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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Digital literacy in the classroom

  • Many schools are eager to jump at the idea of digital literacy - but are not quite sure what that means.  Here is a blog post- courtesy of ASCD - exploring the tools available.
    Technology should be part of the daily routine in schools, writes ASCD EDge user Celina Brennan. "Students should have frequent access in an authentic manner," says Brennan, adding that tools such as blogs and digital cameras can help students share their thoughts and foster collaboration. In her recent blog post, Brennan explains what digital literacy is, how to incorporate it into the classroom and professional development, and more. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Monday, December 26, 2011

How digital content helps teachers customize textbooks

Here is a great article addressing the textbook problem so many of us see at the high school level!  Enjoy:)

  • Teachers can customize textbooks using available digital and open educational resources, writes journalist Audrey Watters. Having teachers help build digital textbooks allows them to deliver relevant instruction and align textbooks with lesson plans, Watters writes. She suggests resources to help teachers create their own texts. Watters' blog (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reinvent the High School Courtesy of E-School News! Great article.

High school feels different in the big white mansion at the edge of the Navy Yard in Philadelphia--no desks in rows. No 47-minute class periods. No warnings to remove the hat, put the cell phone [ Read More ]

Sunday, December 11, 2011

NEA commission makes recommendations on effective teaching

A National Education Association commission on Thursday issued a series of recommendations for promoting effective teaching practices. 

 Among the suggestions is a plan to increase requirements for teacher candidates with all completing a one-year residency and passing a performance assessment before entering the classroom. 

The commission also recommended creating new career ladders and evaluation systems for teachers. Education Week/Teacher Beat blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why teachers should determine which students work together

  • With the new focus on collaboration, we need to rethink some of our practices.  This is a good place to start.  Enjoy:) 
  • Why teachers should determine which students work together
    Teachers -- not students -- should determine which students work together in groups, says instructional coach David Ginsburg. In this blog, he writes teachers are better equipped to strategically match students based in part on their skills, teamwork abilities, behavior and other qualities. He encourages teachers to form diverse groups. Education Week Teacher/Coach G's Teaching Tips (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Okay, I am going to challenge you today and ask you to think about writing across the curriculum in a slightly different manner.  Following you will find a link to a new site created by Wiki on project based learning.  Think about it.  Organizing, collaborating, writing, and producing an end product!!! What an awesome way to embed writing for understanding in the content areas - as well as speaking, listening, and thinking!  For those of you not yet familiar with the Common Core, writing to understand as well as tasks involving application of writing as a tool abound!!  Take a look and see what you think.  As always, comments are welcome.

Courtesy of Wikispaces;) 

Looking into project-based learning

With the release of our Projects feature, we're learning a lot about project-based learning. We can't wait to hear your stories about how it works in your classrooms. In the meantime, we've rounded up some of our favorite resources. Take a look.

Training camp

Trying to introduce wikis to a group who have never used them before? We created a 10–20 minute Wikispaces Training Camp for students and web neophytes. Give it a try.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

SAT Score Dilemma

                                                                                   Following is a great link:

American Educator, Winter 2010-11, Vol. 34, No. 4, AFT

to the magazine, The American Educator,  with an article by MJAdams on the SAT dilemma.  Adams is known best for her work in beginning reading and the brain.  

The title of the article is: Advancing our Students; Language and Literacy, The Challenge of Complex Text.  It explores how the complexity of high school texts have steadily dropped over the last 50 years - and how this issue needs to be dealt with in the common core. 

The question I think it poses is -- If we need to start where the child can read, have we prepared our teachers to teach hard for acceleration?

See what you think.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Increasing Student Understanding

"Researcher Robert Marzano in Making Standards Useful In The Classroom concluded that if teachers simply included why students were learning what they were learning and how it would help them as a learner in every lesson, then student understanding would increase by 80%."
Following is an article on the "why and watch me" traditionally used at the elementary levels.  As I visit high school classrooms, I am noticing effective teachers in all content areas use the same strategy.  Take a look and see how it applies to your classroom.  It will open the door wider and allow all of your students access.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan show how the "why and watch me" strategy can make the abstract concrete for struggling readers:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to educate young students about digital citizenship

Elementary-school computer teacher Mary Beth Hertz describes how she teaches her young students about social skills and responsibility online. Students in second grade practice commenting on each other's original stories posted on Storybird, while students in fifth through seventh grade learn how to blog and participate in discussion forums on Schoology, she writes. Beth Hertz's blog (10/12)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Impementing Nonfiction in the Classroom

Here is a great link with some good teaching ideas for using nonfiction and mini-units of inquiry.  In my mind, I see it as a possible center.

As the Common Core is implemented across the country, teachers are going to be thinking a lot about nonfiction. We love Wonderopolis as a tool for injecting nonfiction reading and writing into the school day.  This free resource has a clever, simple design, plus intriguing topics that can't help but spark kids' interest:
From the Choice Literacy Archives, Andrea Smith explains how she has made Wonderopolis an integral part of her intermediate classroom:

Monday, September 12, 2011

High school uses homeroom for academic planning, courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief

  • Something to think about!  Congrats, Maine!
  • High school uses homeroom for academic planning
    A high school in Maine will transform homeroom classes into a block of time in which students will receive help with academic planning. Officials said they want to increase the focus on academics. "What we would like to do is to get our staff on a day-to-day basis more actively involved with helping our students guide themselves through four years," Robert Stevens, principal, said. SeacoastOnline (Portsmouth, N.H.) (tiered subscription model) (9/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ten skills every student should learn - Courtesy of eSchoolNews

Here is a great article on what ten skills all students need.  Not too surprisingly, literacy is at the top of the list:)


Ten skills every student should learn

Resourcefulness, accountability, critical thinking, and communicating effectively—and with respect—were among the key skills cited by readers as most important

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor

Technology News for Today's K-20 EducatorJoin the conversatio

"The most important thing we can teach our children is how to learn on their own," said one reader.
What students should learn in school is at the forefront of the education reform debates taking place across the U.S. and elsewhere.
Ed-tech stakeholders for years have been touting the need for students to learn so-called “21st century skills” such as problem solving, critical thinking, and media literacy to prepare for the new global, digital economy, while others are calling for students to have strong math and science skills.
All of these skills are important—but what do educators and other school stakeholders think are the most important skills?

For the rest of the story:

Ten skills every student should learn


Saturday, August 27, 2011

High School Graduates not College Ready!

In our race to the top, states are increasing pressure on schools.  This followin article takes one perspective.  Take a look and see what you think.  Comments are welcome.  Courtesy of ASCD.

Who is responsible when high-school graduates are not college-ready?
A state legislator in Utah is proposing a bill that would hold school districts and charter schools accountable for the college readiness of students by requiring them to pay for any necessary remediation. "I'm trying to force a discussion about what does a high-school diploma mean," said Rep. John Dougall (R). Some education officials criticized the proposal, saying parental involvement and other factors also contribute to whether students are prepared for college. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Time to Re-think what we are doing?

ACT finds more students are college-ready, but 75% are not
One-fourth of this year's graduating class who took the ACT college-readiness exam met benchmarks in English, reading, math and science, indicating they could earn B's or C's in entry-level college courses. Students performed better in English and reading than in science and math, and the scores are an increase from 2005, when 21% of students were considered college-ready. While observers are pleased with the uptick in overall readiness, they note that three-quarters of students still are unprepared for college-level work.Education Week (premium article access compliments of (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story