The Cool Kids Club: Real, Myth, or Mindset? Asking For a Friend.

Is there really a Cool Kids Club that follows us throughout life? Do we really have to live high school all over again as adults? Can we be in that elusive Cool Club some years, months, days and not others? Should we care? Generally speaking, that club does frequently appear in schools, businesses, churches, clubs, and it rears its ugly head on social media as well. What exactly is it? How do we guide kids through the social maze in order to survive? Should we spend any time helping students through this? And actually, students may have a better handle on this than we adults do. Social media and the internet have opened doors to fashion and culture, good and bad, for us that students may navigate better than many adults. In fact, if you ask your own children about the Cool Kids Club, as Denis Sheeran did, you may discover that they have never heard of it. That then begs the question, do we adults really understand it ourselves?

Teachers as Learners: Moving from Unintentional to Engaged to Empowered

So which type of teacher learner are you? If we’re honest, we have all been unintentional and engaged during our careers. In the very beginning, we soak up every scrap of professional development thrown at us. Inexperienced educators are hungry to know more in order to gain a sense of mastery in the classroom. As that begins to occur, the shift from educationally starving to sated develops, and that is perhaps the most dangerous moment in our educational careers.

The Lily Effect: Isolated Teacher Makeover

During one of the first professional development (PD) days for my district at the beginning of the school year, I worked with several teachers and had several conversations. Some were just typical teacher banter expected at the first full PD day of the new school year, but one particular comment stood out the moment it was uttered. It continues to crop up in my mind at random moments. It stirs my oppositional defiant mojo each and every time. I don’t recall the specific wording, but while discussing the “new” collaboration methods our principal used on us as a demonstration, this particular teacher, an experienced teacher near retirement, said something like: I’m there to teach. Students are there to learn.

Blogging with Google Sites? Google Classroom to the Rescue! Let the Commenting Begin!

With the new updates and revisions to the New Google Sites, many educators are wanting to use Sites for their student blogs. The problem is that there is no easy way for students to also receive comments on their sites from their audience.  There are a few ways to work around this, such as embedding blogs from actual blog sites, but at this point, I want my new high school bloggers to have control over the audience and for me to be able to keep an eye on the comments without having to do a lot of tab hopping.

Caption This! A fun, deep-thinking Google Drawings activity

This post is co-authored by Ditch That Textbook’s Matt Miller and Laura Steinbrink. Laura is a high school English teacher and tech coach from Plato, Missouri. Check out Matt’s blog, Ditch That Textbook, at ditchthattextbook.com for the full post and more. Excerpt of this post: If you are like me (Laura), you are constantly searching … Continue reading Caption This! A fun, deep-thinking Google Drawings activity

Deeper Thinking: Using Mashed Potatoes to Fight Pushback

Every time I roll out a new activity or program to increase the depth of knowledge for my students, they are never as excited as I am. None of them. While there are a range of reactions, to a student they are either thinking or voicing the fact they would rather just take a quiz. As educators, we often feel the same way about lesson planning and professional development.

Brain Science + Share + #Sketchnotes=1-2-3 Win for Students!

A favorite time of year for me is most definitely Christmas. I freaking love it. The decorating, the shopping for others, secret Santa fun, giving back to the community, the family and friend get-togethers are just a few of the reasons I love this time of year. As of last year, a new reason for absolutely loving December is the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit put on by author and speaker, Matt Miller.