When the proverbial $#*t hits the fan. Let’s face it. Lesson planning takes time, effort, attention to detail, and long hours of thinking about all the ways it could blow up in your face. That being said, even the most fastidious, dedicated and detailed oriented educator can not, and will not, think of everything. An […]Read more "The Busted Lesson"
I didn’t mean to get that song stuck in your head… I have a four year old who thinks he’s Elsa. As teachers we often find that we push ourselves to the breaking point and then beyond. We get so sick and yet still drag our butts out of bed and all the way to […]Read more "Let it Go"
The first chat of #worldgeochat year 3 was this past Tuesday night at 9pm. When I started moderating these chats two and a half years ago I never dreamed that the #worldgeochat crew would grow steadily into a forum that seems to be attracting more voices each week. It’s an unusual chat because it feels […]Read more "How is geography different from all other social sciences?"
This is the culminating activity of The Grid. It takes place over two to three days so students have the chance to work with other students than their BFF or the randomly assigned partner their evil teacher (me) stuck them with. As with every activity I run, I have the class agenda written out on a […]Read more "The Grid Part IV: Build the World"
In my last post I talked about how to introduce students with a team building game that exposes them to the overall shape and function of the grid. Students are exposed to vocabulary listed on index cards with terms such as: latitude, longitude, hemisphere, equator, coordinate, Cardinal Direction, et al. On day two my goals […]Read more "The Grid Part III: Relative and Absolute Location"
When I first wrote up my latitude and longitude activity for this blog, I thought it might be helpful to a few geography teachers and that was about it. I never expected that the post would become an example of modern teaching in practice. Never did I imagine that teachers would be asking me to post […]Read more "The Grid Part II: The First Activity"
For the record, I teach 6th grade geography. I say this to provide perspective before I delve into what my first lesson of the school year looks like. 6th graders are a unique bunch. They crack me up and infuriate me at the same time. On the verge of adolescence, chomping at the bit to get […]Read more "The first lesson"
When do you find time to conceptualize the layout of your classroom? In a perfect world, there would be scheduled time for teachers to organize the space in which they create learning. The reality however, is that the first few days before the school year starts is over packed with meetings, more meeting, development meeting, […]Read more "How do you prepare your classroom?"
If you can, you do. If you can’t, you teach. I’ve heard this before. I’ve heard it at dinner parties when friends of mine insinuate that my ‘vacations’ are nothing more than leisure time spent relaxing and that my job is nothing more than a glorified babysitter. I’ve sat through their hallow praise of how […]Read more "The reflective teacher"
With all the advice I’ve seen recently about giving students a voice, letting students lead their own learning, and be a facilitator not a teacher, I began to wonder to myself: “What does that look like in the classroom?” Do teachers just sit back and let go of control? How do teachers guide instruction while […]Read more "Devil’s Advocate your class…always."