Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tupac is bringing reading to life!

Remember that time I wrote about Tupac?

I am so excited to announce that the poetry book is never on my shelf.   It's constantly being borrowed and I'm "catching" kids talking about it.    Talk about a smile file moment!  

What's also awesome is how my students are embracing the "weird" and diving into children's books.
Find their passion, folks.   And build from there!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Smile file!

I started this blog because I was so inspired by Joy Kirr and her book, Shift This.   As I keep learning more about my students and myself this school year, I have found that taking a risk is really only scary in my head.

I continue to grow as an educator with the help of the awesome people in my PLN.   One such awesome person I've written about before is Carrie.   I was inspired by one of her more recent videos
(seriously... click that link) to try GROUP sketchnoting.

So let's set the stage, shall we?

We're getting ready to launch into our class novel.   Nothing But the Truth by Avi.    So I decided to make a handy-dandy powerpoint and tell my kiddos a story.   Yep, we're in high school and I had story time.   #winning

I tell the kids that Avi was an awesome reader.   (*Insert students rolling eyes here*)
He was.   He is.  

But... he hated writing.   (*Insert shocked facial expressions throughout the room*)
True story. Could my students relate?   Um... yes!  

As the story unfolds my students learn that Avi struggled sooooo much in writing that he flunked out of his first high school and was then sent to a second "special" high school which helped low readers and writers.   (*Ummmm welcome to our world!   My room is that 'special place')

In addition to this struggle, he needed ADDITIONAL help from a writing tutor.   This writing tutor is the one who lit the fire under Avi and helped him figure himself out.   Years later (so sad!) Avi discovers he has a learning disability, dysgraphia.   (*minds blown*)

After story time, I explained to students that it's time to make another Shift and take a risk at the same time.   We were going to attempt group sketchnoting.   I didn't follow it exactly as Carrie explains it but we did the best we could with what we have.

Two of my students, in particular, took an even better risk.   Even after explaining more than once that this would be a joint effort, they asked to work on their own as they prefer to do.   Both students are incredibly artistic and extremely introverted when it comes to projects.   I explained to them that part of the risk in this task is to work together.   They looked at one another, shrugged their shoulders and dove right in!   I was shocked!   There were three other adults in the room (roomie, para, and TSS) and the conversations we witnessed were amazing.   They completely exceeded my expectations.  I am beyond proud!   They stepped out of their comfort zone and took information from story time and made this masterpiece.  

And THEN.... they let me take their picture!   When they were looking!  
(Yes, I have their permission to show you.)

Have I ever mentioned that I love what I do?

PHS Traits of an Effective Classroom used in this lesson:   student-centered, high levels of engagement, authentic learning, creativity, risk-taking

Friday, February 9, 2018

February #IdeaFlood is underway

I love that the topic for Carrie's IdeaFlood this month is FRIENDSHIP!!

Our class is getting ready to launch into Avi and this is a PURRRRRFECT Fit!

Students began drafting some ideas today and I made a quick note via PowerPoint.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Getting ready to launch...

Have I ever mentioned how much I love what I do?

Seriously.    My students are amazing!

We are getting ready to launch into our class novel (Nothing But The Truth) and students were given a very unstructured task (deliberate risk... scary Shift!).

Students were told to find a quote or quotes about honesty/integrity/being a good person etc...

I am so proud of how these turned out.

Sketchnoting for the win!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sketchnoting fun!

With the help and love of the amazing Carrie Baughcum, I was able to teach my students the art of sketchnoting!   Here are some samples of their work.   They really enjoyed it and we even dove right in to complete sketchnotes on our current unit of study.   I'm so excited to see this take off!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Student Work

Time to change the bulletin boards.

I figured some good ole growth mindset couldn't hurt.   


#oneword2018 part two...

Are you following me on Instagram?

I ask because sometimes I'm a forgetful blogger... tis true!

You can see photos of more student work there!