cards and envelopes
K-12, Teaching Tools

Valentine’s Day 2022

I’ve noticed an uptick in views of my Valentine’s Day posts, so I just wanted to remind everyone that I have a huge collection of ideas on my Wakelet here. I also wrote a post about being inclusive on Valentine’s Day because it can easily end up being a day of hurt feelings. I’m in the midst of creating a February Holiday Wakelet, so please check back soon (or follow me on my Wakelet profile page) if you are looking for other February activities. Sorry this is such a short post, but I’m juggling lots of projects at the moment!

Photo by How Far From Home on Pexels.com
Teaching Tools

New Online Courses Coming Soon!

I’m super excited to announce that I’m adding a couple of new features to the website. One is that I will be publishing a newsletter, which will include links to posts and some information that you may not find on the blog. The other is that I will be adding some online courses that I will be offering for credit. The first one, An Introduction to Genius Hour, will be free for a limited time, and you can earn one credit for it. To be notified when this course is available (probably in a week or two) and/or to start receiving the newsletter, I am asking interested readers to opt in by filling out the form below. Your e-mail address will not be sold or shared with any 3rd party, and you can, of course, opt out whenever you choose.

Anti-Racism, K-12, Teaching Tools

Talking To Your Child About Race

As regular readers know, I try to do a post each week focused on anti-racism. This week, I wanted to share the blog articles for discussing race with children that are on the Ensemble Therapy site. I like that these are broken down by age group. While they are targeted for parents, I think these articles give good advice on what is developmentally appropriate that can be helpful to teachers as well. There are also links to resources such as literature that could be useful in the classroom. Of course, some teachers are also parents, so these articles might perform double duty!

Since I am based here in Texas, I know that talking about race in the classroom is a sensitive issue. But we are not going to do our students any favors by ignoring history and current events. So, I will keep providing suggestions, archiving them in my Anti-Racism Wakelet, and hoping that education will open minds and make our world a better place.

Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com
K-12, Teaching Tools

January Resources

Happy New Year! One of my commitments for this year is to continue to provide free resources to educators to help you engage and empower learners. To that end, you can find a new Wakelet collection for January holidays and winter here. It includes some links from the December collection, new ones that I’ve discovered, and some links shared by Donna Lasher on her wonderful site. There is also a link to a Martin Luther King Jr. collection, as we celebrate that holiday in the U.S. this year on January 17th.

I am trying to make my collections more global, so please let me know of any major January holidays that I should include other than the typical U.S. ones. When I do a Google search, it is difficult for me to distinguish what may be truly meaningful dates in other cultures from ones like National Peanut Butter Day (January 24th if you are interested). Not that National Peanut Butter Day isn’t important, but it’s not without its controversies…

Peanut Butter Dog GIF By Wetpaint on Giphy.com
K-12, Teaching Tools

Fun Ways to Make it Through the End of 2021

It’s that fun time of the year where it’s getting serious because it’s near the end of the semester, but difficult to be serious because holidays and vacations are quickly approaching. Some students have work to finish, while others completed the entire semester in October. And the more exhausted teachers feel, the more energy the students seem to have. In anticipation of all of this, I’ve been working on my December collection of resources, which you can find here. It includes links to wintery activities, as well as specific holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa). There are lesson ideas, puzzles and games, and arts and crafts. Just a few things you will find are:

If you look at the collection on a computer screen (instead of on your phone), you will see that I divided the resources into columns this year to make it a bit easier to find things.

Sometimes you just need to do something silly and non-curriculum-related, so I also made another collection that I’ve creatively named, “Fun Stuff,” with links to things like Google’s Blob Opera, a Rebus Generator, and Google’s Quick Draw.

And don’t forget I have a set of Brainteasers and Puzzles that also might do when you are looking for something to fill in some extra time.

You can see all of my public Wakelet collections here. Hopefully you will find a resource or two to help you make it through December!

Photo by Damir Mijailovic on Pexels.com

Anti-Racism, Teaching Tools, Websites

CARE Resource Review Tool

I am absolutely aware that teachers are in survival mode at the moment, and their least precious commodity is time. However, as we all know, there are situations where investing a bit of time at the beginning can result in a much larger return later on — especially when crowdsourcing is involved. If you are feeling a bit helpless when it comes to doing anti-racist work, this is a contribution you can make that will probably take you no more than 15 minutes.

The Care Resource Review Tool is an online tool from the Center for Anti Racist Education. It is meant to be used to analyze educational materials “through an antiracist lens.” After registering (free), reviewers go through a simple process through which they consider a self-selected teaching material based on 5 Principles. After answering 3 questions for each principle, reviewers get an overall score and some recommendation. Below, you can see the one I received after reviewing The Giver, a somewhat tricky book to analyze since its lack of diversity is what makes the fictional community dystopian. The tool is not just for literature, though. It can be used for textbooks, podcasts, non-fiction, or whatever type of resource is being used in the classroom.

CARE is currently gathering information from reviewers, but they intend to make a searchable database once they have gotten enough contributions to make it useful. Once that is up, you will be able to find materials that have already been reviewed and make better decisions about what you should use in your classroom to better serve all students.

I will be adding this post to my Anti-Racism Wakelet, which is a free collection of links to tools and articles about how to be an Anti-Racist educator.