Why do *I* have to facilitate discussion? Facilitating book talks that start with student inquiry #uiwp2012 #PBLchat

When I started the year, I had 56 students in one of my sections and 50-some in another.  (Want to try your hand at trying to manage that classroom on the first week?)  As the year goes on, my classes get smaller, due to our transient student body at my school — kids move, transfer Read More …

building bridges with blogging: now connected to some great authors

This morning, I woke to the a Google Alert on my name to find that I had been mentioned in a recent post by author Vicki Spandel on one of her blogs.  I have written about some of Spandel’s work and also used it as a basis for my argument in my New Tech Network Read More …

You are now free to move about your mind: #UIWP2012 week3 reflection

Seventy-five percent: it’s hard to think that I am three-quarters of the way done with the 2012 University of Illinois Writing Project summer institute.  In the past week, I have really been able to narrow my focus on what I want to present in my second video and in my eventual teaching demonstration.  I’ve been reading Read More …

book review: Writing Our Communities: Local Learning And Public Culture #uiwp2012

Writing Our Communities: Local Learning And Public Culture works as a great handbook for brainstorming ideas for projects that engage students in the study of your local community. Formatted mostly as a series of unit plans, the book is a quick read. Each chapter is written by a teacher from a different school. I see great value Read More …

Who would be welcome literary mentors in your classroom? #uiwp2012

Quick Write: “Suppse you could invite (a few) literary mentors into your own classroom.  Who would they be?” (Spindel, 2005, p. 86).  Why? Ray Bradbury.  F. Scott Fitzgerald.  And Daniel Pink. I’ve been and continue to be a dork in this life.  My most memorable literature-reading experiences came from my freshman year with English teacher Read More …

Echo Literacy Tasks: a roadmap to integrating Common Core

As the site Literacy Facilitator at my New Tech school, I’ve been faced this year with just a bit more than anyone else making the transition to a PBL or 1:1 classroom.  After the New Tech Annual Conference last August, I had some of my foundations shaken by how much student empowerment was going to Read More …

Murder We Wrote project wrap-up

To round out the third quarter of the year, my students completed a more independent project where I asked them to write a made-for-TV drama script.  The Murder We Wrote project centered around the driving question: Using 12 Angry Men, as our mentor text, how do we, as young, creative writers, craft a screenplay that Read More …