Showing posts from July, 2016

Six Ways to Make your Classroom Memorable for Students

1. Create a maker-space or tinker corner for students to design, create, and redesign. A place for them to use inquiry and engineering to demonstrate knowledge and mastery.

2. Create an interactive word wall where students add artifacts, notes, and questions. This gives them a place where they control the content delivery they really make connections when they own their learning.

3. Make a wall something about you. Create something that shows your personality and passion. This lets your students know who you are. My Dr. Who mural really connected with my students and it recruited many more Whovians.

4. Allow them to have fun and play. Let them tinker and play with unexpected science. I ordered the Dyson Engineering Box and students made the connection between a vacuum and the human muscular and skeletal systems. We also made Rube Goldberg machines to discuss variables and experimental design.

5. Create a place for clubs to meet. A classroom where students come to build and practice fo…

Why a maker-space is so important!

There is a lot of talk about maker-spaces or hacker-spaces these days. There is a lot of books and websites and blogs etc. about them. One of my favorite books is Invent to Learn: Makings, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Martinez and Stager. It has inspired me and several colleagues to jump in.

Why? It is a great tool for creativity and engineering design. They do not have to have high tech stuff. They can be used for ELA, Science or any subject. But they should be used frequently.

They are for tinkering and playing and creating...basically having constructive fun which leads to learning. I have a simple one but it is growing and I have collected computer parts and art supplies and bottles and TP rolls etc. Just to have a lot of different things to spark the imaginations of my students.

It can be used for extension when kids are done in class. But my focus is on having students demonstrate their learning by creating things almost daily for example:

The Digestive System:…

Traversing Twitter Chats

I am beginning to get the hang of this. But I am still very raw. Switching feed to feed can be a challenge. I sometimes lose the trail and can't find the questions and then I just piggy back off of another Tweet. But I am doing my best.

I think there is nothing more rewarding then collaborating with and listening to other teachers. As simple as it may sound, it is what makes us stronger. Listening to new ideas and ways of thinking inspires me to be better. It inspires me to innovate and tweak lessons, and make changes. Change is good. Taking risks are good even if you fail. The best ideas and innovations I have ever had have stemmed from mistakes and failures I have made.

I am going to keep full speed ahead with this goal. I am going to try and chat with new teachers every day from all over the world. I will hear and try and grow and feel apart of a larger community. As teachers we are one large community and I want a presence in that realm. I want to be apart of something bigger …

The "Hacker" Mindset in Education

Just had a great Twitter conversation about the "Hacker" mindset in education. I enjoyed sharing some ideas and learning about some new ways to really step off the beaten path and lead by example. It is so important to try new things and brave the unknown. If it is beneficial for students, take the risk, Be okay with the notion you might fail. #TchLIVE educators thank you for allowing me to learn from your great expertise.

In order for a school to have a positive and infectious culture there must be investment from all members including parents and students. When teachers are passionate and fearless they can bring about change and innovation leading the school to new heights.

My goal is to step back and let the students be hackers in the classroom too. My tinker space will be open for them to create new ideas for assessments and lessons too. I want students invested in their education and not be bystanders in it. I will allow for flexible seating, student input in the set up…

iteacher imother

I have been a mother for 26 years. I have been a teacher for 15 years. The two are not exclusive persona's. In fact the two are very much inclusive roles I inhabit. I do not call my students, students I call them my kids. I see my children succeed and struggle academically and I recognize their persistence and withdrawal in my students. I refuse to become stagnate and complacent. I thrive on new ideas, even if they are not applicable. I search for ways to bring technology and forward thinking into my classroom. I am now on Twitter and following many excellent and inspirational leaders in the field of education.

This is my first blog post. I am not sure anyone will read this or follow me, but I will persist in my goal of becoming more socially active in the field of education. I am going to keep some goals and write about how I accomplish them in my classroom. They might be simple or complex, frustrating and rewarding but I am going to do my best to achieve them and document my pro…