Check out my work on The NYTimes Learning Network Blog!

In case you haven’t seen my tweets, my co-teacher and I have been contributing weekly writing prompts to The NYTimes Learning Network blog this year.  As we said on the blog earlier in the school year,

By reading the newspaper daily and writing in response to the paper’s content, our students greatly improved both their critical thinking and writing ability. Using The Times to teach history and literacy this past year forever changed our approach to education.

We are now able to meet all Common Core State Standards for writing and reading informational text, while preserving the literature curriculum already studied in English class. As a result of our daily inclusion of The Times, our redesigned classroom is now filled with topical writing, lively debate and students making connections between what they are learning in their classrooms with what is happening throughout the world around them.

And the best part?  Our kids LOVE reading the paper.  They really enjoy it and beg to read more.  Our former students, now sophomores, stop by during lunch and at the end of the day to pick up papers to bring home.  The engagement is above and beyond anything we could have imagined.

It’s been AWESOME so far.  Seriously.  We have to be flexible, because we choose the articles each morning when we get to school.  Then, those articles sometimes lead to us throwing out our plans for the rest of the week as new projects and ideas rise organically from the work with the newspaper.  Just last week we read a fabulous science article, Finding  Zen in a Patch of Nature, and it led to an amazing project that we will be working on over the next few weeks.  That project included a Skype chat with the subject of the article, Dr. David Haskell.  He spent about 25 minutes with each of our classes on Friday and it was wonderful.  You will learn more about our project in the coming weeks, as we will be chronicling it on the Learning Network blog.

You can see all of the prompts to date at this link.

Weekly Diigo Posts (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Weekly Diigo Posts (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Weekly Diigo Posts (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

What is art? #art4me

Last week my co-teacher, Jon, and I had an inspired idea.  Check out our post on the NYTimes Learning Network and join our hashtag!

 

What is art?  Is art the same in each person’s eyes?  Does your perspective influence what you consider to be art?  Let us know by posting a picture on Twitter and including the hashtag #art4me.

National Book Award Nominees!

Today was chaotic at school and I missed the National Book Awards nominees announcements!  Thankfully, my twitter friends reminded me as I began to see the hashtag popping up. And then I almost let out a scream when I saw that one of my favorite books of the year was nominated!  I reviewed Eliot Schrefer’s Endangered last month and I haven’t stopped raving about it since.  Congratulations to Eliot on his National Book Award nomination!  Now get out there a pick up a copy before everyone else beats you to it!

The other nominees are now on their way to my house.  I haven’t read the rest of the Young People’s Literature Award nominees yet, and some of them aren’t even published as of this date, but they are now pre-ordered.  The list runs the age gamut, from a recommended 8+ to upper-YA. I’m excited to read them!

Nominees:

I also ordered a few of the adult nominees.  John Green and Penny Kittle both recommended the nonfiction nominee Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Plus, I somehow never added Junot Diaz’s books to my library.

What are you looking forward to reading form this year’s nominees?

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