Ipevo Ziggi HD Plus Document Camera

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ipevo_ziggi-hd_plus_slide_04.jpgTeachers like goodies. We like things that make our jobs not only easier, but more effective. Projectors are becoming more the norm in classrooms rather than the exception. Teachers are finding ways to best make use of this wonderful tool.

At a recent EdTech conference (MECA in Mississippi) I was able to obtain the Ziggi HD Plus document camera. To be honest, I wondered just how effective this tool would be, as it was priced at around $100. Talking to Alex, at the Ipevo booth, he promised that this camera had great resolution. I decided I would take this little guy for a spin. Continue reading

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Choral Reading for Poetry in Middle Grades

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I teach 7th grade English. Let’s be honest for a moment about 7th graders. They can be a persnickety bunch. They are starting to develop personalities, or changing I should say. They think they are grown up, but don’t yet want to be grown up all the time. Continue reading

The Flipped Classroom…Book Review

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The Flipped Classroom: Introduction to Technology and Teaching Techniques by Cristine Boles, Emily Curtiss, Peter Hanson, Sarah Ingold, Shelby Johnson, David Kelly, Yukari Nakagawa, Kiley Purchio, Jennifer Bardsley (illustrator)

Let me start out with.. wow.. that is a long list of authors. I stumbled upon this book while doing some research about flipping classrooms in rural environments.

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The FAILure movement…

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FAIL. It’s a word that among most of the population has a very negative connotation. People get defensive when the word is used, and often, rightfully so.

Now, there is a movement about FAIL. Many say that FAIL stands for First Attempt in Learning. I take issue with this in some ways.  Continue reading

Is it Poetry? Is it Music? Which is it?

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Poetry. Walk into any middle or high school English class, and you will hear a variety of noises emanating from the room. Some will be excited, giving noises of joy. Others, and likely in far greater numbers, will groan as if in utter pain. So, how do we combat this? Continue reading

The Life of a Chromebook

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Ask a public school administrator about a cost effective way to try to go 1:1 in a school, and the odds are a good many of them will say to buy Chromebooks.  We had the privilege of being asked to come to a school to pioneer paperless classrooms. We were always known as those teachers who were out there, dancing around the room, doing whatever we could to keep kids engaged. We were also known as those who were always looking for new ways to engage students. To us, this sounded perfect. Continue reading

Using “Fakebook” to teach Point of View

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So, a few months ago I stumbled upon Fakebook. Fakebook is a tool put out by classtools.net that allows students to create what looks a lot like a Facebook page.

I used this while the class read The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan. I assigned one of the three major characters to each student, and they were tasked with creating a Fakebook page for their assigned character. Continue reading

Some Rules We Need to Bend As Teachers of Writing

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I have been thinking a lot about writing.  Call it that time of year, call it seeing a need, call it teaching middle schoolers who either seem to love writing or really really hate it.  But writing is definitely on my mind.  And it’s about time.

You see, I keep fighting with myself and my own expectation of what a teacher of writing looks like.  The poor English teacher hunched over essays, red pen in hand comes to mind, and yet the teachers of writing that I keep learning from, that I emulate are far from that.  They is so much more than a red pen.  Yet, the old expectations, the old rules, of what I should be continue to haunt the corners of mind, trying to sway me to be something I am not.  I cannot be alone fighting all of these expectations.  I cannot be the only one that…

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Tweetdeck… an easy way to manage Twitter

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Twitter is the place to be. If you want up to date information, feedback, PD, or pretty much anything, Twitter is likely a great place to go. The problem with Twitter? How do you manage it when there are several hashtags you wish to follow? What about those amazing Twitter chats you keep hearing about?

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The Power of Mediocrity

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Mediocrity. It’s one of those things that we all have an opinion on. Some of us think we have an opinion on it, only to learn that how we think we feel is not really how we feel at all once the rubber hits the road.

It’s incredibly powerful, mediocrity. Much like Olivander says of Voldemort in Harry Potter, “… terrible but great…”  Think on that for a minute.

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