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Friday, November 22, 2013

The First Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving right around the corner it's a good time  for a history lesson. The best way to inform students about what life was like in 1620 is to take virtual field trips and view reenactments and primary sources from that time. The folks at Scholastic have a great set of goodies to use with your interactive whiteboard. You can visit Plimoth Plantation, watch videos, learn about the Mayflower, read historic letters, and so on. Check it out - I've linked it here.

Enjoy the feast!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Do You Want to Argue About It? - Yes!

You all have been very patient with me...It's been a long time since my last post - here anyway. I got so sucked into Connected Educator Month and my Twitter series on it that you've been a bit neglected. Hopefully you tuned into some of my Tweets and checked out a few things I mentioned.

I have also been incredibly busy with my work for SDE (Staff Development for Educators)  - most recently working on some Common Core stuff. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you something that came across my email a couple of weeks ago and hopefully also give you a helpful hint.

On on f the big shift or changes that the CCSS brings to our instruction is this element of teaching students how to write for argumentation - in the good way. For older students, check out this simple, sweet getting started tid-bit from Dave Stuart's Non-Freaked Out Approach to the Common Core.

For those of you that teach younger students, who don't yet write here's what I'd like you to remember: Asking students to form opinions and justify them verbally is the beginning of writing for argumentation. So, if you read them a great book, ask: What was your favorite part? THEN ask them: Why do you like that part so much? OR - you read a great book and you ask: How do you think that person felt? THEN - What told you so? or What makes you think that? Believe it or not you've just begun your instruction on writing for argument; your instruction in asking students for evidence about what they believe. Not so hard - right? 

I'll try and send some more Common Core tips your way over the next few weeks and months.