Are We There Yet?

keep-calm-it-s-almost-vacation-timeLet the craziness begin! We have arrived at that frantic stretch between Thanksgiving break and the winter break when the days begin to blur and the number of “extra” appointments/meetings/special holiday events and causes for disruption increase exponentially. Just enough time to complete a unit’s worth of material if we are lucky and having a good day and the weather gods smile down upon us and do not deliver any of that fluffy white stuff from the sky. Sounds like a perfect time to add one more thing to your plate…a December edition of the Friday 4!

Consider this week’s items an early holiday gift from me to you! Unwrap and enjoy. P.S. Please feel free to regift any of the items with a family member who does not regularly get the Friday 4!

  • Those who know me, know that I am a big fan and user of twitter for my own professional development. Recently, I happened to run across a creative way for newbies to get their toes wet with twitter. The #12daysoftwitter challenge. The challenge started on December 1, but you can easily join in now and benefit from this introduction to the use of twitter as a self-directed professional development tool. Even power users of twitter can benefit from participating in the challenge and inject a little freshness into their twitter feed. It only takes a couple of minutes a day!
  • Apply Yourself is a piece from the Harvard GSE website that offers up some good advice for seniors who are deep in the throws of the college process as well as for advisors of such students.
  • Are you a coach looking for ways to leverage what has been learned about cognitive science with your athletes? Here is A ‘COGNITIVE SCIENCE READING LIST’ FOR COACHES
    from Doug Lemov that will get you started.
  • For my English teacher friends, here is a piece that I stumbled on that you may either hate or love. I am eager to hear which camp you fall into after you read Teaching Grammar Through Rhythm.
  • My bonus item this week is a shameless plug for a blog post that I wrote for the Learning and the Brain website. I have been asked to join the team of regular contributors for the blog and had my first piece CLICK HERE: THE TECHNOLOGY OF RETRIEVAL PRACTICE IN THE CLASSROOM posted this week.

Enjoy and hang in there…vacation is only a few weeks away!

Pre- Mother’s Day Friday 4

4fingersMoms: Our First Real Teachers

It would be difficult for most of us to deny that the first “teacher” we all had was our own mom. Who was there when we learned how to tie our shoes? Who taught us to believe in ourselves? Who taught us to always say please and thank you? Mom of course…and maybe Dad if you were lucky. So while Teacher Appreciation Week is technically over today, if you are lucky enough to still have your own mom around, I encourage you to extend the sentiment and be sure to pay a special tribute to your first “teacher” this Sunday – Mother’s Day. Personally, I think it is a perfect juxtaposition of the two celebrations.

This week’s Friday 4 includes two pieces to get you thinking a tad and a couple of resources for those of you looking for some online options for ongoing professional development in the summer.

  • Bringing the Locker Room Into the Classroom is a piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education that was passed along by a colleague who happens to be both a teacher and a coach. I have always thought of coaching and teaching as one and the same and liked the collaborative project that is described in the article.
  • Response: ‘The Grading System We Need to Have’ is a blog piece from Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) that appeared on the Education Week Teacher site. Larry is a well-known teacher, author and presence online who is definitely one you should follow on Twitter.

  • Are you an AP teacher looking for resources, ideas or fellow AP teachers to collaborate with beyond your own school? The AP Teacher Community is a great place to start. The summer is a great time to connect with colleagues from around the country and share ideas.

  • The Teaching Channel is another rich online resource and network of educators. The site describes itself as: “Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America’s schools. We have a rapidly growing community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each other.”