RENEW! #ISTELitChat with Shawna Coppola January 29, 2018 9pm EST


Shawna Coppola is a K-6 literacy specialist and the author of Renew! Become a Better–and More Authentic–Writing Teacher from Stenhouse Publishers (2017). When she is not teaching, presenting, or consulting with colleagues, she writes comics and posts for her blog, My So-Called Literacy Life. You can connect with her on Twitter (@shawnacoppola) or Voxer (ShawnaCoppola) to talk books, education, or The Bachelor.

Anticipated questions:
  • In RENEW!, I ask readers to rethink & revise five common practices in the teaching of writing: 1) how we teach writing process, 2) what it means to “write,” 3) the tools we use to teach student writers, 4) how we assess and evaluate writing, and 5) our role as teachers of writers. Which of these do you think most needs to be renewed, and why?
  • Tonight, let’s rethink the holistic scoring of writing. What “story” does this practice tell our student writers about writing–and/or about themselves as writers?
  • Our most pervasive practices almost always have merit. In the case of this particular practice–the holistic scoring of writing–What merit does it have?  How does it fit in with what we know about children and/or learning?
  • Let’s look to revise & renew this practice. How can we tell a more engaging or authentic story about writing–and about our students as writers–through our evaluation practices?
  • Using the framework we engaged with tonight, what other literacy teaching practices might we (hypothetically) want to rethinkrevise, and renew?

Student Driven Learning with Legends of Learning 11/27/2017 9pm EST


#ISTELitChat is proud to announce that on Monday 11/27/2017 9PM EST our guest moderator will be Legends of Learning. Legends of Learning ( focuses on ongoing original research to create standards-aligned (including NGSS) games that deliver a wide range of lessons and assess content proficiency for stronger subject mastery and classroom engagement.

A preview of the chat’s questions include:

1. What does student driven learning mean to you?
2. How has student driven learning changed your classroom over the past year or more?
3. How can choosing the right tech tools, such as game based learning, make a big difference in the effectiveness of student driven learning?
4. Just calling something student driven doesnt make it so. How can we ensure the student activities we create really  help students improve critical thinking skills?
5. What is the biggest challenge to incorporating student driven learning within your classroom and how can we overcome it
6. How can we help colleagues who are hesitant to try a student driven learning model? What kinds of steps can we help them take to form a positive impression for them?
7) What has been your most successful student driven learning moment in the classroom? Why was it so successful?


#Booksnaps & #EduAwesomeness with Tara M. Martin

Monday, October 29th @ 9PM EST

#ISTELitChat will be led by Guest Moderator: @tarammartin

Topic: #Booksnaps & #EduAwesomeness

Tara Martin is an enthusiastic educator, speaker, and author who thrives on change and refuses to settle for the status quo. Martin’s mission is to invigorate administrators, teachers, and staff members to apply instructional and leadership practices that foster creativity and empower ALL 21st-century learners (adults and students) to lead with passion.

Check out her hashtag #BookSnaps on Twitter.



Resources Shared During the Chat:

Google Expeditions for Literacy Learning: #ISTELitChat 9/25 9pm EST

Kicking off the 2017-2018 #ISTELitChat New Year, Heather Kilgore @techykilgore will be our first guest moderator.  Heather is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Commerce ISD. She is passionate about helping teachers impact students through the integration of technology, but she’s really just a teacher looking for a classroom! Heather is a Google Certified Trainer who loves sharing EdTech tools, engagement strategies, and the great things happening in public education today!

Google Expeditions and Virtual Field Trips are great ways to build background and knowledge. These tools help breakdown the walls of the classroom for students to travel virtually to new learning spaces across the globe, visit museums, and step outside their world.

Join us on Monday, September 25th 9PM EST (new day & time) following the hashtag #ISTELitChat on Twitter to learn, share, and collaborate with educators everywhere. All are welcome to participate.


Who are you and what are your favorite engagement strategies? #ISTELitChat


What experience(s) do you have with using #VR #GoogleExpeditions in the classroom? #ISTELitChat


Of these experiences, tell us your favorite #Google Expeditions lesson. If no experiences, why not? #ISTELitChat


What do you think is the next step in #VR for the classroom? How does #GoogleExpeditions fit? #ISTELitChat


#VR will significantly alter the landscape of every industry. How will virtual reality (VR) impact literacy education? #ISTELitChat


Student creation is a passion of mine! How could you incorporate #GoogleExpeditions into a creative student project? #ISTELitChat

What obstacles do you foresee there being with bringing #GoogleExpeditions to your classroom? #MurphysLaw #ISTELitChat


Ignite Passion in the Classroom 4/23

Sunday, April 23rd at 9 PM EST Guest Moderator, Adam Schoenbart will be hosting the twitter chat as we discussion passion and genius in the classroom. Adam is a high school English teacher, technology coach, and aspiring school leader in New York. He is also a Google for Education Certified Trainer and writes, presents, and consults on issues of educational leadership and technology. Adam blogs about his work regularly at the award winning #Schoenblog at Adam is the co-creator of The Education Calendar (#TheEduCal), a crowdsourced map and calendar of education events worldwide. In 2016, he was recognized by both the National School Board Association as one of 20 to Watch Educational Technology Leaders and by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s as a member of the Emerging Leader class. Connect with Adam on Twitter @MrSchoenbart. He is currently completing his certification as both a school building and district leader while pursuing an EdD in educational leadership.

Whether you are new to Passion Projects and Genius Hour or already institute these student driven projects into your classroom, join the conversation.

Preview the questions below:

Q1: Introduce yourself and your role. What are you passionate about in education? #ISTELitChat

Q2: What role does passion have in your classroom or practice? Why is it important? #ISTELitChat

Q3: How can teachers help students explore their passions more in schools?#ISTELitChat
Q4: How do we balance passion with standards, content, and curriculum? How can we be creative or passionate about incorporating passion in the classroom?#ISTELitChat
Q5: How can teachers bring their passions into their work with students?#ISTELitChat
Q6: Share a success about passion-based learning. How has it affected you or your students?#ISTELitChat

3/26/2017 Keeping “Burn Out” Far Away

A veteran teacher recently posted on Teaching and Learning Forum for NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English),

I am so burnt out I am thinking of quitting after 14 years of teaching high school English. The superintendent and my Director are both retiring and my principal is making my life incredibly hard. The tone of the school has become incredibly negative, especially since the election. I don’t like the classes I teach.

So many teachers responded with support to help this one teacher. She is probably not alone. There might be many teachers who are contemplating their career choice, their passion, and looking to get out of the classroom.

The thought of losing great teachers is upsetting. Teachers do an important job.  Kids really matter, and so in order to do our jobs well, teachers have to find the energy to bring to students.  Teachers are their role model, a positive example.

March #ISTELitChat will focus on supporting teachers and sharing ideas to help teachers maintain their mental health and stamina throughout the school year.

Here are 10 actions for teachers who feel burnt out and are contemplating their career:

1. Put your thoughts and feelings in a journal.

2. Ask trustworthy colleagues (in a setting away from school) how they are doing and how they cope.

3. Form a small support group of good people, not those who will only bring you down.

4. Professional Development.  Network!  Join Twitter.  I have found much strength from other educators, and the new ideas I have learned on Twitter have really made a difference.

5.  Join leadership committees; take on a leadership role in your district.  Are you an active union member?  Advocating for your students and teachers gives you strength and purpose.  No leadership roles available?  Create one.  Find a book which inspires you and lead a book chat with your colleagues.
6.  Your students are your strength.  Develop relationships with them.  They need you more than ever.
7.  Shape the next generation of teachers.  Serve as a mentor for the younger teachers in your building. Offer them your support and expertise.
8.  Keep those positive notes and thank you letters.  Form a file and pull it out when things get rough.  They remind you of what a difference you make.
9.  Take time for yourself.  Exercise, eat well, read, and surround yourself with great friends and family.

10. Book Recommendations:

George Couros’ The Innovator’s Mindset

Focus by Mike Schmoker

Twitter Chat Questions for 3/26/2017 Discussion

  1. Please introduce yourself, where you are from, and your role in education. #ISTELitChat
  2. Why did you become a teacher/educator? What drew you to this profession? #ISTELitChat
  3. What are some of the things you do you do to maintain energy and innovation in your classroom?#ISTELitChat
  4. How do you handle toxic colleagues and administrators?#ISTELitChat
  5. What words of advice do you have for teachers who are feeling burnt out? #ISTELitChat
  6. What resources can you share that can help rejuvenate educators? #ISTELitChat
  7. “Reflaction” –  What actions are you going to take as a result of #ISTELitChat tonight?

Mark your Calendar for Future #ISTELitChat:

4/30 Guest Moderator Adam Schoenbart

5/23 Pre Twitter Party for #ISTE17 (Ideas & Suggestions for First Timers and Alumni)