Top Posts for Teachers This Week

News and Trends: Sunday, November 22, 2015

This was a busy week at my school. Kids weren’t too excited to be there but we got so much done anyway. Friday was capped off with sharing with each student something that makes them special. The response was amazing from parents but it was about the students. Every student needs to know they matter. But you can only tell each student how they are unique if you KNOW THEM. You must have a relationship. That is what teaching is about anyway! Relationship first, then learning can happen.

Top Education blog posts for teachers this week

1. 10 Ways to Flip a Kid and Turn His Day Around

Inspired by a comment Kevin Honeycutt made on my show and enhanced with Sylvia Duckworth’s sketchnote, what a great discussion for so many schools to be having! This was #2 on last week’s list.

10 Ways to Flip a Kid - Sketchnote by @sylviaduckworth

2. 8 Ways to Level Up Game Based Learning in the Classroom

Worksheets with points doesn’t work. But authentic games do. Full of real classroom examples and great books to read, this blog post is hot.

Some games are computerized worksheets. That is what Game Designers Mean by 'Chocolate on Broccoli." Dr. Lee Graham

3. 5 Ways to Teach Gratitude in Your Classroom

You can teach gratitude. This updated post resonates with the Thanksgiving season.

4. Notetaking Skills for 21st Century Students

5. 15 Best Google DriveAdd Ons for Education

6. How We Can Stop TEACHING TO THE TEST and Start Empowering Learning (For a Change)

This show with Eric Sheninger based on his new book Uncommon Learning is being shared like crazy. Eric is spot on and I highly recommend reading his new book.

If something is important to us, we find a way. If not, then we'll always find an excuse. Eric Sheninger

If something is important to us, we find a way. If not, then we’ll always find an excuse. Eric Sheninger

7. 6 Ways to Motivate Teachers: Be the Hope

Teacher motivation is hot in November. Lots of us struggle this time of year.

8. Why Teachers Need to Keep Going Even When It’s Hard

This powerful piece continues to be shared by educators grappling with the hard things happening in our world.

Sketchnote about "Why Teachers Need to Keep Going Even When It's Hard" by Sylvia Duckworth

Sketchnote about “Why Teachers Need to Keep Going Even When It’s Hard” by Sylvia Duckworth

9. How Teachers Can Self-Publish Books

David Hopkins, an educator from the UK, shares a practical guide for educators to self publish books in this episode of Every Classroom Matters.

How teachers can self publish books

10. 6 Reading Comprehension Problems and What to Do About Them

The post Top Posts for Teachers This Week appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


3 Learning Experiences You Should Give to Every Student

Every Classroom Matters Episode 192

David Jakes learning experiences

Writable surfaces. Movable spaces. Micro environments. Never heard these terms? Our classroom design helps us create learning experiences for students.  David Jakes explains modern classroom design.

Essential Questions: 3 Learning Experiences You Should Give to Every Student

  • How can classroom design improve learning?
  • What are cutting edge trends in classroom design?
  • Are there simple, inexpensive ways to improve the classroom?
Look at your classroom. Examine your routines. Can students shift positions quickly? Classroom design and efficiency go hand in hand.  Check out David Jakes @djakes and his Learning Experiences Design Playbook on today’s show.

Space, along with adults and peers are the three educators of children. (1)

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3 learning experiences you should give to every student

The post 3 Learning Experiences You Should Give to Every Student appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Top 10 Education Tweets of the Week: November 21, 2015

Trends and Tweets that Have People Talking

top education tweets

Emotions and relating to other humans is reflected in a subtle way on this week’s top education tweets. Teachers are telling kids and each other that they matter. Teachers are talking about making their own music in their classroom. Thanksgiving-themed lesson plans are being shared while many educators gear up for Hour of Code in December (may the force and Minecraft be with you). Meanwhile, I’m upgrading my Makerspace and ditching my old projector and Interactive White Board.

I’ve got my 10 year blog-a-versary coming up the first week of December. Wow! So, this week, I’m thankful for you. This Thanksgiving week ten years a go, I was reading and re-reading David Warlick‘s book on blogging. You all teach me so much.

Do kids know they are special? Do they know they matter? Do you know your impact as a teacher if you stop to tell them that they do? Please take time this season to celebrate the strengths in the kids you teach. You matter, teacher. You make a difference. Please get out there and share that message with the kids you teach. Speak it. Tell it. Write it. Show it!

Top 10 Education Tweets of the Week: week ending November 21, 2015

1. You Matter is spreading


2. Top Blog Posts for Teachers


3. Sylvia Duckworth Adds a Sketchnote to “Why to Keep Going Even When It’s Hard”

The awful happenings in France had many people sharing and clicking on this post. In an effort to encourage more people, Sylvia Duckworth sketchnoted the quotes that spoke to her. Please make your music, teachers!


4. Hour of Code includes Minecraft-inspired programming!

Minecraft and Star Wars themed programming is part of Hour of Code this year.


5. 5 Ways to Teach Gratitude in Your Classroom was Updated this week

This popular post needed an update. You can teach gratitude.


6. Nancy White talks openly about students as curators

In this show, Nancy White discusses something intriguing: the use of an “army of retired educators” to comment on student work. I’m curious how we could use such a method more often. She also talks about a project that didn’t work as well. The difference? Audience. When you’re blogging or doing work online, the first 10 days are vitally important as students should engage with audience. Nancy’s open reflection has reinforced what many of us have seen.


7. My Makerspace gets and Upgrade with an inFocus JTouch! Cool!

My husband is an engineer and put this together for me! We are drawing on it, working on it, an doing incredible work together! I got questions and people clicked to look closer!


8. So many of us are jealous of this amazing classroom!

Jennifer Gonzalez, Cult of Pedagogy, found this incredible classroom. Lots of us are wishing and hoping for classrooms that look and feel more like this one.


9. Many of us are thankful to be on Thanksgiving break!

Friday afternoon, lots of us were breathing a sigh of relief. While some US teachers still have two more days next week.


10. Top Education Tweets of the Week for Last Week

Tweeting and non-tweeting educators are telling me they’re enjoying the top tweets based on Twitter analytics. As I often say in these updates, “clickthroughs” matter. Some of these have hundreds of people cicking on them. You can’t necessarily tell by retweets what engages educators!

I challenge you to take the time to set up your Twitter analytics and look at the last month, three months or even year. If you don’t know how to embed tweets or anything else, ask in the comments and I’ll get some instructions up here.


Happy Thanksgiving! I’m so thankful that you take the time to share and learn online. I appreciate those of you who take time to read my blog. As I help feed 50 something people this week, I’ll be thinking of so many of you taking time with your families this week. Savor the moment, put down your cell phone, and enjoy the laughter and smiles. There will always be a new gadget but each family member is unique and precious. Be thankful for what matters. People matter most.

The post Top 10 Education Tweets of the Week: November 21, 2015 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!