Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to reflect on all the wisdom shared in Lesson: Impossible’s second season. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is your host, and mission coordinator, Aviva Levin.

 

A transcript for this episode can be found here.

 

As many school years come to an end, so does Lesson: Impossible’s second season. I will be taking a break in July, and will be back in August with some episodes I’m really excited about, such as home-schooling partnerships, gradeless assessment, and trauma-informed teaching.

 

However, for our last episodes I wanted to reflect on some of the wisdom my special agents/guests have shared, and pull a quote from each interview that really impacted me, and hopefully you as well. This is Part II of a two-part set of bonus episodes.

 

Some updates for the summer from the guests of Part II:

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to reflect on all the wisdom shared in Lesson: Impossible’s second season. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is your host, and mission coordinator, Aviva Levin.

 

As many school years come to an end, so does Lesson: Impossible’s second season. I will be taking a break in July, and will be back in August with some episodes I’m really excited about, such as home-schooling partnerships, gradeless assessment, and trauma-informed teaching.

 

However, for our last episodes I wanted to reflect on some of the wisdom my special agents/guests have shared, and pull a quote from each interview that really impacted me, and hopefully you as well. This is Part I of a two-part series of bonus episodes.

 

Some updates for the summer from the guests of Part I:

  • Agent LaTezeon Humphrey Balentine: Her book, Fur Friends Forever, came out April 24th. She’s also currently gathering pantry items for 50 elders at her grandma’s church, which you can help with here.
  • Agent Rita Wirtz: Rita is continuing her advocacy. Her latest blog post is “Challenging Times, Extraordinary Opportunities!”
  • Agent Rebecca Blouwolff: Rebecca is leading some PD this summer: MaFLA Collaborative Classroom on target language use Week of July 13 (members only, register here), ACTFL Summer Learning Series on authentic resources with Leslie Grahn Week of July 6 (register here), and a live "spark talk" and a session at National Foreign Language Center's virtual summit July 21-23 (free, sign up here)
  • Agent Kate Ames: Kate was featured on an Australasian series on online teaching. So if you want some more tips from her, check it out here.

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to consider a new resource: #clearthelist, a global movement to help teachers buy supplies for their classrooms. The resource specialist assigned to help you with this task is Courtney Jones, from Denver, Colorado.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The origin of the #clearthelist and #supportateacher movement and now the Clear The List Foundation
  • Why the movement is open to all teachers, regardless of their student population
  • How ClearTheList also involves empowering teachers to advocate for funding for resources and raising awareness of the financial burden that teachers take on
  • Piloting school stores for community members to donate to their locals schools
  • How much teachers actually spend, and questioning the status quo
  • How teachers can join the ClearTheList movement
  • How any listeners can help ClearTheList by donating

 

Links:

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to consider a new resource: Hands-On Entrepreneurship for Kids, which provides guidance for students who want to turn their big ideas into businesses. The resource specialist assigned to help you with this task is Patricia Clahar, from Greenwich, Connecticut.

 

In this episode Patricia and I discuss:

  • Patricia’s path to starting Hands-On Entrepreneurship for Kids
  • The benefits of students engaging in the process of starting a business, from practical skills, to SEL skills, to adding more dimensions to the teacher-student relationship
  • One of her favorite recent projects: Books in Color*
  • The various ways that students, teachers, and schools can work with Patricia
  • How young entrepreneurs are more willing to take risks
  • The various ways young people raise money to fund their businesses, including the Idea Tank for Kids competition
  • How to get in contact with Patricia: her website, Instagram, Facebook

 

*If you’re interested in getting involved in this book club, please contact Patricia

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to explore how to increase engagement, lessen anxiety, and create real-world connections by teaching math through a Conceptual Based Instructional Model. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is JoAnna Castellano of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

A transcript is available for this episode.

In this episode we discuss:

  • JoAnna’s path to teaching
  • Her pedagogical perspective: student agency, productive struggle, teacher as facilitator, providing real-world context
  • An example question using the Pythagorean theorem with Benjamin Watson’s tackle saving touchdown
  • How to differentiate in the conceptual model
  • Walking through a lesson from idea to assessment: ratio and proportions using Mayan ruins
  • Her biggest success: lessening math anxiety; her biggest struggle: getting teachers to buy in initially
  • How she has transferred this model online for distance learning
  • Who to check out for math teaching inspiration
  • JoAnna’s ideal curriculum: expanding on her work with NBPS’ Summer Bridge Program
  • The value of movement and interaction (ex. Sara Vanderwerf’s ‘stand and talks’)

 

Links to check out:

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to be compassionate to yourself as you develop strategies for mental wellness. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is counselor, coach and podcaster Marie Kueny of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

 

A transcript is available for this episode

 

In this episode we discuss letting go of the perfectionist mindset, how we can Teach and Go Home, the Helper’s Risk Trifecta, the counselor’s role in supporting teachers, how to set up your teaching career for mental wellness, and having an identity outside the role of teacher.

 

Links:

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to incorporate computational thinking into all content areas. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Jorge Valenzuela, of Lifelong Learning Defined, in Virginia.

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Jorge’s path to becoming a teacher
  • Four elements of computational thinking: decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition, algorithm design
  • Work shopping how I could apply computational thinking to French
  • Jorge’s perspective on including STEM into all subjects
  • His favorite unit or lesson
  • How Jorge’s personal pedagogical philosophy has evolved over time
  • Why he thinks PBL is the best PD teachers can do
  • Jorge’s success in improving his writing and his advice on how to do the same: write about something you’re good at, find a mentor, put in the time
  • His struggle with emotional intelligence
  • How STEM is becoming more inclusive for students
  • Jorge’s hatred of buzzwords
  • His ideal school system

 

Find out more about Jorge:

 

Resources mentioned:

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to consider a new resource: GooseChase, an app for creating scavenger hunts. The resource specialist assigned to help you with this task is Rebecca Yaffa, Director of Customer Experience, from Toronto, Canada.

 

This is the third installment in the ‘Meet the Resources’ series, where I feature the educational equivalent of Gecko Gloves, Smart Contacts, or Flute Guns: technology that has been created to make your impossible lessons actually possible! A reminder that Lesson: Impossible receives no compensation for featuring resources, just the satisfaction of knowing that somewhere a student might be more engaged in their learning or a teacher might be able to leave work a little bit earlier.

 

In this episode, Aviva and Rebecca touch on a variety of topics including:

  • Who uses GooseChase EDU? (Hint: It's not just teachers!)
  • How GooseChase EDU makes scavenger hunts easy and automated for educators
  • How organizers can get started by using missions from the The Game Library.
  • How educators utilized GooseChase for Virtual Learning during the social isolation period.
  • GooseChase EDU availability for school and district-wide plans.
  • How GooseChase handles personal data created on the platform.
  • How Rebecca got involved with GooseChase and working as part of a fully-remote team.
  • How K-12 teachers can take advantage of complimentary upgrades to Educator Plus until September 1st.

 

Links:

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to help students enjoy writing as they discover how to improve their written work. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Shannon Anderson of Rensselaer, Indiana.

A transcript is available for this episode.

I’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks of episodes that were looking at some resources and grappling with some big philosophical questions about teaching: what is my teacher identity? How can I infuse meaning into my curriculum? Is there a way to prevent teacher burnout? However, today’s episode has us focusing again on something very concrete, but incredibly important: how can I teach writing? As I, and you, my wonderful listeners, will soon discover, it’s easily done at any grade, if you have the right mindset and strategies. Fortunately Shannon Anderson was willing to share some of her writing wisdom when we spoke at the end of April over zencastr.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why training students to become good writers is like training for a marathon.
  • An example lesson for introducing narrative writing
  • The biggest mistakes teachers make when teaching writing
  • Four tips she gives students to become better writers
  • Publishing student work and Budsies

 Links:

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to put students’ own values at the center of their learning in order to make school meaningful beyond academic skills. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Lauren Porosoff of Scarsdale, New York.

 A transcript is available for this episode.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Parents advocating for meaningfulness
  • The three kinds of relevance: personal, practical, cultural
  • Her favorite meaningful units: A Midsummer Night’s Dream & spoken word poetry
  • Addressing three criticisms of making curriculum meaningful: kids need to learn that not everything is about them, there’s no time to get to know students, and young people don’t know what is meaningful to them yet
  • What to do if a teacher wants to change their curriculum
  • Feeling lonely or disempowered while innovating
  • ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Her decision to no longer teach Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian
  • How to get in touch with Lauren

 

Links:

 

If you want to find out more about what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com. And if you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing and subscribing or forwarding it to a colleague. You can also follow Lesson: Impossible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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