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Teacher Tech Series Part Three: Calendar and Project Management

You’ve already taken the big step in being more efficient with your lesson planning by doing it digitally like we talked about back in episode 50, now it’s time to take it one step further, and really it just makes sense to take it one step further with your time and task management as a teacher.  Here’s the truth, as much as what we do in helping kids learn can be super simple, as educators we have plenty of spinning plates in the air.  We are in charge of lots of projects and other moving parts of our day, leaving us with somewhere around ten things we’re managing at any given time.  There’s got to be a better way to manage all that we do other than in a paper planner or calendar.

Because, here’s the thing… The management of time and tasks is the greatest low-grade, yet constant stressor of life, is it not?  Especially for teachers.  The autonomy we have as teachers is truly one of the best aspects of the career...

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Teacher Tech Series Part Two: Digital Lesson Planning

When I first started teaching, I hated lesson planning.  I loved teaching from day one, but when I had to sit down and write out plans I was doing it on someone else’s terms (meaning it wasn’t in the format that was helpful to me), and I knew by writing it down I would look at it once and then have to redo it again next year.

I hate doing things twice.

That’s when I stopped writing my lesson plans on paper and kept them completely digital.  Most teams I worked on did the same, which gave us a huge advantage because then our plans were sharable.  That’s a total game changer when it comes to collaboration for a team - seriously, it was beautiful.

Collaboration and team planning is one of the biggest benefits to digital lesson plans, but there are many others, and I want to point you to episode 5 of this podcast where I give 3 Steps to Sustainable Planning, and the first step is to go digital.  In that episode I talk about the benefits, so...

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Teacher Tech Series Part One: Parent Communication

Welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher, I hope your week so far is going as smoothly as possible, and that you have found this episode at just the right time, whenever that time might be for you.  This episode will be a conversation about EdTech, but more so on the technology that is teacher-facing, and less student-facing.  

Oftentimes in conversation and professional development involving educational technology, the focus is on student-facing technology and what newest tool can be used to have impact in your lessons.  Although It's not bad that this is the main focus, it’s not the only way that technology can benefit a teacher and a classroom.  So in this episode we’ll be talking about teacher tech and how to leverage technology to make a part of your day more sustainable, and the part of your day we’ll focus on in this episode is parent communication.

Sure, technology, in most areas, is great.  It improves efficiency and even...

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Honoring Student Voice is Easier Than You Think with Monica Burns

Well hello there teacher-friend and welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast where we talk about all things sustaining daily teacher-life so we don’t have to spend our evenings and weekends working, and yet are still effective in the classroom.

Today I am excited to welcome Dr. Monica Burns of Classtechtips.com onto the podcast.  Monica is a former New York City teacher and edtech expert that is now sharing her edtech expertise with schools and teachers around the world.  Her focus, both on her Easy EdTech Podcast and many publications, is to infuse technology for engagement and differentiation in order to simplify and streamline the technology integration process.

Monica is here today to talk about student voice and creativity, and how technology can help us elevate both of those important aspects of our classrooms, particularly in the flipped classroom.

I just know you will leave today’s episode with some great ideas and maybe even a new tool to try...

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How to Make and Use Stations

We are wrapping up our How-To for Teachers series this week, and I'm excited to bring you a tutorial on a topic that was a crucial part of my classroom as well as one that I think you'll like to start incorporate no matter what level you teach.

STATIONS

Often times stations, or centers, are underrated and underused the higher up in grade level you go. I think this is a super disservice to teachers because the possibilities are awesome.

First, it's important to explain the set up a bit and how I used stations in my classroom.

Station Set Up

When I first implemented stations in my high school (AP Psychology, juniors and seniors) classroom, I heard moans and groans very quickly about how I was making them move about the room.  After resisting their complaining, I realized that having about 25-30 moving bodies (rather large, adult bodies at that) in my room wasn't a great cost to reward ratio.  Too much time was taken up by the transitions and there really was no point to it...

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How to Make Guided Notes for Students

Even as a high school teacher, providing guided notes to my students is always something I have done.  I do NOT remember that being a tool I was given as a student, and I never thought I would like or appreciate giving students that type of scaffolding as a teacher, but it has been something I've done since day ONE of teaching.

When I first started, I probably couldn't even tell you why I did - it was probably a control thing.  I wanted to control exactly what they got out of the slides I worked so hard to create.  But as I progressed in my career I realized students appreciated these notes, and not just students who truly needed the accommodation, but almost all students.

Students appreciated the structure of guided notes because,

  1. It allowed them to focus on what they were hearing without FOMO.  And it's not the kind of FOMO for Friday night's party you have to miss because you have an early ACT the next morning.  No no, it's more pressure of missing...
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