Thursday, June 26, 2014


Sometimes to be a teacher can be a very lonely path. Sure, we're surrounded by people all day: little people, adult people, people we never meet but who have huge impacts on our profession. To have a room full of teachers come together for a week to play and explore technology integration and social justice/critical media pedagogy, is a gift. One of the most powerful pieces for me is to be given time: time to work on projects and curriculum for next year, time to talk with colleagues, time to learn from colleagues, time to utilize thinking partners.

One theme from the week that has resonated for me is the importance of building a community of people who share similar interests and values. This is true for students, and maybe even more so for educators in the current climate. The discussions from the last week about connecting people together in school communities, in neighborhoods, and across the world and nation have shown me the importance off feeling connected. When our students feel supported, they are able to do great thinking and make academic strides. When. Teachers feel supported, we are able to take the risks necessary to push our students. 

Thanks Denver Writing Project and Ll my #techmatters2014 peeps for helping me feel connected again! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Teacher Summer Week 3

This week I am participating in the Denver Writing Project's Tech Matters institute. It is a week where we get time to see some technology, play with it, and we actually have time to play with our new skills. The purpose of today's post is to help me figure out what I'm actually going to try to pull off this week.

I struggled with my Writing Lab students last year, there is no other way to put it. I want to do an overhaul of the class to create more authentic voices in the room. I am thinking that I want to have students create blogs where they write to a specific audience of their choosing. I am thinking that they can use Google Docs and Schoology to play with their writing before they post.

One of the things that intrigues me is the idea of having them work through the semester in "Make Cycles" that I have learned from the #CLMOOC that I've participated in this summer. The idea being that in a set amount of time you make something that is web/technology based. My ideas so far:

  • create an avatar
  • create a how-to about something they know a lot about (medium is optional)
  • write/create a review about something they know about
  • find a blogger in the area of their interest and follow that person's writing (I need to set up specific things for them to look for) to use as a mentor writer
  • use our discussion board each day for writing warmup and then post their favorite each Friday that we meet (every other Friday)
  • use G+ as a place to post writing and collaborate, how this will look I'm still thinking about.
It is important to me that my students re-find a voice for themselves that is authentic to them. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Teacher summer: day 1

I begin this blog a week late. Yes, a week late. My summer actually began a week ago today, but heree's the thing. I was too tired, too overwhelmed, to stuck in my own little world it I begin in that moment, so I begin my teacher summer today.

I am teaching at a camp: Young Writers Camp at the Unidersity of Colorado at Denver. I get to hang out a iht middle school and high school kids a nod teach them how to be writers. It caused some anxiety for or me because I was voluntold to teach poetry. Poetry is difficult for me, it feels foreign to me, it is not my strong suit, but I thought, "Hey! This will give me a chance to expand my knowledge, expose me to something new."

I had no idea what I was going to do, so I did what writers do when they feel lost: I asked my colleague for help. As I spoke to this person who is a poet herself, the process became so simple. Her help unleashed so I etching a ithin me that helped me formulate and figure out how to access poetry. That is part of the magic of teaching writing: the notion that there are people who can help us figure out how to help others think about something in the world.