Sunday, September 25, 2016

Books Can Help Us #HaveTheTalk abt #BlackLivesMatter & Other Important Topics

I have black friends and colleagues disappointed with their non-black friends because they are not speaking up about why #BlackLivesMatter. Some of my white friends say this topic is out of their comfort zone. They are embarrassed by what is going on and don't know how to speak up because it is a touchy subject and they fear sounding, offensive, stupid, or being attacked. As a result they are silent, and when fear gets in the way of conversation, there are no winners.


As a white educator who has worked in Harlem since the 90s and lived here since 2001, the topic certainly hits close to home. I was the little jewish white girl came who came to teach at a school in Central Harlem, not as an idealistic young white TFAer but rather as one who worked my way through college to earn my masters degree to end up exactly where I wanted to be: in a school full of excited kids who I knew I knew little about and who in return knew little about me. We all had a lot to learn.


This is the story of how schools in general, and libraries in particular, can play a role in being a part of the solution.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

3 of The Hottest Posts Everyone's Reading

Have you been keeping up with The Innovative Educator? If not, that’s okay.  Here are the three hottest posts that you don’t want to miss!

Taking the top spot for the first time is The Biggest Barrier to Real LearningWant to find out what it is? Read the post.

Next up is a post that tells you how to become The Genius Hunter In Your Classroom

Rounding out the top is a great post for teachers to share with parents as back-to-school nights are on the horizon. It provides ideas for ways to grow learning and strengthen relationships with a #DeviceFreeDinner all week long.

If any of these posts are of interest, check em out and share with others using the buttons below on Twitter, Facebook, email or whichever platform you like best.

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Sep 14, 2016, 1 comment
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Sep 11, 2016, 4 comments
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Sep 4, 2016, 1 comment
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How and When to Teach Children to Type

Kids today are practically born with technology in their hands, but when should teachers and parents help those hands graduate from tapping, dragging, and swiping to home row and touch typing? Keyboarding skills are great to have because they save time and increase efficiency. What’s more, typing can be fun!  It’s like a game.
The time teach children to touch type is whenever they ask to learn. Watching others who have the ability to touch type seems almost magical and serves as a great way to motivate them to take interest themselves.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Can a Good Writer Be Bad at Diagramming Sentences?

I still remember standing at the chalkboard in Mrs. Kopald's fourth grade class diagramming a sentence. I had no idea what I was writing or why. I drew a straight line and all these branches and just wrote stuff on them. I didn't know what I was really doing and still don't know a past participle from a gerund or direct object. 



I felt similarly about iambic pentameter  in high school which looked like this:
 ×  / ×   /   ×  /      /  ×    ×   / (×)
To be or not to be, | that is the question
These were the types of activities that turned me off from writing for so many years. Can I really write if I don't know parts of speech or rules of grammar? Can I really rap (yeah, I did that in high school) if I don't know iambic pentameter.  

It's kinda like when that teacher tells you that you need to understand quadratic equations to be a good athlete in sports like baseball, or basketball, or for me, volleyball, but then you find out, really you don't.  
Quadratic Equation

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Hottest Posts Everyone's Reading

The post that takes the #1 spot for a second week provides an ethical response guide for When Students Ask: Can I Friend You? Check out the post and the cool infographic created courtesy of @Eileen_Lennon.  
Taking the #2 spot for the first time is a post that is great for teachers to share with parents as back-to-school nights are on the horizon. It provides ideas for ways to grow learning and strengthen relationships with a #DeviceFreeDinner all week long.

Making its way to the top for another week is a post that takes a look at ways to use @PokemonGo to inspire learning.  

Rounding out the top is a post that makes it to the top for the first time. It shares The Biggest Barrier to Real LearningWant to find out what it is? Read the post and find out.

If any of these posts are of interest, check em out and share with others using the buttons below on Twitter, Facebook, email or whichever platform you like best.
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Aug 21, 2016, 1 comment
5030
Sep 4, 2016
4563
Aug 24, 2016, 2 comments
3698
Sep 14, 2016, 1 comment
3052

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Biggest Barrier to Real Learning

David Geurin shared 7 Ways Tech Transforms Learning. The first reason, authentic audience, is the single biggest barrier to learning that is relevant, real, and innovative. David says this:
It's really sad that most work students do in school ultimately ends up in a trash can. The audience for their efforts is usually the teacher and maybe their classmates, but rarely is work shared beyond the school walls. By using digital tools it is possible to share work to a potentially unlimited audience, and it's possible to curate the work so it's available forever. Say goodbye to the trash can finish. 
When students work for an authentic audience, it is potentially a game changer. Instead of just completing assignments in a manner that is "good enough" they now want the work to be just plain "good." And how the work is received can provide excellent feedback. An authentic audience multiplies the possibilities for feedback. As any blogger can attest, having an audience changes everything, and really makes you think about your ideas
Geurin is right. but even those schools and individuals who are trying to have students create for an authentic audience often are not getting it right. 

Here's why:
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