A few years back, I noticed something weird – kids sometimes, maybe even often, learned more when I did less. One unexpected side effect of our spring semester 20Time experience was that I saw kids taking more ownership of information when they were the ones doing the research. This started me thinking about, and changing, how I present all sorts of material. Continue reading
Twelve (very long) weeks ago, I announced that I’d spend this spring semester creating a completed work of fiction to share with the world. Today, I’m back to tell you that…drumroll, please…I have failed.
You’ve thought about taking a dance/art/acting/whatever class but know you’ll be nothing but awkward.
You want to start a blog/YouTube channel/TpT shop/whatever but then realize your ideas are all crap.
You wake up early to write a chapter of your book but decide instead to organize your desk, answer emails, and fill out tax return forms.
(Wait, maybe that’s just me?)
Why is it that we don’t do the things we say we want to do? Turns out, there’s an invisible and incredibly powerful monster stalking us. It’s name is Resistance. Continue reading
If you use the online version of Prezi slide decks (like this one), please check to make sure the links are working. This weekend, the folks over at Prezi.com changed some coding that inadvertently caused almost all of my Prezi links to malfunction. The Prezi links included in my TeachersPayTeachers.com products have now been updated, […]
The month of February was brought to us by the color gray. It’s been a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. As I mentioned last week, the orangey-yellow glow of inspiration has snubbed my current 20Time project, so this week I sought help searching for some sunshine. Continue reading
Today’s post comes from a recent email (used with permission) from a fellow English teacher. For privacy, I changed her name.
First, thank you, as always, for your thoughtful, realistic approach to education. I am deeply grateful! Next, a few questions for you. It sounds like you are free to create and use your own curriculum. Is that the case? Are you and the other English teachers expected to cover the same content? To have the same number/type of assessments?
Also, my department chair insists on following up every single chunk of reading with what he calls “focus” questions, the bulk of which involve reading comprehension questions, all of which are approached in the exact same way – context, lead-in, quote, sometimes analysis. Thus, let’s say for The Catcher in the Rye, he expects kids to answer 10-15 focus questions after every chapter. Am I right in despising this approach to curriculum and thinking he is out of touch with how to approach curriculum in a meaningful way? I know I’m asking you to weigh in on something here that has no remedy; I’m just wondering if I’m the one who’s out of touch!
Each spring, I launch a project-based learning experience that encourages students to pursue a project of personal interest. Folks have lots of different ways of managing this (search Genius Hour, 20 Percent Project, or Kevin Brookhouser to learn more), and here are the rules for my version: 1. The project must be something the student […]