Brenham Tech Daily

WeLead Wednesday: #WeLead Classrooms at BHS

Brenham High School #WeLead Classrooms

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Engagement Strategies (Resources)

Engagement Strategies

Last Saturday as I was perusing Twitter, I saw this awesome post on engagement strategies. When I clicked on the image, I found that it came from Here is the image from Teacher Trap:
Sometimes in teaching, you want to change it up. How can you do this? Pick a rectangle in this chart, and try it out.
Here are some resources that I compiled into a companion table, to the chart above, to get you started (click on the links below)--

Jigsaw: Click here to learn how to do Jigsaw in your classroom. Use this resource when students are doing Jigsaw.
Gallery Walk: Click here to learn how to do a gallery walk, and check out the elementary and secondary gallery walk handouts.
Debate: Debate resources here.
Think Pair Share: template here
Quiz, Quiz, Trade: Directions and resources here.
Games: Use Flippity to play a memory game, BINGO, crossword, hangman, quiz show, and more.
Graffiti Wall: Directions for a Graffiti Wall and an example here.
Corner Call or Four Corners: Video, Explanation, and templates here.
In-Out Circle: Steps and Tips here
Mix to Music: Read the blog post about how to do this here.
Learning Coach: Also known as collaborative learning- read about it here. Other helpful ideas and tips for ELLs and GT students here.
Mirror: Check out the ppt on Whole Brain Teaching. Especially slide 27 on the mirror strategy.
Rate It: Check out this blog post on students rating themselves here. Also, here are some great rubric makers.
Response Cards: Response card ideas on Pinterest here. Also, check out this A, B, C, D printable template here.
Simulation: Ways to bring real-world experiences in the classroom here.
Experiment: ideas here
Song: Using songs in the classroom ideas here.

I hope this companion chart helps, and I hope it gives you some fresh ideas to try. Cannot wait to hear what you try in your classroom.

Monday Reflections: Educator, Laura Weiss, @LauraWeiss19

Monday Reflections with Elementary Educator,
Laura Weiss, @LauraWeiss19

What do you enjoy most right now about your campus?
There are many, many aspects of Krause that I enjoy. The endless energy of the teachers, the awesome administrative team, the ​amazing support staff always willing to help, and most of all the smiling faces of our students each and every day!

Describe a recent lesson that you have enjoyed?
I love any lesson where the students are collaborating and learning. In a recent lesson we played "pocket change" in which we determined how much money Mrs. Weiss had in her pocket( I would pull play money from my pocket). Then, they worked with a partner and rotated to "pocket change" stations through google classroom. Watching them touch the money and work as team while I listened. It was simple, but powerful, and the kids were having fun!

What technology tools do you like using most in class right now?
I use Class Dojo daily for my classroom management. It is amazing to watch my students get excited about earning Dojo points. I direct my students to my symbaloo page daily to find websites I want them to utilize for my lessons, and of course their is always an assignment waiting for them in Google Classroom. Screen - Cast - Omatic is my final go to tool for recording a quick lesson and sending it through remind to give parents support at home.

What is something that your admin does that you appreciate?
Our administration at Krause does a great job of making our kids feel safe and welcome. Every morning they are out at car duty smiling, singing, and dancing with the kids as they get ready for the day. They always have an open door policy and are always willing to listen and lend a hand. They are constantly looking for ways to make Krause better together!

In the past month, what is a new teaching philosophy, idea, strategy, or pedagogy you have tried to adapt in your classroom?
I am really working with my students on having a growth mindset. To believe that they can, no matter how many times they fail. To know that I am there help them, not to judge them, and that their effort will make the difference in their success.

What are you looking forward to most this school year?
This year I am really looking forward watching my students grow and have fun learning. I believe that if students are having fun, the learning will come. Engagement is half the battle. When I can feel the energy in the room, I know I am doing what's best for my kids.

Suggestion for new educators:
At this point in my career as an educator, the one piece of advice I would give a new teacher is to find a classroom management system that is going to be good fit for both you and your students. Begin day 1, be consistent, and always reiterate expectations ( I still do it daily). Students know, but they easily forget. Gain their respect and their heart and you will have an amazing year!

Fab Find Friday: Amazon-Style School Store W/ Forms + autoCrat

Wow!  We love this creation and share from our friend, Meredith Akers (@meredithakers). Meredith was also featured on our blog post, "17 Educators to Follow in 2017".  She created this excellent blog post tutorial showing you how to create this Amazon-Style School Store using Forms and Autocrat!  Check it out!

Interested in more awesomeness from Meredith Akers?  Follow her on Twitter at @meredithakers!  Also, check out her fantastic blog:

Twitter Follow Thursday: Am I Building a Relationship w/ Every Student? @mrsaquinn

I LOVE this blog post written by Adrienne Quinn!  Thought I'd share it on our Brenham Tech Daily blog!  Well worth your time to read!

Building the student-teacher relationship when I was teaching was one of the best things I was able to accomplish as an educator.  When you have a strong, respectful relationship with a student, you are able to have much better outcomes and success with student behavior, attitude, classroom production, mutual respect, attentiveness, and so much more!

I love how Mrs. Quinn ask herself, using five incredibly important questions, about her relationship with each particular student she wants to focus on.

Follow Adrienne Quinn on Twitter at: @mrsaquinn

Web Tool Wednesday: Subscribing via Blogger

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Teaching Tip Tuesday: Why Stop Now?

Why Stop Now?

In our district, the first 6 weeks of the 2017/2018 school year have come to an end.  Not only is this a great time for reflection, but this is also a great time to think about the excellent things still to come this school year!

This can be very hard to do.  Many of us run different versions of this race.  Some sprint and get burnt out even before the winter holidays.  Yet most treat the school year as an adventure or marathon.  You keep a great pace, you reflect, and you continue on until the very end.

So, here are 4 great tips to keep you going throughout the year:

1.)  Reflect: 

Write down what worked or didn't work for you each grading period (6 or 9 week periods). Taking the opportunity to do this will help you better understand both your teaching practices and your students. 

2.)  Try Something New: 

Change it up a bit!  If you're starting to get tired of the same old thing every day.... so are your students.  Try a new idea or instructional approach.  Try a new Technology tool, game, or activity.  Take your students to different learning environments in and around the school: ex: outside, cafeteria, stage, another teachers classroom (joint lesson), etc.  

3.)  Declutter:

Hundreds of unread emails?  Class in shambles... in great contrast to the first day of school?  Lesson plans and planning materials lost throughout your shelves?  Graded... and ungraded papers strewn throughout the room?  Clean up!  Clean up the physical space in your room, your materials, and your digital life.  Delete old files, emails, bookmarks, and other stuff that is keeping you from being organized.  Clean off your desktop, and start fresh this grading period.  If you feel good about your room and your organization... your students will too!

4.)  Reach Out and Grow Your PLN

Don't hesitate on reaching out for help and ideas from your administration, peers, specialist, PLN, and more.  This is the power of social media and networking!  Teachers love helping other teachers.  Need a fresh idea or strategy?  Lean on those you have placed around yourself for instructional leadership at times when it's needed.