Here's a lesson I designed for use in my University of Alaska Southeast summer course - ALST 600. I'll be working with nearly 40 preservice teachers in the secondary MAT program teaching Alaska Studies using a place-based approach that integrates good instructional practice and free ed tech tools across the curriculum. For more on this lesson click here
This lesson features a poem as a prompt for a creative reflection. It also integrates two tools for presentation of the reflection.
After reading Where I’m From, students will use Haiku Deck to design a brief presentation that uses text and images to depict “where they are from.” The presentation should include a a title slide plus 6 slides which explore the place you’re from. Follow this link for ideas on Where to Go with “Where I’m From”
After completing the Haiku Deck presentation, students will create a blog post that includes an embedded version of the presentation and a written response to the question:
What have I learned from this activity and how might I use the learning strategies and / or technology in my teaching placement?
I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.
I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.
I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded —
leaf-fall from the family tree.
Guest post from teacher Jon Smith details the story of his student-written iBooks. Jon and his students have published 44 iBooks that have been downloaded over 32,000 times from iTunes bookstores across the world.
The NY Times Learning Network has just launched a new series of lesson plans called “Text to Text.” It’s a simple approach that pairs two written texts that “speak to each other.” I think it’s a Common Core close reading strategy that could be easily replicated by teachers across the curriculum – great way to blend nonfiction with fiction and incorporate a variety of media with written text.
Each lesson includes a key question, extension activities and additional resources to expand the basic lesson. Here’s two graphic organizers to help student organize their “Text to Text” thinking.
Unique Ink is a student-staffed publisher based out of Roosevelt High School’s Writing and Publishing Center that was established in 2012. Volunteers at the center teach publishing to high school students to improve their skills in business, editing, and marketing. Through the center’s unique hands-on approach, students learn about the publishing industry by publishing and selling their own books. Proceeds from the sales of “Where the Roses Smell the Best” will help the Writing and Publishing Center stay self-sustaining.
Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas (DDA), a valuable online resource for teachers interested in helping their students develop skills in discussing controversial topics. The DDA site has all the material teachers will need to support discussion in 15 interesting deliberation questions. It uses the Structured Academic Controversy (SAC) model to provide structure and focus to classroom discussions. Not all issues can be easily distilled to pro / con positions. SAC provides students with a framework for addressing complex issues in a productive manner that builds skills in reading, analyzing, listening, and discussion. And it’s ideal for supporting Common Core close reading skills.
Haiku Deck is a free, student-friendly tool for teaching common core vocabulary standards with motivation and creativity. Good defining skills are rooted in collaborative negotiation of meaning rather than memorizing glossaries and testing via two-column matching questions. The genius behind Haiku Deck is its simplicity – just type in text and use its built in search tools for related terms and images. With minimal design choices, student can focus on visualizing vocabulary and sharing their thinking with peers.
Teachers everywhere are concerned about the impact of Common Core. But they won’t benefit from lecture-style PD that itemizes specific strands and standards of Common Core. Promoting curricular “checklists” doesn’t build capacity, it fosters either resistance or mindless compliance. Don’t talk about “close reading” – do it!
Here’s five PD essentials to support teachers in transitioning to close reading and the Common Core. Teachers are too savvy to fall for an empty promise that something is “common-core-aligned.”
Here’s a suggestion for high school teachers. Postpone a lesson you had planned for next week and use the time to explore the cacophonous infosphere spawned by the apprehension of the suspects in the Boston bombings. If that media circus tells us anything, it’s that we need a lesson in digital hygiene and responsible use.
It’s also a good chance for students to hone their close reading skills. The events should be fresh in everyone’s mind. Ask students to reflect back on network news and social media coverage of the manhunt using these three critical thinking prompts: What did it say? How did it say it? What’s it mean to me?
I am proud of my life-long career in public education - especially the 25 years I spent as a teacher. For nearly 30 years, I have worked with school districts, state DOEs, leading educational organizations and companies to improve the quality of teaching and learning. I provide training and consulting services across the United States and internationally. I'm exploring the instructional power of interactive texts and helping to foster the next generation of teachers as adjunct faculty at both the University of Portland and the University of Alaska Southeast.
Alaska History and Culture Series
PBL meets culturally-responsive teaching in a new 6 book series. Free at iTunes
Awarded "Best Textbook and Best Widget, 2015" Archival photographs and dozens of video interviews with former Japantown residents detail life from the 1890s through the incarcerations of WWII. Reader can use interactive widgets to blend of then and now photos. More
Based on an innovative teacher’s workshop sponsored by the Library of Congress TPS program. Includes both the training materials and fourteen teacher-designed document-based questions for grades 4 through high school. More
My DBQ iBooks
My iBooks are filled with videos, audios, posters, art, pamphlets, letters and long lost ephemera. "Stop-and-think" prompts based on CCSS skills guide students through analysis of the primary sources. Essential questions foster critical thinking. All documents include links back to the original source material so that students can remix the content into their own curated collections.
Download a free iBook and experience the future of the textbook.
Explore Portland Oregon’s historic Japantown with this user-friendly walking tour. The city’s vibrant pre WWII Japanese American community is archived in over 125 photographs and audio clips. This GPS-enabled app guides you through Portland’s eight block Japantown, a bustling community in the early decades of the twentieth century - better known today as the colorful Old Town / Chinatown neighborhood.
My free Guide to iBooks Author
Quick Start: iBooks Author
Free at iTunes. Just the essentials in a 20-page guide that will give you a quick start to creating a multi-touch interactive iBook using iBooks Author