Posted in Question of the Week

Question of the Week #1

What are good ways to bring technology into the classroom?

Posted in Food for Thought, Regular Update

Updating and Pondering

First, a simple update. I have finished grad school! My certification paperwork is in the works. I am moving into the next chapter of life, and I am very excited about all of that. I am currently substitute teaching and looking for jobs. I am also very excited about the holidays and everything the future holds.

Now to move onto the pondering. I have a journal where I keep notes for this blog, teaching ideas, teaching resources, professional development notes, and all sorts of other job related things. This journal goes to work with me every day. And sometimes when I’m at work I just sit and think. Today I started thinking about technology and the classroom and how the two relate and all sorts of other related things. And as I thought I came up with a list of questions. I thought that here would be a great place to share those questions and see what all of you thought.

  • What are good ways to use cell phones in the classroom?
  • What are good ways to bring technology into the classroom?
  • How can technology be used for differentiation?
  • How can social media connect to English class?
  • How can students connect with English class?
  • How can writing be made fun and accessible?
  • What are ways students can connect with older/classic texts?
  • What are students reading and how can that be brought into the classroom?
  • How can grammar be fun?
  • How can I get my students to read on their own and on a regular basis?
  • How can I make a great class library?
  • What are good ways to connect texts to today’s world?
  • How can I make reading and writing relevant?

I’m sure that with time I’ll add more questions to the list. And please feel free to share your own questions with me or give me your thoughts on my questions.


Posted in Classroom Ideas, Food for Thought

On Creativity

I think that allowing creativity in the classroom can get tricky because in today’s world allowing creativity sometimes means allowing technology. I think sometimes it can be difficult to allow technology because it’s still something that’s relatively new and sometimes people don’t fully understand it or they assume the worst of allowing creativity in the classroom. Technology has a bigger presence in schools now than ever before and I think it’s important for teachers to embrace that so they can help students reach their full potential.

But back to creativity. I believe that young people are inherently creative people. I also believe that they need to be allowed to demonstrate their creativity in the best way for them. I’ve always loved writing and “crafty” projects – posters, scrapbooks, etc. I think that if I was a student in high school today I’d love the projects like create a Tumblr for a show character or creative a Facebook profile to use as a timeline.

Not everyone is creative in those ways though. Some students are more technologically creative and innovative than I could ever imagine being. Some channel their creativity into music. Or dance. Or acting. Or fashion. Students need to be given the opportunity to learn how they best express themselves. We as educators need to do our best to give them the opportunities to do so.

I want to allow creativity in my classroom as much and as often as possible. I want my students to discover what makes them tick, how they can best express themselves. I want to embrace technology because it’s a great tool to have in my toolbox.


Posted in Food for Thought, Regular Update

What Technology Do You Have in Your Classroom?

I think it’s easy to overlook having technology in the classroom, especially when teaching English. English historically is all about books and writing papers. There’s not a lot of technology involved in the traditional mindset. But that’s really not the appropriate mindset to have anymore.

Technology is everywhere. It’s in the fact that we ask students to research and write papers on computers. It’s in the fact that students can make amazing presentations online. It’s in the fact that students are more comfortable with technology than with pen and paper, and we as educators need to recognize and foster that.

So what technology do you plan on having in your classroom? I want to foster having computers and smartphones so long as they are being used appropriately. I want to allow students to teach me new things about technology. I want to bring the world my students already know into my classroom so that everyone can feel more welcome. The world is ever evolving, and I want myself and my students to evolve with it.

What about you? What are your thoughts on bringing technology into the classroom?


Posted in Question of the Week

Question of the Week: Methods of Teaching

question of the week: what methods do you use when you’re teaching?

I have a lot of aspirations for what I’m going to do in my classroom when I student teach in the fall. A lot of it has to do with the methods of teaching I use. I know that it’s easy to fall into the loop of lecturing and having students take notes, but I feel that especially with English there’s a lot more I can do.

I want to have debates and have students work in small groups and with partners. I want to have them do group projects even though I know that can be a slippery slope. I want to have them make presentations on topics relevant to what we’re reading. I want them to act out scenes from the text. I want them to learn in the way that is best for them. I want to incorporate multiple intelligences into my classroom.

I think that it’s easy to do what’s familiar and what we’re used to in the classroom. I think it’s easy to incorporate what our teachers did when we were students. But times have changed. Technology is a much bigger influence in the classroom now. There’s more research based on the fact that different students learn in different ways. And I think it’s important to have fun in the classroom.

So these are some of the methods that I want to bring into my classroom to make it as fun, exciting and interactive as possible. What do you do in your classroom to mix things up?