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Blog: Ed Tech Today

Smile Your on Camera


I want to talk about what I think is one of the best ways to improve as an educator. It boils down to two words:


Or rather have someone videotape you teaching. Tape yourself in action for at least 10-20 minutes then sit down and watch it. You will be amazed at how much you learn! I have taped myself a few times this school year and~ though I think I have improved in some areas~ Ilearned things about myself I would have never seen without...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

Writing on the Desks!

You have to try this idea!

Let your students write on their desks using dry erase markers. Yes~ that's right. Ditch the pencil and paper and let them write~ draw and create on their desks or tables. Don't worry it comes off.

I tried this a year ago and was amazed at how much more engaged my students became when I let them work math problems on their desks. I was tired of wasting time getting paper out and sharpening pencils so I said "just write on your tables using...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

My Kung Fu is Better Than Your Kung Fu!


I want to share a creative way to motivate and focus your students during math instruction. I call it Kung Fu Math.

First~ I created a series of belts or levels that the students aspire to and have them write it in their notebooks.

Then~ I tell them that everytime they get a math problem correct they earn a tally or "notch" towards the next stripe or belt. Everytime a student earns three notches they move up a stripe or belt (my...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

Happy Birthday~ Statue of Liberty-125...

The Statue of Liberty~ our country's most famous landmarks~ is getting a birthday present to celebrate her 125 birthday. Webcams~ five of them~ have been installed on her torch. Since 1916~ the torch area of the statue has been closed to the public. With the web cams~ Internet viewers will be able to once again~ see the birds-eye view of the harbor and read the tablet she...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

Is there room for Career Exporation in...

With so many curriculum demands on teachers today~ do we have time to add career exploration(something popular back in the 80s)? I think young people need to be exposed to different career choices and careers can be incorporated into the subjects being covered. For example~ if you are covering the ancient Egyptians~ you could share the work of an archaeologist. Having kids discuss the different characteristics needed to be an archaeologists~ perhaps go on a dig using a chocolate chip cookie...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

A New Way to Check Homework

I want to share a new way to go over homework. I use my CPS remote control system and have students punch in their answers to random questions. The class has its homework out~ then students click in their answers~ with the option of revising them as they go along. I quiz them on just a few questions from each page to check understanding--in my opinion you can get a sense if the students "got" the homework without going over every problem. The CPS system then grades the homework~ and I...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

Gail Hennessey's Website for...

I was watching Weekend Today and the topic was~ "Is cursive writing something we should still be teaching in school?When I first starting teaching 6th grade~ back in the days of being self-contained~ I remember planning for 15 minutes of cursive penmanship instruction. The students usually copied a famous quote or a funny tongue twister. Then~ as more and more responsibilities were placed upon the day~ penmanship went on the sidelines. The alphabet~ which was posted~on a bulletin board~ was...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

Teaching Kids About Money

One criticism of education (and there are many :)~ is that schools fail to teach kids about money. If you haven't come across a money system created by fifth-grade teacher~ Rafe Esquith~ you need to read his second book "Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire." There's a lot of good ideas in that book~ but the money system is something I believe should be taught in all classrooms across... the country.
Essentially~ the kids...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

Why have lunch with students?

Why I have lunch with students?
I eat lunch with my students on most days. While some educators think that is crazy and others perceive it as not wanting to eat with the other teachers~ I wanted to share why I think it is important. First~ if you're teaching from bell to bell~ there is very little downtime to chat and get to know...

Blog: Ed Tech Today

Superhero Day

I want to share an idea that worked really well for me.

A few weeks ago~ I had the students come to school dressed like a super hero of their own creation. I was dressed like a villian~ black cape~ black mask. I also used a voice scrambler to sound like Darth Vader.

The class then competed against mein a series of challenges that tested math~ vocabulary and science skills. Every time they got an answer right~ they got a point. The same went for me. While the...