As a high school English and Spanish teacher, I am always on the lookout for tools that will help my students be creative, demonstrate knowledge and learning, and then also result in products that can be shared. The latest tool like this that I have explored for students is Buncee. Like any tool I explore with students, I am always looking for versatility.
We preach growth mindset to students and colleagues, but we frequently think we know what the future holds for others. Girls should grow up to be this. Boys grow up to be that. I want us to intentionally stop. A student can graduate from high school and make a living playing the banjo. A student can create fabric patterns and sell them to the world via website marketplaces. Any of us can publish a book, retire early to backpack all over Europe, or play for the Harlem Globetrotters (my son's first stated career goal). How do we know the full potential of those around us if we continue to plant the seeds of doubt, can't, and impossible?
Whether you are in the #OneWord movement, make your own New Year's resolution, or not doing either of those, there is usually some moment of reflection and, maybe, dreaming as the new year approaches. I like the choosing one word that can guide me through the year, so I give it quite a bit of thought, attention, and I never refuse a bit of luck along the way. As I pondered this one, I was a bit stumped. I was uninspired. I was stymied, and then Christmas was right around the corner. What to do. What to do.
We teachers are often reminded by parents, students, colleagues, and administrators of all the things we're not. And if we somehow skate by with feelings of competence locally, then there's the visions of teaching and classroom perfection all over the internet, in our beloved PLNs (Professional Learning Networks). It's easy to forget that the perfection we see posted is but a moment of that educator's day. We have those moments too, though maybe we forget that in the hustle and bustle of our day.
If you aren't using Seesaw, you might want to give it a second, third, or even a fourth look. The video and audio tools are very easy for students to use. Like the videos created and posted within Seesaw, the audio files can be downloaded once posted too. Students can easily create, post, then download the file, which is automatically in the .mp3 format.
Since the summer of 2018, I have been researching, writing, and trying to incorporate social emotional learning strategies into my classroom that will help my high school students. I try a lot of things during the school year, and some strategies work really well with some students, while other strategies worked with different students. I still wanted more, and then I came across the emotional skills training that Navy psychologists put in place to help raise the graduation rate for the SEAL program. From that, I've adapted it for students.
One of the best things I've done this year is to take the timer option off of our daily Quizizz. As I delved into Tech with Heart with the author, Stacey Roshan, in a Voxer book study, I realized that even my own children need time to process somethings and that needing time to process is not a reflection on their intelligence. I myself need time to think through some things and not others, so I have taken the timer off, permanently. And just when my students wondered how to settle all of the ties for first because there was no timer as the deciding factor, Quizizz brings in "streaks!"
Getting students to practice our content area and have fun while doing it is the challenge we face as educators today. If students do not have the desire to write, solve problems, and create, how can we develop an excitement and love for learning while meeting all the demands of our curriculum? We can. Here's one way of many to bring the magic back to writing in your classroom. If you teach subjects not related to writing, then feel free to modify this as suits the demands of your curriculum and subject matter.
I used to like to walk the straight and narrow line But I thought this tool was just for elementary? It's babyish. High school students won't want to use a kiddie tool. Yep, those are common thoughts I've had and things I have heard by educators in the secondary realm when it comes to using … Continue reading Seesaw in the High School Classroom
Let's face it. At some point in your educational career, something will inevitably NOT go as planned. It happens in classrooms, buildings, and districts. We plan and plan, but then the execution does not have the result that we intend. It fails. Flops. Crashes. Burns. So then what do we do? Get embarrassed, dejected, angry, stressed or all of the above? Sure. What should we do instead?