Every Opportunity

This is a great video that shows the potential problems we give to students and the potential good we give just by working to give students every opportunity to learn and soar. May we always strive to be a light in their lives.

Wednesday Links

Exploring Explore: How Google Works for You and Your Students– The Explore button on G-Suite is similar to the old Research Tool, but it has some cool new features. One that I like is how it will suggest different themes for each slide. Gone are the days where each slide has to look exactly the same within a specific theme. Creativity?

25 Things You Should Know About Becoming a Teacher– Okay, so this was a good little video John Spencer has created for his graduating teachers, but can maybe, just maybe, encourage you.

I’m Going Back to Paper AND Staying Digital– Matt Miller (Ditch That Textbook) explains why he has gone back to paper for some things…and it’s okay…it’s good.

9 Fine Ways to do Better 20% Time– Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) shares some thoughts on how to do better at 20% time/Passion Projects/Genius Hour. Try it!

Till next time,


Friday Links

New Systems, Old Thinking– George Couros- “There are so many “new things” in education and our world, but if we bring along the same thinking, what will really change?”

Is That Assignment Still Relevant? Alice Keeler questions whether we can or should update our assignments to make them more relevant. Should we still have students creating brochures?

Teach With Kahoot- Go Beyond with the Blind Kahoot– Matt Miller discusses an interesting use of Kahoot. How about using it to have discussions with kids “before” the lesson? The idea seems to be, in part, give a question, do a mini lesson based on answers; lather rinse, repeat.

Fixing the Math Problem

Sorry to take your time, but I just had to share this. When I went to the CUE conference, one of the presenters was Jo Boaler (look her up on youtube, seriously). She looks at how we can build a growth mindset for kids as it relates to math.

This quick video has kids sharing their thoughts on being dumb in math, and share their thoughts on what we often do in math. I do it most days. But man, what they shared is not a love of math, not a love of “read chapter 1, do this worksheet” type of thing.
When I first heard it, I was inspired to do better, then I mostly forgot about it and did what I often do. I ran across it again and thought I would share it. It is only about 3 minutes, but tell me it doesn’t make you want to try something different?
If you are doing that, awesome. Keep it up. If you do sometimes, awesome, keep it up. If not, man try something just a little different. Even once. Who knows? You might like it.
The good news is that if it doesn’t work the way you hoped (what new thing ever does?), you can always go back to the worksheets.
But, come on, how many of us wake up and say, “man, I can’t wait to get to work so I can give those kids some worksheets?”
Let’s continue to try and change some lives a little at a time. I don’t want to look at these last days, simply, as a countdown to freedom (don’t get me wrong, it is haha), but rather a countdown to the limited number of times I get to try and make a difference, knowing full well I may never know that I have done so.
Keep fighting, keep inspiring. Watch the video. Or don’t. But, seriously, watch it.

Solving The Math Problem from YouCubed on Vimeo.

Fixed Versus Growth Mindset

One of the takeaways I had from the CUE conference had to do with the Fixed versus Growth mindset. I have been learning about for a while, but it was one of those things that seemed to be on others’ minds as well.

Recently on the Creative Classroom Blog, he posted on the difference between the two. Worth your 2 minutes.

Check the rest of the post for some more thoughts.

Wednesday Links

Here are some links to read for today

Free Rice– This is a cool website that will donate rice through the World Food Programme. All students have to do is answer various trivia questions.

Math Is Fun– This website has some fun games and logic puzzles and different math lessons and such.

Rewordify– I don’t know that I would use this much, but you can type difficult passages into it and it will change the wording to be more simple. Kind of a cool concept.

Too High a Price: Why I Don’t do Behaviour Charts – The scenario at the beginning of the article is a great look at some of the inherent problems with how we use behavior charts. I have been trying this in my class…I still go back and forth a little, but I have worked hard to build my class so it runs well without it. Some days it works, and some days, I struggle.

Sometimes the Answer is More Obvious Than You Think “Maybe as adults we’re just so used to things being straightforward whereas kids get more creative with their thought process…”

10 Google Classroom Time Savers for Teachers– Matt Miller at Ditch That Textbook shares some pointers.