Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Brainstorm Plus: Reading, writing, and more

Bookish Stuff

Reading doesn't "click" for everyone at the same time or in the same way. Some kids seem to be born with a hunger for the written word and to some, reading a book seems harder than climbing a mountain and even less pleasant than a visit to the dentist (because at least the dentist gives out stickers). The key to turning dread and hard work into desire and a-hah moments can be finding just that right flavor of text, topic, or even pictures. Therefore, it is important to expose kids to a wide range of genres and styles of books. I've been reminded of the importance of my own reading across a broad range of genres as I field recommendation requests from students with such a broad range of tastes, and this has been further reinforced as I'm reading The Book Whisperer (incidentally, a must read for any English/Language Arts/Reading teacher or Librarian). The Nerdy Book Club had a touching example of how the right book can make the seemingly never-gonna-be-a-reader student suddenly become one. The Difference the Right Book Can Make by Joan Scott Curtis.

Are you looking for ways to inspire the burgeoning poets in your classroom? How about using author Sharon Creech's blog as an example. She shares picture-related short poems on her blog all the time. This would be a great, easy model for students to imitate. They just need a picture and some words to describe it.

Teaching Tools, Resources, Ideas, Etc.

Are you looking for some new project ideas or ways to share info with kids in a different format? Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has a Teacher's Guide on the Use of Podcasting in Education that might be helpful. Along the same topic, Edudemic has an article on 4 Ways Podcasts Are Valuable Learning Tools.

Yesterday EmergingEdTech shared their picks for The 10 Most Important Emerging Instructional and Educational Technologies and Concepts.

I just came across Larry Ferlazzo's great website of tech resources for educators. Check out his Websites of the Day for Sept 22. Some interesting and helpful online resources there.

The Huffington Post had a very interesting article this weekend reminding educators of the power they have in influencing students' perceptions of themselves and effectiveness in the future. Check out Why Education Needs More Radioactive Spiders.

ELearning Industry shared their picks for The 5 Best Free Tools for Publishing Student Work yesterday.

Free Tech for Teachers shared about 27 Topographic Map Lessons available through the USGS.