Wednesday Links

Teach them HOW at the end of the year– “This is a time of year when students are watching how we do our jobs as much as what we teach.”

4 Surprising Truths About the Creative Journey– Another good post from John Spencer about creativity.

CUE 2017 Keynote in Sketchnote Form– This is a fun way to take notes that creates little sketches instead of just a bunch of words.

Keynote in Video from CUE 2017- If you have time, this will challenge your mathematical thinking…in a good way.


What Can We Do With Fidget Spinners?

There seem to be nothing more despised in the schools today than Fidget Spinners. Frankly, they have not been a problem for me, in my class.

My general position on most tools is this: If you are using it as a tool, great. When it becomes a toy and a problem for someone else, we have made it a different issue. This should be nothing extraordinary…most teachers have similar policies…But, man, some folks don’t. like. them. at. all.

As I have been reading fidget-spinner-meme-1about them, I have seen a cool approach from others. Why not take something that students are already completely enthralled with and use that to create some lessons around it.

In other words, let’s make school…umm, how do I say this…interesting and fun?

I tried this the other day. “Should Fidget Spinners be allowed in school? Explain your answer. I had students write a letter trying to persuade our principal of their position. They have never been so excited about writing. They are still showing me whether or not they have writing skills, AND they were actually buzzing about it!

Why Not? So, for those still hating them. Turn it into a cool learning opportunity. Besides: the good news with fads…They will probably be gone by the time school is out…Only to be replaced by something new. 🙂

Here are some articles talking about it. The first one has some clever ideas on how to use them in class.

Those Darn Spinners Will Be the End of Me

Fad for Fidgety Fingers

Wednesday Links


Getting Past the Attention-Span Myth– John Spencer has some great posts on creativity and how our students, given the right circumstances, can actually focus longer than we think.

Raid the Supply Closet: 50+ Creative Remixes of Standard Class Supplies– Matt Miller collected some thoughts from his Twitter followers. Fun ideas.

Creating a Guided Reading Schedule That Works– A post about several possibilities for a GR schedule.

8 Things I Learned My First Year of Project Based Learning– Quick read.

Happy Wednesday!


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.