series: the good stuff

Things I think about in the middle of the night: What was that noise outside? What are the best ten to twenty best, time-tested lessons for middle and high school students? The noise was nothing. Probably just a small monster or trashcan panda. The best lessons, now that’s something else. The first post in this series is something new: Bob Probst of Beers/Probst renown gave us teachers this gift: Dialogue booklet by bob probst from kylenebeers It’s a dialogue booklet that helps students move through a text with purpose. I haven’t vetted it yet, but it holds much promise.  

Mind the Map.

https://bubbl.us/NDI3MTU5OS84MzQzNDkzL2FiMjAxMmE5YzRkMjA2ZmU2NGI1ODgxOGEwODg3NjNh-X?utm_source=page-embed&utm_medium=link&s=8343493 https://ed.ted.com/on/7WdV6Sqw Here is the teaching point/issue: How do we concurrently 1. teach students how stories work (or how anything works for that matter) 2. use technology to best demonstrate concepts 3. have students practice and grow their own knowledge? One idea: mind mapping. There are multiple available apps, etc. for this technique. We had Inspiration in our district, but not sure if we renewed the license or not. No matter.  I know we have other similar apps on our PCs for work. Mind mapping is simply brainstorming, sketching ideas in a hierarchal visual mode, and revisable in real time. For…

Working.

Ah, all of this: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthreeteacherstalk%2Fposts%2F1910190822578447&width=500 From    [embeddoc url=”http://blog0rama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/response-to-literature-1cbx6qp-st2bew.pptx” download=”all” viewer=”microsoft” ] Response to Literature [embeddoc url=”http://blog0rama.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/response-graphic-organizer-1l7pd3c-2i47qbb.docx” download=”all” viewer=”microsoft” ]  

Saving the Slipping Summer: First Days

Three Teachers Talk just posted the superlative just-in-time idea. Go through the post which wanders and meanders through their thinking process which all of us teachers are going through now: just what would be the best, most important, bang-for-the buck first days lessons, and get to their landing place: User Manuels.  Our Day One Writing: Personal User Manuals This is really a great idea: it’s a personality/reading/writing inventory as well as deeply personal and engaging. I have the composition notebooks, I have the pencils. Now all I need are some students. But this is my last week of summer break, and…

Saving Summer: More Good Things

Literary Analysis, Themes, and Essay Writing, Oh my!! How did I not know about this? (probably because of PG-13 language: I’ll get permission slips, promise!) ThugNotes is narrated by Sparky Sweets, Ph.D., and yes there is some language, but the plot summaries and analysis are epic. For a secondary audience, this modern version of CliffsNotes is helpful and entertaining. Since I’m teaching a unit on Lord of the Flies next year I am thankful for his analysis and insight. Next: thinking about essays and writing structures differently: An Essay Primer for Adults: Six Essay Types You Should Know by Lorraine Berry…

Saving Summer: Let's dance.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fajplusenglish%2Fvideos%2F993745847433589%2F&show_text=0&width=560 What about an enduring understanding about the history of dance as an answer to societal issues? Possible Teaching Point: Music and dance are considered humankind’s earliest language. Dance speaks with the whole body and the whole community. In order to understand culture, society, and communication in physical forms we must study the effects and purposes of dance in social justice, protests, and acknowledgment of community’s needs. Question: Do you think people should focus on dance over violence, and if yes, how should the message spread? Here are some resources that may help you if you wish to put together a…

Saving Summer: Fake News (Revised)

  https://giphy.com/embed/3VSM58Eu7kR4A via GIPHY (Northwestern me in the summer…) For summer, between walks and mini extensional crisis, I shall produce a series of posts designed to curate some of the key and critical ideas. First up: Fake News. A few weeks ago, I fell trap to a fake news story. As my husband says, the amygdala is the boss. Wait. The Amygdala is the Boss. My amygdala took over, after the daily onslaught of anxiety-dipped 31-flavors of horrors froze my brain, and I posted a story (about a hate crime that may or may not had taken place) and a…

Metaphorically speaking…

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsomersault1824%2Fposts%2F1133745360065457&width=500 At one point my life, I self-applied the moniker “Queen of the Metaphors.” Perhaps my crown tarnished a tad due to adjusting verbiage to suit more concrete/sequential folks, including differentiating for students who may not understand the nuances of abstract thought. In other words, I was tired of people saying they needed a translator. Metaphorical thinking and creating are pinnacles of new thought and ideas. Our ability to communicate precisely and clearly hinges on figurative language: it is a paradox. The more abstract one wordsmiths, the more concrete and accessible an idea may be. However, many don’t feel this way….

Los Zumbis de Washington

  //giphy.com/embed/4cfV5bkDSYUx2 via GIPHY This will be a long post: I am retracing my steps on the creation of a unit. TL:DR: Zombies and survival themes are great for 8th-grade students. E-mail me if you want resources or have questions. One of my teammates Nate had a fantastic idea for argumentative work: Zombies. With the help of my teammates Nate, Sabrina, and the Notice & Note social media site, especially Beth Crawford, we unleashed zombies. Trying to put together a unit without common planning or time to meet (each of us is in different phases in life: I could work on…