A few days before Thanksgiving, I asked my high school students to take an inventory of what they were thankful for this year. They knew ahead of time that I would be sharing their lists, and, as promised, I emailed the class projects to my students’ parents and guardians on Thanksgiving morning. (You can view…… Continue reading The Gratitude Project–Part 2
I’m sort of done with the news. Except for the whole I-don’t-want-to-be-ignorant part. With each shooting, political scandal, and social media war, it’s hard not to head into the holidays with a heavy heart. And our students feel it, too. Maybe more than we do. After all, behind all of the eye rolls, looks-that-kill, and…… Continue reading The Gratitude Project–Part I
Teachers don’t have favorites. Sure, and Mom didn’t like me best because I was the baby. However, there are definitely those students whose growth leaves us beaming with pride, whose writing leaves a lasting impression, whose authenticity leaves us questioning how we can help fix a systemic problem. I’ll come back to this. For the written…… Continue reading The Dangers of Landscaping
Students can’t be reduced to a number. They can’t be defined by their results on a common assessment, reduced to where they fall on a state test, nor limited by their SAT/ACT scores. However, sometimes numbers don’t lie. With a towering goal of helping students fall back (or, for a select few, remain) in love…… Continue reading When Numbers Don’t Lie
In a world of Common-Assessment-This and District-Determined-Measures-That, it’s more important than ever to allow our students to show their learning in non-standardized ways as well. Enter: the Explainer Video. An Explainer Video is a real-world digital tool that can be found on virtually every website. Between the fast-forward button on our DVRs and the ad…… Continue reading Explainer Videos 101
Sometimes the best ideas begin with a dream. And the PostSecret project is no exception. This ongoing community art project was born in 2005 to proud parent Frank Warren. After visiting Paris–where he experienced a lucid dream, he returned to the states and began disseminating postcards with specific directions: Recipients must write down their innermost secrets, use the…… Continue reading PostSecret: Where Language, Art, and Vulnerability Collide
Our American Lit students are examining the role that individualism plays in American society. After studying Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” (and Langston Hughes’ response, “I, Too”), my juniors, as a class, created their own 21st century anthems below. They were too fabulous NOT to share! Enjoy… B BLOCK’S HOMAGE…. F BLOCK’S HOMAGE….