What I’m Reading and Thinking About this Month July 2016

A few months ago I made an effort to try and share some of the blog posts that have been shaping my thinking. My new goal is to post a monthly check in like this at the end of the month to share what has been on my mind, share a few of the best blog posts that I have read, and share the book that I read during that month.

What I have been thinking about:

This past month I found myself thinking a lot about improving my teacher culture. As I enter into August I will be starting the school year with a teaching staff of ten new teachers, six of which are brand new to teaching. I know I should be scared by this prospect but I’m excited. That means that I have the opportunity to hit the reset button and start fresh with ten new people and help six of them have the best first year possible. To do this I know that I will need the help and support of my returning teachers because I can not do this by myself. It is going to be a team effort and require everyone to step up to the challenge.

Blog Posts to Checkout:

The problem with complaining about the system by Seth Godin
I recently started following Seth Godin’s blog. I love his short and to the point blog post style. In this post Seth talks about why we shouldn’t complain about systems. We should instead look to change systems since the systems don’t control us, people do.

The very same software by Seth Godin
As I read this I couldn’t help but say amen. We live in a day and age where our middle school students have access to the same software that professionals do. Why wouldn’t we want our students being exposed to the same tools that they may eventually end up using?

Teacher Uses LEGOs To Explain Math To Schoolchildren
As a former math teacher I struggled with finding new and innovative methods for teaching fractions concepts. It never dawned on me to use Legos to teach fractions. It’s amazing how when you think outside of the box you can find every day objects that can used in your classroom.

The BLAST Pick 6 Blended Learning Models

Yesterday I was able to attend a great session about blended learning led by my old coworker Jonathan Tiongco. During the session he shared with use Alliance College Ready Charter Schools BLAST Pick 6 model of blended learning. I really like how this model has broken down six possible classroom set ups for blended learning. This is a great starting point for anyone who is looking to start using blended learning in their classroom.

My Book for the Month:

Image from http://hyperdocs.co/

 I recently finished reading the Hyperdoc Handbook from Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis. I have been seeing a lot of information about hyerdocs floating around twitter but I never really understood what a hyperdoc was until I read this book. The authors do a great job of breaking down what a hypedoc is and offer step by step instructions for making your own hyperdocs. I used one of their templates last week for a staff development and numerous people mentioned how the format was easy to follow, a great example of using Google Docs for instruction, and visually appealing. I would suggest this book to anyone who is looking for new and innovative ways to use Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides in their classroom.

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