It’s not just me…

Image from: https://mccarthyofhudson.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/cf963-bigstock-mindset-concept-in-word-tag-cl-43815823.jpg

I guess I haven’t been the only one pondering teacher mindset.  Ian at Byrdseed has written a great post comparing the work we do with students to improve their mindset and how our own mindset impacts how that may look in our classrooms.  So often, we put others first.  A wise soul once said to me, “It’s easy to look out the window.  It’s much more difficult to look in the mirror.”  I challenge you to read the post by Ian at the Byrdseed blog and reflect on your own inner monologue.  For myself, I would rather live in abundance than always seeing my deficits.  I would love to hear your thoughts…

Check out Ian’s blog at: http://www.byrdseed.com/abundance-vs-deficit/

Tools for Teaching

The “Great Ideas” or “innovation” part of my brain sometimes feels like it is running on empty.  As a teacher I appreciate people who share their great ideas, then keep them in one handy place so they can be accessed when I get back to them.  One of my colleagues recently shared The Teacher Toolkit site with me as we were planning a way to reflect on new learning with the teachers we support.

I loved the organizer that we used as it validated the thinking in our current practice and allowed ideas to circle around to create new thinking.

In digging into the site a little deeper, it is a treasure of information and resources, with videos explaining how to use each resource and a PDF of the organizer.  The organizers are for a large range of grade levels and are sorted by purpose.  The tools are sorted into categories: Classroom Management, Opening Activities, Checks for Understanding, Partner Practice, Group Practice, Independent Practice, Reading Strategies, Games, Closing Activities.  It would be so simple to choose a tool every week or month to integrate into your practice.  The tools also allow for an active learning component, clarifying your thinking, supporting your thoughts with evidence, etc.  that align with practices that we know are important for students to engage in.

I am so happy that I found this resource and am excited to think about its impact in our classrooms!

Current Events and Differentiation in one!

Have you ever wanted your students to read current events or non-fiction, but they have struggled with the text level?  I think NewsELA may have an answer.  NewsELA is a free site with news articles in different categories.  Each article can be read in up to 5 different Lexile levels.  Now, Free Technology for Teachers has added another level of practicality…Google Docs.  How cool would it be for students to comment in the article or collaborate on a topic in a GoogleDoc?  I am excited about the possibilities.  

 

If you were thinking about tinkering with the new Google Classroom, that may also be an option to integrate NewsELA with ease.  

 

Check out the article from Free Technology for Teachers and look into NewsELA…Great stuff and an easy way to use Google Docs or Google Classroom, all while challenging the reading levels of your students.

Free Technology for Teachers article:  http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2014/08/newsela-google-docs-differentiated.html#.U_vTGrxdWgA 

NewsELA:  https://newsela.com/

Welcome to a New School Year!

I am so excited to begin another year.  This will be my 19th year teaching.  Wow!

As we begin this year, there is a lot of changes before me.  I begin in a new role, at new buildings and with new staff members.  Although this change is a little bittersweet, I am looking forward to learning beside my new colleagues and learning more about my new role, and new grade levels.  Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming and supportive.  I plan to reciprocate the blessing as the year progresses.