Trail of Breadcrumbs
Tools for Tracking Movements of the Mind since 2002
If you teach one of the secondary grades, you probably teach one lesson multiple times each day. And if you’re like me, your lesson gets better throughout the day. You learn what doesn’t work, what works, and what works better. You leave yourself notes, like a little trail of breadcrumbs, that you can follow to find your way back to the lesson that worked best.
If we watch our students, we see their moments of frustration or confusion, which in turn causes us to tweak, adjust, or innovate. Years ago, I tried out an idea when I noticed that my 9th grade boys were not explaining themselves in writing; that idea (“jerktalk”) proved helpful, unlocking for them a different way to imagine their writing as conversation. Little did I know how this tiny miracle would continue to help improve STAAR scores, to boost confidence, to stimulate further adaptations.
Long ago, my friend Barry Lane encouraged me to “get it published.” He explained to me why he was helping me, “Gretchen, we’re all fighting the same battle. The more we help each other, the stronger we all become.” He was right. The more we teachers share our trails with each other, the more we all grow. And the more we learn from each other, the more we have to offer our students and our community of educators.