Could We Do That Too? Planting an Idea and Waiting For it to Blossom

**Originally posted on my old blog 9-9-2015** *Alternative title for this blog post: How I am Tricking My Class Into Doing Exactly What I Want* One of the things I learned my first year teaching is that ideas are always better when they are from the students. Each year my goal is to plant the idea and have students suggest what we are actually going to do. I’ve learned a few lessons about it over the years. This year I have been ridiculously successful (seriously!) with this. I started to think, what am I doing differently this year? I don’t have definite answers…

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9 Read Aloud Essentials

Read Aloud is an essential part of the school day. Students get to see and hear how a fluent reader make meanings of texts and they get to try it out in a highly supportive environment.

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Log Your Reading With Your Students

At the beginning of our new unit I made a choice to log my reading just like my students have to. We were having serious problems remembering to log our reading and I didn’t think my students understood why they were doing it. We hadn’t analyzed our reading logs for a while and the purpose wasn’t obvious to them. We needed a boost and we needed it fast.  One afternoon while sitting in my classroom thinking about the problem I had my “ah-ha moment.” The words of my old literacy coach came into my head, “If you’re not modeling it,…

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Let’s Talk About Answers in Math

A few weeks ago I led elementary  teachers in a PD around answer getting. How many times a day in math class do we hear kids say, “But I got the right answer! Why should I have to explain it?” Think back to when you were in school. All that mattered was the answer. I remember days in high school going through math homework and all we did was go around round robin sharing the answer. If you got the answer correct it was a point, if you got the answer wrong it was no points. It has been drilled into…

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Bon Voyage! I Have An International Teaching Job

In 2010 I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain. The experience was so rewarding that I knew it would not be my last time going abroad. When I first started teaching I knew I needed to go back abroad to teach and so I set myself with a timeline. I want to teach abroad by the time I am 25. During my first 3 years teaching the idea of teaching internationally seemed so distant. At times it felt like it was completely unrealistic. After a job change, I realized it was closer than I thought and now that moment is here!…

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