James D.'s Profile

James D.
Educator/Curriculum Developer
IdeaDriven Education
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies, English Language Learning

About Me

I have been a teacher for over twenty years and joined the Common Sense community to connect with other educators and hone my teaching practice . My goal is to engage, connect, and support teachers in order to enhance their practice in the classroom. These days I do a lot of teacher training around coding and design thinking - helping teachers to find ways to bring those skill sets into their classrooms and existing curricula.

As a teacher since 1991, I have now worked with every grade from K-12. In the time that I have been an educator, I have seen an incredible variety of powerful digital tools emerge that support instruction and learning. Making sense of those tools is what the Common Sense community is all about (and what Graphite Mentors like me are here to help with).

My career has taken me to 4 countries but only five schools. My most recent classroom position (and love) is middle school Humanities (integrated language arts and social studies). Throughout my career, I have worked primarily with English Language Learners (ELL) and students with mild to moderate learning needs. As a sometime language teacher and a permanent learner of languages, I understand the incredible role that technology can play in language acquisition.

Outside the classroom, I am working on two big education-related projects with IdeaDriven Education:

1. Coding and design projects in schools throughout British Columbia;
2. and the development of interesting and exciting materials to support the teaching of Canadian history.

My Collections

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Timelines for Thoughtful Projects
4 items
October 25, 2016
Blogging Tools for One and All
7 items
February 9, 2016
View All 28 Collections

My Reviews

Kodable - Coding for Kids
Great start for coding kids
0
December 12, 2016
Memrise
Level up in almost any language
0
October 25, 2016
Code.org
Code Studio is where it's at
0
October 4, 2016
Scrible
Great research tool
0
September 8, 2016
Folger Shakespeare Library
A gift for anyone teaching Shakespeare
0
June 20, 2016
View All 38 Teacher Reviews

My Lesson Plans

So How Much Do We Use Our Mobile Devices?
1
English Language Arts, Math, Science...
Grade 6 – 12
5 steps
March 6, 2017
Now I Have to Teach Coding? Getting Started with Tabby Cat (4 and 5)
0
English Language Arts, Math, Science...
Grade 3 – 7
4 steps
December 1, 2016
Now I Have to Teach Coding? Getting Started with Tabby Cat (3)
0
English Language Arts, Math, Science...
Grade 3 – 7
4 steps
December 1, 2016
Lesson Plan Title: Now I Have to Teach Coding - Tabby Cat 2
0
English Language Arts, Math, Science...
Grade 3 – 7
5 steps
December 1, 2016
Now I Have to Teach Coding? Getting started with Tabby Cat (1)
0
English Language Arts, Science, Arts
Grade 3 – 7
3 steps
November 28, 2016
Zooming In on Zoom In: Working with Primary Sources
0
English Language Arts, Social Studies
Grade 6 – 12
7 steps
January 31, 2016
View All 11 Lesson Plans

My Discussion Topics

This user has not posted any Discussion Topics.

My Blog Posts

How I Turned Formative Assessment into a Dialogue with My Students
posted on March 14, 2017
When formative feedback felt like a dead end, this teacher dug in and learned how to empower his...
5 Reasons Multimedia Presentations Are a Classroom Must
posted on September 19, 2016
Encourage creativity, reflection, and confidence through the use of multimedia presentations.
Filed under: In the Classroom
Don't Forget to Plan for Coding This School Year
posted on August 8, 2016
Coding is for everyone - engage students in critical thinking and content.
Filed under: In the Classroom
4 Tips for Meaningful Student Portfolios
posted on May 9, 2016
Holistic portfolios allow students to showcase all the best traits and qualities of themselves.
Filed under: In the Classroom, Students
5 Ways to Promote Writing Across the Curriculum
posted on November 23, 2015
When everyone teaches writing, everyone wins.
Filed under: In the Classroom

My Editorial Reviews

Digital Civics Toolkit
Superb, timely civics lessons focus on social media and student voice
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Kialo
A troll-free zone for student discussion and debate
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Erase All Kittens
Quirky coding game has great concept but limited classroom potential
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
SweetSearch2Day
Daily history site is full of promise but lacks consistency
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
BeeLine Reader
A surprisingly simple tool to improve reading
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Grasshopper: Learn to Code
First-class free app for learning to code with JavaScript
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
View All 22 Editorial Reviews

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