Author Archives: Deb Porcarelli

What Will You Read?

Children ran from school buses with shrieks of excitement and expectations of what the next two and a half months might bring, the telltale sign that school is out for the summer in my town. Teachers have left their classrooms for a well-deserved break. Over the next two and half months they will imagine, think about, and organize their thoughts about what they will share with students in their 2017-2018 classrooms. They will spend some time working on their own professional learning plans. Their plans all likely include books to read.

I did a bit of a search and came across a couple of books that I put on my list that I’d like to share. First, Researching in a Digital World, and second, 17,000 Ways Classroom Visits Can’t be Wrong.

Researching In A Digital World by Erik Palmer explains how to teach students at all grade levels to conduct deeper, smarter, and more responsible research in an online environment. This is great information for teachers looking to find ways to help students navigate the internet while conducting research. As digital natives, students are certainly at home online, but how much do they know about using the internet as a research tool? They need help to find the best and most credible resources, how to evaluate the “facts” they come across, and how to avoid plagiarism and copyright violations when they incorporate others’ work into their own.

17,000 Classroom Visits Can’t Be Wrong speaks to the level of engagement and thinking your students are doing in the classroom. Authors John V. Antonetti and James R. Garver have designed a model to help teachers create a higher level of thinking and engagement from their students. They’ve visited more than 17,000 classrooms and examined a variety of teaching and learning conditions, talked to students, examined their work, and determined their levels of thinking and engagement. From their experiences they share their insights with teachers on how to smooth the transition from simply planning instruction to designing high-quality student work. They share that most educators are skilled at planning instruction and determining what they will do during the course of a lesson, but to truly engage students in worthwhile, rigorous cognition, a shift in focus may be necessary – from teaching to learning. They share that, “whoever is doing the work is also doing the learning, and in most classrooms, teachers are working much too hard.”

So enjoy this summer’s break. What do you plan to read, imagine, think about, and organize for the next school year?


Success is Collaboration

I just read a good article about teaching students to collaborate, and just last week I shared some thoughts about students and collaboration. For three decades or more we have been working on being better at teaching students to collaborate, as well as working to be better at it ourselves. Regardless of where we are… Continue Reading

Learning Together

I facilitated an AIMS math/science workshop last week in North Dakota. During the day, one of our participants realized that she needed to spend more time helping her students find ways to learn together, rather than in isolation. Midway through our morning she said, “I need to get better at being collaborative, and now I… Continue Reading

Putting Myself Out There

I started teaching in August of 1985. Yes, that was a long time ago, but my passion for learning and education is as strong, if not stronger, than when I first started in this amazing profession. Last week I accomplished a long-term professional goal of mine, by presenting a session in San Antonio, Texas, at… Continue Reading

Professional Learning on Steroids

To sum up the 2017 NCTM annual conference in San Antonio, Texas takes only one word, AWESOME!! As I’ve shared before, I look forward to conferences. They provide opportunities for me to be laser focused on education, a time to reconnect and collaborate, an opportunity to be current, a time to meet other like-minded educators,… Continue Reading