The Importance of an Audience

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Can I get your attention please. Please… everyone… attention please. If you find yourself repeating something along these lines often, then odds are, your audience isn’t all that into you, or more accurately, what you have to say.

Students, believe it or not, have the same issue. I truly believe that students want to write. The problem, they don’t always want to write about what you want them to write about. How can we really know what level our students are writing on if they don’t really care about what they are writing?

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Starting an After School Coding Club

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Coding. English teacher. You might be wondering how in the world these two things remotely go together. Well, in my case, they go together after school in the form of our newly formed Commodore Coding Club.  Continue reading

Why YES, We Can Write About Science

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So, I was sitting around pondering some literature to read with my kids after spring break. I was texting back and forth with one of my colleagues who teaches world history about where, or when they are going next when my attention wandered a bit to Twitter. I saw a reference to Sick Science, and of course, clicked it out of curiosity. Oh, what a treat we have been gifted with. Continue reading

Thalmic Labs Myo Armband

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Use the Force… that is exactly what I wanted to do when I got my hands on the Myo Gesture Control Armband by Thalmic Labs.  Use the Force, I did. I admit, I was a bit skeptical of this when I saw the promo material, as most people would be. Continue reading

Openebooks.net – A Great Resource

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You have likely seen it all over social media. It seems that Twitter is exploding with tweets about the Openebooks initiative. Being an English teacher who believes reading holds the key to many of life’s treasures, I jumped right in and took a look.

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Teacher Observations

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The dreaded formal observation window has arrived for many of us. I say “dreaded” somewhat tongue in cheek. I have worked in a few different schools in my career, and have seen a variety in methods for administrators to evaluate teachers. This is a time where teachers will often get themselves all worked up, and prepare the proverbial dog and pony show. Continue reading

What is Rigor, and What is NOT

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Call this a vent session. Call it a soapbox moment. Call it whatever you wish, but this needs saying, if for no other reason than to get it off my chest. Rigor, the buzzword being tossed around like cheap candy at a parade. Everyone claims they want to increase the rigor in their classrooms. Principals tell us to do it. Professors tell education students to increase it. Teachers claim they are doing it. But, are they? Continue reading

Ipevo Ziggi HD Plus Document Camera

ipevo_ziggi-hd_plus_slide_04.jpgTeachers like goodies. We like things that make our jobs not only easier, but more effective. Projectors are becoming more the norm in classrooms rather than the exception. Teachers are finding ways to best make use of this wonderful tool.

At a recent EdTech conference (MECA in Mississippi) I was able to obtain the Ziggi HD Plus document camera. To be honest, I wondered just how effective this tool would be, as it was priced at around $100. Talking to Alex, at the Ipevo booth, he promised that this camera had great resolution. I decided I would take this little guy for a spin. Continue reading

Choral Reading for Poetry in Middle Grades

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I teach 7th grade English. Let’s be honest for a moment about 7th graders. They can be a persnickety bunch. They are starting to develop personalities, or changing I should say. They think they are grown up, but don’t yet want to be grown up all the time. Continue reading