@newsfromtengrrl for 2013-01-08

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK MemorialIf you’re looking for some activities to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this month, read on! This post includes materials on the ReadWriteThink site that fit three categories:

  • Resources specifically focused on Dr. King and texts he wrote
  • Biographical activities you can use to explore Dr. King’s life and writing
  • Family activities that relate to Dr. King

The materials range from mini-lessons to complete units and cross the grade levels. So read on, and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work.

Focused on Martin Luther King, Jr.

Biographical Lesson Plans

Family Activities

  • Amazing Biographies: Writing About People Who Change the World
    After reading about historical figures and other important people that have changed the world, children choose someone that they consider to be “amazing”—either someone they’ve heard about or someone they know—and create a book page that highlights this person.

  • Think Peace 
    Podcaster Emily Manning shares books that serve as a springboard to discuss how children and adults alike can use peaceful, nonviolent methods to affect change in society. This is episode 21 of Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers, a Podcast for Grades K–5.

  • Celebrate Heroes
    Encourage children to spend a little time thinking and writing about just what makes a hero and who their personal heroes might be.

  • Dr. King Bio Cubes
    Families and children can gather or summarize information about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Bio Cube interactive.

  • Create Poetry with the Word Mover App
    Use the word bank from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and create found poetry.

If you want even more resources, check out the Martin Luther King, Jr. collection from Thinkfinity.



[Photo: MLK Memorial by alvesfamily, on Flickr]

@newsfromtengrrl for 2013-01-07

@newsfromtengrrl for 2013-01-06

Twitter Resources Round-up

Amazing Blue Mountain Bird photo from Feast by Brad Hill http://beatymuseum.ubc.ca/events#feast @beatymuseum 2012-05-20-4463I’ve been using Twitter for years for everything from keeping in touch with colleagues to sharing professional development and curriculum materials with other teachers. In the years since I’ve joined, I often first learn about current events from Twitter (@BreakingNews is my favorite).

Since I’ve been doing this for a while, I have some links I can share, from blogs that I’ve written for NCTE, Bedford/St. Martins, and my own site. They were written over the past few years, so forgive any links that are broken please.

If you’re interested in collecting Twitter links in a simple way for students, Paper.li can be a useful option. The tool gathers Tweets from your feed that include URLs and lays them out in a newspaper-style format. I’ve written several pieces about using Paper.li:

Most recently, I’ve written a series of posts on using Twitter Chats, which are real-time, online conversations that use specific hashtags to help organize the discussion. Twitter Chats can be a powerful tool for students and colleagues. You can read more about them in these posts:

Also, if you’re even slightly interested in how you might use Twitter in the classroom, take a look at William M. Ferriter’s essay “Why Teachers Should Try Twitter” from Educational Leadership. The article explains, “For educators who use this tool to build a network of people whose Twitter messages connect to their work, Twitter becomes a constant source of new ideas to explore.” It includes some tips and how-to’s as well as a personal story on how the experience affected the author’s understanding of differentiated instruction.

Hope that helps any readers who are interested in expanding how they use Twitter. I’m willing to share whatever advice and experience I have, so contact me if you need more or have a question I might be able to answer.

@newsfromtengrrl for 2013-01-05

@newsfromtengrrl for 2013-01-04

@newsfromtengrrl for 2013-01-03

Help Keeping Your Teaching Resolutions

Resolutions 2012Making a New Year’s Resolution is easy. Keeping it? That’s a different story altogether. Personal goals end up competing with teaching goals. The busy whirl of heading back to the classroom crowds out all those plans, and the next thing you know, it’s March and those teaching resolutions are long forgotten.

How about some help with those goals? I’ve gathered some of the best resources from ReadWriteThink and Thinkfinity to help make sure your good intentions all become accomplishments in 2013!

Whatever your goals, I hope you meet them and have a fantastic 2013.


[Photo: Resolutions 2012 by simplyla, on Flickr]

@newsfromtengrrl for 2013-01-02