This week's Take5 focuses on what's happening in the classroom -- creating time, a Google tool to support English learners, mastering conversations. We also look at a game that would be fun to play in the library and a great site with lots of ways to explore science in the classroom.
This recent Mindshift Article is everything. Time is an Essential Teacher Resource So How Can Schools Be More Creative With It? To me, time is everything and there is simply never ever enough of it, especially in schools.
There are lots of neat tools and tricks available in Google. Jake Miller (@JakeMillerTech) shared this simple way to support English Learners with vocabulary: Translate in Google Sheets. This handy tool works for over 100 languages and could go great lengths to help a new language learner feel more comfortable in the classroom.
I recently ran across this 2015 Ted Talk by public radio journalist Celeste Headlee. As someone who interviews people for a living, she offers 10 basic rules for having better conversations. She explains that even if we just choose one rule and master it, we will get better at talking to people.
A post in the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group mentioned the game "Bring Your Own Book" and I had to explore further. Originally funded on Kickstarter and now available for retail through Gamewright ($12), this game shares similaries with Apples to Apples -- draw a card, skim through a book to find a phrase that satisfies the prompt, and win the round when the "judge" chooses your phrase as the most entertaining! And the game designer also offers a free print and play version that would be perfect for classroom or library use.
Do you know about the Exploratorium? Located in San Francisco, the Exploratorium is a self-described "learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception." It sounds like an awesome place to visit if you're closer to the Bay Area than I am, but in the mean time, my students and I will have to be satiated with the Exploratorium's Science Snacks -- quick, hands-on activities easy-to-find materials.
What have you discovered lately that can support your instructional castle? We'd love to hear from you!
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If you are a teacher who engages in Twitter (#edutwitter) than you know that the beginning of January is the season for declaring your one word. Teachers reflect and determine what one word will define their work in the coming year and then put it out there on Twitter using the hashtag #OneWord2019. I find great value in finding your one word, or as I sometimes call it a teaching intention. But this week I saw a teacher on Twitter post something that I had never before encountered in my 15 years of teaching - a PERSONAL mission statement. Brilliant! I had to have one! And also had the feeling of of course, why didn't I think of that? What a great way to remind yourself what you are all about, to share with your students and their parents, and your colleagues.
Sending warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season to all of our BubbleUp Classroom readers. We look forward to seeing you back here in the new year -- we'll be blogging again on January 8.
-Corey & Gretchen
At a meeting this week of our school's Instructional Leadership Team, there was a brief discussion of equity. I walked away with a desire to explore a variety of questions. What is equity (it means different things to different people in different places)? What does it mean -- and what should it mean -- to me as a teacher? How can we achieve it through teaching practices in schools? I took this deep dive into the topic to broaden my thinking. So take 5, and learn a little more about equity with me. Equity isn't a destination; it's something you have to wake up and work toward for your students each and every day. That means continuing to learn and grow about this topic that it is at the bedrock of all we do.
Carrie is a veteran math teacher who goes above and beyond as the Lead Mentor Teacher at Kilmer. This means that she helps new teachers get acclimated to our school community. The word that colleagues would use to describe Carrie is caring (no pun intended). She always puts others first, especially new teachers. Beyond being a supportive colleague, Carrie is a talented educator. She brings math to life; she works relentlessly with all of her learners to help them see that math is all around them. At the same time, she creates a classroom with a welcoming vibe, as down to earth as she is. Meet Carrie.
I recently attended the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) annual conference in Williamsburg, VA. I love attending professional conferences and VAASL is one of my favorites. I like to connect with other school librarians from around the state to talk and learn and share ideas. The biggest theme running through the conference was that truly, and perhaps more than ever, school libraries are important and valuable. They matter. What else matters in relation to libraries? That's where my five take-aways from the conference come into play.
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