Class with Travis

Hello everyone. Thank you for taking the time to come to my website.

I'm excited to share my enthusiasm and expertise in literature, language, and writing with everyone. I hope to offer everyone an experience in which each person feels engaged, challenged, and encouraged to try new things.

The cornerstone to this experience is respect. In fact, my only class rule is for all members of the class to respect each other.

If you are visiting this website to prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, here is a list of school supplies.

Some supplied are required.

  • device(s) for participation on Google Classroom applications (Docs, Slides, Meet, etc). You must be able to participation on-camera for a Meet (or take a video for Flipgrid, if necessary)

    • Most students last year found that using both a smartphone and a laptop were more helpful than relying only on a laptop

  • a composition notebook (at least 70 pages)

  • a folder

  • pens/pencils

Some supplies are helpful. I can provide access to these supplies in class and during extra help. I will not be able to lend you supplies to take home.

  • highlighters of different colors

  • post-it notes of different colors

  • art supplies like markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.

All assignments and announcements will be posted on Google Classroom: please let me know if you are a parent in need of a summary for your child's class. Grades will be posted on the parent portal. Please contact me as soon as possible if you have questions or concerns about the classroom experience or grades.

Ms. Travis is reading and thinking about...

Over the course of my recent maternity leave, I've had the opportunity to spend a lot of time thinking about work-home balance and making the most of my classroom time. All this thinking has been aided by three sources that I think are worth sharing with you: the Cult of Pedagogy website (and podcast), the Spark Creativity website (and podcast), and the book 180 Days by respected educators and authors Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle.

I invite you to sample these sources and then email me with any information that you find engaging, exciting, or troubling.

In The New York Times Education Life section (Aug 6 2017 edition), John Schwartz featured a professor from my home county and most local university (Oakland University, Michigan). Her name is Dr. Barbara Oakley, and she hosts a web series on Learning How to Learn. I found the article to reinforce a number of points that were introduced in more formal, pedagogical courses I've taken as a teacher. The highlight of the article is a summary of four techniques that Dr. Oakley presents in much greater detail during a TedX talk that she delivered in 2014. I've listed the four techniques below, but understanding each idea really requires the description that appears either in the article or the video. Let me know what you think if you are also interested by these ideas! How could we use them in a 45-minute period for an English class?


"Four Techniques to Help You Learn," as summarized by John Schwartz in his NYTimes article, "Learning to Learn: You, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain."

Focus/Don't

Take a Break

Practice

Know Thyself