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January 24, 2017

Reflections on a Classroom 'Gallery Walk'

Overall, it wasn't a complete loss. I'm not giving up. Sometimes I expect so much from my students and myself that I skip steps and when it fails I'm hard on myself, but this is such an opportunity. I may even share this observation with students.

January 22, 2017

'Mysteries at the Museum' Offers Engaging History Lessons

It's amazing where ideas come from when it comes to be creative as a teacher. As I'm watching this program and writing this post, I've had a million other ideas of how I could differentiate this one idea for the particular students in my class. If my goal is to get students engaged with story telling and doing research about their personal history and tying that personal history to larger history, then by providing choice and voice, I'd hope the students would strengthen valuable skills while learning new content.

January 19, 2017

Too Many Rules Can Hinder Curiosity in the Classroom

In many cases, when we are afforded opportunities to make our own decisions about where and how we learn or how we teach, that level of ownership naturally connects with curiosity. However, when someone else dictates how and why we MUST learn or do something, regardless of how interesting it may be, there is a level of control that kills whatever possible curiosity that could naturally occur.

January 17, 2017

Why Do I Teach?

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that there is no other profession that I can really see myself in. I've tried a few others out, so it's not a default and I'm certainly not doing it to have the summers off (as I'm not usually off during that time.) Teaching is both noble and challenging. It takes a long time to truly nurture and grow.

January 10, 2017

It's Time to Streamline Writing Expectations From Secondary to Higher Ed

In the past I've been fortunate enough to collaborate with some higher ed professors of writing and try to streamline expectations between their composition classes and what I was teaching in 12th grade English. What we learned was that not just the content but method of delivery were wildly desparate. How can we expect students to be successful in college if we aren't having these important conversations and then adjusting our pedagogy and expectations accordingly to suit the students? It is their needs that should be driving instruction and not just our thoughts about expectations.

December 26, 2016

Wrapping Up 2016: A Blogging Year in Review

From the #1st5days to Harry Potter, this year marked a journey that I'm luck to have endured. Review the year in posts and share your experiences from the year about any or all of the topics shared.

December 23, 2016

Who's in Charge? Make Co-Teaching Relationships Seamless

Great partnerships can really benefit students. What is the best part of your co-teaching partnership? What do you struggle most with? Please share

December 21, 2016

Teach Students to Break Down Criteria for Success

Students need to know what is being assessed, so they can name and understand what they are learning and more importantly why. In this way they can start to connect their learning to real skills that will be of use to them in the future.

December 13, 2016

Remember to Be Kind in the Days Before Winter Break

As we all struggle to stay engaged in the next week or so, we need to be especially kind to each other. It's easier to be nice than it is to be grumpy and although that is where we may be (which is okay), a smile from a student, colleague or peer can go a long way. So why not be the smile. Say the kind words. Recognize aloud the things you notice and see if you can be the person who makes someone's day, every day.

December 11, 2016

We Can't Assume Students Know How to Choose

Every child knows how to like something, but they don't always know how to make it applicable to learning. Sometimes they don't see the connections and that's where we have to help. The more transparent we can make the learning process, the better students will be able to choose when you ask them "What do you want to learn?"

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The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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