“Dissection Documentaries” come alive in the classroom (and on SCETV)

This semester, I have had the pleasure of working with one of our biology teachers on a semester-long “Dissection Documentary” project.  (Think Inside Nature’s Giants, but in the classroom…and with smaller specimens.)  Students in Bio II (mostly as seniors) study many species, families, etc of our green and blue planet.  In an effort to blend 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 …

First, the thanks; then I’ll carve the meat

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Gangs and Violence Awareness project

This is your old, old grandpa.  I’ve got a copy of all of your previous emails… related to the documentary.  I’m very proud of you…undertaking something like this…getting the idea for something like this at your school.  I wish you a lot of luck with that.  I’m very happy for you… And I hope it Read More …

structured group time + authentic audience = spawn of impromptu student debates

I’ve got over 30 recorded minutes of an un-prompted, un-facilitated (probably more like 45+ minute) student debate that spawned out of my classroom today.  I only interacted to wave at a voice recorder that I set down at the table.  I noticed that something had started as one group turned around to talk to another Read More …

combating the November blues: a well-timed “un-meeting”

With the holiday approaching and me now writing about keeping our heads in the game, I walked into a very well-timed “un-meeting” this morning.  The idea behind an “un-meeting” was first introduced to me in Daniel Pinks’s Drive.  I have never started a day with so much laughter.  Well, laughter that wasn’t coming from podcasts Read More …

carrying Burned In and whether #NCTE11 carries it, too

I will likely have a book review coming out soon.  Based on recommendations from the English Companion Ning, I ordered and started reading a copy of Burned In: Fueling the Fire to Teach.  The book is a collection of essays from educators who consider the tests of their personal constitution when it comes to teaching.  (I figured Read More …

career research paper: making the sell

My sophomore group struggles to see the benefits of their education and are unaware of how many opportunities their school provides them. On the first day of the career research unit, I presented them with data from the National Center for Educational Statistics, provided them with some background knowledge and asked them to infer how Read More …