From our newsletter: • Relieving Math Anxiety • The Connected Educator • Birds Gotta Flock • Beyond Pottermore • The Arts & Critical Thinking • Classroom Workouts • Instant Translation • Honoring Heroes through Service • Holiday Fever • Quick Links (free subscription)
Relieving Math Anxiety
The Connected Educator by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall describes how educators can work together in local and global networks, connecting, collaborating and harvesting knowledge they can apply in their schools and classrooms to advance student learning. Look inside and order a paper or Kindle version at Amazon.
Birds Gotta Flock
Whether you’re studying birds, slime mold or other examples of Emergence, it's a concept that will likely capture your students’ attention instantly. In nature, and even among human beings and computers, we find examples where animate things appear to act collectively in groups with no single thing in charge. PBS’s NOVA offers an engaging 12-min. video and vivid slides to demonstrate these phenomena. And a Q&A session with American scientist and professor John H. Holland highlights the complexity of emergence.
While we wait for J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore to move beyond beta testing, kids can enjoy new books from other favorite YA authors. Rick Riordan’s Son of Neptune launched in October. It’s the second entry in the former middle level teacher's projected 5-book Heroes of Olympus series. And Christopher Paolini concludes the Inheritance cycle, which first introduced 15-year-old dragon fighter Eragon in 2003. Intermediate readers can enjoy another Wimpy Kid adventure, Cabin Fever, from Jeff Kinney. These authors' sites offer lots of online activities. Tweens and teens who enjoyed N.D. Wilson's 100 Cupboards trilogy may enjoy The Dragon’s Tooth, first in the new series Ashtown Burials. ALSO: For a peek at the upcoming movie based on Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, see the first trailer and the Atlantic’s response. Other good sources of tween/teen book info: Reading Rants and Tweendom.
The Arts & Critical Thinking
Honoring Heroes through Service
Heroism, injustice, civil disobedience: all come to mind with the 56th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, AL, bus (12/1/55). ReadWriteThink has collected interviews and lesson plans to help your students learn more of the Rosa Parks story. And to help you prepare for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (1/16/12), the National Corporation of Community Service has an online booklet that not only highlights Dr. King’s leadership but has service learning ideas for the classroom and in the community.
Jingling bells are just ahead, and intermediate teacher Brent Vasicek has some good suggestions to sustain everyone’s learning as the semester progresses toward the winter holiday break — including some practical ideas for handling squirrely distractions in the classroom.
• Defeat Dr. Vick’s Evil Plans in this interactive math game from MD Public TV and Johns Hopkins.
• Google Jockeying is gaining popularity in classrooms. Not familiar? Here are 7 Things You Should Know.
• Here’s another take on Interactive White Boards, with heaps of comments. (Click on last time's newsletter - below - for our earlier resource)
• Say what you think at the Gates-sponsored TeacherWall video collection.
• Tips on how to find your grading compass, from teaching expert Carol Ann Tomlinson.