Teachers want to help students improve. But many teachers struggle this time of year. We want to stay positive, but sometimes we wonder if we make a difference. We want simple tools that are easy to use. This month's top blog posts here on the Cool Cat Teacher blog are a reflection of all of you beautiful, wonderful teachers out there. Thank you so much to all of you who read my blog and share these posts with others.
- May you be encouraged when you browse this site.
- May you know that your job is incredibly important.
- May you find helpful things that make your classroom better.
- Most of all, may you take pause and build a relationship with your students upon which you can build learning, teacher.
[callout]As always, you give me far more than I could ever give in return. If there's anything that will help you improve your teaching, email me at vicki at coolcatteacher dot com. I'm here to help.[/callout]
Top 10 Posts on the Cool Cat Teacher Blog – October 2015 Edition
Just click the title of the post and it will take you to the original blog post. The titles aren't underlined but they are hyperlinks.
# 1 – Teaching the Growth Mindsets with 10 Growth Mindset Statements
Held together by an amazing graphic drawn by Sylvia Duckworth, this post includes resources and tips for teaching a growth mindset in your classroom.
# 2 – 4 Writing Tips to Help the Writing Process
Editing tools such as Grammarly, Pro Writing Aid, and the Hemingway app are part of this blog post. I recorded some tutorials to help you use these tools with your students. This writing blog post put more excited “thank you's” in my email inbox this month than any other blog post. (And to those of you who take the time to say “thank you” — you make my day each and every time.)
#3 – Why Teachers Need to Keep Going Even When It's Hard
Inspired by Vedran Smailovic, the cellist of Sarajevo, this is an update to a blog post I wrote some time ago. It resonated with teachers who are struggling. “Keep Going” is the blog post some of you said moved you to tears. It is one of my personal all-time favorites just because I can't believe Smailovic's bravery in the face of horrible circumstances. Keep playing your music. Your students need to hear the joy you bring.
#4 – How to Use Padlet: A Fantastic Tool for Teaching
Padlet is a useful tool. As I watched Richard Byrne teach a workshop to the teachers at my school, I took notes and compiled all that we learned into a simple step-by-step post.
#5 – 15 things Every Teacher Should Try this Year by Sylvia Duckworth
This incredible list of challenges by Sylvia Duckworth is being used in a variety of ways to inspire change. I give some suggestions on this post, but many of you are printing this out and putting it in your teacher's lounge.
#6 – Top 10 Education Tweets of the School Year So Far – Fall 2015
Many educators are on Twitter but even more are not. This post shared everything for the first eight weeks of the school year. Summary posts like this help those educators who cannot or don't join Twitter share in the goodness.
#7 – 15 Best Google Drive add-ons for Education
This blog post is a favorite of many educators. The popularity of Chromebooks and Google Chrome have teachers curious about how to do more with Google Docs.
#8 – What do Do When Someone Hates You
It is sad that so many people struggle with hatred. It saddens me that so many people find this blog post through Google by typing in “what do I do when someone hates me.” This blog post just gains steam. I do hope it is helpful to those who struggle. I wish I could say I wrote this post out of ignorance, but sadly, like many of you, I've also been touched by the deep hurt of hatred. It is my prayer that I won't the one who hates others. But boy, this is hard. Hate hurts.
#9 – Notetaking Skills for 21st Century Students
We want students to “take notes” but we never say how to take notes. This blog includes resources, tips and videos to help you teach strong note taking skills to students or learn them yourself.
#10 – How to make Google Chrome Better, Faster, and Prettier
Google Chrome is the most popular web browser today. But it is so easy to add extensions and slow it down. There are tricks and hacks to keep Chrome speedy and to make you more productive. This blog post links to the playlist but also splits the videos into short little clips. Take some time to learn how to use the tools you use every day.
[callout]I hope that you'll forgive my learning. I'm writing about sketch notes. (A sketch note post was close to the top 10.) I'm also working on my sketchnoting skills. So, I have a sketch note at the top of this blog post. If I can do it, you can too. I used Paper by 53 for this. I'm no Sylvia Duckworth, but I'm me and I'm learning. ;-) Take time to level up a little bit every day. Become a more excellent educator every day. We can do this, but we have to be willing to be brave and try new things. [/callout]
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Thanks for the recap. I’ve been a little rushed lately and have been saving your email to read later :) but that’s probably not going to happen! I will go back and read these posts. I don’t know how you do it!
Glad it is helpful! We all get busy and I like the reflection on why posts do well or not!