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107: Virtual Discussion Problems? Try this.

When it comes to in-person discussion, my go-to has always been Harkness. Teaching kids how to have a conversation, mostly without me, and then reflect on their own abilities and dynamics and improve after each day, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching for me. 

Did I mention I met my husband at the Exeter Humanities Institute, learning about Harkness?

Yes, it's an amazing method, and I've talked about it a lot here before (like in this podcast episode, and this one). But, when it comes to a virtual discussion, a free-flowing conversation built upon eye contact, body cues, and slowly deepening relationships probably isn't the best. 

Maybe your students are keeping their video feeds off. Maybe they aren't un-muting, even when you actually want them to. Virtual discussions are HARD.

5 Ways to use Podcasts in ELA

With kids spread across scenarios these days, free digital texts are a helpful base for any unit. It's the perfect time to use podcasts in your classroom. Kids can listen and learn, listen and respond, listen and then record podcasts of their own. There are tons of possibilities! In today's post, I'm going to share five ideas for building a podcast unit of your own, or for simply sprinkling podcasts into your weekly work throughout the year. 

106: Doing a Podcast Project? Let me be your Guest Speaker

Today in episode 106, I’m trying something really different. If you’re hanging out with me on social media or over email or in my membership, you’re hearing a lot about the benefits and possibilities of student podcasting projects right now. Students can create shows on any topic they’re interested in, developing skills like research, writing, editing, speaking, and interviewing. They can record so easily for free on Vocaroo, and design beautiful podcast covers for free on Canva. All month I’ll be sharing about this, and I hope it’s going to inspire you to try podcasting with your students! 

The Easiest Way to Help Students Record and Publish Podcasts

Have you stopped to think about how perfect podcasting is as a medium for our students to experiment with? Think of the skills of a podcaster - writing, editing, speaking, recording, interviewing, researching, and designing. With millions of podcast episodes in circulation, and media organizations, business figures, and celebrities starting pods left and right, it's easy to show students that podcasting is relevant today. 

105: How to Creatively use T.V. Clips in ELA


You know that T.V. show that you’ve always found absolutely brilliant? The one that impacts the way you see things, or makes you laugh harder than you ever thought you would, or shocks you with a surprise turn of events? Perhaps, like me, you never realized you could use clips from it in class to engage your students, share more voices with them, and help guide them into worthwhile projects. My guest today for episode 105 is Danielle from Nouvelle ELA, who returns to the show to share her love for T.V. and her expertise at weaving it artfully into your curriculum

Google Slides: Hacks, Tips, and Tricks for Teachers (Part II)

Google Slides are magic in my book. I can use them for anything and I love that about them. Last week we talked about how to use them for interactive digital notebooks, collaborative galleries, and more in this post.   Now we're diving in even deeper, to how to use them for discussion, polls, annotation, storyboards, portfolios, translation, and more. Keep your eyes peeled along the way for lots of links to make free copies of the discussion templates, poll templates, storyboard template, and more. My goal here is to set you up for fast success! 

Google Slides: Hacks, Tips, and Tricks for Teachers (Part I)

Google Slides is my new online platform bestie. I mean, I don't want to choose favorites, but... Google Slides is definitely my favorite (don't tell Screencastify). Today I want to share some insider tips that will help you make the most of Google Slides. This post isn't so much a list of curricular options for using Google Slides (though by looking through it, you'll get a ton of ideas!), as it is a whole lot of tech hacks. 

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