03 September 2015

24 Ways for Schools and Educators to TWEET

I'm leading a session at our district PD day on Twitter, so I made up a "bingo" for the attendees to play on their own as they explore their own tweeting identity.

"bingo" image by @chuckcbaker
Which is your favorite?

13 August 2015

My Syllabus, in Emojis

One of the most basic rules of writing is to use only as many words as you must, and I think this especially holds true for syllabi. The denser they are, I imagine the less they get read, right? 

There's a cute version that my son's teacher gave him tonight that involved lots of tabs and you can download and edit for yourself here: Mrs. D's Editable Parent Handbook Flapbook. (You may have already had your first day of school, but maybe you could wow all of your friends with this flapbook next open house or parent-teacher conference night?)

Anyway, I'm not here to talk about flapbooks, because while I think they are good for notes in class, they aren't so much my thing for simply conveying information. 

This idea was borne today when a colleague of mine was trying to think about how to be represent the Teach Like a Champion strategy "100%". You figure you want some imagery that the students would really internalize, right? Thinking through how much our students communicate solely through emojis on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, I knew that the "100" emoji was just what she needed.

But why stop there? 

Tomorrow's syllabus will be supplemented with text as needed, but I mostly want my students to remember my procedures and expectations through emoji this year. 

Can you guess what each one represents? 

10 August 2015

10 Questions for Finding Your Classroom Theme

Yesterday I shared about my theme for this school year and reflected on past years. As I was writing that post, I thought it might be helpful to generate a list of reflection questions for processing through what YOUR classroom theme might be if you're feeling uninspired.

  1. What's the most important aspect of your educational philosophy?
  2. What do you MOST want kids to know after leaving your class?
  3. What is your community currently rallying around?
  4. What's the character trait you wish your students had more of but need some guidance acquiring?
  5. What piece of professional learning is most transformative to your teaching right now?
  6. What are your students most interested in (that you can wrap most of your curriculum around for relevance)?
  7. Is there a new tool you're super excited about implementing this year? (chromebooks/tablets, Google Apps, Google Classroom, PBL, etc)
  8. What's your favorite inspirational quote or scripture?
  9. What role as a teacher do you most identify with? (coach, brother/sister figure, mother/father figure, counselor, friend, etc)
  10. Are there any commonalities between the major projects/learning experiences in your class that your theme could connect to enhance the engagement/memory of both?

The last tip I'd have for you in finding your theme is to rephrase it this way?
What are you about as a teacher?