Monday, September 29, 2014

Crash Course Week 4: Play and Recovery

When was the last time you laughed out loud or were just silly with your friends, children, or students? It is amazing how, when you let yourself relax and have fun, you just feel better! Do you have some examples of how you incorporate play, fun, silliness, etc. into your classroom? Or do you have thoughts or plans as to how to do this?

Recovering from a set back is incredibly difficult, especially when you let (or feel you let) others down. How do you recover when you make a mistake in your school or classroom? Or how do you move on and forgive when you are wronged?

Next week's reading assignment is chapters 6 and 7, "Talent" and "Optimism." If you are behind in your reading or commenting, just catch up as you are able. Or if you have a coworker who would like to join, tell them to jump in. Just be sure they start with an introduction in week 1. We are still very early in the book club so there's a lot of time to join in and get caught up.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crash Course Week 3: Magic and Courage

This week we are discussing two chapters, "Magic" and "Courage." Wow, Kim is creative and certainly makes her classroom a magical place! The House of Ing! Use your imagination to come up with ways to add magic to your classroom. Share those ideas or ways you already use magic in your classroom.

Jumping into the chapter on courage, I like the quote, "It is okay to be introverted, but every child must be able to communicate effectively." Share how you can support your students in overcoming the fears that are holding them back.

Next week we will read and discuss the next two chapters, "Play" and "Recovery." Have a great week!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Crash Course Week 2: Chemistry

"Relationship building isn't always easy, but I have learned that it is the single most effective way to engage and motivate my students."

"The most powerful relationships occur when we willingly give of ourselves and seek to understand others wholeheartedly."

These are two quotes that really jumped out at me in this chapter. Relationships are so important in education and life in general. What thoughts do you have about relationship-building in your classroom? Do you have an example of a student with which you struggled until you were able to build a stronger relationship? What advice do you have for other teachers who are working on building relationships with students?

Thank you all for the tremendous participation last week. We've got over 70 people participating already. If you know of others who would like to join us but were not able to participate last week, please let them know it is not too late. For next week, we will read and discuss chapters 2 and 3, "Magic" and "Courage."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Crash Course Week 1: Introductions

Thank you for joining us for the Fall 2014 eLearning Book Club. The book club will last about 12 weeks and each week we will read 1 or 2 chapters, depending on the chapter length. A discussion question or prompt will be posted in the blog every Monday morning and you should post a comment back to it. You are also encouraged to comment back to other participants' responses. All participants who make a meaningful contribution to every week’s discussion will be eligible to be awarded a $1000 professional development grant and will receive 12 PGPs.

Today we will start our discussion of Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me by Kim Bearden. Let's use this week to meet each other. As a comment to this post (click on "Comments" below this post), please tell us your name, your school/corporation/organization, and what your role there is. (If you have any problems commenting, please email Meri Carnahan at Your reading assignment for next week is chapter 1, Chemistry. Happy reading! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fall Book Club Begins Soon

You've still got some time to prepare for our fall book club. Beginning this Monday, September 8th, we will begin reading and discussing Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me by Kim Bearden. This book is available for Kindle and iBooks and is available in hard back. We will begin with a week of introductions, and then each week a discussion prompt will be shared in the blog and participants will be invited to respond, sharing their thoughts, ideas, and/or questions. All participants who make a meaningful contribution to each week’s discussion will be eligible to win a $1000 professional development grant and will be awarded 12 PGPs. More than one grant will be given, so buy the book, join the blog (by clicking on "Join this Site" or "Follow by Email"), and dive into the discussions that begin on September 8th.