How I Use It
This is not a website that you would send a student to. This is a website that a teacher really needs to sit down and spend some serious time with. The website is organized into four main parts: blogs, resources, collections, and community. I use this website in order to develop as an educator. There are fantastic pieces to read that help to inform my decisions as a teacher. A section under COLLECTIONS entitled Provocations is meant to provoke teachers into thinking differently. But I think I prefer to use this website in order to mine the excellent ideas of various teachers who post to this website. By paying close attention to the tags used on posts that I like, I was able to use the website to find ideas. (Hint: Search for the general tag like LESSON PLAN or by a more precise tag like NARRATIVE to get ideas.)
One of the most important parts of the teaching process is lesson creation and reflection. This website provides the interested teacher with a variety of voices on a variety of topics in teaching writing. Teacher members contribute ideas in the forms of blog posting. I found an excellent blog on Flash Fiction in the classroom. Not only did the writer define the terms, but she also provided ways that she teaches this in her classroom. Posts like these are very helpful. However, there are other posts that might not be as helpful. Some blog postings are teachers musing aloud about issues in education. While I definitely believe that posts like these are important in our profession, some teachers looks for ideas to implement in the classroom might be disappointed in posting on the abstract when they are in need of concrete activities right away. After I figured out how to best search for tags, I was able to find content that best fit my needs as a teacher. Even though I think that this website would benefit from a section for Lesson Plan ideas, I feel like the searching required was beneficial in the end. The search process exposed me to more ideas that I wouldn't normally encounter.