Being an upstander--someone who stands up, who speaks out, and/or who takes action on behalf of others--is noble. It's commendable. It's the right way to be. Being an upstander is also freaking hard. Let's face it: standing up to injustice is tough. Speaking up about something you know is wrong is scary. It makes your… Continue reading #Upstander #Truth
I love comics. I haven't a clue how to make them, though. Here is my first attempt at one. Try not to be too judge-y. It took me, like, a month.
At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I must begin by acknowledging that the topic of homework is a hot-button one. Several times within the past few months, I have been part of a Twitter conversation about homework that has effectively blown up my digital devices with each resuscitation. "Homework" as a concept makes… Continue reading Four Stories That Homework Tells Children About School, Learning, & Life
Recently, a colleague of mine drew my attention to this poor excuse for what some would consider reading "assessment": I feel okay tearing it apart here because 1) it didn't come from my kids' school, 2) I blurred out the author's name, and 3) it's freaking horrible. (If you disagree with my justification, I would… Continue reading The Latest Worksheet Fail
What does your Facebook news feed look like? If yours is anything like mine, it's full of text--but not the kind we typically value most in schools. Sure, there's written text. But we'd be hard-pressed to find a news feed that doesn't also have images, videos, and links to other web content. Am I right?… Continue reading Creating a Digital Poem: Thoughts on Process
Today’s Nerdy Book Club post…
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: the best teachers of writing are also writers themselves.
What I don’t mean by this:
- Any ol’ writer can teach students to write.
- By “writers,” I mean professional, published authors.
- If you don’t write, you can’t teach students to write.
What I do mean is this: teachers who themselves enjoy a semi-regular habit of writing (and I use the term “enjoy” loosely) understand what writers go through on a regular basis. They understand the challenges writers face, the myriad of processes they have, the exhilaration felt upon composing one–just one!– amazing line. They understand both the pain and the joy of writing.
They understand, too, that writers generate ideas for their work a thousand different ways. Read a dozen interviews with authors (and illustrators, too), and you will hear a dozen different answers to the question, “How did…
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Last week, I found this fantastic infographic by communications designer Kristen Meyers and immediately posted it on both Facebook and Twitter: Then I remembered this story I'd read recently about author Shannon Hale (Princess Academy, Austenland), who recently posted on her Tumblr page about her appalling experience visiting a school a few weeks ago. She wrote… Continue reading How to Tell If a Book is For Boys or Girls: A Guide
So much about our education system leads people--including some educators-- to believe that learning is a linear process. That learning as a result of "good" teaching or "best" practices is part of a fairly neat, continuous progression, save the inevitable few bumps in the road. This grave misconception about learning is reflected in the way we… Continue reading What Our Education System Gets Wrong about Learning
Most educators I know who bemoan the current wave of ed reform and its focus on so-called "college and career readiness" believe that an enormous part of their job is to help their students catch the lifelong learning bug-- that intrinsic sense of curiosity, of wonder, and of wanting to know, seek, explore not just… Continue reading Have You Caught the Lifelong Learning Bug?
In his book Learning in the Cloud: How (and Why) to transform Schools with Digital Media, Mark Warschauer, a professor of Education and Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, writes of the need to teach "21st century skills" alongside content in schools; that the "separation" of these two in schools and classrooms is potentially harmful… Continue reading Balance, Obscenity, and Our Future Citizenry