Author Archives: Michelle Torrise

About Michelle Torrise

I love sharing resources with students and teachers!

A Few Library/Reading Resources

I’ve been getting a lot of readers’ advisory questions this week!  This is definitely one of the best parts of my job.

Just thought I’d share a few resources I use to match kids of up with books.    You may already be using them, but I thought it would be helpful to put them all in one place.

Bookshare [Free online books for students with disabilities]
Free account required

Novelist Plus [Search by subject, plot summary, grade level, and more]
Password via Westmont Public Library:  See M. Torrise

Novelist K-8 [Same as Novelist Plus, but includes picture books through YA fiction]
Password via Westmont Public Library:  See M.Torrise

The Lexile Framework [Search for books by Lexile] [Find books by similar authors]

Westmont High School Library Collection [Search our library]


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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


Summer Learning Fun

I wanted to share the resource page I created for today’s workshop on Personal Learning Networks. Simply put, PLNs are the personal connections we make online with other educators that support our growth as teachers and keep us excited about teaching.

See >

PLNs are great summer projects!  I hope you enjoy looking through some of the resources. Please feel free to contact me anytime if you need assistance.

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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Digital Citizenship @ WHS


Over the next several weeks, we will be holding Internet Safety Workshops with our 9-11 grade students.

Through discussion and reflection, we’ll ask students to think about
their online image (or digital footprint) and how it may be viewed by college admissions representatives, scholarship committees, or potential employers.  Suggestions will be provided for “sanitizing” their Facebook/Twitter  accounts.

Finally, we’ll discuss some issues that have occurred on Twitter here at
Westmont, and we’ll ask students what they can do to be more socially
responsible if a similar situation should occur in the future.


2012 Internet Safety Presentation

Internet Safety From the Principal


A special thank you to our English teachers for co-facilitating these workshops.

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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


Ted on Education

Just wanted to share some very inspirational TED Talks on education. I especially connected with Rita Pierson’s talk, “Every Student Needs a Champion.”

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Also, don’t miss “TED Talks Education,” hosted by John Legend, which premieres Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 10/9c on PBS.

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


Interdisciplinary Writing – EQs & Global Perspectives

Essential Questions from a Global Perspective

I am so excited to see Lisa Hootman’s Farm to School project evolve and grow.  What a great opportunity for our school and community to provide locally grown, healthy produce that we can all benefit from.   In addition to the many benefits of fresh, whole foods, local farming is one of those hands-on activities that promotes community building and interdisciplinary learning.


I’m in the process of creating a resource page to support our community gardens; in the interim, I thought I would share the following report titled, “The top 100 questions of importance to the future of global agriculture,” that was published in The International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (2010).  This report presents essential questions from a global perspective while, at the same time, highlighting the importance of local farming.

The questions presented in this research are current, engaging and great starting points for interdisciplinary teaching and learning in all content areas.

You can access the report in full text here.

See Lisa’s presentation here.


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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


Google Cultural Institute Media Projects

Picture 13

I just wanted to share the Google Cultural Institute Project.    Use the slide bar to scroll through time to view many vibrant primary sources and artifacts that represent the world’s rich cultural history. This site is visually one of the best websites I’ve ever seen!

Some other Google projects include:  Art Project, World Wonders Project, Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


ISBE Common Core Newsletter

ISBE publishes a monthly Common Core grade level Newsletter (Capture the Core) that includes strategies, resources, and updates on CCS, PARCC, and much more.

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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized