#MakerSpace Camp with @TheEdCollab (it’s going to be awesome)

How cool is this? Free like Edcamp AND it’s online. Awesome!!!

Christopher Lehman

Over at The Educator Collaborative, we’ve put together an event I’m so excited about.  If you don’t already follow @TheEdCollab or subscribe to our mailing list (TheEducatorCollaborative.com/contact-us) here are the details:

Two nights of making growing  exploring + true STE(A)M learning!


Explore the world of the Maker Movement, Makerspaces, and truly engaging STEAM instruction, with us! For dabbling beginners and advanced practitioners.
Literacy-minded or tech-integrated.  K-12+
Teachers, coaches, administrators, library-media specialists and more!
If you holdkids at the core of your teaching, this is the event for you


(Streamed Free To Everyone!  Yes!  Free!)

laura newbio

Sunday, March 29

Laura Fleming

Member of The Educator Collaborative Team and author of Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School

Monday, March 30

Troy Hicks

Author of Crafting Digital WritingCreate, Compose, Connect! and The Digital Writing Workshop



Kits designed by The…

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A Superintendent says NO to Report Cards

This is one of my goals (personally) to reach with a district one day:

A Parents' Guide to 21st Century Learning

Superintendent, Jordan Tinney looks at the relevance of Report Cards in the advent of new technologies.

Leaders in Education know that the most successful learning environment is one that allows for meaningful connections between educators, parents and students.

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Virtual Debates – a new staple of ELA classes

When I was a social studies teacher, we had something that was on the cutting edge.  We had a program called “oral assessment”.  Students chose a controversial topic, obtained sources, wrote bib & note cards, drafted an outline, created a two page paper, and then presented their argument and had a debate which was judged. It was powerful, thoughtful, and so beneficial for our students as they go into high school and embark upon group-work in college. If only I had this.

Now here comes oral assessment 2.0.

Once again, I had the privilege of judging a virtual debate arranged by Melissa Butler, (@AngelinaShy) a middle school ELA teacher in North Jersey. Melissa coordinates a series of virtual debates through Google Hangout with her classes against other classes around NJ and the country. She coordinates the topics, arranges the online coin tosses, has rubrics, shares a wealth of resources, and coordinates judges from around the United States. The amount of time, talent, and professionalism really can’t be measured.

Please watch the video above and see what most adults can’t even do today. I hope every educator can incorporate something like this into their classes.


PARCC for Parents – a narrated video

For those that could not attend the February BOE meeting or the PARCC Parent Night, I made a narrated video going over the PARCC test.  It’s pretty generic, so feel free to use in your district.

A Super Day

a SUPER idea!

Evolving Educators

Great things happen in our classrooms, schools, and school districts. Each day teachers and students come together to teacher and learn. Building principals and ASuperDaysubject supervisors lead instruction, professional development trainings and building level activities. Office personnel, custodial and maintenance staff, classroom aides, and educational support personnel provide valued services and support to the facilities and educational organization. Classrooms, schools, school districts, and those who work in them are part of a complex educational system that has more things going on in a day than can be explained.

But over the last few years, as a connected educator through Twitter and other social media resources, I have read and viewed posts, blogs, and videos about the activities that happen in this complex educational system. I’ve also seen educators in classrooms and school offices describe what their days are like, what they do in a given day, and the activities they…

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A well-oiled machine: the art of the productive parent conference

Everybody loves it when things work the way they are suppose to.  Granted it doesn’t happen that often in any aspects of our lives, but when they do, it’s bliss.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit in on a group conference with a parent and a team of teachers that all had a myriad of concerns for a student.

This was not my first conference rodeo. I’ve seen parent-teacher conferences in just about every way known to man.  Some of them are amazing; some I cringed; most are typically just “eh”.  The one I sat in on – AMAZING.

It was the first time I got to see the team I assembled really work in full sync.  Granted all are working well as is, but I never got to see them in action. It was a tough conference to have; a student, who is having some issues, also has some major home issues. There was no plan of attack, or pre-game strategy.  Everyone just down, introduced each other, and it was like a whitewater raft ride.  Some parts were serene; other’s were intense, but the takeaway was incredibly worth it.

I always said as a teacher that you know you hit home with a parent when you see tears. Some come five minutes into a conference; others come in 50; some never come. A group setting can be rather intimidating, but the Mom held her ground.  About 45 minutes in, tears were acknowledged. The lead-up to tears wasn’t a barrage of negativity, finger-pointing, or excuse generating.  It was a fluent conversation, and the teachers controlled it like a well-managed game of volleyball, just going back and forth all around, and a powerful (yet polite) spike would hit. It was just THAT GOOD.

I really do love my staff and am appreciative of them. I know they don’t hear it that much ( I need to do more than food and a cheesy joke), but after such a fantastic meeting, I don’t even know how to follow it up.

Rock on, LAC.


Helping Your Child Succeed With Technology

The Technoliterate


This post originally appeared on A Platform For Good.

Many educators speak about preparing students for their future; for now, I would be content with the present.

As a teacher, it is my responsibility to prepare my students for their future. It is not enough to claim that I will equip my students with 21st Century skills as I am already 14 years late for that. Instead, I do my best to help them develop skills such as flexibility, adaptability, and creativity, and to learn that mistakes aren’t bad but rather an opportunity to grow and learn.

Along with these competencies, I need to help my students develop proficiency with today’s modes of communication, including how to effectively use technology. While there are still some who bother to have the debate about whether technology helps students to learn better, I believe this is now a futile debate. Our students…

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Curing the Reading GERM by Jim Bailey

Very cool. Something I plan to shoot for next year.

Nerdy Book Club

Four years ago I was ready to leave education.  I loved my school, I loved my principal, I loved my colleagues, and most of all I loved my students.  Unfortunately, I was infected with a GERM, as Pasi Sahlberg calls it, the Global Education Reform Movement.  The obsession with high stakes testing, lack of autonomy in the classroom, and general standardization of education was forcing me to reevaluate my career path.  I was most affected by this GERM in the area of teaching reading, if you could even call what I was doing teaching reading.  It would have been better titled, “Accelerated Reader time,” or “Over teaching a novel class,” or “Everyone read the same boring excerpt and complete workbook pages period.”  Whatever it was, it definitely was not reading.  Luckily, several people in my life had also been infected with this GERM and they knew the cure.  They had…

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PARCC for Parents

I have come across several parents that are still very confused about the PARCC test.  I have created a HaikuDeck that goes through the steps of the test, how the test works, and just what this test will show us. Feel free to use this wherever you are.


PARCC for Parents – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires