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 aschoenbart.com. 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)

#ISTELitChat Addresses Dyslexia 2/26

On Sunday, February 26th at 9pm EST #ISTELitChat is partnering with the Tennessee Chapter of the International Dyslexia Association to address dyslexia and ways to support students with dyslexia. All are welcome to join.

Below are the questions we will tackle:

Q1 – Please introduce yourself, where are you from and your role in education. #ISTELitChat
Q2 – What is Dyslexia? What does it look like in the classroom? #ISTELitChat
Q3 –  How does dyslexia (or other learning differences) impact student performance?#ISTELitChat
Q4 – How can technology improve the way students with dyslexia (or other learning differences) access information? #ISTELitChat
Q5 – What are your favorite apps to help kids with dyslexia access more content? #ISTELitChat
Q6 – Where can educators and parents go to learn more ? What are your go-to resources for learning more about dyslexia/learning differences? #ISTELitChat

#ISTELitChat Sunday 1/22 with Matt Miller

Matt Miller is a teacher, blogger and presenter from West Central Indiana. He has infused technology and innovative teaching methods in his classes for more than 10 years. He is the author of the book Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom and writes at the Ditch That Textbook blog about using technology and creative ideas in teaching.

#ISTELitChat is excited to have Matt Miller guest moderate #ISTELitchat Sunday 1/22 9pm EST. All are welcome to participate in the chat.

Title: A Pretty Sketchy on Sketchnotes

Q1: What is sketchnoting?

Q2: Why should we sketchnote?

Q3: What are some tips to get started? Share resources, tools and apps!

Q4: How can sketchnotes be used in the classroom with students?

Q5: How can we use sketchnotes as teachers?

After the chat, Matt will host a Google Hangouts on Air broadcast … kind of like a mini-workshop on sketchnoting. The link will be shared during the chat and participants can click it and watch the video. Matt will show some tips and tricks and some of the basics of sketching as well as some sketches he has done and other ways to use them in class. Matt will also field questions throughout.

Supporting ELLs & ESLs in the Classroom #ISTELitChat 12/18/2016

Join #ISTELitChat on 12/18 to address ELLs and ESLs in the classroom with guest hosts: Kelly Funk & Aileen Hower

Preview twitter Questions Below:

Q1 Welcome to #ISTELitChat. Please introduce yourself, where you are located and your role in education.
Q2 How do you support your EL students reading skills using technology?#ISTELitChat 
Q3 How do you support your EL students writing skills using technology? #ISTELitChat 
Q4 How do you support your EL students speaking and listening skills using technology? #ISTELitChat 
Q6 How does technology support your teaching/planning for students who speak different languages? #ISTELitChat 
Q7 What technology resources have been most useful to students learning a new language? #ISTELitChat 

Resources for Supporting ELLs:

Speech to Text (Google Translate, VoiceThread, American Wordspeller ESL)

Read aloud features (Speaky, Storia, PebbleGo, BookFlix, TrueFlix)



Language Learning Tools (Duolingo, Vocabahead, Conversational ESL Lesson 1)

Pronunciation (Phonetics Focus)

Google “Using the Language Transfer Supports” – contrastive analysis

Closed Caption

http://www.colorincolorado.org/ – lesson plans, strateiges, parent resources, videos



Seesaw-(App or Web-based) Student portfolio (new feature is translation for any typed work), students can speak, listen, and document their language learning through using the digital Seesaw portfolio. Students can also provide feedback to each other and work on their writing skills too.

Co-Writer– (Extension on Chrome & App for iPad) Allows students to do speech to text, access spelling of words, and prediction software to support their language acquisition.

RAZ Kids– Digital Book Library for students (available in English & Spanish for texts), they have access to books at their reading level. Books are read to them, then they read them, then they take a short quiz on the books

#ISTELitChat 11/27/16: The Connected Educator & The Case for the Quiet Kids

It is the beginning of another school year and a new class of students sit before us.  The grade level or the content that you teach doesn’t matter.  You have them sitting in your room. The quiet kids. They are often overlooked. They don’t cause trouble and for the most part they earn good grades. These are the kids that tend to fade into the background and don’t require much attention from the teacher.  They slip through the cracks.  They may be shy like my son.  But more likely there are other things at play.  Kids shut down for all kinds of reasons. Many of our students come to school with the weight of the world on their shoulders.  They are hungry or tired. Have parents who work multiple jobs so they are left with the responsibilities of the home and younger siblings.  They may be experiencing social issues at school or just don’t understand what is going on in your class.  Take the time to talk with them. Get to know them as people – not just students in your class.  Maybe eat lunch with them or invite them to play a game of chess. Ask them how they would prefer to participate in class. Come up with a plan together.  It is not enough to just pay more attention to them.  We, as teachers, need to think about why these kids are being quiet.  — Chrissy Romano

Join #ISTELitChat on Sunday 11/27/2016 9pm EST with guest moderator, Chrissy Romano @theconnectedEDU to address the quiet kids and ways to support them in our classrooms.

Preview the questions below:

The Case for the Quiet Kids: Ways to Nurture the Introverts in your Classrooms

Q1 – When you hear the term, “introvert,” what comes to mind? #ISTELitChat

Q2 – We live in a culture of personality. Why is it that teachers tend to value the outspoken student over the quiet, introspective one? #ISTELitChat

Q3 – Now that we have established a working definition, do you consider yourself an introvert/extrovert or ambivert? #ISTELitChat

Q4 – We have these quite kids in our rooms, what are some of the reasons kids shut down? #ISTELitChat

Q5 – Introverts make up from ⅓ -½ of the population yet they fall through the cracks in school.  What are some ways to better serve the quiet kids in our classrooms? #ISTELitChat

Q6 – What is your take-away from tonight’s chat? #ISTELitChat

Sunday 10/23 Guest Moderator Lee Araoz: Literature Circles 2.0

Literature Circles epitomize student-centered, collaborative learning in ELA, and when infused with technology, the learning experience is transformed! Join in a discussion of  how web-based applications can enhance the Literature Circle experience for students AND teachers with guest moderator Lee Araoz.

“Is there an app for that?” If there is, Lee Araoz will know. Mr. Araoz is the District Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Lawrence Public Schools. He has 28 years of experience working with elementary, middle school and high school students (and teachers). Mr. Araoz is an instructional coach, staff developer, and tech integrationist who has presented extensively on the various ways educators can integrate technology to facilitate and enhance student-directed, passion-based learning experiences in K-12 classrooms.

Preview the questions below:

Q1: What are Literature Circles? Share examples of how you’ve implemented them in your classroom.

Q2: How can Literature Circles be used in content area subjects like Social Studies, Math, and Science?

Q3: Choice is an important aspect of Literature Circles. How can we extend this with technology?

Q4: Which tech tools/apps can students use to enhance the Literature Circle experience?

Q5: Which tech tools/apps can teachers use to help facilitate Literature Circles?

Q6: Which tech tools/apps can be used to help teachers and students assess the Literature Circle experience?

Q7: How can students create content as they take part in the Literature Circle experience?