Make a “live” word cloud with this super easy app

I tried Mentimeter.com on the first day of school On the first day of school, I jumped in and tried something new: Mentimeter.com. It’s an interactive presentation software website that helps you increase engagement while gathering valuable information for teaching. I used its popular word cloud presentation, but there are many other presentation styles availableContinue reading “Make a “live” word cloud with this super easy app”

Remind app revisited

Remind makes sense for areas with unreliable internet. In other words, rural areas. In March, when my school closed for the remainder of the year, it quickly became apparent that Remind (it’s free, fyi) would be the easiest way for me to stay in touch with students. In fact, I ended up using Remind forContinue reading “Remind app revisited”

I’m trying out Padlet during distance learning

Six assignments I’m using to test-drive Padlet Since so many aspects of teaching right now are new due to school closings amid COVID-19, what’s one more? As long as we’re entering unchartered territory, let’s not only learn how to Zoom, but let’s try Padlet as well. Padlet is basically an online discussion board application thatContinue reading “I’m trying out Padlet during distance learning”

I’m still using and really, really liking Planbook

Here’s my follow-up post about my online lesson planning I’m still using Planbook! Every day, I can enter my lesson plans for the next day, the next week, the next month, and even the next year. If I like how I did something, I just copy it into the future and voila! it’s done. (ClickContinue reading “I’m still using and really, really liking Planbook”

When sixth-graders are asked to “Confirm Their Humanity”

Are there really robots out there writing poetry?   It seemed like a crazy request last week when my students were uploading their poems to a publisher of youth poetry. After writing poems about their favorite places… in a comfy chair in their bedroom, on a sturdy branch in an oak tree in their backyard,Continue reading “When sixth-graders are asked to “Confirm Their Humanity””

Three Points I Pull from “They Say I Say” in My 7th & 8th Grade ELA Classes

  I came across this book, They Say I Say (Third Edition, 2015), when my son’s college English composition instructor required it for his freshman-level course. I thumbed through it, read a few chapters, and found some very concise passages written to help students solve probably the number one problem that I see in theirContinue reading “Three Points I Pull from “They Say I Say” in My 7th & 8th Grade ELA Classes”

Sweet! Instagram for Your Class!

Three Reasons to Add Instagram to Your Teaching A year ago, I attended an educational technology conference hosted by Branson School District in Branson, Mo. At one session, I learned about the possibilities of opening a private Instagram account with my classes. The presenter used a private account with her own classes and encouraged the attendeesContinue reading “Sweet! Instagram for Your Class!”

When my class is your class’ punishment

Since when should writing be a form of punishment? This happens every so often: I’ll be talking to other teachers about some discipline issue they experienced during the day where they had to dole out some kind of punishment. More times than I want to remember, they’ll say something like, “So I made him writeContinue reading “When my class is your class’ punishment”

Paperless classroom? No thanks.

I like “the little transaction.”   I don’t have a paperless classroom and it will always be this way. I like the transaction that occurs when students actually turn things in. When students turn in assignments, they walk over to the three stacked baskets (one for each grade that I teach) that stand at theContinue reading “Paperless classroom? No thanks.”

Six Things I’ve Learned So Far from Using Instagram in My ELA Classes

#workinprogress #experiment  #askmeagaininMay I attended an ed-tech conference over the summer. One of the sessions, Social Media in the Classroom, was taught by a middle school teacher from another district in my area who admins a private Instagram account for her ELA classes. The idea intrigued me. I already knew Instagram was fun, based onContinue reading “Six Things I’ve Learned So Far from Using Instagram in My ELA Classes”