3 Apps to Visually Market Your School or Classroom

3 Apps

Educators are hearing all the time how we need to market our schools and classrooms – telling our story – the great things happening in our classrooms – so that others don’t fill in the void with negative stories. So many educators have jumped on board with this idea of sharing our stories and pointing the spotlight to all the positive things happening in our schools, but how can we do that most effectively? What do the marketing experts say? They say we should be using visuals to SHOW our story as we tell it. Continue reading

#MakeDecemberMagic Twitter Challenge

#MakeDecemberMagic (2)

Want to keep kids engaged in your learning and not dreaming of Santa and presents? Need some motivation for the weeks leading up to the Winter Break?

Take the #MakeDecemberMagic Challenge! Not only will it fuel you with ideas of what to tweet (if you’re new to twitter), but it will challenge you to keep things fresh, positive, and fun for your students so that you’re not just trudging through until the break, but you are *hopefully* motivated to #MakeDecemberMagic for students! Continue reading

From Thanksgiving to Christmas: Positive Incentives and Templates that WORK!

From Christmas - graphic

I can’t believe it’s here already, but here we are: that span of time that can sometimes feel like one of the longest stretches of the school year – the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ve had a taste of break. Those days off felt great! We’re refreshed and rejuvenated (well, I am anyway 😉)! The first week back feels great! But then, the closer we get to Christmas break, the more excited about Christmas the students get and the more stressed we tend to get. Why? I say the culprit is… presents! Kids are excited about them and we’re stressed because we’ve got to get them all (and clean our houses for guests, and prepare meals… so much to do before the big day)! Continue reading

Fail Fast, Fail Forward

Fail Fast, Fail Forward

A pottery teacher split her class into two halves. To the first half she said, “You will spend the semester studying pottery, planning, designing, and creating your perfect pot. At the end of the semester, there will be a competition to see whose pot is the best”.

To the students in the other half of the class she said, “You will spend your semester making lots of pots. Your grade will be based on the number of completed pots you finish. At the end of the semester, you’ll also have the opportunity to enter your best pot into a competition.” Continue reading

Fun with Feedback

Fun with Feedback (1)

I just finished reading The New Pillars of Modern Teaching by Gayle Allen as a part of an awesome online book study facilitated by Region 10 in Texas. In the book, Allen compares the amount of feedback teachers typically get in a year to the amount of feedback Uber drivers get with this table: Continue reading

Book Study in a Box

Book Study in a Box

I am currently participating in a book study on The New Pillars of Modern Teaching by Gayle Allen facilitated by Kathryn Laster @kklaster of Region 10. The book challenges educators to provide learners with choice in the time, place, medium, and socialness of their learning. Kathryn and her team have done an outstanding job of giving book study participants like me power over their learning in each of these areas throughout the book study. Continue reading

Cooperative Critical Writing

Cooperative Critical Writing Graphic

As we plan for improvement, writing is at the forefront of everyone’s mind on my campus, in my district, and across our state. We have been brainstorming practical and meaningful ways to incorporate more writing across academic areas in order to bolster and strengthen students’ skills. As I began brainstorming today, I realized that just writing more won’t entirely solve the problem because students who are struggling with how to write a complete sentence, for example, aren’t going to get any better at this skill by just being required to write more. And we’ve already got quality first instruction in place as well as small group interventions. Continue reading

Google Sheets Poster Printing HACK!

Google Sheets Poster Printing Hack

Years and years ago (like first year teaching years ago) I used to use Microsoft Excel to create multi-page posters that I could piece together to have great professional-looking typed posters without having to pay for poster printing. You should know, I am also a font snob and I am not in love with the font choices provided in the Microsoft suite (we can’t add fonts onto district computers). Ahhhh but the font choices in Google Apps… FANTASTIC!!! I haven’t had a use for this old poster-making hack again until recently, but thought it was worth a share in case you ever need to print a poster or large multi-page title in a pinch and/or on a budget! Continue reading

Google Forms + Student Self-Reflection for Coaching Students to Own their Learning!

Self-Reflection

John Hattie and his team (learn more at visible-learning.org ) have done some amazing research on what instructional strategies have the most impact on student growth. One of the top strategies is called Self-Reported Grades – which has a 1.33 effect size! This is a HUGELY effective strategy! Check out how Hattie describes this strategy in the short video below: Continue reading