• Art,  Life,  Process

    Get Your Creative On!

    Are you creative? It’s amazing how often people say they aren’t. I’m fascinated by ‘creativity’ – the stuff that happens in the Right Brain – the process of creativity and the gazillion ways to demonstrate it, the psychological, spiritual, and physical need for it in my own life, and its incredibly important (and often overlooked) role in learning, so I was pleased (and surprised) to discover this morning that we’re in the middle of World Creativity and Innovation Week, a movement begun in 2001 and celebrated each year, April 15 – 21, around the world.  According to their website, during the annual week, “people are acknowledged, informed, inspired and encouraged to use their creativity – to be…

  • Classroom Life,  Instruction,  Process,  Six Words,  Students' Words,  Writing

    From Every Book…. Learning the Pleasures of Being Literate {Slice of Life}

    I wonder:    Who taught you the pleasures of reading and writing?  Did you discover them in high school? Earlier? Later? In my high school Intensive Reading/Critical Thinking class, it takes a while to get students to ‘buy into’ reading for pleasure.  It’s not uncommon to hear, “You want us to read???” followed by:  Do we get a grade?? My classes are a mix of AP and Honors students who don’t use strategies (because they ‘know how to read’) and are insulted that they’re in my class, thinking they most certainly do not need to be, and struggling and reluctant readers who haven’t read for pleasure in years and have limited knowledge and nearly no use of reading skills and strategies…

  • Classroom Life,  Great Reads,  Instruction,  Process,  Training

    Tell Us About Yourself: Sending an Introvert Into a Tailspin

    Freaked out at the thought of having to introduce yourself to strangers?   Several months ago I blogged about my BIG discovery {here}, after reading Susan Cain’s, Quiet: The Power of Introverts, last December.  What a great read!  In it, she discusses introverts in our society and society’s response to them.  She writes, “The bias against introversion leads to a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness.”       You can see her TED Talk here: If you’re an introvert, you know she’s singing the gospel… Now, if everyone would just get quiet and listen….!! Right? What was particularly enlightening to me ~ other than discovering I’m really an introvert camouflaged in an extrovert’s…

  • Classroom Life,  Instruction,  Lists,  Process

    Becoming Unnecessary

    A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. ~ Thomas Carruthers Become unnecessary?  Why would I do that? Because as teachers and as parents, it’s our responsibility to our students/children. My two cents?? Teach kids the definition of integrity: what you do when no one is looking,” … and get out of the way. Ever wonder why some teachers seem to just have it all together?  You walk into their room and things are humming along.  These folks might be your colleagues or they might be your own kids’/grandkids’ teachers.  What makes things different in these classrooms? If you’re a teacher with a classroom, a student in a classroom, or have visited a classroom,…

  • Classroom Life,  Instruction

    Early Childhood Ed: Tykes, Testing, and (Future) Teachers

    This post was first published in 2011.  At the time, I was a member of our district’s CTE Instructional Support team.  Since then, I returned to my own academic classroom, where I’ve spent the past three+ years.  Now, with a wish to return to CTE, I’m sharing an answer to the question I get from fellow academic teachers in my current high school:  What’s Career and Technical Education?  Isn’t that for at-risk kids?  My answer:  No way!  It’s definitely not your father’s shop class anymore.  🙂 -> -> -> ->   Remix debut:   November 2014   Rigor + Relevance + Relationships  What do you get when all three are in balance?…

  • Instruction,  Process

    Cheers for Process AND Simplicity

    I love it when working the process ends with a positive result, don’t you? I also love customer-centric business sense:  Make it user-friendly.  Keep it simple. This Week’s Process:  Question confounded me.  Process began.  Struggled, walked away, pondered, came back, tinkered awhile, struggled some more, walked away (again), and finally….. got it! Backstory:  I began blogging in 2009, trying out WordPress and Blogger.  I  started with WP, selecting a title and exploring the dashboard, but found it too advanced for my newbie technical skills (read: nearly none!).  I moved over to Blogger, a simple place to hone my technical and writing skills. Check out my first post ‘ever’ [here]. Blog posts included the ups and downs of running, eating healthfully, positivity, and eventually, professional stuff (added in 2010).  Result?  Big ‘professional…

  • Instruction

    10 Steps to Building Community in the Classroom

    I’m often asked, “Robin, you always talk about ‘community‘ in your classroom.  How do you build it?” Great question! I’ve found over the years that building classroom community requires lots of “front-end loading” on my part, and as instructors, we can make a HUGE difference in our students’ learning experiences just by choosing to tackle these steps (or not). I always start with the end in mind.  Thank you, Dr. Stephen Covey. What do I want to know about my students? What do I want my students to know about me? What do I want my students to know about each other? How will this information be useful, to my…