Before I start, you should know that this is not a feel-good post about teaching. It is a snapshot of a small slice in time, from a K-8 teacher at 9:55 pm on a Sunday night. Mostly, I am writing this for me. I just wanted to remind myself that I have tried. I have … Continue reading Untitled
Just went to the CI Midwest conference and got to spend time with old friends and make a good number of new ones. Last night in Jolly Spanish Teacher Jeanie’s gorgeous, well-appointed (two pianos!) vintage home in downtown Ripon, Grant Boulanger gave a moving talk to the organizers and presenters and then people shared their thoughts. I was so grateful, sitting in that room with all of these beautiful, heart-filled teachers on the same mission.
I had said to Bryce Hedstrom earlier, as we hovered by the veggie tray with some of the brightest teachers I can think of squeezing past us, that there would be no other house on the planet where I’d rather be at that moment. That house contained precious cargo – a good number of teacher leaders who have dedicated countless hours to developing their own craft to reach their own students so they can now…
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So you’ve had The Experience. During a comprehensible input demonstration– maybe you acquired some Russian from Michelle Whaley or Chinese from Terry Waltz–a lightbulb went off, or you saw a colleague’s beginners writing loooong awesome stories without using notes or dictionary, and you thought, somebody finally cracked it, and then you decided, I’m going to go full C.I. in my classes, and then you wondered, what can I expect?
(Read Tina Hatgaden’s post on this topic here)
Expect to screw up. You are going to finish your three-period story in twenty minutes, at which point you will feel helpless, almost naked, in front of the kids, minus a plan.
Expect to say something and stare at a sea of blank, silent faces.
Expect a kid to ask in March, after hearing it two thousand times, “how do you say there is in French?”
Expect to have…
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I recently came across a website that offered a lot of really good classroom resources. The website is Education.com and as you can see, they offer many of these resources for free. Autumn is the perfect time to introduce new spelling words. Try this fun worksheet and other spelling resources (link opens in new tab) from … Continue reading Free Classroom resources!
Recently I read this article “Lawn Mower Parents Are the New Helicopter Parents…“, it left me nodding my head and patting myself on the back for ignoring the 6 emails that my middle school son sent me about forgetting his school issued i.d. at home…on library day.
A few days later as I was getting ready for school, my husband asked why I was making 4 PB&J sandwiches. He knew that no one in the Stumpenhorst household has ever been a fan of the combination. I replied very matter of factly that I was making extras because the shipment at school had been delayed a few days. A few students count on that sandwich as part of their daily routine.
You all can probably see the vast difference in my response to these two incidences, it honestly didn’t hit me until a few days later. I was a…
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Then expect more from them than an A+ on their report card! Personally, I remember studying really hard in elementary school, high school, undergrad, and then graduate school to “get the grade.” Sure, I learned a lot of things there that still benefit me to this day. (Believe it or not, I actually use … Continue reading Want to dramatically increase your child’s achievement at school?
I was just thinking about this today, as I listen to our 6th graders get yelled at on an almost daily basis. They are soon-to-be adults and it is well within their developmental stage to TALK, why do we restrict them from doing it?
I remember the first time I walked through a silent school, the quiet hallways, the shut doors. You would think it was testing season, but no, simply a school going about its day. At first I felt in awe; what order, what control, what focus! Yet that night, as I shared my story with my husband, I realized something; schools aren’t mean to be silent. They are filled with kids after all. Quiet sure, but silent, no. Yet here this school was; silent, and all I could think about was; why? So what things are we expecting students to do that we would probably not submit to as adults?
Expect them to work hard all day with few breaks. I could not do the schedule of my 7th graders; five 45 minute classes, then 30 minute lunch, then 3 more classes. In between those classes? 3 minutes to get from…
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It's that time of year, when we all muster up our best classroom decor and show it off to the world! I've never done this before but it seems like I am often asked about how I do things in my own classroom, why I'm such a big proponent of not using desks, and about … Continue reading Tour of a Deskless CI classroom
First of all, I didn't follow that advice this morning. Chances are, I won't follow it tomorrow morning, either. However, as I recently learned, skipping the coffee and chugging a glass of water instead might actually do more for your energy than a tall cup of coffee. Let me explain... In the seemingly-crazy yet poignant … Continue reading You Should Probably SKIP that Morning Coffee
Two years ago, when my department discussed our approach to going gradeless, our biggest apprehension was how to tell students they would not be getting marks. We worried there would be pushback from both students and parents, particularly because we were introducing this method to academic students. In the end, this fear proved unfounded. We had a few high achieving students come to us after class to talk about their fears. They commented that grades had always motivated them and they were afraid without them they would not do as well. Perhaps it is with some irony that the majority of these students became our most ardent supporters. And, we had one parent call. One. And not an irate parent, but a parent who was questioning how this was going to work and who went away satisfied that we would still be demanding good quality academic work. Still, despite our…
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