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"
There is always that one teacher in your past. That one person that if it weren’t for their presence in your life, you may not be the person you are today. I was fortunate to have that teacher when I entered the 5th grade. Herman Bowden was one of the single most important people that I’ve […]
Read more "My favorite teacher"
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 […]
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Reflecting on reflections I know what you’re going to say. “Well, duh! Of course they should!”, you might snipe sarcastically in my direction. I would agree with you wholeheartedly, too. The one and only #mschat tackled the role, place and need for reflecting in teaching. It’s a subject near and dear to my heart and […]
Read more "Should teachers reflect on their practice?"
The Undead Writing Edition. I went to a Zombies vs. Humans nerf battle back in October. I’m not proud of it…well, actually it was pretty darn amazing. It was my first one in truth and probably not my last. While alone in the woods contemplating my next move as one of the last surviving humans, […]
Read more "How to avoid writing like a zombie!"
One of the first classrooms I taught in was handed down to me by a retiring teacher almost a decade ago. She said something on her way out that has stuck with me over the years. “It’s just a room, what you do inside is what matters”. I’ve always tried my best to keep this simple yet […]
Read more "My flexible learning space."
After a wedding weekend/boys weekend away I find myself desperately wanting to write. I’ve been doing these blog posts in earnest since the beginning of November and have come to appreciate just how much they mean to me, both intellectually and emotionally. I have this self-realization when writing that I’m doing something worthwhile about my […]
Read more "What makes PBL different from doing projects?"
O.K., so here we are at a question that I found a little surprising to be in a #mschat. The only reason why I say this is that we middle school teachers are a funny bunch. Most, if not all, of us teach middle school because we are large children. I say this with the […]
Read more "How do we “Let kids be kids” and have fun while still focusing on learning?"