Dominating life or the CCSS with your students is all about starting.
Edublogs and opinions abound; none of them can try something bold in your classroom.
That's all I'm writing this week. Instead of reading anything else online today, go and do something that needs doing. Plan that one daring step that's been nagging at the back of your mind.
All I ask is that you leave a comment of what you’re about to do (think of it as a friendly, digital blood pact, perhaps), and let’s see how much we can all get done today.
Dave Stuart Jr. (@davestuartjr) says
I’m going to film a segment of my first lesson and watch it with a critical eye so I can improve my craft.
Chad Walden says
For a couple of years, I’ve been toying with using Kelly Gallagher’s 30-15-10 list (see his book, Deeper Reading, or Google it for a PDF of the list) to strengthen my students’ word-attack skills. A recent blog post by Erica Beaton (@B10LovesBooks) gave me the nudge I needed to get started. Kids walked in today, looked at my new bulletin board, and said, “Are we learning Latin?!” 🙂
Read the post: B10lovesBooks.wordpress.com
Check out Erica’s awesome resources (available for a small donation):
My other move is to make a concerted effort to have a brief conversation with every student at least once a week. I know kids will let me challenge them more when they know I care about them individually. Sometimes I can get so caught up in what we need to get done that I lose track of what I need to be doing. In order to prevent myself from allowing certain kids to fly under my radar, I’m tracking these interactions on a chart I made.
I LOVE this conversation idea. I greet my kids at the door every day and try to engage them in conversations before/after class, during downtime, etc., but I think making the concerted effort to make a connection is so hugely important.
Amy S. says
I love handshakes with students! Every time they enter class we shake hands.
Chad, Erica teaches down the hall from me — she is the bomb and you are right, her stuff is super high quality and everyone should check it out. I commend your courage in diving into the word chunks — she’s seen some great fruit from that commitment!
Corinne Gettys says
I am going to design a lesson around an AoW I made on the updated 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act using the spoof video that high school kids created called “We Are Hungry” (a spoof of “We Are Young”) and a series of newscasts that came out on how schools are rejecting the federal lunch program because they are losing too much money. Should be a wild debate!
Chad Walden says
Love this, Corinne! I used that video last year when we studied satire. 🙂
Corinne, this is so timely and sure to be a rigorous discussion. Let us know how it goes!
My co-teacher and I have started completely rewriting almost ALL of our grammar lessons/worksheets for the entire year. We figured that, with the new CCSS finally in place, now was a good time to throw out what was old and stale and start from scratch where we could. It’s a LOT of work, but it already feels more fresh and very rewarding!
Amy S. says
I am going to maintain really high standards for writing, including only displaying work that is grammatically correct. I am going to give lots of feedback for writing so students know what I’m looking for when I’m proofreading their work.
All right, my next action step is to be more explicit and clear in how I teach students to take notes in world history. I’m going to use the Cornell method, and I’m going to require students to do it for at least a trimester. We’ll see how it goes!
I “fist-bump” (rather than shake hands) the kids as they walk in as greeting (little germaphobic at school!) and ask them how they’re doing. Felt odd at first, now kids expect it:) Also, going to implement 20% Time or Genius Hour this year-great for CC Readiness! Critical thinking all the way:)
Polen, I’m curious to hear how the 20% time goes. It’s a Google / Silicon Valley concept, right?
Mike White says
I’m going to update my classroom website, giving both parents and students words of encouragement and purpose for the second semester!
Very good idea, Mike — planting seeds.
Amy Orvis says
Sounds great! I can’t find the article about the 100 words that people are commenting on. Can you please lead me…Thank you!!