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301: The Easiest Last Day in ELA
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10 Podcast Episodes to Help you Innovate in Class

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a lot of car and plane hours coming up in the next six weeks. Of course, the age of my children dictates that I’ll spend most of those hours serving up bags of pizza-flavored Goldfish and baby carrots while playing travel Bingo and listening to Laurie Berkner sing “There’s a Song in my Tummy,” but travel CAN be a great time to get inspired by listening to podcasts.

Whether you need a playlist for a long car ride or a few good options for long post-turkey-and-pie walks, I thought now would be a good time to share ten of my favorite podcast episodes for sparking innovation in your classroom. After all, the show is almost up to one hundred episodes (can you believe it? My aspirational placement of the double zero before episode one is finally going to pay off!), and you might have missed some gold along the way.

I’ve embedded all the episodes here if you want to bookmark this post and play them right off the web, but you can also listen now on Spotify (for those who have asked) and as usual, on Apple Podcasts, Sticher, Blubrry, Google Air Play, etc. If it’s not yet available wherever you prefer to listen, just let me know and I’ll do my best to get it onto your platform of choice.

008: Harkness Discussions

Harkness discussions can completely change the way your students think about discussion. Harkness gives kids ownership over not just the material, but their own dynamics and how to improve them. Once I learned how to do Harkness, I never did discussion any other way, and I continue to hear great things from the teachers who try it out on my recommendation.

033: Get Started with Genius Hour Now

Genius hour gives your students the chance to apply their ELA skills to a subject or task they’re truly passionate it. It’s flexible to your schedule, and soooo worthwhile. Learn more with this episode.

038: Ten Ways to Fill a Hole in your Curriculum

Looking for an innovative project to beat the winter blues? Need something super engaging for the week before holiday break? You’ll find lots of ideas in this episode.

046: Sketchnotes are Awesome, with Mike Rohde

Sketchnotes are an effective way to help students apply their own critical thinking to everything they hear at school. Instead of writing down notes verbatim, students process as they jot down their takeaways in sketchnotes. Studies also show that combining verbal and visual cues in the note-taking process makes the information more memorable to students. Listen in on this interview with Mike Rohde, the inventor of sketchnotes, to learn more.

047: The Power of the Writing Makerspace, with Angela Stockman

I just love Angela’s work so much. It’s an amazing combination of art and English, making and meaning. I’ve been doing writing makerspace work in the local elementary school this year and have literally heard second graders begging to write more when their writing was an extension of their maker projects.

055: Hyperdocs, Authentic Audience and Screencastify, with Kristy Louden

Kristy has so many lovely, innovative ideas that can apply to any English class context. You’re going to love these gems.

057: Creative Tech Tools for ELA Teachers, with Jennifer Gonzalez

My favorite part of this episode is the long talk about how to get students started with podcasting. If you’re looking for the tools and structure to help kids begin broadcasting, you’ve found it!

063: Using Stations Creatively in ELA

Stations get kids up and out of their seat, allow them to work at their own pace, and free you to troubleshoot with the kids who really need it. Check out this episode to find out how stations work and get a bunch of ideas for using them in your class.

072: Connecting your English Classroom to the World

The more you can connect what you teach with your students’ lives, the easier it is to fight apathy and get beyond the “why are we doing this?” question roadblock. This episode will give you a lot of easy starting points for connection.

077: Integrating the Arts and ELA, with Eileen Landay

If you’ve never heard of arts integration, this episode just might change your teaching life forever. Eileen shares so many powerful ways to get kids out of their seats and on their feet, giving them reasons to care about literacy in ways that worksheets never can. I love all that she shares, and I think you will too.

Have you got an idea for a topic I should explore or a guest you’d like me to bring on in the new year? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!


Did you know you can learn about all your wish list ELA strategies on your daily commute or walk with The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast? Explore one-pagers, escape rooms, sketchnotes, creative annotation options, research projects, poetry workshops, and much more through over a hundred quick episodes waiting for you on your favorite podcast player!


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I'm Betsy

I’ll help you find the creative ELA strategies that will light up your classroom. Get ready for joyful teaching!







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