27.1.19

Technology in the Classroom: How to Create a Digital Editable Document with Google Docs for You and Your Students

I made this Greek Mythology resource shareable and editable!
I like to share with my students and I recently noticed that my digital file type of choice are PDFs and I most-often work with Google Docs when creating. However:

  1. PDFs are static and it is hard to edit them
  2. A Google Doc is editable; but, how can I share what I have created but still keep the integrity of my originals?
Here's what I have done (by following a simple Google hack)

17.1.19

Teaching: 5 Middle and High School Lesson Plans You Can Use in Your Classroom (Right Now)

Hallelujah! Look at Some New Stuff I Created: A suite of lessons in a series I am creating called Philosophy in the Classroom and some gnarly lesson plans I am making about an American Girl living in China in the 1920s - it's called Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz . . .



Why I Use the word "Love" all the time

I read a long time ago (in an ancient teaching book of which I conveniently forgot the name) that educators should avoid saying "love" or "I love" to their students when discussing their work. For example, you're not supposed to say, "Hey, I love that paragraph you wrote!" Well, I disobey that rule. I love my students and because I teach Ethics and Language Arts to ELLs; so, I am always using the word love.


Can you climb out of the cave?
Can you climb out of the cave?

Check out some gnarly resources I just made:

I am building a Philosophy in the Classroom series of resources so teachers can introduce their students to philosophical thinking even if they themselves do not have a philosophy degree. I have three resources up and running (it's a work in progress - but, damn, the three things I just made are really good :-)). Do my kids love 'em? Of course. Do yours? They will!

Novel: Check out the first two chapters of Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz
I just taught the novel Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz to my English Language Learners (they range in grade level but most are 9th and 10th-grade Mandarin speaking ELLs. They loved the book. But I this book is also amazing for Sixth graders (or advanced Fourth and Fifth graders) - however, my kiddos loved it because it was just the right reading level they needed - not too easy but challenging enough to keep them on their toes!
Let's hear from you!
I have been a teacher for ten years, and it never gets old. I love kids, and I love talking with them, discussing ideas, and seeing where a lesson will go. I am privileged to share my resources with you, kind educators. Be real. Gotta go.
My teacher's store: Stones of Erasmus
My Pinterest: Greig Roselli
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Not Grade Specific - TeachersPayTeachers.com

16.1.19

On Carnival Wins, the Ephemeral Nature of Childhood Toys, and Short-Term Goals: It ain't pretty!

Who can relate? I can!
I sometimes wish I could pull a tape of tickets out of a machine and win. Win big. Don't you? It's an analogy. The analogy is something like this. Just like playing games at the arcade hall will garner you tickets (that win big!), once you go home you put the toy away; you forget about it. How many carnival game toys have you won and treasured? None. But I bet when you won that damn thing you were as hot as dry ice. You were stone cold happy. Winning a stuffed bear at the shoot out booth or scoring some plastic dinosaur from the crane game made you goofy happy. And you loved it. Sure. I remember going to the parish fair (we call state counties parishes in Louisiana) and feeling like I had won it all when my dad gave me a crisp twenty dollar bill and instructed me to play some games. I won a bouncy ball and a stuffed lizard. It was euphoric. I was so mad crazy over winning games I remember once my aunt took me to the arcade with my brother and we spent way too much money playing Smash TV. Quarters into tokens. Tokens add up. So do quarters. I took a recent troupe of students (I am a teacher) on an end-of-the-year trip to Dave & Busters. Those kids were as happy as the proverbial pigs in slop with their hard-earned won trophies. Plastic guns; plasticine bears; laughy taffy; yo-yos and other knick-knacks and treasuries that sure did seem like treasuries to them. I was just happy that they were serving lunch for the adults too; we got to eat crap-food on a Tuesday. Priceless.

12.1.19

Video Repost: Braden Gives His Bubblegum Book Report in Season One of the Mickey Mouse Club Reboot (circa 1990s)

I was never a fan of the Mickey Mouse Club reboot on the Disney Channel - mainly, because I am not sure if we had the Disney Channel in my house or not (I honestly cannot remember). However, I came upon this trite little gem - it's a cute little skit - and it reminds me of the innocence I recall from circa 1990s television craziness. I cannot put my finger on it - but television in the 1990s was just plain cotton candy madness. It was sweet - and totally unreeled from any kind of substantial aesthetic. I love how the above skit takes place on a stage with a live audience - kind of like how Nickelodeon did its shows back in the day - and a kind of tween version of Saturday Night Live. Now. I love how the girl gives her sterling report on Moby Dick. Great job. But why does she give an apple for the teacher - isn't that a bribe? And then comes Braden's report - one of the stars of the early reboot days of The Mickey Mouse Club. His report rings true for me - because I can remember a classmate pulled a similar stunt in a class once. He tried to give a class report on one of the elements of the periodic table and he passed out a brochure he had made with the name of the element printed on it - he was so proud of his ersatz report that I remember it still to this day. I guess it is the same for our man Braden. I would remember his report - and he gives it with such Americana teen bravado that I was surprised that the teacher was scowling. And in a kind of teen rebellion-cum-audience mob effect - the live action crowd is totally into it. Go Braden! A+

2.1.19

Reflection: Another Year Goes Away and a New Year Begins

My friend and I lit a candle at St. Thomas Church in Manhattan.
Sometimes life is like a circle. I could go on and give examples - and I will - but I feel like E.B. White did it best in an essay he wrote about circus performers.
      It’s been a while since I closely read the essay but I remember its thesis poignantly. Time is like a circle. White focuses his writing on one performer specifically who takes command of the circus ring. He notices she is in counterbalance to another performer, older, who is also in the ring. White imagines the younger performer is at the crest of her career, illuminating and graceful yet the other performer is also she - less graceful and aging. That’s what I remember. White manages to place an idea of recurrence - of repeating and twinning that resonates with me even now. Perhaps it’s because it’s the beginning of a new year - 2019 and I just recently celebrated a birthday. In a year from now, I’ll celebrate forty years on earth. I’ve been out of school long enough to miss it and I’ve been working just long enough to see myself getting better at what I do - but I can see my older, aged twin on the other side of the circle. He waves at me but I can’t figure out if he’s happy or not.  If I zoom in too much on the daily details of my life it’s all a bunch of minutiae - picking up the trash, sipping a cup of coffee, placing dirty clothes in the hamper. And if I zoom out a bit more - like in that book - where each page is a zoom-out or zoom in of the universe - I see bigger picture things like how much time I spent teaching or how much time I spent writing. And if I zoom out even further I see myself as a generation among generations, and further out too I’m a speck - not even significant. Yet this is what amazes me about human beings. We are persistent in our urgency to slam into the earth some smattering of meaning. And it feels worth it when I’m introspective and desperate when I’m barraged by life’s demands - yet it’s a life. At the start again. So - happy New Year.
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Not Grade Specific - TeachersPayTeachers.com