RtB Blogs

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

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.

Cranky Student Makeover: Graphic Organizer + Sketchnotes=This Doesn’t Suck

Ever had one of those days where multiple students, if not most of the class, struggled with the content? Maybe you were showing a movie that had important information, but the students weren't getting it because they were not engaged?  If the truth be told, we've all probably had a class, a day, or a period where the students struggled with being engaged in the lesson or content while we struggled with the students. If this is sounding a bit familiar, then boy have I found a little nugget of "This doesn't suck" for you!

The Beauty in Discomfort

This may not seem like an educational blog post at first, but bear with me. Though educators are whom I originally intended this post for, it is not limited to them. I think the implications will become clear as you dig in deeper into the post, since that is where I swing the hammer of obviousness...hard. But don't duck the swings. Even though you will see it coming in plenty of time to duck, let it hit. Absorb the blow. Find the beauty. 

Rockin’ PD: EdCamp With A Twist:

The constant struggle faced by many school districts regarding professional development generally leads to a discussion of how to bring teachers the professional development they need, tailored specifically for each of them. It's quite the tug-o-war. All District PD days generally lead to frustration by staff because their individual needs are not met, they are not given time for processing and reflecting on what was presented, and there's certainly no time for applying what was learned if by the smallest chance it did actually fill a need for some teachers.

Innovation Within The Box-George Couros Inspired

While I'm a big proponent for thinking OUTSIDE the box, I nearly always use the results of that thinking to innovate WITHIN the box where I currently reside (a few times to get out of the box), whether that be personally or professionally.  My brain does not work like other peoples, a fact of which I'm well aware (and my mother did not have me tested), but there are some things everyone can do to think a bit out of the box and then apply it TO and WITHIN your own box (and learn about prepositions as a side bonus).

The Ultimate Bite: Collaboration or Isolation?

Oprah Winfrey talked about the ultimate bite on her show a long time ago, and a friend of mine recently introduced the quote to me at a conference while we were eating lunch.  According to Oprah, the ultimate bite can be achieved when you make sure to include a bit of everything from your plate that goes together in one bite. One ultimate bite.

So That Happened

I've been teaching for over 20 years, so there are a lot of things I used to do that I no longer do for various reasons. Most of these are systems or procedures that I put in place to help me cope during the first few years of teaching. My father was an outstanding educator, and when I started teaching, he was an elementary principal, though the majority of his teaching had been at the high school level. This did mean that I had the very best resource a beginning teacher could possibly have at my fingertips.