Category: Articles

Media Literacy: Learning from the Oscars

It’s Oscar season and media literacy consultant Frank W. Baker has ideas about leveraging student interest in movies to teach visual literacy skills and learn about cool careers. Lots of resources, including teacher tools at the Oscars website.

Are We Covering or Are Students Discovering?

Rather than “covering” a curriculum with instruction that’s driven by the chapters in a textbook, Diana Fenton and Nancy Van Erp advocate student centered standards-based lesson planning, relying on frameworks like Understanding by Design and concept-based teaching.

Students Learn from Inquiry, Not Interrogation

Jackie Walsh shares resources and strategies teachers can use to partner with students and create new roles and responsibilities in classroom questioning. Replace traditional “interrogation” with methods of inquiry that reveal understanding and strengthen learning.

Are Your Meetings Productive or Time Wasters?

With thoughtful planning and implementation, principals can make sure meetings are both collaborative and productive. School leadership consultants Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn share essential questions and tips about norms, purposes, and decision making.

How to Help Young Writers Find the Force

Teachers should be Jedi Masters, called to be believers in our students and promoters of their ability to take charge of their own learning. ELA teacher and author Vicki Kahlenberg shares four writing strategies that foster autonomy through emulation and publication.

Black History: The Visions of Gordon Parks

Media literacy expert Frank Baker offers a fresh idea for Black History Month – exploring the life, career and creativity of photographer, writer and director Gordon Parks, whose powerful images from the Segregation Era serve as iconic primary sources.

Grading That’s Fair, Specific and Timely

In FAST Grading, says veteran science/math teacher Joyce Depenbusch, Douglas Reeves has reached his goal of inspiring teachers and administrators to rethink grading and use his FAST strategies (Fair, Accurate, Specific, Timely) to optimize student learning.

Teach Media Literacy with Super Bowl Ads

Many millions of people who tune in to the 2017 Super Bowl will be there to watch the pricey, high-engagement commercials. Media literacy consultant Frank Baker explains how to teach about these “super ads,” approaching them as informational text worthy of close scrutiny and analysis.

Energize Your Classroom with Quality Questions

Quality questions are the “bait” that can hook students into deeper discussions and learning that sticks. Questioning expert Jackie Walsh shares a pair of videos and several templates that will help teachers plan a questioning process that pulls all students in.

Helping Students Develop Logical Reasoning

Consultant Tammy L. Jones proposes a three-prong approach to support students in their daily journey through content: effective questioning, authentic daily writing, and a bridging structure as they encounter new situations where critical thinking is required.