Deepening Connections with Young Readers Online

by Michael Strickland Deepening my connection with students and creating community is a topic to which I give a lot of thought. Unlike face-to-face classrooms, online classrooms have greater potential to feel cold mechanical. That is why I spend Initiating and encouraging discussions. I make frequent use of the chatbox to encourage participation, much like…

A Violent Time in the Fight for Civil Rights

“For readers new to the subject, the biographies will be a vivid, informative introduction, but even those who have some familiarity with the landmark events will learn much more here. . . . A penetrating look at elemental national history.” –Booklist How were you taught the Civil Rights movement? Teachers, how do you teach it?…

Teaching English Language Learners: Across the Content Areas

English language learners (ELLs) often face the difficult challenge of learning both a new language and new subject matter at the same time. In Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Areas, Judie Haynes and Debbie Zacarian offer strategies, tools, and tips that teachers can use to help ELLs at all levels flourish in mainstream…

VIDEO: Learn to Publish for Kids with “Writing for Children, Season One”

Using colorful graphics, clear explanations and examples, and plenty of humor, the mysteries of writing unfold in Writing for Children. From brainstorming to proofreading, viewers will discover how good writing makes words work! Grades K-4. Click here to watch the video. Here are some further ideas. Writing for children means thinking about your own past,…

Strategies for Teaching Reading

How can you prepare every student for reading success?Reading strategies are explicit, planned actions that help translate the printed word into sounds and meaning. Reading skills benefit every kind of student, but they are essential for emerging readers, struggling readers, English Language Learners, and students with learning challenges, according to Reading Horizons. Here are some of…

AXS CEO Troy McClain Featured at Special Needs Conference

Idaho Partnerships Conference on Human Services has a great featured speaker this fall: Troy McClain is the CEO of AXS , a full-service marketing, communications and business management firm focused on growing people and businesses to great heights. Their website says: Our annual conference is an opportunity to bring professionals, self-advocates and family members together…

What Mastery-Based Learning Would Look Like in Idaho

As we discuss children’s literature, it is important to examine connections between learning with and through the written word and the policies that determine what goes on in classrooms. Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra  is working to help lawmakers “move from the notion or the concept of mastery-based education to the actual concrete view…

What is the difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction?

“Modern fantasy literature has unexplainable magic, and it is this element that captures the minds and hearts of children.” – Charles A. Temple, Miriam A. Martinez, Junko Yokota in Children’s Books in Children’s Books in Children’s Hands: A Brief Introduction to Their Literature. I love fantasy and science fiction. Children tend to read a lot of these stories because…

Guest Post: Failure Should Be Mindful Not Mindless, by Chris Wasden

Last week I did an interview for a Podcast with Dr. Travis Good. He kicked off the interview by asking the following question: In your book, you talk about failure being the spark that ignites the innovation cycle. Since more than half of all digital health companies fail in the first two years, are you suggesting that these founders get right back on the saddle and develop their next idea?  Here are my thoughts on failure. There are two different kinds of failure: mindless and mindful. The difference between mindful and mindless failure is the former occurs based upon continuous…

SCHOOLS ON TRIAL: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice

Are America’s schools little more than cinder-block gulags that spawn vicious cliques and bullying, negate creativity, and true learning and squelch curiosity in their inmates, um, students? Nikhil Goyal, a journalist and activist all of twenty years old whom the Washington Post has dubbed a “future education secretary” and Forbes has named to its 30 Under…