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Showing posts from May, 2018

Memorable Moments

Trying something new always brings about an element of excitement. This week, I tried something new, and it was awesome. Was it easy? Nope. Did I do my best work? Nope. Did I feel comfortable? Nope. Did students have to help me? Yep. Did they look at me like I was crazy? Yep. Did I have fun? Absolutely. I learned something new and had a memorable experience. As teachers, this is what we should strive to do in our classrooms for our students: Create memorable experiences. This is when the best learning happens. It was just a normal Tuesday morning until we received an email from one of our fantastic art teachers, Ms. Carol Kinast, inviting staff into her Ceramics class. Her students were on an in-school field trip and had the opportunity to complete a raku and horse hair firing with Fox Valley Hall of Fame Artist, Joe Hernandez. Here are two videos that Ms. Kinast shared with staff showing the process of a raku and horse hair firing: Last semester, I observed a few ceramics cla

The Storyteller

Have you ever been super impressed by something you saw in another classroom, and you went back to your desk to do more research about the activity? If so, I'm sure you share my delight with the power of learning and curiosity. This week, I experienced this excitement after visiting one of our American Sign Language classes to observe a reflection activity that utilized Flipgrid, a game-changing tool for the classroom. I am proud to say that our school offers ASL as one of the World Language options for our students. Every time I walk into that classroom, students are engaged in the content and express their love for the class. Ms. Suzanna Laskowski, one of our ASL teachers, asked her students to learn an ASL story and then record themselves signing the story, using Flipgrid. She invited me in to observe her students as they assessed their own videos and reflected on the process. With the help of Flipgrid, students also had the opportunity to view other students' stories and

Lasting Impressions

Exposure to an authentic, real-world experience is one of the most powerful and meaningful ways we can create a successful path for our students. These experiences are difficult to include in our already jam-packed curriculums; however, when we step back and consider what our students will actually remember and take with them when they leave our classrooms, the authentic, thought-provoking, challenging, and student-driven activities will leave the biggest impression. If you are familiar with this blog, I constantly stress the importance of the 4C's in the classroom. They are game changers. Incorporating creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking into class lessons, activities, and assignments automatically provide a new layer of learning for students, as it asks them to practice skills that are essential for surviving and succeeding in the real world. We can't know for sure where our students will end up after high school, so it is our job to make sure