#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: 3-Teachers Know the Content They Teach

#OneThought: Science Literacy

There’s a lot going on here… What are your takeaways? As a parent, I can't wait for our baby to start talking. As an educator, I'm really thinking through this quote at the 0:55 mark: https://t.co/0svd7hiaqo — Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) October 1, 2019


#WhyIBlog: Beyond My Standards

While attending my district’s WCPSSITLMS Convergence Learning Symposium three years ago, I was listening to George Couros present reasons why educators should build their own digital portfolio. Online features would include a professional profile as an about.me page, sharing resources through social media, and reflecting on our experiences through blogging. Read more…


My First Poster: #GridPlans at #NCTIES19

I love presenting. I’m always fascinated by the different kinds of presentation formats available nowadays. The infrastructure of the presentation may be even more important than the message itself. It’s true. And knowing your space, setup, and schedule of activities will directly impact how effective you are in communicating your Read more…


Field Trips: Fun, Learning, or Both?

Ahhh… The Field Trip. One of the best learning opportunities of all time. Nothing beats the real thing. Nothing beats being there. Nothing beats learning by doing… the real thing. As far as teaching and learning go, it doesn’t get any better than this. But even when packed with all Read more…


From Abstract to Hands-On

As a younger, fifth grade science teacher (not too long ago), I made a lot of mistakes that I wish I could go back and redo. When speaking to a parent about our North Carolina fifth grade weather standards recently, some of these past mistakes came back to me. Mistake Read more…


Navigating Conflict: 5 Simple Questions

I’m super concerned for our kids today. And you can’t help but feel for them. They’re growing up in a world changing faster than ever–and accelerating all the more as we speak. At no time in history have we been so bombarded with so many stimuli, technologies, communications, and outright Read more…


How Do You Evaluate Resources?

A major challenge we have in education is knowing our learners, exactly what we teach and learn, and how those two best go together–and in that order. From teachers to administrators to tech folks, we all have standards to guide our instruction, and we strive to innovate inside the box. Read more…


The Extravagant Conference Session

I absolutely love the conference experience. Although online learning comes with its flexible benefits, nothing beats the real thing. There’s something so special about the face-to-face connection. From ignite talks to snapshots to workshops, there’s sure to be something for everyone at a conference. And if there’s also something for Read more…


The Archive

This happens all the time. Whether with teachers in the district, colleagues at a conference, or friends at a social function, conversations are enhanced by technology. It doesn’t mean that you have your phone out all the time or that you disrespect each other in face-to-face interactions. But often, searching Read more…


Specialist Goes Back to the Classroom: Part III: Integrating With Specialists

Blogger’s Note: This time, I’m going back to the classroom–virtually. To read the rest of this series, please see Part I here and Part II here. For nearly two decades now, I’ve been wrestling with a serious concern that affects educator health and student learning. I’m hearing many commonalities among Read more…


I’m Google Certified. Does That Make Me a Good Teacher? Part II

Blogger’s Note: I’m still responding to Bill Ferriter‘s post: “I’m Not Google Certified. Does That Make Me a Bad Teacher?” Here was my December, 2018, Part I response. The following is Part II in a mini-series of responses [End Blogger’s Note]. The Big Picture By now, you know how it works. Of the seemingly 145 apps, Read more…


Trade Days

I’ve been thinking on this for about a decade. Educators need professional learning opportunities to become better. We need to learn from each other. Together, we’re striving to make teaching and learning better for all. Well into 2019, I’m still fascinated by a few things that haven’t happened in education. Read more…


Management: Classrooms vs Specials

So far, I’ve served in two different roles. After teaching fifth grade math and science for fourteen years, I’m in my third year as a STEM Specialist. While both are dream positions, they’re very different from each other. In previous blogs, I’ve enjoyed highlighting many aspects along my journey. In Read more…


#WhyITeach: Part I

Blogger’s Note: I’ve seen other educators tweet, post, and blog about #WhyITeach, but the first one I saw do this was Bill Ferriter. I’m copying the idea. Here’s why: Education is a sacred profession. Serving others as an educator is truly special, like no other journey. You don’t have to Read more…


My #OneWord2019: Marketing

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Truer words were never spoken. As I reflect on my professional journey, a few observations immediately surface. There seems to be two sides of the coin: kids and content (and in that order). How amazing it would be if we Read more…


Science: Facts vs Literacy

I don’t care who you are, space stuff is just plain cool. In recent years, NASA‘s spacecrafts have performed missions that were–and are–truly far out. It’s hard for my finite human mind to grasp the seemingly infinite expanses of the universe, and yet, my imagination is attracted–with overwhelming gravitational force–to Read more…


Are We Sharing Resources Efficiently?

Teachers are working harder than ever. They’re doing more–with less–again. Many times, it feels like these circumstances are out of our control. Here’s something we can control. We can control how we’re helping each other as fellow educators in a challenging profession. We can control how we share resources. We can Read more…


#GridSciNC

Teaching and learning science can be challenging. Let’s help each other! In a recent district meeting for elementary science teachers, several educators were discussing platforms and methods for sharing ideas on improving science instruction. While we were having fun populating a google doc with online spaces and resources, it became Read more…


Flies and Honey, Beets and Beans

You catch more flies with honey. Truer words were never spoken. I’m recalling two childhood experiences that have helped me realize this more than ever. I believe that they can apply to everyone’s daily conversations, and go a long way to sustain relationships. Now that I’m a parent, I proudly Read more…


Playback, Reflect, Grow

For any administrator, educator, or leader, here’s a question to consider: When was the last time you watched yourself on video? For many of us, it was during our student-teaching, or perhaps while we were trudging through those beginning teacher years with the extra-stringent lesson requirements. I just completed a Read more…


Biggest Challenge in Education?

You can just feel it. Whether inferred from blogs, books, presentations, conferences, podcasts, TED Talks, social media, or even face-to-face conversations, the vibe is definitely there. It’s strong. And it’s getting louder by the moment. When Brad Shreffler, founder of The Planning Period Podcast and The Big Q in Edu, Read more…