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by Bill Ferriter
"Just getting back to school with your students? Interested in trying to pull off a classroom blogging project this year?
"Then these three tips — based on almost ten years of trying to make blogging a part of the work that my students do in the classroom — might be useful to you"
By being strong, brave, and human these women changed the world.
Image: Kathrine Switzer becomes the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, despite attempts by the marathon organizer to stop her. 
Jim Lerman's insight: These photos are great for writing prompts
by Matt Bowman
"Tracy Fischetti's high school students improved their reading level scores about three times as much as expected last year, according to the state’s 2013 test scores.
"Of all the English teachers in Florida, she scored the highest on the state's Value Added Measure (VAM). Interestingly, Fischetti had no idea of her distinction until I emailed her in early March. "I am not sure how you would have gotten wind of my classroom chaos in California," she wrote. The metric isn't viewed positively in her district.
"I'm sure many readers' jaws clench at the mention of VAM Scores. I'm going to sidestep that controversy for this post except to note that, inadequate as test scores are for assessing educational quality, they're not a bad starting point to discover promising practices. No matter what you think of VAM, Fischetti and her students have accomplished something impressive, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time she took to share her approach with me.
"There are three practices that Fischetti employs consistently that seem to account for a lot of her success".
description by Scout Report
"Goodreads is not only a fine place to find your next "good read," but also a great way to keep track of books you've enjoyed. Visitors can log in to create their own lists of books, along with annotations, comments, and ratings. Additionally, visitors can search and browse other readers' profiles, take literary quizzes, and look over hundreds of book lists. Author pages collect writers' bibliographies for an easy way to find more books based on those already read. Finally, the Recommendations area suggests more books individual users might enjoy, drawing from their ratings, tags, and virtual "shelves."
Students do their best work when the audience is real, live or online. When their work will be seen and viewed by many people, the student knows the work matters, the work is of value, and that they should do their best. In the student’s mind, there is a distinction between turning something in for the teacher versus turning something in for the greater public. Schools engage students and promote deeper learning use the 4 P’s of next gen learning: posting, publishing, presenting, and portfolio.
Via Nik Peachey
Jim Lerman's insight:
In the summer of 2014, The National Writing Project and KQED produced a MOOC called ThinkDoNow, with support from the MacArthur Foundation.
The six webinars that formed the basis of the MOOC are archived on the site of the Educator Innovator here. You will see them identified as Episodes #1-#6.
Below, please find a brief description of the MOOC and its topics:
"#TeachDoNow is a collaborative learning experience in partnership with the National Writing Project open to anyone interested in learning how to use Twitter and other media sharing applications to promote social and civic discourse with students around science, news and the arts. It will take place online this summer from July 7 – August 17.
"Weekly activities will center around KQED’s Do Now, a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues using social media tools. We will engage in weekly discussions that encourage us to go deep into current issues surrounding education, learn new digital tools we can employ with our students, share and discuss our results, and explore the ways to effectively promote digital conversations with our students."
All of the materials for the #TeachDoNow MOOC may be accessed here.
"Put your powers of persuasion to the ultimate planetary test!
by Maria Popova
"How to master the business of art without buying into the toxic myth that doing so makes you a lesser artist."
post by Sharanda Payseur on English Companion, July 8, 2014
"I have done the same thing. I created a technology-based course for our freshmen. It really helps other teachers. We were spending too much time in class teaching students how to use Web 2.0 and research and digital citizenship skills in our content classes. Now, students get it in my tech class.
"We call it Intro to Pub because I was only English certified at the time. Now, however, it's just easier to keep the name the same. But I make it all up. Here is a link to my website if you want to look at it. I have lessons posted and student projects.
"However, I do incorporate English through Stems vocab and Grammar (Magic Lens) to get them ready for English 9 in the Spring semester.
"There are several digital citizenship sites you can use. I also work with other teachers to have students create interdisciplinary projects incorporating the Web 2.0 skills they learn in my class that help reinforce information from other classes. (Common Sense Media, DDL, Coding, Computer Tutorials)
"We also only use Creative Commons images for all work posted online. I spend a lot of time teaching students how to find and cite their resources and use them correctly.
"If you have any questions, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next year, I'll be changing things up some, but I'm super excited with this course.
by Terry Heick
"What should every teacher in the 21st century know and be able to do?
"That’s an interesting question. After just now seeing this excellent post on educatorstechnology.com, I thought I’d contribute to the conversation.
"I added the twist of ranking them from least complex to most complex, so novices can start at the bottom, and you veterans out there can skip right to 36."
by Gregory Ciotti
"The mental benefits of writing are numerous; here's the best research that details just how essential writing is for the intelligent mind.
"In these cases, writing has just become another tool for thinking, expression, and encouraging creativity; cabin dwelling novelists be damned.
"So, should people who don’t consider themselves writers bother with trying to make writing a regular habit?
"Writing can be an incredibly useful outlet for many people, but let’s look at some of the research on how writing can affect the mind, and you can make the decision for yourself."
Writing House reviewed by TeachersFirst,
"Creating and formatting bibliographies and citations can be one of the most frustrating barriers students face in doing research, and Writing House will take the pain out of the process. Simply choose the format (MLA, APA, Chicago or Harvard) and enter some information about the source. Writing House searches the OCLC WorldCat for sources that match. Select the source and add it to your bibliography. When you're finished, simply download the completed bibliography. The interface is clean and uncomplicated. There is no need for an account or login. Several brief articles cover the basics of citations and bibliographies. A word counter function is also available for those using a word processor that doesn't do that automatically."
by Maia McCann
"This incredible collection of moments represents the joy, innocence, despair, curiosity, and undying perseverance within all of us. No matter where we’re from, these are the emotions that unite us – it’s what makes us human. We set out to capture this spirit in 60 incredible photographs, and I truly hope you enjoy."
Jim Lerman's insight: Perhaps the title of this article is a little over the top in terms of these being the top 60 photos ever taken, but many of them are great. Great to use as story prompts.
by Lisa Nielsen
"A fantastic way for educators, students, or companies to get attention to ideas or product is to contribute a post to a popular blog in your area of interest. However if you do, make sure you do your homework by keeping these tips in mind."
by Kevan Lee
"I collected a trove of interesting and actionable headline formulas from some of the best sources for headline writing, and I’ve tossed in a few of our favorite Buffer headline formulas, too. Is there a tried-and-true headline routine that you always come back to? See if it’s listed here among these sure bets, or leave it in the comments."
description by the Scout Project
"PBS has created a wonderful lesson plan on Shakespeare's sonnets that addresses students' most common complaint about the Bard: the inaccessible language. This website for educators has videos and other technology for students, as well as academic articles for educators that are meant to help them better understand how to teach Shakespeare. Visitors should not miss the updated "translation" of Sonnet 18, the classic that starts out "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Another gem of a lesson plan that visitors should check out is the "Soliloquies Buster" under "Professional Development" on the right hand menu of the website. It includes a handout that gives the step-by-step process on making the dreaded soliloquy not just accessible, but engaging and fun."
by Andrea Hernandez and Karin Schreir Hallett
description by MiddleWeb SmartBrief
"Educators at a school in Florida are helping to create a community of readers by challenging students in grades 4 to 8 -- and teachers -- to read a book from every letter of the alphabet and share their thoughts about it. In this blog post, educators Andrea Hernandez and Karin Schreier Hallett share details of the program and describe the badges that can be earned."
by Kim Hoffman Kanof
"I needed to change the tedious and difficult writing process in my classroom. So, I turned to Google tools.
"Google scripts and add-ons to Google Drive drastically changed my approach to giving writing feedback. I have been able to quickly develop meaningful “writers workshops”, give individualized feedback throughout the writing process, and provide timely comments to a large student caseload.
"With these tools (many of which are included in this list), students are placed in charge of their learning. They engage in meaningful self-reflection, highlight according to criteria, and use academic language to critique their own work. The shift is significant. With Google tools, I can provide ongoing feedback while my students showcase digital responsibility and revise throughout the writing process."
by Mia C. Zamora
"What was intriguing during the "Hack Your Notebook Day" was the transformative power of this work. The general consensus before the workshop was that the time spent on this engagement would be a pleasant "time-out" craft session…. A bit of time away from the "real work." But for all that, this "detour” workshop effectively opened up the heart of the teaching and learning enterprise. Our KUWP teacher/writers were now assuming the position of the learners, embarking in unknown territory for reasons still somewhat vague to them. In many ways, their positioning mirrored a similar resistance that kids today might feel when introduced to some "random" writing approach in their classroom. By the close of our time together, we found we were transported to a fresh perspective.
"What a revelation to consider the palpable frustration we experienced when we couldn't make the circuits work (and the feeling of rising failure that might overcome us if we couldn't make it work). We also discussed the first time the LED lit up — the very real empowerment of that little light coming into view. (There were several audible gasps and exaltations from our group when the circuits started to light up). We considered why we chose certain aspects of our composition to illuminate, and what kind of thought went into selecting certain words and images to highlight with illumination."
by Maria Popova
"Shedding light on the wonderland that unfolds when you simply dare, and care, to look."
by Kerry Jones-Golembeski - posted Aug. 17, 2014
A fellow teacher/writer and I are putting together a blog that encourages students around the country to share their narrative stories. The purpose of the blog is for students to understand that we are more alike than we are different, and that everyone has a story that can break your heart.
We are currently accepting submissions from students ages 13-19 who would like to submit their stories. Please click on the link for more information on submission guidelines.
Here is the link:
Our publishing dates are September 30, December 30, April 30, and June 30.
The deadline for the first submission is September 15.
Please feel free to share with this anyone you think might be interested.
by Med Kharbach
"Looking for some resources on inspirational quotes to use in class? Here are a few of my favourite Pinterest boards where you can have access to a wide collection of quotes and visuals that inspire a love of teaching and learning. Browse through the different materials provided there and you will definitely find some to use with your students in class. If you know about other resources to add to the list, please share with us in the comment form below. Enjoy"
description by The Scout Project
"Even if you can't make it to Poughkeepsie, you can still benefit from the resources offered by the writing center at Vassar College. On its site, visitors can learn how to become a more creative writer, compose a thesis, and also look over formal academic courses of study. In the Resources for Writers section, visitors will find writing guides, odes to the importance of good sentence structure, and the in-house "journal, The Oak Door. Moving along, the Videos area contains remarks by professors, writing center staff, and others on how writing matters. The site also contains links to external resources from York University, Rio Solado College, and other institutions passionate about the written word."
by Kevan Lee
"The complete beginner's guide to creating a social media marketing plan, for those brand new to social media and looking for a straightforward way to start."
Jim Lerman's insight:
A practical and useful guide put together by the folks at Buffer. Nicely done.