Uh oh, it’s now officially “back to school” time here in Alabama. Once you get past the 4th, the rest of the summer goes so quickly! I wish (as I always do) that I had taken a little more time to just relax, but it’s really hard for me to turn off my brain. I’m working on it and will write a post soon about how I’m use yoga, meditation, and this awesome app called Freedom to try to chill out. Still lots of work to do though!
I hope you all enjoyed your Independence Day and the rest of your week. I’ve been to the barn three times (counting today) this week, which might (sadly) be a record this summer! Thanks to rain and subbing in summer school and such, it just hasn’t been easy to get out there. Ugh. I’ve been reading Hillbilly Elegy; I’m enjoying it, but I wish it was a bit more addictive. It’s not the kind of book that I can’t wait to get back to, you know? Have you read it? The rest of my summer reading lineup is begging to be read, but I must finish this one first.
Anyway, here are my five (or more…) favorite reads of the week! Hope you find something helpful here. 🙂
Friday Faves 7/7
Good tool to help you manage your Gmail from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
I am excited about this tool, Drag. It’s a Chrome extension that basically turns your email into a to do list. Check it out!
Google Tools for Delaying Grades to Focus on Feedback from The Schoenblog (Adam Schoenbart)
I stumbled upon this on Facebook and realized that it was kind of a follow up to my post on Cult of Pedagogy: Delaying the Grade. I am so excited about this post because I am always looking for better ways to give feedback. It also created the rabbit hole effect, where I just continued burrowing deeper and deeper in to Adam’s blog. There are so many great ideas and resources here! If you don’t follow him on Twitter (@mrschoenbart) or follow his blog, I think you should. (I also came across this gem about using Six Word Memoirs which I might adapt for a first week activity).
Faster Feedback: Creating Editing Shortcuts in Google Docs from Catlin Tucker
First of all, I love Catlin’s website (I think I mentioned this before), and second, can you tell feedback is on my mind? This week I wrote about how I use tech tools to give feedback, and I love this tip from Catlin about creating shortcuts in Docs. I think it could really help speedup the written feedback process. Check it out!
Teachable Alternatives to the 5 Paragraph Essay from Movingwriters.org
Ah, this is one of my goals this year: eliminate (or improve on?) the five paragraph essay. I often rely on this structure to help my kids learn organization, but I really want to move them to more “realistic” formats. This isn’t moving away from the format completely, it’s more like a different way to look at it. I’m hoping to incorporate this or something like it. (Side note: how do you help your kids learn structure and organization without being too formulaic? I’m constantly struggling with this).
Helping Your Students Identify their Values from Edutopia
I’m really excited about this. It’s not earth-shattering or anything, but I love the questions and the essay idea. This year some colleagues and I are revamping our classes, and we want to start by helping our students identify their values and their identity. So many of my students say “I don’t know” when asked what they’re interested in or what they like. We want to help students define these things and then determine their strengths. From there, we want them to address problems and use their strengths to determine how to solve the problems. What with this look like? How will it work? I have no idea, but I’m excited anyway! Check out this post from Edutopia for some ways to get started.
If you’re a secondary English teacher looking to connect with others who want to be more innovative in their English classrooms, please join our group on Facebook. We’d love to have you and your ideas/questions/resources!
Lastly, the super awesome Kelsey Hayes from put together a rafflecopter for a $30 TPT gift card! It’s only open until midnight tonight (7/7/17), so join the fun! Not a lot of people join these, so you have a great chance of winning! 🙂