My favorite number is fourteen, and so the number seven feels like it is halfway to a milestone. The number seven also is a stand-alone number that is complete and just enough so that it is not overwhelming. As an educator, parent and writer, I have several resources that are in my regular rotation. I am finding that these are seven of the places I seek information as well as ideas most regularly this fall.
These are the seven resources I am currently using most.
- These Six Things (Book and Website)
- Everything is Figuroutable (Book ,Website, Videos, and Podcasts)
- The Positivity Project (Website)
- Wonderopolis (Website)
- Medium (Website)
- Dogo News (website)
- The New York Times (Newspaper and Website)
These 6 Things
One of the things I love about this book is that the author, Dave Stuart is still in the classroom. His book is packed with incredible insight and strategies to help a teacher navigate the way to his or her level of success. The ideas are not new or gimmicky.
Stuart’s methods are tried and true. They represent universal solid instruction.
The first chapter focuses on “Defining your Everest”. Stuart says we should be working towards a singular propose. This is simple, yet deep and very rich idea that helps us and our students define why they are in our classroom.
Defining our Everest helps us to frame everything we are doing. If we were physically climbing Everest, it would be critical to know if we were on track and moving toward accomplishing our goal of climbing the mountain.
In addition to “Defining our Everest”, Stuart focuses on keeping track of genuine moments of connection, skills that lead to long term flourishing, a new way of using index cards to get to know students, and a fantastic building connections exercise.
I like how the author explains that the goal is to limit readers to focus on six things in regards to teaching.
My expectations have already been exceeded by this book, and I am only in the third chapter.
Everything Is Figuroutable
This book has changed my life. Recently I used some of the strategies to create a structure for a budget that I enjoy. I also discovered a few ideas on how to deal with a challenging class.
I use the mindset constantly, that you can figure anything out. If you can’t it is either not a problem, a fact of life, or something that you don’t care about.
The book talks a lot about goal setting and setting yourself up for success. I can apply so many of the ideas to the classroom as well as my family and individual aspirations.
The Positivity Project
The Positivity Project has changed me as a teacher. Our entire school is different. I love the opportunities my students have because of it. Each week we focus on a character strength, and intentionally spend our time processing what it means to uphold a particular virtue. The resources are a combination of videos, stories, and suggestions for interactive activities that allow any type of learner to connect. Throughout the week and well after a strength has been discussed, I can refer back to it. The Positivity Project has helped our school to grow quality people.
I was introduced to this site by a teacher, and continue to use it as a source of ideas and inspiration. Wonderopolis provides a constant supply of content that inspires creative assignments, writing topics and an opportunity to teach and show students how to be curious. I enjoy the topics as well as the brief questions, vocabulary terms, and resources that it provides. Wonderopolis
This interactive site offers and exceptional collection of genres about every topic imaginable. I love reading the content and find that it serves as fuel for me intellectually, spiritually, mentally and physically. The articles are unique, provide interesting perspective as well as allows me to write for an audience daily. I love not only writing but interacting with other writers.
Since I am not currently teaching English, and miss the opportunity to share writing, edit and exchange feedback it has been the perfect opportunity to reignite passion for good content and writing.
I love this site. The news articles are great for middle school-aged students. I enjoy the variety. Plus, it is a site that not everyone is familiar with, so I typically have new information to share with students. Sometimes I have students annotate an article on the computer, or use it as a pathway to deeper research in an area.
Recently we looked at an article on smart clothing, and students were able to research other websites as well as create a prototype for something that they could create.
The New York Times
I love the feel of a newspaper. I read The New York Times weekly. I honestly feel smarter when I read it. And, almost always will be inspired by authentic ideas for lesson plans or prompts to write about. I have more interesting conversations and can collaborate with a larger variety of people after I have read the Sunday edition. I am exposed to new perspectives, places, and contributors. On the weeks where I don’t get a chance to read the newspaper (even if I have looked at a few articles online), I feel like something is missing. The New York Times
I Will Change my Seven
As the year continues, I am sure my seven resources will be adjusted to make room for new material. I love the balance of newspapers, books, podcasts, and websites to make my learning experience rich. I have found that even though I only take a few ideas from a book or podcast, it can serve as an incredibly important piece that frames my perspective for the time being.