students.  This week I tried one of the recommendations in the book, using a platform called Schoology.   As a teacher, we all have those shy students in class.  These students seldom raise their hands, but of course, we know they have something valuable to say!  Schoology allows the teacher to post a discussion question online for students to answer.  Students post their responses.  However, they are unable to read the other student's responses until they have posted.  This forces everyone to participate and contribute something to the discussion.  In addition, they can reply to other student's posts.  I really enjoyed using this tool in my classroom and wish I'd discovered it earlier in the year!  The kids were definitely engaged!

This week we continued with book clubs.  It's always a joy to watch students engage in meaningful, thoughtful discussions about literature.  In most of my classes, nearly 100% of the students complete their assigned job for each meeting.  This makes for a successful book club.  Most of the kids are enjoying their chosen book. I honestly feel like I could leave and go to Starbucks, and the kids would be on task!
Touching Spirit Bear

Throne of Glass


Beta

Something Wicked this Way Comes

Uglies

Popular posts from this blog

Ditch those Reading Logs: Try Flipgrid Instead

If you've read my posts or follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about pointless projects and homework!  This year I made it official and ditched homework.  It's the best decision I've ever made as a teacher.  My students are loving it, I am loving it, and I think most of their parents are loving it! I have completely transformed the way I run my classroom and feel like my students are more engaged and excited than ever. 

Student Example (Click to watch)

Like homework, I never felt quite right about assigning reading logs.  Whenever my own kids had to read a book on their own for school, they were initially excited. First, they were told they had to read twenty minutes each night. Then the dreaded reading logs began.  They had to write  down what pages they read, as well as a summary.  Urgh! I can only imagine lying on the beach with my own book and having to complete a reading log.  No thanks!  And I am not going to lie. I just might have signed one of my son's read…

Have a Dance Party Before Class Starts

This year I decided to play music as students are entering my classroom and before the final bell rings.  I had no idea what a difference it would make!  Why didn't I do this before?  It creates a positive, upbeat mood and seems to energize my students and ME! 



At first I thought they'd complain when I blasted disco tunes by artists like Chic, The Bee Gees, and Vickie Sue Robinson ("Turn the Beat Around").   I thought they'd groan when I played Bon Jovi, Journey, and Whitesnake. I thought they'd roll their eyes when I played clean versions of songs by Tupac and Snoop Dogg.  I really thought they'd lose it when I played Gypsy Kings.  NOPE!  They loved it!  I had NO idea that my kids would react they way they did.  Here are the results:






If I don't have time to put the music on, several kids will ask, "Where's our dance party?" I really like Pandora because I can create my own stations.  If you're looking for a way to create a positive vi…

Creating a Cell Phone Sanctuary

Over the past few years, I have noticed a change in my students.  Not only are they tethered to their phones, but they are more anxious than ever.  In the past two school years, I have had at least three students experience school anxiety so severe that they could not come to school.   Those are just MY students.  This year I have had one student leave our school after her mother spent three weeks trying to drag her to class each morning as her daughter screamed, cried, and sometimes refused to get out of the car.  According to an article titled "Teen Anxiety and Depression: the Kids are not Alright" published in 2016, "In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder, according t…