Here is our truth. Students need our help. We need help. We need each another--everyone in the classroom and everyone in our buildings. And we need the humility to know that our best teaching years may never be realized because of the hundreds and thousands of unreported moments that matter to the young people we mentor.
By Rita Sorrentino
We see them everywhere: magazines and newspaper advertisements, billboards and business cards, cereal boxes, web pages, and even on items of clothing. Do these popular pixilated marketing images have educational value? Certainly!
First, what is a QR code? Quick Response (QR) codes are two-dimensional barcodes that are created with a QR Generator and then scanned with a QR Reader. QR Readers transform print and physical worlds into digital realities. By downloading a free app on a digital device, you are able to scan the matrix-designed QR code, which will then lead you to a website, video, document file, contact information, or some other data.
What do you and your students need? You and your students need a device with Wi-Fi access to scan and read the QR code. A variety of mobile devices such as Smartphones, iPads, Tablets, and Laptops can scan and interpret the code. With regular access and use, QR Readers can be implemented into many aspects of the curriculum. Without doubt, teachers and students will find creative uses for QR codes in and out of the classroom. Read more
By Janice Ewing
On a mid-summer evening in 2013, a small group of PAWLP Fellows sat down with plates of pasta to devour and an idea to develop—a blog that would invite and encourage all PAWLP fellows to write, share, and connect. The idea had been simmering for a while but was finally ready to come to a full boil. Read more
By Rita Sorrentino
Although today’s students are tech-savvy in many ways, they tend to have less-than-stellar searching skills. In an article, “Why Kids Can’t Search,” Clive Thompson makes a strong case for search engine fluency. I am not surprised by the research results that were conducted by a group of researchers led by College of Charleston business professor Bing Pan. In the study, students relied on Google’s ranking of web pages, and selected information from the top of list even when the order was changed resulting in (falsely) top-ranked pages. From this and other studies cited in the article, we have identified a new quandary in our educational landscape: Why Johnny can’t search? Read more
By Molly Leahy
“We’re closed” I announced in rapid-fire snow chain speak. My student teacher’s disbelief and disappointment rang clearly over the phone. “Again? Ok,” she sighed, reminding me of someone I used to be.
I felt like saying, “Oh you have a lot to learn about snow days.” After teaching for twenty years, I love a good snow day to catch up on bills, sleep, and some cross-country skiing. There are closets to clean, tax papers to organize, and books to read. Sometimes a snowcation energizes me by restoring work-life balance. Other times, the snow day provides additional hours to respond to students’ writing. This feeling of accomplishment or just balance allows us to return to our very demanding profession with renewed vigor.
But what happens when snow days pile up, blocking the flow and rhythm of teacher and student energy alike? Read more
by Tricia Ebarvia
Conferring with students can be exhausting. Sometimes a single conference can take 10-15 minutes, and if you have 100+ students, conferring is also incredibly time consuming. Time spent conferring with students is time away from whole class instruction, curricular planning, and much-needed grading. But feedback from conferring is invaluable. When I was in the Writing Institute two years ago, I emailed Penny Kittle for some advice. I was struggling with how to fit all the elements of the workshop model outlined in her book Write Beside Them. When I mentioned reducing time for conferring, her response was unequivocal. “Conferring is our most powerful teaching time,” she responded. “Everyone learns best in the context of their own writing piece, so we have to work it into practice.”
Still, time is always the issue. Read more