Hundreds of educators and librarians attended a recent two-day, literacy-focused "unconference" in Michigan. In this article, an attendee describes the experience at Nerdcamp that included educators developing and collaborating on literacy topics on site and holding a half-day event for students to work on projects with book authors and illustrators.
Teacher Joshua Block fights the inevitable feelings of routine and burnout in June by drawing on his summer reading list for rejuvenation for the upcoming school year. In this blog post, he shares his summer list, including titles for his analytical side, his soul and titles about education. "My hope is to challenge and nurture myself in ways that relate directly to my teaching practice and in ways that nurture my identity outside of teaching," he writes.
Teachers in the Beaverton School District in Oregon are working to build on last year's efforts to transition to the Common Core State Standards. Teachers say the skills promoted by the standards will be important for students in the district, where K-5 schools last year began adopting writing standards and will add math this year and reading next year. "There is an emphasis on using evidence to defend your answer, and I think that skill is critical across all subjects," said June Yi, a Sunset High School language-arts teacher helping to transition the common core into classrooms.
As New York City Department of Education officials seek the ability to cut librarians from schools, Urban Librarians Unite founder Christian Zabriskie argues in this blog post that the city's schools need more librarians, not fewer. Librarians are trained research specialists who teach other educators and students how to use the digital tools replacing traditional texts, he writes, noting that research shows schools with librarians demonstrate higher student achievement.
Two Atlanta teachers were inspired by "The Hunger Games" to create an educational game called Colonial Games, a two-day activity in which teams of Holy Innocents' Episcopal School middle-school students were challenged to create a colony in a new world with little knowledge to help them. The interactive experience allows the students to "incorporate geography, history, math, science in kids working together as a team," said history teacher Gary Klingman, who along with math teacher Daniel Forrester, presented the concept to educators during this summer's Apple iSummit.