from Stenhouse Publishers
All teachers of algebra should have The Xs and Whys of Algebra at their fingertips during planning and instruction. This handy 84-page flipchart cuts through the confusion to help you prevent common misconceptions. 30 modules focus on key standards with instructional strategies, activities, and reproducibles. Click here for details.
Just Out: Youth Media Awards 2012
This year's Youth Media Award winners were announced a few weeks ago at ALA's Midwinter Meeting. Leading the list: Newbery Medal winner Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos; Printz Award winner Where Things Come Back, written by John Corey; and winner of the Coretta Scott King author award, Kadir Nelson, writer and illustrator of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. Many more winners and honor books are here. And don’t miss the Nerdy Book Club's 2011 Nerdies awards, assembled from votes by teachers, librarians, and other obsessive readers. Teachers Donalyn Miller (6th), Colby Sharp (4th) and Cindy Minnich (9-12) are the founding Book Nerds and invite new bloggers to join them. Great idea!
Feeling Stressed Lately?
It's February. You and your students probably have plenty of reasons to feel stressed. Some stress is good; excessive stress isn’t. This ASCD Update article explains stress’s sources and suggests methods for coping. One idea: Chat informally with colleagues to break out of your classroom isolation. In this Edutopia blog post, teacher Rebecca Alber (and lots of commenters) offer suggestions about how to find the time to "unstress" with co-workers.
Just the Right Quote
Quotations for the classroom: whether they're meant to inspire, spark discussion, dress up a report or project, or simply create an “aha” moment, it has never been easier to find them. Just google, right? Not so fast, says resources hound Larry Ferlazzo. His decade-long search for quality quotation sites has produced only a handful. You can read about Larry's Quote Quest here, but our immediate favorite is the quote service at Dictionary.com, with 60,000 entries by topic, each with a complete source citation. Example: "There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love." (M.L. King Jr) Due diligence: At most of the sites we visited there were some quotes inappropriate for younger students.
Principals Question Rush to Revamp Teacher Evaluation
Even though they may share the goals of more thorough teacher evaluation mandated by RTTT, some principals are raising questions about the basis and practicality of the new strategies. This Christian Science Monitor article shares concerns from principals who worry that rapid implementation of the reforms, often involving increased observations and use of student scores, may do more harm than good. One worries that aggressive evaluation will "destroy the positive culture of our schools."
New Math Standards: What, Why, How
This brief video at the ASCD website explains how Common Core standards stair-step algebraic thinking year by year through the elementary & middle grades, by developing natural progressions between numbers, operations, and computation skills and knowledge, starting in kindergarten. For more depth, check out this backgrounder at the Teaching Channel on the what, why and how of CCSS math standards, including the decision to cover fewer math topics in each grade. And for some interesting math teacher discussion about CCSS, read this recent blog post and comments.
Do We Care about Handwriting?
Tidy Up Your Digital Space
If you somehow overlooked your Christmas plan to tidy up your computer for another busy semester, now’s your chance. Gwyneth Jones, the Daring Librarian, offers ten strategies to make your online life faster, safer, and cloudier, in a good way. You can follow her guide to perk up your passwords, crumble those cookies, whip up a wiki, and more.
MiddleWeb's Quick Links
Didn't find quite what you need? Here's a quick look at some other resources of interest.
• “My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose." Remember Valentine’s Day by creating figurative language. From ReadWriteThink.
• Mark Presidents Day with these paintings and words of George Washington from UVA. Select from 13 lessons. And look for Lincoln here.
• Tuesday was Dickens’ 200th Birthday. Find extensive resources for now or later from the NYT’s Learning Network.
• Just as you suspected: humor can intensify learning. MRI scans show that funny videos activate kids' brains.
• For Black History Month view the Smithsonian’s inspiring documentary on the Greensboro 4. Some disturbing images.
• How do we teach real-world writing? The Ed Week Teacher book club will host a chat board with expert Kelly Gallagher Feb. 21-23.