Episode 83: Barbara Wants Chocolate . . . Lots of it!

This image was selected as a picture of the we...
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Czech Wikipedia for th week, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome back! In this week’s episode we talk about:

  • Barbara’s Top 5 Christmas Wishes
  • Chris’s Christmas Wish List
  • Answering Facebook Questions
  • Game Time Apps for the classroom

Barbara’s Top Five Christmas Wishes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or it should be. In the wake of the horrible tragedy in Connecticut, our thoughts naturally turn to people in need, in grief, and facing other difficult circumstances. The Cool Teachers want to extend our heartfelt prayers and thanks to those teachers who always make a difference–and even in the face of sheer terror and danger. Thanks to all teachers everywhere who demonstrate that teaching truly is a profession.

OK, so what is on my Christmas wish list?

Number 1: Make our schools a safe place for everyone. Get leaders and parents together and figure out ways to do this.

Number 2: Help our students learn 21st century communication and collaboration skills. Provide the training and technology tools to enable this. Follow my lead on using Google Chromebooks, providing open Internet access in the schools and everyone student’s home. Provide continuous PD for teachers.

Number 3: Get rid of our system of sorting and grading students and provide opportunities for authentic assessment, such as online portfolios, peer evaluations, self-evaluations, and performance assessments.

Number 4: Allow students to learn at their own pace and identify their own areas of interest. Turn the classroom into an engaging place (where have I heard that before?) and get rid of standardized tests. Realize that all learners are different and honor that.

Number 5: Chocolate, lots of it.

Chris’s Top 5 Christmas Wish List

Number 1:  Blow up the grade book!  Game-based (alternative measures)

Number 2:  Get rid of homework. Stop deciding where students learn.

Number 3: Eliminate due dates and the punishments associated with them.

Number 4: Stop competing with each other.  When schools are focused on winning, students lose.

Number 5: Chocolate, lots of it.

Facebook Question: How do We Do our Podcasts???

Game Board Tools by Chris!

Chris discusses some cool apps you can use in the classroom to augment learning and make it fun. Try out some of these mobile apps and transform some of your instruction into a game:

Game Keeper Pro
Gameshow host
Game Kit

Well, that’s it.  We’ve reached the end of another week.  We want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We’ll be here next week for an after-Christmas episode and see if Chris got the presents he wanted . . .

Thanks for listening.  Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes through the iTunes store or through our coolteachers.org website. Keep the love coming!

4 thoughts on “Episode 83: Barbara Wants Chocolate . . . Lots of it!

  1. I wanted to thank both of you for the podcast because you did an excellent job of discussing serious topics while including some humor and a lightheartedness. The part of this podcast that I most appreciated was the discussion about homework and the lack of a supportive family environment for our students. I teach at an alternative education high school and we have a “no homework policy” in effect for the same reasons Chris mentioned. Many of our students are too busy playing the role of assistant parent at home so they don’t have the luxury of continuing studies after the school day ends. I have instead offered up individual studies for those who are willing/able to continue their education after school is out.


  2. I haven’t listened to many podcasts lately, but I enjoy the laid back feeling of this one.
    Sadly I don’t think many schools, including where I teach, are preparing students for the future of technology. The focus is on budget cuts, testing, etc. and technology often does not make the priority list.
    Thanks for the great podcast, lots of great information to look in to!


  3. Two topics really hit home- discussion on homework and grading alternatives. I assign very little homework in my core classes (required) for reasons discussed. Usually, a student will have homework to finish something from class, & occasionally a reading. Similarly, grading is typically MY homework. I have been moving towards more project-based learning to my and my students’ benefit. I have used games for review, but I need to rethink their potential for instruction.

    I have subscribed to your podcast on my phone. I look forward to listening in the car! Oh- and I want lots of chocolate too!


  4. I loved this podcast! I listen to a lot of podcasts and often they are so dry. This was really fun – I’ve subscribed and am eagerly awaiting the next one.
    I now want to learn more about authentic assessments and look more closely at my classes and what is expected of the students. I’ve been trying to get away from written exams and tests but didn’t realize there was a specific concept I could google for ideas. And I love dark chocolate also 🙂


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