My Students Are Creating Awesome Podcasts


Last summer I discovered Anchor while listening to a Gary Vaynerchuk podcast. Anchor is an app that allows people to easily create their own podcast.  I downloaded it, and played around a station. It is a lot of fun, and SUPER easy to use.

Towards the end of the summer I created a little video showing how easy it is to use Anchor. (video below)

I knew that I eventually wanted to try Anchor with my students. Throughout the year I’ve been talking with my students how much I love podcasts. I often say things like, “I learned ………. on a podcast.” My hope was that I could create curiosity around the medium that would lead to my students wanting to create podcasts of their own. I NEVER wanted it to be: let’s all create a podcast!

A couple of weeks ago two girls asked me how they could create a podcast about books. Trying hard to contain my excitement, I busted out my phone and showed them Anchor. They wanted to give it a try, so we downloaded the app on a few of our classroom iPads.

The girls created a script, grabbed the iPad and headed to the hallway to create their first episode. When they came back into the classroom, they were grinning ear-to-ear. I couldn’t wait to hear what they created. They pressed play. Wow. I was blown away with how good their first episode was. We shared their episode with their parents, the class, and our principal. Their faces lit up with pride. They couldn’t believe that they had their very own radio show.

Click here to listen to their show. 

The next day they created another episode. Then another one the next week. Today they created their fourth episode. They have even had a couple of special guest appear on their show. These girls have a future in radio.

All of the excitement around their show resulted in a couple other groups of kids creating their own shows. The second show is a video game show that focuses on reviewing consoles and games. It is a pretty crazy show that includes a bunch of zany sound effects.

The third show is a sports show. The guys that run that show recorded their first episode today. They were pumped to get to class to start outlining their first episode about the Lions vs. Bears football game.

We begin each morning with what we call Creative Start. It is our twist on a “soft start“. It was cool to see the kids in the three podcast groups working on their shows. The book show kids were talking through what was going to be in their episode. My video game squad was researching the Playstation 3 on a computer. And the kids that run the sports show were talking about what parts of the Lions/Bears football game belonged in their show.

Giving kids an opportunity to create content in a way that gets them excited often results in something pretty special. We never would have had this sort of success if I would have made all my students create a podcasts, or if I would have told them to create a podcast episode on something that I wanted them to create an episode about. I gave them time, choice, and access. With that something magical usually happens.

If you have any questions about student podcasts, leave a comment or send me an email (

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Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen Talk About Working Together

I had a blast hanging out with friends at #NCTE17. The sessions were amazing, the conversations between sessions were fantastic, and the fellowship was inspiring. I was able to sneak in a few interviews for my “One Question With Mr. Sharp” series. The first one that I’ll share with you features Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. I had a blast hanging out with these two guys. I hope you enjoy the video. Please be sure to answer their question at the end in the comments.

Video below.

Check out the rest of my One Question With Mr. Sharp videos below.

My first newsletter drops next week. Click here to subscribe!



We Are Obsessed With Creativity | VLOG

My students love making things. They cherish they time that they have during the start of our day to create whatever it is that they want. This group of students has taught me so much about the creative process, and I cannot wait to see what they teach me the next time they walk through our classroom door.

I started a newsletter! Click here to go to my site and sign up. I feel like I haven’t been doing enough writing about my classroom, and I think a newsletter will be a good place to tell some stories about my classroom. I’ll also be giving away books, sharing cool videos, and doing some book talks.


Please Support Independent Bookstores

I have really enjoyed getting to know Joanna and Derek, co-owners of Bookbug, the last few years. They care tremendously for their community, books, and readers. I asked Joanna why we should consider purchasing books through independent booksellers. Her response brought me to tears. I hope this video brings you value. Please share this message far and wide.

You can catch up on previous episodes of “One Question With Mr. Sharp” in the playlist below.

If I can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are stronger together:

Teacher Observation | VLOG

I wish that teachers did not have to feel stressed about observations. I’m thankful that I work at a school where observations are seen as opportunities to celebrate what we are doing well, and find things that we can work on to improve. On Friday, I had my first observation of the school year. I talk about it in the video below.

Thanks for watching!

Building A Reading Community Takes A Village

You never know when something awesome is going to happen at school. On Monday, I was hanging out with my students. We were about to start read aloud when my principal walked in. I’m sure that for some educators a principal walking can be pretty scary. Not for the me. My principal is amazing. What happened when she walked in blew my mind. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen a principal do.

Check out my “One Question With Mr. Sharp” series.

Emily Arrow’s Tips For Using Music In The Classroom

Emily Arrow is awesome. She bring so much love and joy to the kid lit community. I asked Emily if she would share some tips of how to use music in the classroom/library. Her tips are fantastic. Be sure to stick around to the end to hear Emily’s question of the week. She needs your help!

Be sure to check out Emily’s videos on YouTube! Below you will find her most recent video.

Becoming a Better Teacher

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to become a better teacher, and how I’ve grown as a teacher the last decade. Thankfully, I’ve been surrounded by amazing people that have, and continue to, push be to become a better teacher.

I’d love to know how you’ve grown as an educator in your career. Leave a comment below or send me an email (

Have an awesome day!