Today the middle school where I work is filled with the sound of hope dying. Why do I say that? Today the State of Michigan decrees that all eighth-grade students must take the PSAT with no accommodations, so today is the day when many students in my school decide they will never be good enough … More The Sound of Hope Dying
I have a problem. I fall in love too easily. Every new app that comes my way is a new favorite. Years ago, I fell for Padlet. Now Padlet is a great app, don’t misunderstand, but it is an anonymous app. A person can post and no one can prove it who was. Needless to say, in a … More The Romance of Collaborative Apps
A random pair of comments by colleagues led me to today’s post. First, the school social worker asked me if it was O.K. to have some of her students make bookmarks to be distributed in the media center. Just a few minutes later, a math teacher expressed surprise and admiration that I had invited students to … More Who Owns This Library?
January and February are not the most inspiring months of the school year in Michigan. My district needs both computerized standardized tests and midyear grades in this season and the cold, gray days stretch out in a seemingly unending pattern of snow or no snow, but always damp and dreary. Now is the time to … More Fighting the Winter Blaahs
via Daily Prompt: Brilliant This black box may not look brilliant to the casual observer, but believe me, it shines like the North Star for me. You see, this is a book locker, the first book locker in Michigan. It is the result of more than twenty years of desire, effort, and planning. I am … More Collaboration is Brilliant
This morning as I listened to the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast with two of my favorite teacher encouragers, Vicki Davis and Steve Dembo, it finally sunk into my thick head that sometimes the best tool to jumpstart a lesson isn’t a new tool at all. I must admit that my tried and true tools for looking at old … More Smart Tech Tools for the New Year Don’t Have to Be New
As a school media specialist who teaches technology not only to students but also to teachers and administrators, Hour of Code is my thing. I have been leading the charge for coding in my building and my district for many years. However, in this environment of high pressure, high-cost testing, I am beginning to get … More What Do Coding, Reading, and Writing Have to Do With Each Other?
While searching for ideas to help my third-grade students write longer and with more detail, I came across the idea of making storyboards. Many of my students are English language learners and struggle to string together more than a couple sentences. I have a 45-minute makerspace session with each third-grade class that allows me to … More The Power of Pictures
This year I returned to the middle school media center after several years at the elementary level. The students at this middle school were, for the most part, my students earlier at the elementary school. Unfortunately, the middle school had not had a professional librarian in some years. Secretaries and subs had filled the gap, … More Student Voice
Makerspace is a current buzzword, it’s true, but making itself is not a fad. Human’s ability to work with their hands and make things has been a defining characteristic. The modern makerspace is actually a return to the sanity of Piaget and John Dewey after several decades of spreadsheet driven insanity. People who sit in offices … More Why Makerspace Isn’t “Just Another Thing”