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August 8, 2015
This Week: Science & Engineering, Lesson Planning, and Digital Literacy
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Get a sneak peek at the first in a series of science and engineering units developed collaboratively by Boeing engineers and educators. Watch the video and download the module.
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Discover great lesson planning tools and resources in our virtual backpack and contribute your own ideas!
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Steve Figruelli and Natalie Franzi kick off a month-long series that examines effective practices with digital literacy tools.
Sarah's Notes

It’s always more like “summer cleaning” than “spring cleaning” when it comes to my classroom. You know that feeling of walking into your space after the summer hiatus – it smells a little empty, sounds too quiet, and feels a little dense with the remnants of the previous year. It’s always my first act of back-to-school catharsis: cleaning, purging, re-imagining. As I’m in the midst of erasing cobwebs and rescuing books, I found myself looking at a shelf in one of my closets with this collection of beautiful binders. I ran my fingers over them, remembering the time I’d invested, the care I took, the beautiful design of what was in them. These binders. These units of study I’d created. These creations, so idealized, every piece of paper still preserved in plastic page protectors.

Then a smile, and a wistful nod to my younger teacher-self who had believed for so long these binders were the proof of good teaching. It’s true. I used to believe that if I designed them perfectly enough, I could ensure learning. Now, I look at these binders as an artifact of how I’ve evolved as a teacher. I recognize the real value of that work: get so immersed in the design that you understand your content and your learning goals so deeply that you can let it go. I’ve learned that teaching from one of those binders isn’t that different than turning the pages of a textbook. Rather, the beautiful design isn’t the fixed one in between those tabs and objectives. It’s the one that’s created when I decide to be so present with my students that the plans are never as important as making space for learning to emerge in it’s own messy way. As we begin another year of designing lesson plans, let’s remember the difference between admiring a masterpiece and creating the canvas for others to write on.

Enjoy!

Sarah Sarah Sig
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
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Tchers’ Voice
Img LeftSarah Brown Wessling reflects on last year's experiment to give students ownership of the Common Core standards, and what she'll do differently this year.


 
Img LeftLily Jones asked the members of Teaching Channel’s Coaching Think Tank to share their top differentiation strategies for new teachers.

 
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Mark Your Calendar
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Educators, administrators, and edtech organizations can apply for the second annual Digital Innovation in Learning Awards (or DILAs), a joint effort by EdSurge and Digital Promise to celebrate accomplishments in edtech. To apply, candidates must submit a video of up to three minutes. Learn more at the DILAs website. Applications are due August 24, 2015.
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