Friday Faves: Post Round-up 7/21

Wow, what a week!  I got to spend two amazing days in a Design Thinking situation provided by our school foundation as part of a grant opportunity.  This SeedLAB made my brain explode with amazingness!  (Follow me on IG or Twitter to see the highlights). I will be writing about this all year, so I’m not going to spend any more time on it right now, but suffice it to say, it was probably one of the coolest experiences I’ve had as a teacher, and I can’t wait to put the ideas we came up with into action! Stay tuned to hear all about it!

I’m finally wrapping my head around the fact that schools starts in just a couple weeks, which means I have TON to do.  Plus my sister and niece are coming into town next week for the entire week, which means I need to get most of my work done this weekend.  Whew!

It’s also been a busy week for reading!  I don’t have just five articles for you today, I have seven! I couldn’t decide!

Without further ado, here are my favorite reads of the week! Enjoy. 🙂

friday faves

Seven Ways to Help Students Embrace an Entrepreneurial Mindset from John Spencer

The timing on this could not be better.  As my friends and I have spent a few days in the SeedLAB, we have been redesigning our classrooms and transforming our mindsets about, well, everything! This article breaks down how we can help our students take on the mindset of the entrepreneur because, even if kids are not going to start their own business, they will have to be self-starters.  His list–design thinking, opportunities for self-starting and self-managing, provide tools and choice, risk taking and flexible thinking, model the thinking process, affirm it, and help them find a community– is literally exactly what I’ve been looking for.  I’ve already shared it with my colleagues to help with our plans for the SeedLAB pitch.  So excited!!

The Best First Writing Lesson of the Year from

I love this idea and I think it is vital to start with.  I started with an email lesson last year and what a difference it made!  I was so sick of receiving embarrassingly bad emails from my students, so in the first week of school we looked at bad and good examples, and then I had kids write me an email to introduce themselves.  Throughout the year, if they sent me a terrible email, I’d send it back and tell them to fix it before I’d respond.  This is a great article with some specific improvements that I plan to make this year!  I especially love the pretest idea.

New Sentences from NY Times

Every week NYT posts a sentence from a song, book, story, etc.. They also include an analysis of the sentence that looks at it from a deeper angle.  I can see a lot of potential for this in my English class for analysis and mentor texts.

Six Simple Strategies to Help Find your Passion from A.J. Juliani

This is another article that came at exactly the right time.  We want to begin the year helping students to find their passions and identify their strengths.  Believe it or not, sometimes my juniors can’t tell me what they like to do, so asking them what they’re passionate about is asking a bit much.  In this article, Juliani has specific actionable ideas to help your students (or you) to pinpoint what you’re really passionate about.  There are some neat ideas, most that I’ve never seen anywhere else.  I see myself using these throughout the year to keep students searching.

How Handwriting Can Make You Smarter from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Last week I shared an article from Adam Schoenbart about how he is not going paperless this year.  I like this infographic to help support that.  Research shows that writing by hand has cognitive benefits. I think I’m just happy to have another source that supports my feelings about using paper! 🙂 Check out the infographic for some interesting points.

For the New Economy, Curiosity before Literacy from Gerard Dawson

As I plan for the new year–which is three weeks away, by the way!–I continue to struggle with what books to teach, and now that I’ve been working on this Design Team, I’m struggling with how teaching reading even fits with our new style of teaching.  In this article, Dawson explains how we need to let kids read based on their curiosity.  If a student is passionate about genetics, then assign him to find __ number of articles to read and synthesize, or read and present, or whatever.  Let his curiosity guide him to the things he wants to read.  The literacy will be built from there.  Check it out!


Y’all, there are some amazing reads here.  I never do them justice in my little blurbs, so please check them out to get the whole picture!

If you want another good and FREE book to read, get your copy of the Hack Learning Anthology below! (Affiliate link, but still free for you!)

Free Hack Learning Anthology

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