Analysis of Comics Resources

https://www.archives.gov/files/education/lessons/worksheets/cartoon_analysis_worksheet.pdf

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/activities/political-cartoon/cag.html

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/resources/Analyzing_Political_Cartoons.pdf

 

TeenReads.com Ultimate Reading List

http://www.teenreads.com/teenreadscom-ultimate-reading-list

Teen Reads is a great site for teens who are looking for ideas about what books to read. It has an Ultimate Reading List comprised of books that are  “compelling, beautifully written, pure fun, thought-provoking or edge-of-your-seat gripping; books that we would hand to someone and say, ‘read this!'”

Public Speaking

I teach bright students who can learn just about anything I put in front of them quickly and with ease; however, public speaking is something the majority of my students struggle with getting up in front of their peers.  Over the past few years, I have started forcing students to do things like sharing their writing, narratives and speeches, with their classmates.  Last year, one student would do a great job sharing only to put his head down and cry as soon as he sat in his chair.  My students NEED to develop these skills because many of them will have jobs where they will be presenting to groups of all sizes.  I want them to be confident in their own ideas and abilities.

This year, I found out about TED Ed Clubs and have just started using them with my advanced classes. Students are getting release forms signed, I will send them in, and we will start working through the process that will lead to students having written and presented their own TED style talk about a subject they are passionate about.  I can’t wait!

Here are some things I found on the importance of teaching public speaking skills specifically.

“Why is Public Speaking Important?” Stenhouse blog

“Now, let me make a radical statement: the mission of education should not be to make students better at school but rather to prepare them for life.”

“While speaking skills may have been somewhat underemphasized in schools, they have not been underemphasized in the real world.”

“Further support for the value of speaking skills comes from a study of 104 Silicon Valley employers. Silicon Valley is the home of many of America’s high-tech firms, and you might expect that they would place a high value on math and engineering skills, right? Company representatives were asked several questions about desired qualities in prospective employees. The question “What additional business communication skills would you like to see in your recent college graduate new hires?” produced interesting results: Employers sought improved oral presentation skills more frequently than they did written skills. Their comments expressed a need for stronger skills in public speaking, enhanced interpersonal skills, increased confidence, and improved interviewing skills. Several wrote that students needed more presentation skills, highlighting the ability to use software tools like PowerPoint. This was surprising, because the popular press talks more about a lack of writing skills among college graduates than about insufficient oral skills. (Stevens 2005,7; emphasis added)”

We Should be Teaching Public Speaking in School” The Washington Post 

Teacher’s Guide to the Middle School Public Debate Program

 

What do teachers do over break? Clean!

This morning, I came across a post on edutopia.com that had a recommended reading list-5 Eclectic Book Recommendations.  I didn’t get past the first book listed. I have ordered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and look forward to being inspired to get rid of things even though I know that all I need to do is pick something up and put in a pile that is either for donation, keeping, or throwing out. Maybe I’ll be inspired to get rid of things that I don’t really NEED or that as Kondo says don’t give me joy.

 

Guess I know what I am going to be doing the rest of winter break. Who knows? Maybe, I will learn some things that I can apply in my classroom, too.

Here is a link to an article, too.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/garden/home-organization-advice-from-m…

Veteran’s Day Resources

In a time of so many Hallmark holidays, I find it especially important to remember holidays of true importance.  As I start to reflect on this Veteran’s Day, I say a special prayer of thanksgiving for my brother, my father, my uncles, my grandfathers, several friends who served, and for my father-in-law who was killed in action.  For those who served and continue to serve, I say thanks.

Here are some resources I found as I look for resources to use with my students.

Videos–

2014 ESPN College Game Day Salute

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-veterans-day/videos/history-of-veterans-day

http://video.pbs.org/video/1646885319/

US Department of Veteran’s Affair–http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/index.asp

Teaching History-Veteran’s Day http://teachinghistory.org/spotlight/veterans-day

Veterans’ Stories: The Veterans History Project http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/veterans/

PBS Veteran’s Day  http://www.pbs.org/pov/educators/veterans-day-lesson-plans.php

Poems of War and Remembrance http://poetry.about.com/od/ourpoemcollections/a/poemsofwar.htm

WWI Poetry: On Veterans Day, The Words of War-NPR  http://www.npr.org/2012/11/12/164808416/wwi-poetry-on-veterans-day-the-words-of-war

On Veteran’s Day, Stories of Heroes and Homecoming  http://www.npr.org/2012/11/11/164735893/on-veterans-day-stories-of-heroes-and-homecoming