Part I: Renaissance Fairness

Sometimes we teachers may grow cynical about the ‘career and college’ ready mission statement. It’s not hard to see why: when our nation voted gave corporations the same voting rights as human beings we knew we were in deep trouble. To avoid that rabbit hole, I’ll just say this: we still work, and one of our jobs as teachers is to show students the opportunities and pathways so they can make the work-life decisions for themselves with the best and rigorous information. And a secret to all this is — not all work is bad. Far from it. Modeling passion…

beautiful framing…

Amy Rasmussen wrote a piece for Three Teachers Talk: What if We Teach as if Teaching is a Story? And this– Last week I attended a professional development meeting with George Couros, author of the Innovator’s Mindset. I jotted tons of Couros’ quotes in my notebook, all important to the kind of teacher I keep striving to become: “How do you cultivate questions of curiosity and not compliance?” “Data driven is the stupidest term in education.” “Your childhood is not their childhood. Nostalgia is what gets us stuck.” “Relationships matter! Nobody in this room is as interesting as YouTube. If you are all…

Working.

Ah, all of this: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthreeteacherstalk%2Fposts%2F1910190822578447&width=500 From    [embeddoc url=”http://blog0rama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/response-to-literature-1cbx6qp-st2bew.pptx” download=”all” viewer=”microsoft” ] Response to Literature [embeddoc url=”http://blog0rama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/response-graphic-organizer-1l7pd3c-2i47qbb.docx” download=”all” viewer=”microsoft” ]  

Saving Summer: More Good Things

Literary Analysis, Themes, and Essay Writing, Oh my!! How did I not know about this? (probably because of PG-13 language: I’ll get permission slips, promise!) ThugNotes is narrated by Sparky Sweets, Ph.D., and yes there is some language, but the plot summaries and analysis are epic. For a secondary audience, this modern version of CliffsNotes is helpful and entertaining. Since I’m teaching a unit on Lord of the Flies next year I am thankful for his analysis and insight. Next: thinking about essays and writing structures differently: An Essay Primer for Adults: Six Essay Types You Should Know by Lorraine Berry…

Saving Summer: Amygdala and The Brain

Teaching is stressful, there is no doubt or debate. And it’s also joyous, satisfying, and filled with discovery and success. But let’s get back to the stress for a moment so we can move forward with more moments of joy, satisfaction, and discovery. My buddy Sharon and her Brainiacs are developing a PD session for SEL/Teachers/Students. Tangentially, I’m developing the digital curriculum, along with her and other colleague’s input. When we talk about preparing students for their futures, not our pasts, we must have a deep understanding or exploration of what is happening to our brains in the digital world….

Los Zumbis de Washington

  //giphy.com/embed/4cfV5bkDSYUx2 via GIPHY This will be a long post: I am retracing my steps on the creation of a unit. TL:DR: Zombies and survival themes are great for 8th-grade students. E-mail me if you want resources or have questions. One of my teammates Nate had a fantastic idea for argumentative work: Zombies. With the help of my teammates Nate, Sabrina, and the Notice & Note social media site, especially Beth Crawford, we unleashed zombies. Trying to put together a unit without common planning or time to meet (each of us is in different phases in life: I could work on…

On my shoulders:

    The patterns of a year include the breaks: the winter break, we have a mid-winter one, and now the spring one is on its way. There is a change of energy, and moreover, stress, that comes with the change of seasons and the realization we may not be as far along as we’d hope. We adults, by and large, are mature enough to know what we need to do to regain inspiration, motivation, and determination, but many of our students do not. Take a moment and think about how your year is going right now — take a…

Series: Elements of Structure Part 6: It's like…

  Analogies. Anecdotes. Allusions. How do we connect with readers? I am cursed with reading. I used to love it: diving down deep into a novel or story, sprinkling my mind with pixie dust and faraway vistas. It seems all I read lately are op-ed pieces that make my blood pressure rise. My tether to fantasy and imagination frays and twists: reading for pleasure is challenging.  A recent article in the Washington Post by Charles Lane, “Griping about the popular vote? Get over it.” Lane begins his piece as any hack, by using a sports analogy. I hate sports analogies. Sports…

The Power of Storytelling

Someday, maybe, I’ll work on my Doctorate, and I am fairly certain what my focus will be the power of storytelling. It’s been a subject I’ve researched for years. We are all narrative learners. I struggle with putting things in tidy boxes of informational versus narrative. I could make a case that all learning is information, or all learning is narrative. But it’s both. And what makes us human, to me, is our need for a story. Perhaps elephants, dolphins, and whales tell their babies stories, and I know experience is certainly passed down. Unless of course, you’re an octopus–incredibly intelligent,…