by Tricia Ebarvia
Whenever I blog, especially here for PAWLP, I try to offer fellow teachers some practical strategies to use in the classroom. After all, I know how I much I appreciate picking up ideas that I can try with my own students right away, sometimes even the very next day.
Of course, now that summer is just about here—tomorrow is our last official day with students!—there is no more “very next day.” Instead, as the weather warms and lazy days at the pool run together, the planning for next year begins. Sometimes the planning is purposeful: reading pedagogy texts or writing up lesson ideas. But other times, the planning is a little more serendipitous: stumbling upon the perfect article for class or finding inspiration while on an errand to the store. Summer may be here, but I’ve found that my “teacher brain” never really goes on vacation.
Without the pressure of “the very next day,” the ideas I come across during summer have room to sit, and breathe. There’s no pressure to do—simply the possibilities of doing. The extra time summer offers allows me to think this could work or maybe I’ll try this or what could that look like?
Summer, then, becomes a time to reflect on another year gone by and to gather new ideas for the year ahead. How? Below are just a few of the things I’ll be doing this summer to reflect and re-energize: Read more
Tools of the Trade: Google Docs – A Tool for Taking the Writing Conference Beyond the Confines of the Classroom
By Kelly Virgin
“By truly listening to students when we confer, we let them know that the work they’re doing as ‘writers’ matters.” -Carl Anderson
For years I have struggled with finding the time to truly listen to each and every writer I teach and as a result I know I have failed in letting many of them know how much their writing matters. As a high school teacher, the confines of a 42 minute class period and the average class size of 25 or more students made it logistically impossible for me to engage in meaningful writing conferences with every student regularly. That is until I took our writing conferences beyond the confines of the classroom through the use of Google Docs. Read more