Although I don’t spend as much time on Facebook as I do on Twitter, I do belong to a few Facebook groups that include a lot of creative educators with great ideas. One of these fabulous groups is the Distance Learning Educators Facebook Group. When I recently saw a post from Shannon Nicole about a bulletin board that she and her 9th graders created, I asked her permission to share the idea and the pics on this blog. As some of you know, I’ve committed to doing regular anti-racist posts, and I’ve been collecting them in this Wakelet as a resource for educators. I hope that some of you will also be inspired by Shannon’s idea and find a way to discuss and combat stereotypes in your own classroom.
Here is Shannon’s introduction to the pictures below: “I asked my 9th graders to write one stereotype they wish they could get rid of, and this is what they said. The last 5 minutes of class, I pull a few off the wall for us to discuss. This has been an amazing lesson for all involved, including myself!” Click on each image to see it more clearly.
The New York Times is offering an on-demand webinar for teachers to learn about ways to use the NYT resources to discuss race and racism in the classroom. This is a free webinar, but you will need to register in order to access it. You will be able to download a certificate as evidence of professional development hours. In addition, there are comprehensive resources available here. Nationwide attempts to discourage and even outlaw discussions like these make it more important than ever for these conversations to happen. I will be adding this resource to my Anti-Racism Wakelet. You can find more links to free materials to help you actively stand up against racism there.
One of the sources I cited in last week’s post on Critical Race Theory as sketch-noted and outlined by Sylvia Duckworth was Dr. Kate Slater. You can learn more about Dr. Slater’s work here. I find the Anti-Racist Roadmap by Dr. Slater and Mira Stern to be very helpful as it breaks down the goals for your own Anti-Racism journey into five impact areas (such as the workplace and community) and a mission statement. I sometimes feel like what needs to be done to eradicate racism in our country is so overwhelming that I can’t even find a place to begin, but this organizer is incredibly beneficial. It includes examples and resources, as well as space to type the specific actions you would like to take in each impact area. Other important elements are to consider what you will do to learn more, and who you will rely on to hold you accountable for these goals. Personally, I feel like this roadmap can help me to spend less time feeling guilty for what I haven’t done, and more time taking action. In fact, I realized that I haven’t been completely idle (though I want to do more) as I have been using my “Talents and Skills” to write these weekly anti-racist blog posts and create this public Wakelet where I have been collecting resources. If you want to do more anti-racism work, and you aren’t quite sure how to help, the Anti-Racist Roadmap could be your first step.
Clint Smith, author of How the Word is Passed, and staff writer at The Atlantic, hosts a new series called Black American History on the Crash Course YouTube Channel. As of today, June 4, 2021, there are 5 short videos on the channel, including an introductory preview. Though the videos are short (less than 15 minutes each), they probably already cover more Black American history than the textbooks that are currently in our public schools. For example, the 4th video covers Elizabeth Key’s legal battle for freedom — certainly a piece of history that was never covered in any of my classes.
Watching these videos can help people to understand the complexity of our country’s past and how it still has a strong hold over our present. For example, in the video that teaches about the slave codes that were written even before the United States was a country, the following quote refers to these laws of the 17th and 18th centuries:
I look forward to learning more from this Crash Course series, and I hope that teachers will be able to use it in their classrooms — though, ironically, teachers in Texas and some other states may not have the freedom to do so.
Do you have students (or children) who are 13-18 years of age, live in the United States or Canada (except Quebec, sorry!), and who have great ideas for video games? If so, they have until July 31, 2021, to enter Google Play’s “Change the Game” Design Contest. They do not have to know how to code in order to enter, as you can see from the online form. Judges will be looking at entries as they are submitted to select 100 people to participate in an online workshop where they will learn how to make real games, and receive a certificate and Chromebook if they complete the course. You can get more information and some guiding questions to inspire participants here.
And, don’t forget, I will be live on Facebook on June 14th to talk about Design Thinking (which comes in handy for game design and lots of other subjects!). If you missed my blog post giving you the scoop on this event, you can read all about it here.
Though this isn’t a resource for elementary or middle school, I could see high school students using this site. In addition, teachers who are looking for books that meet certain criteria (whether for their own personal use or as part of the curriculum) will definitely find Whichbook to be beneficial. Structured a bit differently than sites like NPR’s Book Concierge, Whichbook has several ways to discover new books such as with an interactive World Map and by Character and Plot. My favorite is by Mood and Emotion (a feature I wish the streaming video sites would also employ)! You can choose up to 4 sliders on the Mood and Emotion page to help you get recommendations that will surely include at least one or two that will suit your current frame of mind. Once you decide on a book, you can then choose if you would like to borrow or buy it, which is another nifty feature I like. You can learn more about Whichbook here.