Lit Circles: Are Roles Needed? Can I Stop Scaffolding Students to Death

I spent the day today researching about Lit Circles. I know this is a popular strategy among many educators for engaging readers. Last year, my teaching partner and I implemented what we called reading groups. It was a mishmash of ideas that we threw together in an effort to get kids reading together and applying…… Continue reading Lit Circles: Are Roles Needed? Can I Stop Scaffolding Students to Death

App Play, A Different Kind of Homework

My teaching partner and I spent some time at the end of this past year reflecting on the role of homework in our fourth grade classes, and how we could improve it. We wanted to make homework more meaningful and to have it connect to class. If a child doesn’t do their homework, we reasoned…… Continue reading App Play, A Different Kind of Homework

Popplet Lite

I decided to use Popplet Lite to brainstorm some of its possible uses in the classroom. I came up with quite a few ideas pretty quickly! This is a free, very simple to use app with great potential. The lite version allows you to save the Popplet as a jpg in your iPad's photo library.… Continue reading Popplet Lite

ASCDs PDOnline Course: Getting Started with Student Portfolios

I just finished! the ASCD PDOnline course “Getting Started with Student Portfolios.” It took me about three intensive full-day sessions with time in between to digest and do other research. Overall, this course was very helpful, and at $99 it was very affordable. I was able to download every resource article as I went, so…… Continue reading ASCDs PDOnline Course: Getting Started with Student Portfolios

Knowing and Searching

I’ve defended often to myself, to parents, to colleagues the idea in my Social Studies curriculum that my emphasis on research, paraphrasing, citing sources and synthesis of findings is more important than specific content. Being able to search is more important than knowing. What will fourth graders really remember about the Age of Discovery? I…… Continue reading Knowing and Searching

Portfolios, Goals and Collaborating With Students

In my ASCD online course about student portfolios, I’ve been reading about portfolios as tools to encourage reflection. Part of reflection is setting realistic goals based on self-evaluation of artifacts in the portfolio. One strategy ASCD encourages is modelling for students what a well-crafted goal looks like. They also recommend finding ways to have students…… Continue reading Portfolios, Goals and Collaborating With Students