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Monday Morning

It’s a Monday morning in July. Every teacher’s dream, right? Still enough summer left to not worry about setting the alarm. The idea of waking up when I want, reading and watching The Today Show while casually scrolling through Facebook and Twitter puts an immediate smile on my face.

Except for today. Today, this teacher heard the alarm bright and early at an hour she would rather not see. Continue reading “Monday Morning”

Authentic Learning, Writing

Teach. Love. Ramen?

I started the 2016-2017 school year with perhaps an over-eager excitement: I was genuinely looking forward to enlightening my students with the ways of democracy! Being in the middle of such a contentious election season, I saw this as an opportunity to not just teach them, but show them what running for office was about; that it isn’t just the smear campaign ads we see on television or the sound clips of candidates arguing on the news, but people who must effectively create and distribute an argument in order to win over the votes of the American people.

Well, we all know how that turned out. Continue reading “Teach. Love. Ramen?”

Professional Development

Teachers Making Change

In a few weeks, I will be traveling to Holyoke, Massachusetts for my first ever National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute. When I applied for a spot with the Women Making Change program, I thought it would be a good experience to see what the application process was all about, I’d receive my rejection, and then I’d think about applying for one sometime in the distant future and return to my bubble of teaching what I know and be happy that I tried something new.

And then I got in. Continue reading “Teachers Making Change”

Flexible Seating, Growth Mindset, Student Engagement

Flexible seating requires flexible thinking

The past school year, my building has been focused on Carol Dweck’s growth mindset model. At the core, Dweck categorizes this idea of growth mindset as training our brains to realize that just because we don’t understand or grasp a concept yet, we can by using alternative avenues. In order to do this, teachers and students alike must understand how the brain functions and that there isn’t a fixed amount of space to fill, but that our brain can grow far beyond what we could ever imagine. Continue reading “Flexible seating requires flexible thinking”

Speaking and Listening, Student Engagement

Not just a drop in the bucket

Research states that the amount of money it takes to manufacture a penny is almost double the price of the value of one. In fact, people often throw pennies away because they see no value or use in the coin that takes up space in our pockets and wallets. As a nation, discussions have begun regarding the discontinuation of the copper medallion, and therefore, has sparked some heated debates.

Well, at least in room 143 it has. Continue reading “Not just a drop in the bucket”

Authentic Learning, Field Trips, Reading, Student Engagement

It’s Okay to be Proud

“Lauren, this is going to stay with these kids forever. You’ve given them an experience they could never forget.”

Those are powerful words that a teacher doesn’t forget. But let’s rewind a few months to this crazy idea my students shouted out while researching background information on September 11, 2001, to prepare for a class novel. A day they literally knew nothing about (which was hard for my 28-year-old brain to fathom…were they really not alive yet? Was I really their age when this unthinkable tragedy occurred? Am I almost 30? Moving on…). Continue reading “It’s Okay to be Proud”