Monday Morning Humor


Links 3-15-18

Getting ready to head over to the CUE conference, so I thought I would add some links. 🙂

Oprah-fy Your PD– One elementary school shares how they are doing PD different for their teachers.

30 Creative Ways to Use Padlet for Teachers and Students

Daily 5 Literacy Framework: A Guide to Best Practices– When done well, I think Daily 5 has some good things. This year, I have been struggling in maintaining my students’ stamina so I’ve mixed it up. But some good ideas anyway.

Aspects of Effective Project Based Learning #PBLChat #EdChat– Nicholas Provenzano shares some ways PBL hits the 4C of 21st Century learning.

When Reading is Trash or Magic– Pernille Ripp explains why, even though we may cringe when a student shares that reading is stupid, we can consider the positive that they are being honest…and we can deal with that.

3 “Tips” for Overcoming Challenging Situations- Edublog #6

77ccc6923de7c822cf8d18ec2d991574-overcoming-obstacles-quotes-overcoming-challenges-quotesThis week, I am dealing with the topic of challenging situations. If you are a teacher, they happen every day, to some degree. If you are not a teacher, they happen every day, to some degree.

I am, frankly, feeling inadequate to offer advice in this area. I have had a rough year. Many times I have challenges I usually see them as problems to solve, opportunities to grow. But there are other times I feel like crawling into a cave until it is all over.

The problem is, hiding doesn’t work for long. When you come out, it is still there. So, maybe the focus of this is to encourage myself to do some of those things that have helped in the past. In the midst of struggle, it is sometimes hard to remember what works. It’s too easy to feel like the world is crashing down. At least for me.

  1. Prayer: Sadly, I leave this one for a last resort, all too often. It should be my go to. My trust in God is a very important part of my life, of who I am. But when I neglect this important aspect, I am missing out on a lot.

2) Connect: Each year I pick a driving word for my school year. There is no rhyme or reason I pick words, other than it seems like a good way to focus. My word this year was connect or connection. My thought was originally to connect with my students and parents. But I am finding differen

t opportunities to connect in other ways with people…or in some cases, failing miserably at connecting. So, my advice would be to not take for granted the relationships in your life. Connect with those important in your life.

3) Reflect: This one is good, but, in the middle of difficulty, must be done carefully. It could be easy for our minds to take us to weird places. Especially in struggle, I often start having feelings of inadequacy. “I’m not good enough.” “What are you thinking?” I second guess myself. So, if I had to encou

rage myself, I would change it to Reflect on the good. I can usually find many things to fix in my life. Sometimes, it is harder for me to consider the things I may be doing well.

I hope this helps.


Friday Links 3-9-18

It has been a busy week. Here are some links.

The Game– CUE Blog “I am sad to admit, that it was school that ended my son’s love of learning.” – This happens a lot, I’m afraid and I know I have been guilty of it as well. A good reminder that we want kids to love learning, not just play the game of school.

Vocabulary Instruction That Works “The top recommendation from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is that reading for understanding in the primary grades is best supported by building academic language and vocabulary.”

The Seven Biggest Lies that Keep Teachers from Implementing Project-Based Learning – John Spencer always has some great thoughts on PBL and design thinking. He deals with some of the reasons we may be hesitant to try it.

Every Child is a Reader (Even If They Can’t Read the Words) This has been something I’ve tried teaching my students who are developing readers. I have one that does a fantastic job coming up with a story based on the pictures. Not reading words, but still attempting to construct meaning.

A Simple Way to Build Rapport with Challenging Students Michael Linsin always has some good thoughts on classroom management. The idea fits well into Win-Win Discipline (Same Side Chat) by Kagan.

Have a restful weekend.


Edublog #5- Free Web Tool


Last week, I mostly wanted to sleep in, so I skipped my EDU Blog post. This week’s post is about free web tools, just in case you didn’t read the title. 🙂

There are so many good (and free) web tools these days. In the past, if we wanted something new, we were limited but the resources of the teacher near us, in our school or that one relative. If we were really lucky, we got to be friends with the retiring teacher who wanted to give away all their books.

Now, we have access to some quality books with Epic. Epic, for those that don’t know is a fantastic resource of free books. Can you tell I like free…books…that are free?

I know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but, man, there are some boring looking books out there. If you are like me, some of them may even be in our library. May it not be so.

Epic has, at last look, 25,000 books, learning videos (you may have to set boundaries 😉 )and more. And they are titles the kids might be interested in. What I like is that my developing readers can have some of the books read to them. If you want to emphasize listening skills, there is a selection of audiobooks.

Another cool feature is the Collection. I can make a collection of books that I want students to read and check out based on whatever unit I may be working on. Students are also asked to pick their interests and there is always a new book recommendation given to kids.

I don’t get paid for this review; I don’t need to be. Well, if you offered, I would probably not say no. There is a paid option for home use. I think it is about $7 a month, which is not a bad price for access to so many good books, plus it is a major way Epic is able to keep Epic free for teachers.

Be sure to check it out, if you haven’t, at


Thursday Links- 2-15-18

Sticky Learning: Digital Brain Dumps with Flipgrid and Socrative– I just tried Flipgrid-I am interested to see how it works for my students-they create a video of what they know of learn. (Works great a s a digital version for Kagan processing.

How Nature Inspires Better Design and (What This Means for Students)– Great look at biomimicry and how we could use it in the classroom.

How Furniture and Flexible Seating is Turning Classroom Design into a Fad– If we don’t change our thinking about teaching, changing our furniture won’t matter.

I Stopped Holding my Students Accountable and Here is What Happened– Michael Linsin tried an experiment in his class.