Showing posts from April, 2016

Motivated By Their Passion

I could not wait to post this challenge! It's a scary one, but rewarding one! Here is a little history. Omar and Colton are typical boys. Omar is one of the most respectful kids I have ever met, and Colton is one of the most zealous and curious kids I have ever met...but putting them together on a project can be risky. Well both of them, being friends, chose to build something magnetic for their passion project.   I could already tell where this was going. Long story short, they ended up grouping themselves to work together.  Like any loving teacher would do, I discussed with them the risks of this pairing and gave them the choice: to stay and work together or continue on their separate paths... Without any thought... The boys EXCITEDLY chose to take the path together. Now. Three months later, a passion project in the making, they are more motivated and driven than I have ever seen them. But why? I strongly believe they are being motivated by their passion: building a

Building Bridges.

As educators we have to be prepared for anything that is thrown our way. From putting band-aids on scraps, to counseling after the loss of a loved one, to being a fortune teller or a detective... the list could go on and on... It reminds me of the story Caps For Sale ! :) We have to be ready to change roles at the drop of a coin.  In what other profession does this same situation occur? So, why do we wear all of these caps? To build. Yes, another role. Without awareness of our students needs, we can not be effective educators.  I learned this real quick in my first year of teaching. Nothing could have prepared me for it, other than putting me in a room with 24 students that I was responsible for.  That's exactly what happened. I will never forget the fear as I stood there. The first sentences as an educator I ever spoke to my students repeats over and over in my mind again. We are on a journey together. There will be times when we succeed and fail, but remember we are together

Hand Over Control

Being a Leader in Me school, we must give every student a leadership role within the classroom. This has made my life SOOOO much easier... Who Knew?!  Choices As I set up my leadership roles, I created a "Classified Ad" for students to look and choose their top three from. Classified Ad Application Once they choose their top three choices, I have them to "Apply" for their top choice using Google Forms. The following was given at the beginning of the school year. Application : 1st Quarter Application : I use this application for the rest of the quarters. Interview My next step in the process is that I will implement next year is an interview process.  Where the students will answer questions based on their first choice. Reflection A Leadership Role reflection occurs after each quarter.  I also use Google Forms for their reflection as well. Once they fill this out, I use the Google Sheets Add-on, Save As Doc.  This add-on takes the

Intro to New Page: See it. Read it. Do it.

Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall inside another classroom? I have.  This page is for curiosity and risk taking.  See it. You are going to find pictures of my students leading their own learning. Read it. You are going to find a short summarization of what they are up too. Do it. You are going to be challenged to adapt it and try it with your own students.


"Just Google It!" isn't always helpful to our students. The results can be inaccurate, hard to read and understand... so, now I just reply with, "Just Instagrok It!" If you have not been introduced to Instagrok... you are going to be in for a Research SURPRISE!!!  Here we are researching our information for our biographies. Instagok allows students to... interact with the content by providing a mindweb-like result (not a list) research at different levels personalize their information by "pinning" facts they are looking for have access to facts, websites with additional information, videos, and images take their own notes and turn them in (paid version... which is inexpensive) complete a bibliography NOT BE SCARED OF RESEARCH Once introducing this jewel into my classroom, my students are more driven in looking for their own answers and are confident in the answers the find.  CHALLENGE ALERT Take the time to PLAY!  And

How High? Part 2

A continuation of my last blog: How High: Part 1 How high do I want to go? How high do you want me to go? How high do I get to go? How high do I have to go? How high is that? These questions guided us through the last blog post as I discussed, in a professional realm, our reactions and responses. What about the application of these ideas to our classroom? What about our students? Students face these questions as well... and there responses are no different than ours... the two factors remain the same: the what and the who. The what: What can we do as educators to personalize the content to make it matter? The who: What can we do as educators to gain and maintain a relationship?  To THEM each student was unique! I wish that EVERY teacher I had throughout school knew I was creative, caring, an explorer, and that I thrived on conversation.  90% of the teachers that I had, saw me as another face among the others. If they had just taken the time to get to know me..