My latest column over at Middleweb is an interview with Jennifer Casa-Todd, whose new book — Social LEADia — closely examines ways in which technology and social media can help empower young people in the larger world on issues that matter to them. The book has many short profiles of young people doing pretty amazing things, and Casa-Todd helps explain how teachers can help foster those shifts.
I wrote about pop culture a bit at Middleweb, with a review of the book Making Curriculum Pop by Ryan Goble and Pam Goble. I found it to be a useful book that explores ways to connect learners to popular culture, with plenty of useable resources.
My latest column at Middleweb is a look at a new book by Troy Hicks and Kristen Hawley Turner, entitled Argument in the Real World: Teaching Adolescents to Read and Write Digital Texts. In the book, Hicks and Turner seek to explore the concept of argument — and its push deeper into classrooms with the Common Core principles — through the lens of digital media being used in the lives of many students.
I posed some questions on my mind to the writers (both of whom I am loosely connected to through the National Writing Project), trying to parse out some ideas on argument in the age of technology and how teachers might tap into the ways kids write outside of school for the teaching of argument. They were generous enough to respond.
Tomorrow is the first of two days of our state testing season for ELA (reading and writing) for my sixth graders. For my latest monthly column at Middleweb, I wrote about how I try my best to navigate the season with my students without turning my classroom into “test prep central,” which I refuse to do.
My latest blog post over at Middleweb is about how the concept of “systems thinking” might lay the foundation for thinking about writing with students. It might also open the door for more technical writing.
My latest column at Middleweb is on the topic of encouraging students to be community leaders and change agents. Take a read, if you have time. I wove in activities at my school with a hangout I did with the founder of Kids Tales.
Flip through the book to find a ton of great ideas — helping students engage more with their own writing process; organizing ideas for short and longer fiction and non-fiction pieces; structuring assignments for all learners, or providing structure for student collaboration opportunities.
My latest post for my blog at Middleweb is about watching the Trump Inauguration (yes, it was painful, but yes, I was neutral) and teaching my students to use sketch-noting or visual notetaking as they listened to the speech. (The top-left on in the collage is mine)