Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Quick Tip #8 - Student Engagement

Peer feedback is so very important... Let's make the effort to have this time more often!

Full Transcript

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quick Tip #6 - Student Choice

Choice when turning in an essay... that will benefit you and students in various ways!

Full Transcript

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quick Tip #4 - Student Choice

"Question of the Day" - I cut a sheet of magnet (that can go through the printer), ask students to write their names on them, and then have students answer the question each day...
**BONUS: This is also an easy check to see who's not in your class - which names haven't been moved?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Quick Tip #1 - Reluctant Readers

I am starting a new vlog series - quick tips - that I want to remember in the future!

These will be ideas that have worked in my classroom, and ones I don't want to forget. I won't worry about extra noises in the background, what I wear, if my hairs are all in place, or what I sound like. I am doing these for my teaching. If they happen to benefit you, too - GREAT! I'll label/tag them "Quick Tips" and then what they relate to (reluctant reader, struggling writer, genius hour, ants in the pants, etc.).

So here's my first one - Using a Timer to Help a Reluctant Reader


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Passion-Driven Learning Presentations at the K12 Online Conference

I'd never heard of the K12 Online Conference, and yet I was asked to be the "keynote presenter" for the Passion-Driven Learning strand for this year's online conference. Humbled and anxious, I accepted, not knowing the work I'd have to put into it. I could criticize my own video until I'm blue in the face, but I am proud of the message, and stand by it. I am also very thankful to those teachers (Sheri Edwards, Denise Krebs, Oliver Schinkten, Paul Solarz, Gallit Zvi) who came through for me by sending me clips of their answers to questions I wanted to include.

My (@JoyKirr) K12 Online Learning Conference Keynote presentation from October 27th:


On the K12 Online blog, this presentation is here.

Here is the complete schedule of the 2014 K12 Online Conference presentations, and I've pulled out three here that are pretty specific to the group of teachers who follow this blog. See the complete listing for so many more fabulous presentations that make you contemplate all sorts of ideas and issues!

Bart Miller's (@BarMill) presentation (& resources) is one of my favorites from this strand. I need to watch it yet again, take notes, and then... take action.

Here is Bart's written transcription of his presentation.

Michelle L. Haiken's (@TeachingFactor) presentation & resources:



JoAnn Delaney's (@jdelaneyJoAnn) presentation & resources:


Again, see the complete listing for so many more fabulous presentations. I've learned so much watching them, knowing that the next time I'm asked to create a video, I've got to step it up a few notches!

Comments or questions on these videos? Please leave them below.