Year: 2015

Google Classroom is changing the game for classrooms all around the world. Are you a teacher who's been asked to start using it in your classroom? Or maybe you're wanting to make the jump out of your own volition? Either way, this post will help you learn a little bit more about the pros and cons of using Google Classroom, as well as provide you with a free cheat sheet to help you get started.

Google Classroom, The Why and How

I spend an inordinate amount of time making copies. I despair over the trees to whose demise I contribute. I weep for the amount of time I spend clearing jams. I gnash my teeth at all of the time I’ve wasted standing in the copier line (really, I’m considering a copy room mouth guard–is there

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Mindsets in the classroom is a hot topic in education right now, with the growth mindset rapidly growing in popularity. I participated in a blog hop with a few blogger friends to discuss this book for teachers, and this post gives you an overview of what the author, Mary Cay Ricci, discussed in Chapter 3. It's all about differentiation and provides for concrete ways to differentiate to help grow and support student mindsets.

Mindsets in the Classroom: Ch. 3 Differentiation

Reading Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools, by Mary Cay Ricci, has got my head spinning. I’m reeling trying to think of ways that I can implement some of the great ideas in my own classroom. I hope my pondering benefits you–later in the post, I have a

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Although Thanksgiving often brings it about, we should take time to consider what we're thankful for many times throughout the year. What am I thankful for? Teachers Pay Teachers. During a rough time in our lives, Teachers Pay Teachers came through to help us get through that financial tough spot--and it involved me getting over my mindset that all teachers should share everything freely.

What I Am Thankful For

We have a lot to be thankful for around here. My husband and I are employed (I almost said gainfully, but we are, after all, teachers :)). We just had a week off complete with perpetual turkey coma in the form of an obscene amount of leftovers. We have three more weeks of work, and

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Vocabulary review is not the most riveting activity; we all know that--and so do our students. This is where Quizlet comes to the rescue to make it more fun. I describe three different, engaging, and useful ways that you can use Quizlet to review vocabulary for upcoming assessments in this post.

Use Quizlet for Quick Vocabulary Reviews

Today, in my psychology class, I knew the students needed a vocabulary review–their blank stares when I started talking vocabulary gave it away. I didn’t want to do anything too major, as we had a lesson to get to, but they have a quiz coming up, and it was painfully obvious that no one had

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Student burnout is as real an issue as teacher burnout is. What can we do to help our students feel less overwhelmed and to make their school work seem more manageable? I describe the system I tried in my class and why I think it's an important structure for students to have.

Helping Your Students Overcome Burnout

I have been shaking my head over test and quiz scores here in the second 9 weeks of the term. I had been so proud of my students for working really hard and doing so well during the first 9 weeks that the past two weeks of indifference I’ve encountered have caught me off guard.

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Halloween tends to be a crazy day in most schools, and many teachers shy away from the craziness. But, why not embrace it? Your students will enjoy having fun, and you can still do content-based activities that have a Halloween theme! In this post I share more of my reasoning behind why I embrace the festivity and a recipe for pumpkin spice lattes that you can make for your class.

A Treat For Teachers–Using Holidays For Learning Fun

This week, I’m linking up with the teachers at Secondary Smorgasbord to offer treats for teachers.Thanks to ELA Buffet and Desktop Learning Adventures for hosting! When I was a grad student, I remember saying, “I don’t think it’s right to give the students candy. Knowledge should be the reward, and sugar’s bad. Motivation should be

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Reviewing and studying are important skills in the classroom. As much as we love to use games to do those things, sometimes we have classes that just can't handle it. In those instances I recommend a collaborative review strategy called "Make Your Own Test." Check out why I started using this and how I utilize it in my classroom.

Difficult Class? Try a Cooperative Review

I love playing games. My husband and I enjoy everything from Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble to more esoteric resource and strategy games like Seven Wonders and Game of Thrones. I bring a lot of games into my classroom. I’ve written about some of them here. I love it when classes can learn and review that

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Reasoning is a skill that I worry might be shoved in the background a little too often. In our current educational climate of standardized testing, multiple choice, and "drill-and-kill," how can we teach reasoning? In this post I describe how I use short discussions on a consistent basis to teach reasoning and thinking skills.

Using the Short Discussion to Teach Reasoning

I am definitely not anti multiple choice. It’s easy to grade, and sometimes students simply need to recognize information. When you want students to identify, multiple choice is fine. I just worry that in this day of overcrowded classrooms and standardized testing, many of us are over-using multiple choice at the expense of asking our

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An occasional email from me to you about what’s new in secondary education…