4 EASY Digital Tools for Starters and Exit Tickets

When it comes to entry routines—whether we call them starters, bell ringers, or do nows—I have tried every system you can think of. Now that my students have iPads, there are even more options. Over the past year, I’ve experimented quite a bit with different digital tools for formative assessment and engagement.  This blog will […]

Digital Writing with iPads: Googly Tip #1 = Using Google Keep for Research

What I’m Thinking About: My school district went 1:1 with iPads this fall. After of years of struggling to schedule time with the Chromebook cart or in the computer lab, my students finally have consistent, daily access to technology. The main challenge, and this is for teachers more than students, has been learning how iPads […]

A Case for End-of-Year Portfolios

I am a big believer in portfolios, especially writing portfolios. But, like teachers everywhere, I never have enough time to teach everything I think my students need. It is tempting to skip the end-of-semester portfolio. We already did the writing once. Why should we do it again? I know it takes time, but I don’t skip […]

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Where’s Your Evidence?

I teach seventh grade. In my universe, citing evidence is not intuitive or automatic. It is a skill we work on all year with varying levels of success. Students love to say how they feel about something they’ve read. They don’t always love supporting that idea with evidence from the text.To be honest, I haven’t […]

Academic Discussion Norms

Class Discussions That Run Themselves

What I Was Thinking… Much of my classroom instruction revolves around the fifteen cognitive strategies Carol Booth Olson describes in her book The Reading Writing Connection.  If you have not yet heard of Olson’s strategies, they name and explain processes strong readers and writers undergo as they build understanding. For specific details about cognitive strategies, click […]

Take Your Lessons Online with HyperDocs and Multimedia Text Sets

What I’m Thinking About… Over the last couple of years, I ‘ve been experimenting with the “blended” classroom. This means some instruction is face to face and some instruction is online. Even though my school still does not have a 1:1 program, we have Chromebook carts, iPad carts, and computer labs. This means I can […]

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Who Owns This Work? An Overview of Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

How Do I Copyright My Own Work? According to the United States Copyright Office (2012) document “Copyright Basics,” an original work enjoys copyright protections from the time of its creation. There is no need to register it with any government office (p. 1).  The work does not need to be published. Simply put, if you made […]