The Sunday Evening Review: June 21, 2020

I don’t know about you, but the past week has been a whirlwind. I’ve had a fantastic time getting to know so many wonderful new friends on Twitter, making meaningful connections with them, and working together with amazing educators to help reshape the way we look at talking with kids on matters of race in the classroom. Being an educator is such rewarding work and I’m so glad I get to be part of it. 

On that note, there are so many esteemed educators doing incredible work in the world to support our students and their families as well as our schools and their communities. To highlight the work being done, each Sunday, I am going to share with you some of the stellar things I’ve seen or had the pleasure of being involved with, in and around the Edu-Twitter universe. 

It is my hope these weekly reviews will help you find the people, resources, and information you need to help broaden your PLN so that you, too, can be an active participant in all the great things being done to improve education!

Enjoy this week’s Sunday Evening Review!


To all dads out there in our Edu-Twitter PLN,

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Hope you’ve had a wonderful day.


#LeadLAP’s “Leading by Learning” Summer Series Tackles Anti-Racism Education

On Saturday, I enjoyed my second week as co-moderator of #LeadLAP’s summer “Leading by Learning” series.  TraciBrowder (@TraciBrowder) and I have so graciously been invited to facilitate this transformational chat courtesy of Shelley Burgess (@burgess_shelley) and Beth Houf (@BethHouf), education leaders and authors of the best-selling book Lead Like a Pirate.

The goal of this series is to help educators develop an awareness of the real effects of racism on people of color, particularly students of color, and to help educators overcome the obstacles they may face when working to foster anti-racism in their classrooms. We will be helping educators build their very own #GritCrew–a group of individuals working together as allies who support one another in the fight for equity and equality for all students. 

Throughout the summer, #LeadLAP will continue to explore language and perspectives related to racism. We will reflect on our own attitudes and fears surrounding the development and implementation of an anti-racist curriculum in our classrooms and in our schools. And, as we continue our discussions, our goal is to assist you in figuring out how to create your own anti-racism education Plan of Action prior to returning to the classroom this fall. 

Although we will return to school in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic this fall, we cannot allow the work we have done fighting for students of color to slip to the wayside. Instead we need to find a way to weave those discussions and conversations like a fine thread into what we do with kids each day. This #LeadLAP “Leading by Learning” series will help you do just that!

We hope you will join us on this exciting and highly engaging, deeply reflective experience. 

#LeadLAP chats take place every Saturday morning at 9:30am CT/10:30am ET.

We continue our discussion throughout the week with occasional slow chat questions and reflections. 

Here is more information if you are interested in joining us in this critical learning:

Read Lead Like a Pirate‘s blog post about the weekly chat and follow up slow chat: https://leadlikeapirate.net/blog/

Check out our weekly video intro from last week:

Listen to Traci Browder’s Intelligogy podcast episode on Voiced.ca where she explains the role of a “Grit Crew:”

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/monday-matters-feat-traci-browder-on-grit-crew-season/id1493409417?i=1000478025560


Teaching Resources

Here are a few anti-racism education tools and resources that may help you as you continue learning and growing in order to tackle tough issues with kids when we return to school:

Google Doc of Resources curated by Beth Houf from #LeadLAP chat on 6/20/20:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1itYWPVmkOgdWja0zMusiwgFWcs9GFv9uFi3S0UwaD6k/edit

Wakelet Collection of Anti-Racism Education Resources:

https://wke.lt/w/s/eJk-9v

Race Forward Article on How to Facilitate Conversations about Race:

https://www.raceforward.org/practice/tools/10-ways-start-conversation-about-race


What I’m Reading:

As we gear up to return to school this fall, we must continue refining our practice and building our collection of resources and tools to help us facilitate education within mid-pandemic learning structures. Regardless of the classroom learning environment we will enter–distance learning, a full return to the physical classroom, or a split between both–we need to be more prepared than any other year. To help me prepare for what lies ahead, here are a few books I’m reading:

Just Finished:

 Ctrl Alt Achieve: Rebooting Your Classroom with Creative Google Projects by Eric Curts (@EricCurts)

First, if you aren’t familiar with Eric’s “Ctrl Alt Achieve” website, check here to see what you’re missing. For a long time, Eric’s work has been a solid support in helping me find ways to fully integrate technology into my lessons and student learning. Eric’s book is a comprehensive look at the Google Learning suite of products, as he shows educators how to provide students opportunities to create unique projects that also allow them to demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills. From “Blackout Highlighting” in Google docs to creating memes in Google Drawings to “Self-Checking Assessments” in Sheets, you’ll be sure to find the perfect Google Project to support learning in your classroom. You MUST have this book if you teach using Google Classroom and the Google Learning Suite of products!

In My Hands Now:

Recovery Mode by Pushing Boundaries Consulting. As we move back to school amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, educators must find solutions to effectively deal with the “unexpected and rapid change” we often experience at school. Recovery Mode is filled with suggestions and insights from education experts who can help us do just that. And the bonus, this book is FREE! Download it here! Recovery Mode’s foreword was written by the one and only Bethany Hill (@bethhill2829). This is the kind of reading needed to help us fully support our students as the return to school in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic. I can’t wait to dig into this book!

I’d like to thank Laura Brower (@LauraBeess) for kindly recommending the last two books to me. I love getting book recommendations, so please share any great titles with me that you think I should read!


Keeping Up with the Conversation


This week’s #CrazyPLN on Saturday morning was Crazy Good! There was some very powerful conversation going on in the @CrazyPLN space. Laura Brower and Bethany Hill did an excellent job bringing challenging questions to educators about how we can promote a culture of safety and support for kids at school. If you missed it, check out this Wakelet where you can find the whole discussion: https://wakelet.com/wake/6cpszitFB1fEMjVbORhxG

Basil Marin, Ed.S (@basil_marin) joined @the_edu_table for Ep.10, “Critical Conversation Questions About Race,” w/ fellow disruptors @EvanWhitehead00, @MomOfAllCapes & @MarkenyaW

Check out the episode here: https://t.co/NosFkH2LUf?amp=1

@TechnologyLaura also hosted another amazing chat this week. This week’s  jungle-themed chat focused on student questioning, socical-emotional learning, giving feedback, and much more. Don’t miss Laura’s #ChitChat every Friday morning @ 11:00 ET.


“How To” Know How

Learning to Podcast

On Saturday morning, @CheyCheney and @PavWander of The Staff Room Podcast (@StaffPodCast) facilitated a highly informational webinar called “Rediscover Your Voice” hosted by SchoolRubric.com (@SchoolRubric). Chey and Pav covered all things podcasting from defining objectives to planning your podcast to suggestions about equipment and even some technical tips! 

Bonus: Check out these great sketchnotes from the webinar courtesy of Beth Lyons (@MrsLyonsLibrary). Art & Information simultaneously! Thanks Beth!

Teaching Kids Grammar in Context

Earlier in the week, I shared my latest blog post titled “The Credo Project.” The Credo Project is a highly inclusive learning opportunity that incorporates students’ interests, values, and beliefs into one academic unit designed to enhance readiness for the English and Reading portions of the ACT. In this project, students create personal blogs using Google Sites where they build upon their individual credo statements to generate online content. Through this project, students gain a command of language and grammar skills similar to those assessed on the ACT as they edit and revise their own and others’ blog posts. This unit is easily tailored to students’ individual interests and provides a comprehensive review of the ELA concepts and skills measured by the ACT.


This Week’s Who to Follow

No matter where I am in the Twitterverse, when Tara Desiderio (@Tara), co-moderator #CultureEd, shows up, our virtual space lights up! Her vibrancy rings clear even in the digital space in which we interact. Give Tara a follow and you will truly learn the #powerofpositivity!


Chats I’m Looking Forward to This Week…

#BuildHOPEedu tonight, Sunday 6/21/20 at 9:00pm ET, Roman Nowak (@NowakRo) will lead participants in a discussion on becoming better allies.

#CultureEd on Tuesday at 9:00pm ET Jimmy Casas (@casas_jimmy) will guide us through a discussion on “Teaching and Leading by Example.” Can’t wait for this!

This Saturday, June 27th, we will continue our #LeadLAP discussion on “Burnout” so we can begin moving forward to the action phase of implementing anti-racist curricula in our classrooms. Join us at 9:30am CT/10:30am ET!


Setbacks & Breakthroughs:

I’m going to be honest, I was feeling overwhelmed this week. There is so much work we have to do in education and it can be very daunting when we think about all that needs to be done. Even though we know that each of us individually is doing his or her part to help create much needed change in education, we still give ourselves a hard time about needing to do more. But, we need to stop doing that. There is so much happening in the world right now, and those of us taking action need to remind ourselves that we are doing our part. We must give ourselves some grace. We must show kindness and appreciation to ourselves in the same way in which we show kindness and appreciation to others.

There will always be work to do and what you are doing right now, this very minute, IS making a difference. Be proud of yourself for that. 

Thanks for sticking around, friends! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the great things happening in Edu-Twitter and beyond! 

Here’s to a fantastic week ahead. I look forward to learning and growing with you!

Connect with me.

Twitter: @DHarrisEdS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/root2canopy

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dawnmharrris/

Email: dawnharris@root2canopy.com 

On the Web: www.root2canopy.com 

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