I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 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 my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Stories in EDU

I will admit - I know Jason Bretzmann and Kenny Bosch. I've learned from both of them at edcamps or conferences in Wisconsin. I've eaten with one or the other at lunch! I traded Shift This for their Game of Stories. I feel they are good people.

Therefore, when asked if I would read and review Stories in EDU: Sail with a Fleet, I said, "Of course!" I knew some of the teachers who shared their stories in this collection, as well, so I was excited to begin reading.

What I loved about this book is that I could (and often did) read two stories in one sitting, and they could be from anywhere in the book. I chose them by author, then title, then section of the book. The sections include "Overcoming Obstacles," "Relationships," "Hooks," "Educational Technology Use," and "That One Kid..."

While I noticed Jason wrote seven of the 29 stories and Kenny wrote two, I also learned from both of them. Here's a snippet of what I will use after reading this book...

Because of Jason's "Salon with a View" story, I'm going to try something similar with my last class as a reward - they proved to me they're so good with fishbowl discussions, that I need to provide more time for them to try them - with their OWN questions! (My blog post about it is now HERE.)

As a result of reading Kenny's "You Had Me at Hello" story, I've added a link to the book to the #1st5Days LiveBinder because his idea is perfect for those who despise ice breakers.

If you are a Kahoot! fan, you'll love Jason's story titled, "Triple Moving Kahoot!" and if you know him, you'll be able to hear his voice in each of his stories.

Teresa Gross has me wanting to talk with our eighth grade teachers to see if I could be there when they read "The Monkey's Paw." I already know Josh Gauthier, but reading his "Hello Kitty" story helped me know him a bit more. Tracy Kelly reminded me to keep using sign language in the classroom. Brianne Neil and Leigh Anne Geib both reminded me of those students I wish I could take under my wing, and Patty Kolodnicki and Aubrey Jones remind everyone that our students need a clean slate each year. (Or each month. Or week. Or day.)

This is a quick read. One that you won't need to annotate. One that you can pass on to other teachers when you're finished. One that reaffirms some of what you're doing, and may challenge some of what you've done, as well.

My wish... I hope that their next book includes Twitter handles for the teachers sharing their stories, so we can connect further. I also think it would be possible to split these stories. The "Educational Technology Use" could be its own book, along with "Overcoming Obstacles," etc. Personally, I'd like to read an entire book about "That One Kid."

YOU can be part of Stories in EDU! Head to the website and submit your own story. Share your own lessons learned, so readers can benefit.

November 2018 Update: See my "Salon with a View" Spinoff post!

Side Note: Fueled by Coffee and Love is another anthology of short stories from educators. Check out Mari Venturino's post about how it came about and where the proceeds go. I have not yet read my copy, but will be sure to post about it when I finish!

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