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The American Scholar

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I’m excited to announce that we have added The American Scholar to the list of academic journals and magazines that we now subscribe to.

The American Scholar is provocative and thought provoking and serves as an excellent alternative text that will engage students in higher level thinking and discourse.  While these articles may require some background knowledge and pre-teaching, they are certain to start some lively conversations in the classroom.

Here is an expert from the About page.

The American Scholar is the venerable but lively quarterly magazine of public affairs, literature, science, history, and culture published by the Phi Beta Kappa Society since 1932. In recent years the magazine has won five National Magazine Awards, the industry’s highest honor, and been nominated for awards sixteen times. Many of its essays and articles have been selected for the yearly Best American anthologies.”

Take a look at the current issue. You can access many of the articles online or check out the print copy in the media center.

Other academic journals and magazines we subscribe to include:

Advertising AgeAmerican Association for Advancement Of Sciences
Christian Science Monitor
Ecologist
Economist
Foreign Policy
Granta
Harvard International Review
Harvard Magazine
Nature Magazine
Rethinking Schools
Scientific American

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Resources for Critical Thinking

I have been working to add more informational texts to our collection and wanted to highlight one of our newest resources, Ad Age Magazine.

Media literacy is becoming increasingly important for our students to understand and has many connections to Common Core.    Understanding how data is collected, manipulated, disseminated and consumed, and what that means in terms of the decisions people make,  will help our students develop as critical thinkers and enlightened consumers of information.

While Ad Age is published as a marketing and media magazine, it is packed with “news, analysis, and data” on a variety of topics that are related to the subjects you teach.    Filled with charts and graphs, you’ll find many opportunities to teach students how to connect and synthesis, interpret and analyze the data they see in the media to what they are learning in school.

Here are a few ideas for integrating media literacy in your subject area.

Here are more detailed lesson plans,

Ad Age is printed weekly.  We receive the print and online version.  If you are interested, I can forward the electronic version to you as I receive it.

The most recent issue analyzes Super Bowl ads.  Read it here!

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Video Clips That Inspire

I ran across these great video clip resources this weekend and thought I would share them with you all.  They are easy to search and replay–great resources for engaging students using media.

Movie Clips

Wing Clips

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Teaching Channel Video Showcase


I came across this highly recommended PD resource that you might find of value.

The Teaching Channel is a video showcase of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America’s schools. Videos range from 1-30+ minutes on topics from planning lessons to exit strategies. Search by grade-level and/or subject.  You can even follow your favorite teachers.  Or, sign up for an account and upload your own videos!

For an example, see “The Stoplight Method: An End-of-Lesson Assessment

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

RefSeek Directory

While searching for some videos resources for one of our teachers, I
came across this concise directory of quality reference resources
published by RefSeek, “a public beta web search engine for students and
researchers.”  I thought this would be of value to you and your
students.

See > http://www.refseek.com/directory/

I’d especially like to highlight the list of multi-media resources,
which provides a rich set of free educational video and podcasts. See >
http://www.refseek.com/directory/educational_videos.html

See also, the directory of grammar and cross-curricular writing
resources > http://www.refseek.com/directory/writing_grammar.html.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Social Justice Resources for the Classroom


Concern America publishes a newsletter,  With Eyes to See,” each highlighting a particular concept of peace and justice.

Included within are valuable resources and classroom activities that connect social justice and activism to themes that are a part of the high school curriculum.   Discussing these themes provides an excellent opportunity for thoughtful discussion about and reflection on what I like to refer to as, “ critical content in context.”

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Resources

 

School Climate Activities

For some reason, I don’t care too much for the terms bully, anti-bully, or bully awareness.    While the behaviors associated with these terms are serious and demand our attention, the word bully and its associated terms have become cliché, commodified, and often minimized in social contexts, especially among youth.

Even so, focusing on school climate and positive interactions is a priority for our school community.   We recently held a Bullying Awareness Week within the district, during which, I shared with our teachers the following list of activities that they could utilize to promote positive peer interactions.

NEWSPAPER REPORTS OF KINDNESS: Scan local newspapers and find reports of kindness.  Cut out articles and create a collage on poster board. [The media center can provide newspapers and magazines for this activity].

DEFINING KINDNESS: Project the word kindness on the board. Ask students to write for 10 minutes about kindness. After 10 minutes of nonstop writing, ask for volunteers to read their ideas of kindness. As different students share their ideas of kindness, write descriptions of kindness on the overhead projector or on the board.  Students should participate by creating kindness diagrams of their own.

Consider this extension activity.  Cut and paste all the descriptive text collected during the activity into Wordle [www.wordle.net] to create a word cloud.  Based on the word cloud, ask students to reflect on the words that best describe kindness at WHS?  Is this an accurate description of our community?   Do all students see our community this way?  If not, why?

SHOWING EXCEPTIONAL KINDNESS: Students draw numbers as they enter the classroom to determine order of presentations. Students should be given 2-3 minutes to present reports on people in their lives who have shown exceptional kindness. After all presentations have been given, ask students to write what kindness means to them. Take student definitions and type on large index cards and display cards around the room or on a kindness bulletin board. Source: http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/.

CONSIDER THE IMPACT ON YOUR HEALTH: It has been shown that doing “for others” can benefit the volunteer as much as the recipient. Read the following quotes to understand how this could happen. Then, answer the question at the end. Source: http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/.

From High School Student #1
I got involved after I was required by the court to do community service. Funny thing is, I was good at it. In fact, my supervisor asked me to stay on and start a program to get other youth involved. They gave me a desk, a phone, and a small budget. I started a phone bank where neighbors could call in to get some help with chores they were unable to do themselves. Most of the requests came from elderly people and single parents. I believe that youth can make a difference if we work together. In the end, I realized that I am not a bad person, and I am capable of incredible things if I take advantage of the freedom within myself. By giving away my time and myself, I got back a whole lot.

From High School Student #2
Whenever my buddy (a child at the family shelter) knows that I am coming to see her, she waits at a certain corner. As soon as she sees me, she runs to me and gives me a huge hug. I can relate to the relationship I have with my buddy because I had no brothers or sisters, and when I was young my father traveled 70% of the year. I would have really valued a relationship similar to the one my buddy and I have. My buddy is not the only one benefiting from this program. I also feel needed and appreciated.

In 1 or 2 paragraphs, tell why you agree or disagree about the following statement: Performing Random Acts of Kindness or volunteerism may make me feel better or help me to live longer and happier.

5th Period THINKING BIG: Pick a quote which best describes your feeling about doing a Random Act of Kindness. Then tell why you picked it. Explain what it means to you. Source: http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/.

  • We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. -Winston Churchill
  • I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics but for our contributions to the human spirit. -John Kennedy
  • Our culture is at a critical cusp-a time that requires that we define what it means to be a citizen in a democracy. Within our nation we need to foster a greater sense of collective responsibility. -Robert Bellah (author)
  • For whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the sons and daughters of the Earth…Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. -Chief Seattle
  • Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve -Martin Luther King

6th Period – JUST WANTED TO SAY…:Read the following passage.  “We’ve all been in situations where we have been the giver or receiver of unkind words.  We may have even been in a situation where we have done something unkind or had something unkind done to us.   Many times we don’t realize how something we say or do makes others feel.  Other times we may do things intentionally out of anger or frustration. Often we don’t get the opportunity to take these words or actions back.”

Ask students to write a reflection on a time when they may have said or done something, either intentional or unintentional, that may have negatively affected another student or adult in their community.   They could have been directly involved or it could have been a situation where they were a bystander and saw another person get hurt, but didn’t do anything.   Ask them to write about how they felt then and how they feel now about the situation.  What has changed?  How they might act differently, if given the opportunity?    What would they say to that person now, if they had the opportunity?  Ask students not to name the person or themselves.  Source: Jacey C., SADD Member.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD $50,000: Ask students to write an essay on the following.  “You have just received a grant for $50,000 to create a program to improve the climate at Westmont High School.  What program would you develop? How would your program impact the school community?  How would you evaluate the success of this program?”

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Resources