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Showing posts from June, 2016

#Edtech tools of summer

Summer is a great time for teachers to work with #edtech tools. Two free Edtech tools that I'm working with this summer include TED-Ed and RECAP. Both of these tools can help a teacher flip his or her classroom. I've found that videos and screencasts are helpful to my students. Why?

1. Visual learners benefit from a visual explanation in addition to a handout

2. Students who have been absent can more easily regain what they missed

3. Students can replay the video and not be embarrassed

So, what is TED-Ed?
"TED-Ed is also a platform for teachers. They can adapt TED-Ed Original Lesson content to create customized lessons to use in their classrooms or use our Create a Lesson tool to build their own new lessons with any YouTube video."


My students have also used TED-Ed to create memorable lessons. I'm using it this summer to quickly create video lessons from videos that I have used in the classroom previously. I will be able to…

The Illusion of Safety

As an English teacher, I often think of ways to ensure I have an inclusive classroom. I do want each student to feel that they are an important functioning part of our class. So, that includes race, religion, and gender. I need to include the girly girl and the tomboy. I need to embrace the Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, and yes, even in the Bible belt students who are proud atheists. I've also been careful with my language and the language of the students regarding sexual orientation. The horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando this week highlights the fact that as an educator, I have much to learn.
     What does the law say? In 2014, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights announced that Title IX – the civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded education programs and activities – also bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

“Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discriminat…

Seven Tools for Thinking via Didau and Dennett

As I plan my lessons each year, I consider Harper Lee's quote "The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think." David Didau, @learningspy,  this summer wrote a series of posts on Daniel Dennett's book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.  Didau's series of posts specifically elaborates on Dennett's Seven Tools for thinking. As an AP English language teacher, I am always looking for readings that will encourage my students to think about their thinking. My students will read and respond and then work to hone their thinking using one tool a week for the first seven weeks of school.

     It is my hope that the Seven Tools will help make the "implicit explicit" as Didau suggests. My students need the time to grow to use each tool. By providing a week to use explicitly each tool in our reading, writing, and class discussions the students can begin to hold each other accountable for each tool. Will the…