Saving Summer: Our country, tis of thee….

This September, right from the get-go, around Constitution Day (which falls on a Sunday this year), I shall share a unit on the Declaration of Independence, sparked by this exchange.  And it’s here, too.  And from this thread, I learned so much. Mother Jones — of the United Mine Workers — was once arrested for reading the Declaration of Independence. https://t.co/QNxcj1wAou — Charles Miles (@CSheehanMiles) July 5, 2017 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js So folks didn’t know that NPR’s annual reading of the Declaration of Indepence was just that: a reminder of what our nation is founded upon, what were the reasons for the Revolutionary…

Something wicked +1

Is it just me or does one become a veteran teacher far too soon in one’s journey? Meaning, how did I get so old?! Well, as scary as that is, it’s better than the alternative, right Poe? Allow me to present the context: through December I have a student teacher, and boy oh boy am I happy to know her. She’s going to be a fantastic teacher, wants to do well and jump right in. This has been an especially chaotic start to the new school year for me: our administration takes great care and time to balance the master…

WIHWT: Taking Sides

I wish I had written this: Taking Sides: Revolution or Oppression. Our children’s fears indict us all. Teaching critical thinking skills is not an option. It never was, but seemed to be kept for the elite or college-bound. One cannot teach a skill in isolation. It cannot be a stand-alone, one-off concept. Skills must always ALWAYS be connected to a bigger understanding and knowledge building. Silo teaching “may help teachers, but does nothing to help students.” It’s imperative to make the distinction between the skill, its assessment, mastery and its application. About three years ago many teachers collaborated to create a unit…

Thematic Thursday

Last year one of my students had one of those lightbulb moments, that eureka shake up, awesome anagnorisis,  where she completely understood what I meant by the concept of the difference between topic and theme. This is a biggie. It’s important because it means I can do it. Because teaching theme…teaching it well that is..isn’t easy. So on Thematic Thursdays, there is intentional time to do just that, however the strategy, whatever the current unit of study. I am a lifelong devoted scholar of the study of themes, and yet, it is as painful to teach for me as doing my own…

Source material.

We have had a firehose of information provided us for the SBA writing tasks. I am doing my best to make sense of it. https://prezi.com/embed/1ellu5vq58bz/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI0enlpVDZVRG1LczFkVUhqV3lVWEMxSU9BPT0&landing_sign=o1xp6_Srpa1it4zlMAspOx8msf15421FLfCpoauamFI This is the near-final version of the Prezi: but I’m at the point where I can’t edit any further. Its intended audience is the staff right before school starts, to help all staff members to feel supported with writing across the curriculum. If you see something wonky, needs fixing, big ‘ol “huh?” please let me know. Thank you! The link for resources is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByKyQvl3l_F5cEF5ckpPb2VzOG8/view?usp=sharing    

CCSS + Writing Instruction Reflection

If you read one article this summer, my mentor Holly might suggest this one: Are modern standards breeding a decline in cultural literacy? I highly recommend it, too. This post is getting messy. Filled with bits of type and text, like overcooked alphabet soup. Consider it a link festival, full of rabbit holes and mad hatter tea parties. The question presented is now that CCSS is established in many states, what have we lost or gained? Reminder to read and understand how to move forward with CCSS in ELA/SS: CCSS Back in 2013, Dr. Gentry published an article, “Will Common…