Blue Serials (11/29/15)
You did it. You survived Thanksgiving.
I forgive you in advance if you're unintentionally counting down to 'Winter Break' in the back of your mind. It's OK to be tired, or to enjoy the breathers. We know you still love the children and would never willngly be away from them for long.
Hmm. Maybe we'd better just press ahead.
A few amazing things you may have missed in the rush of holiday festivities slash obligations:
Thank You For The Music - There were any number of 'Thankful' posts this past week from #oklaed and beyond. I'm choosing this one from Mindy Dennison, aka This Teacher Sings, to represent them all. As with so many of us, she loves her subject - but what she most treasures are the people. I'm personally thankful she's back the blogging saddle - er... if that's a thing. I'm a little bewildered by the Abba video at the end, but knowing my own musical tastes I have little room to judge. #oklaed
6 Guidelines for Extracurricular Advisers - The title is probably a bit of a giveaway as to what Peter Greene at Curmudgucation is writing about here, but in addition to it being pretty good advice for those 'extracurricular' folks he mentions, it's pretty good advice for those of us teaching the so-called 'cores' as well. And when he says stuff like "sometimes the lessons come from failure. They have to-- because if the students don't have the chance to fail, they don't have the chance to succeed..." - well, I'm pretty much an edu-sciple for life.
If I Stuck A Camera Into Your Brain, What Would I See? (Responding to Literature) - I don't know about you, but sometimes I hit a wall with ideas on how to help my kids process information, especially when we're trying to teach them to suck in more knowledge through their own straw and rely less on us filling our straw and shooting it at them. (OK, that analogy kinda got away from me.) Fortunately, Peter Anderson at Mr. Anderson Reads & Writes is much better at that kind of thing than I am, and here he shares an idea with which I am now in love for helping kids process and personalize literature more effectively.
Flexibility & Consistency: Why I'm OK With 'Sometimes' - Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute is all about child development and growth and stuff, which doesn't neatly mesh with my love of snark and abusing young people in the name of 'grit'. Here, though, she highlights the value of balancing structure and systems with reality-based flexibility. Imagine how difficult this would be if our kids were growing up in a world of artificial dichotomies and manufactured ideals for everything from body image to career fulfillment? I know, right? Go read this one. Then, later... read it again.
AND THIS WEEK'S BLAST FROM THE NOT-SO-DISTANT PAST...
The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies - Jennifer Gonzalez is my most recent #educrush, and I'm having a hard time getting my pedagogical pulse back to 'suave' since discovering her work on Cult of Pedagogy. This one is from last month, but I'm making it this week's 'revisit' because this is about the time of first semester we have so much to get through but have pretty much worn out our 'go to' strategies for keeping things interesting. Despite all those workshop notes we took and all those Marzano books on the shelf, we fall into ruts. It's not that every one of these is radical or revolutionary or the solution to all of your edu-woes - but at least a half-dozen of the strategies summarized here will make you think 'Oh yeah! I remember thinking I should try that!' One or two will probably even be new to you.
Go Be Amazing This Week As You Return To Your Classroom, Office, or Other Educational Working Space! Take a moment to participate in the Blue Cereal #11FF Blue Christmas Cup of Cheer Giveaway - all you have to do is promote blogs you're already reading or share posts you already like, whether mine or those of existing #11FF. The first several winners will be announced soon - and it's going until Xmas Eve!