EPISODES

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Join Tim Collins and me while we explore how local literature can make all the difference in an English classroom.

SHOW NOTES:

When we’re on the lookout for stellar literature to bulk up our classroom curriculums, we’re more likely to head to Google than to look right under own noses! It’s time we stop underestimating the power of local literature.

Literature from local authors can have a special impact on our students. Their writing can empathize with the pain and joy of an area in a way someone unfamiliar with the area can’t. Local authors get it. They understand that the dollar-fifty theater on 21st street is a special gem, how the weather turns icy more often than it does snowy, and the underappreciated beauty of the rolling Flint Hills at sunset. Their work is both familiar and refreshing.

Join us today as we delve deeply into using local Kansas literature in the classroom with Tim Collins, an English teacher. We discuss how he uses local literature in with his students,  how landscape is an integral part in shaping our personas, and how much we both care for our Kansas roots--no matter its nickname as a ‘flyover state.’

While we talk a great deal about Kansas in this podcast, since we’re biased Kansans, these ideas can be transported to any state or general area. If you haven’t taken the time to explore your local author scene, use this as a sign to get started! Undoubtedly, they have some great work for you to explore.

If you listened to this podcast, you’re a champ and should definitely check out more. We’re on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at The Suggestion Box Podcast. If you’d like to suggest an idea to us, contact us at thesuggestionboxpodcast@gmail.com. We would love, love, LOVE to hear from you!

Partner organization:

Flint Hills Writing Project - They believe in teachers teaching teachers. Check out fhwp.org for more information or email them at fhwp.nwp@gmail.com.

Sponsors & CONTRIBUTERS:

None Yet.

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How can open ended inquiry questions in math put power in our students’ hands? José Vilson explains.

SHOW NOTES:

Let’s be honest: math class gets a bad rap.

If you’re not a math teacher, you might be guilty of telling your students that math just wasn’t your “thing.” If you are a math teacher, you’ve probably been frustrated by other teachers’ willingness to throw your entire subject under the bus. Even as educators, we often let our personal experiences, phobias, and anxieties cloud our view of math. Is it any surprise that students are apprehensive when they walk through the door of their own math class?

In today’s podcast, National Board Certified Teacher José Vilson explains that math should not be about fear; rather, math is about power. Math is about student inquiry and curiosity. Math is about our students taking agency over their learning and trusting themselves to figure out their own mistakes, rather than relying so heavily on the authority of a teacher.

Through a riveting discussion on José’s scientific notation project, inquiry strategies in the classroom, and views on education as a whole, we learn how viewing math from a different perspective could benefit everyone—especially our students.


Thanks for listening today. Check out our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at The Suggestion Box Podcast. If you’d like to suggest an idea to us, contact us at thesuggestionboxpodcast@gmail.com. We’re excited to hear from you!

Partner organization:

Flint Hills Writing Project - They believe in teachers teaching teachers. Check out fhwp.org for more information or email them at fhwp.nwp@gmail.com.

Sponsors & CONTRIBUTERS:

None Yet.

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When it comes to teachers in classrooms, more IS more. Maret Schrader and Serita Miller explain how co-teaching gave them the tools they needed for success.

SHOW NOTES:

Collaboration can be nerve wracking for teachers. We’ve worked hard to get our own classroom, design our own curriculum, and create an environment suitable to the students we know best. More than that, we know exactly what we’re doing. Adding another teacher into our classroom could mess up everything.

What if their  views on classroom management are different? What if their teaching philosophy is crazy different than mine? What if they step all over my carefully laid plans? What if, what if, what if…

What if it works out really well?

Working with others takes on a whole new meaning for Maret Schrader and Serita Miller when they decide the best way to hand a challenging class is to co-teach. Both English teachers were faced with a group of students that had significantly different needs, and these two capable teacher determined something had to change about their classrooms. They rose to this challenge by embarking on a quest of co-teaching. In this episode of The Suggestion Box, we’ll learn how Maret and Serita handled their classroom as co-teachers and why it took two teachers to make all the difference in the world.
Check out our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud. Hit us up at thesuggestionboxpodcast@gmail.com if you have any ideas that you want to suggest.

Partner organization:

Flint Hills Writing Project - They believe in teachers teaching teachers. Check out fhwp.org for more information or email them at fhwp.nwp@gmail.com.

Sponsors & CONTRIBUTERS:

None Yet.

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Nathan McAlister took a Civil War veteran research project and brought it to life.

SHOW NOTES:

“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” asks the renowned Broadway musical Hamilton. This is an issue history teachers know all too well. History is defined by the victors, the elite, or those who simply have a pen nearby.

Numerous storylines in history are long forgotten. What we teach in our classrooms is simply a drop in a very, very large bucket compared to all of the events and people that have graced our world. Nathan McAlister, a high school history teacher, seeks to highlight the stories of Civil War veterans that might otherwise have been left unknown.

From photographing headstones to spelling names consistently, join us as we explore every aspect of Nathan McAlister’s unit on Civil War veterans’ stories. His students conduct intense research using databases, museums, and (a tiny bit of) Google to bring the stories of local veterans to life. The information they discover goes straight to findagrave.com, where genealogists, family members, and other historians can benefit from their hard work. This is a classroom adventure that involves real-life skills, project-based learning, and authentic audience.

If you are interested in knowing more about Nathan, follow him on Twitter at @NHTOYMc. Also, make sure to follow The Suggestion Box on Twitter @thesuggestnbox, on Instagram at @thesuggestionboxpodcast, and on Facebook at The Suggestion Box Podcast. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, consider reaching out to us at thesuggestionboxpodcast@gmail.com.

Partner organization:

Flint Hills Writing Project - They believe in teachers teaching teachers. Check out fhwp.org for more information or email them at fhwp.nwp@gmail.com.

Sponsors & CONTRIBUTERS:

None Yet.

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Personalized learning for every student can be daunting, but Keri Lauxman gives sage advice. Plus, learn about her fluffy classroom pal!

SHOW NOTES:

Personalized learning for students sounds fantastic, but how can teachers implement it without driving themselves crazy? In this episode of The Suggestion Box, accomplished English teacher Keri Lauxman offers her real world strategies for how to make any unit, lesson, or class personalized for all students. Her strategies emphasize students’ choices in content, pace, and assessment.

And, for the first time ever, The Suggestion Box is coming to you with a SECOND suggestion in ONE interview! We were surprised, too. There was no way we could let Keri leave without talking about her classroom therapy dog and pal Roxy. If you’ve ever wondered what the process is to train a therapy dog while also convincing your administration to let your pup in the classroom, we’ve got your answers.

If you’re interested in contacting Keri to learn more about personalized learning or ask questions about Roxy, her email is klauxman@usd497.org. Also, if you enjoyed this episode be sure to subscribe to The Suggestion Box podcast for more education goodness and share us with your friends, family, and teachers.

Partner organization:

Flint Hills Writing Project - They believe in teachers teaching teachers. Check out fhwp.org for more information or email them at fhwp.nwp@gmail.com.

Sponsors & CONTRIBUTERS:

None Yet.