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Showing posts from September, 2017

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…

My Classroom is my Business

Sometimes I feel like I am still a first-year teacher.  I still love teaching as much as I did the first year.  In fact, I love it more!  I am still searching for new ideas and lessons, I still get excited and nervous when trying something new, and I am still looking for ways to grow and learn.  The one thing that has changed is that I am not afraid to take risks. In fact, I relish any opportunity to do so!  I can often be heard saying the following in my classroom:

"I have something I want to try today, and I'm soooo excited about it.  It might go really well or really bad!  Let's hope it goes well."

"Hey kids! I found this really neat extension I want to show you today.  Let me show you how to install and use it.  Then you can play around with it!"

"I've never done this before, so you kids are going to try it out for me and let me know what you think?"

"So, I'd like you to reflect on my lesson today and tell me what you thought."


Another First Week in the Books

Whew!  I'm beat!  I feel like I just ran a marathon with a refrigerator tied around my waist.  Any teacher will tell you that the first few weeks are exhausting.  We don't know students' names, they don't know procedures , and let's face it, it's not easy getting up at 5:30!  Yet, I am thrilled with my first week.  I was able to implement so many things that I learned over the summer!  I read countless posts by Catlin Tucker, Jen Roberts, and Alice Keeler who I now consider my Twitter mentors!  I also read Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and Ditch that Homework by Alice Keeler.  All of this reading reignited my passion and excitement for teaching and provided me with countless tools and strategies to make this my best year yet!

Rather than bore the kids to death by going over my syllabus the first day, we embarked on the spaghetti/marshmallow tower challenge.  Students competed to build the tallest structure using twenty pieces of spaghetti (uncooked), a yar…