Category Archives: engagement

Phones in class, family dinner style

Phones–these little devices make me crazy. Last spring, my students could not keep their hands off of them. The combination of senioritis and Snapchat became potent. I felt powerless against it. I even got my own Snapchat account to figure out if … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, balancing, engagement, technology | 4 Comments

Student Feedback: How my students said my class helped them as readers

I’ve been putting off this post, even at one point thought I could just not write it. But I must–this is the weak link in my classroom. I have umpteen ideas and plans about how to help my students become … Continue reading

Posted in engagement, making change, muddling through, reading, reflections, student feedback, teaching literature, teaching reading, using data, workshop teaching | 2 Comments

#NCTE14 Outbound

The Airport Reflection New in my bag is: A copy of Ralph Fletcher’s Breathing In, Breathing Out A copy of Wilhelm, Smith and Appleman’s UnCommon Core A copy of the videos for Best Practice by Zimmelman et al. A copy each of The Clockwork … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE14, education, engagement, reflections | 1 Comment

Why NCTE? (with rock video)

Apparently there is a video storytelling project going on at NCTE this year. We will throw down on that because… well, because video! So stay tuned. The two ideas suggested as topics were untold stories from teaching, or ‘why do … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE14, 21st century teaching and learning, administration, engagement, presenting, reflections, time | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Letting Go of Control for More Authentic Writer’s Notebooks

Today my students and I got started on writer’s notebooks. In the past I have given students a set of guidelines to tape into their writer’s notebooks, which is a perfectly normal thing to for a teacher to do, but I … Continue reading

Posted in engagement, muddling through, teaching writing, workshop teaching, writer's notebooks, writing | Leave a comment

Going Gradeless

For the last couple of years, Mr. S and Mr. B have been moving away from grading writing in their classes and instead focusing on feedback and conferencing instead. It’s been a slow process–starting with simply taking the numbers off … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, assessment, CCSS, engagement, first gradeless series 2013-2014, grading, making change, not grading, teaching writing | 4 Comments

Art. Is. Power.

Day one of #ncte13 and my mind is full, in that way that only happens here surrounded by my people. Thank you everyone who pushed my thinking today. And thank you especially to First Wave’s hip hop art masterpiece at … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, cultivating real learning, education, engagement, gratitude, literacy, making change, reform, testing, things made of awesome | Leave a comment

Cellphone Management on the Fly

We all struggle with how to manage new technologies in the classroom (and in our own lives). I know I am not alone in wondering how to teach thoughtful, respectable management of technology to my students. I can be a … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, engagement, muddling through, technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Learning more, ‘teaching’ less.

Oooof. The end of the school year is never easy, for me, for the students, for the parents, for anyone. And this one has been particularly tough. I have had some things happen this semester which have been really challenging … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, collaboration, cultivating real learning, education, engagement, making change, teaching, teaching paradigm, teaching writing, writing | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Approaches to Schooling

Yesterday was a tale of two approaches to schooling for me, each diametrically opposed to the other. (Well there was the proctoring of the mandated state testing that happened yesterday morning. It’s the season. But this post is not about … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, cultivating real learning, engagement, making change, policy, reform, the system, Uncategorized | 2 Comments