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Life in a 21st-Century English Class

Life in a 21st-Century English Class
Teaching Strategies Creating a Common Craft-style video is part of the classroom assignment. By Shelley Wright I teach in an inquiry, project-based, technology embedded classroom. A mouthful, I know. So what does that mean? It means my classroom is a place where my students spend time piecing together what they have learned, critically evaluating its larger purpose, and reflecting on their own learning. Finally, technology is embedded into the structure of all we do. In my English classroom, this looks a lot different than in my biology and chemistry classrooms (which you can read about here). My curriculum states that I need to develop skills in 5 areas: reading, writing, viewing and representing, listening and speaking. Whenever we begin a new inquiry unit, research is always involved. After researching, we come back together to discuss what needs to happen next. This semester, we’ve chosen to create a social media campaign to raise awareness around modern slavery. Here’s one example:

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/12/life-in-a-21st-century-english-class/

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What Should Rubrics Measure? Rubrics are tools that help teachers and students generate feedback about student evidence and student work. They offer an alternative to “point-based” or “number-based” grading, and they are often paired with authentic assessment. In my experience, most teachers usually create rubrics long after they have crafted a worthy performance task. What skills should we be teaching to future-proof an education? Some time last year I spent quite a bit of time reflecting on what skills we could be focusing on in higher education to “future-proof” a degree. What skills will stay relevant no matter what future careers look like? There are two frameworks used and endorsed in K-12 education: Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Equipped for the Future. I felt that the lists not quite right for adults that are returning or seeking an education. Here is the list that I developed, and a link to the Prezi that includes many video resources that correspond with the skills.

Five Promising Education Startups to Watch in 2012 Keep your eyes on these startups. Photo: Marie Linner, flickr user GORE-TEX® Products With the new year under way, we thought this would be a good time to highlight some promising education startups. General Assembly , a community of entrepreneurs, and Startl , a learning technology accelerator, hosted demos and Q&A with five education startups in a packed room of roughly 130 people earlier this week. The session was the seventh in the Digital Learning Series held at General Assembly in New York City. Startups Codecademy, EasyBib, tutorspree, littleBits and Study Edge presented.

Kings Norton school embrace social media  Broadmeadow pupils working at the computer Broadmeadow Junior School in Kings Norton have taken social media in the classroom to a new level. Their use of blogs and twitter has now developed so that each class has its own blog and twitter account, sharing their classroom experiences with the world. A Look at the Environment in Your Own Backyard In 2010, a second-grade class in Colorado took part in a Smithsonian online conference on environmental issues. One session was on the exploding population of deer in the United States, a subject that really hit home. Their town of about nine thousand had been overrun in the last few years by hundreds of mule deer. The conference was one in a series that challenged students not only to learn about the environment, but also to take action to improve it. After researching the larger issue of deer populations and environmental change, the second-graders began looking for ways to educate the rest of the town and to offer possible local solutions.

An Early Semester Lesson Plan for a College Composition Class. 1. Deliver a brief lecture on the essay to have been read for today; namely, on any bits of sloppy prose or grammatical awkwardness (or misuses) or anything else for the students to avoid in their own writing. Question the author’s use of certain words in specific instances. Bring up more appropriate synonyms. Do this with confidence. Characteristics of Millennial Students: What Professors Need to Know The first indication that the Millennial Generation may be different from previous generations is to consider how many different names we have for the generation and the people who belong to it. They’re referred to as Generation Y, Nexters, Baby Boom Echo Generation, Echo Boomers, Digital Natives, Generation Next, Generation Me and, of course, Millennials. If nothing else, they’re one of the most studied generations. And while it’s important we don’t stereotype an entire generation of individuals, the large body of research on those born between 1981 and 1999 (or there about) has provided us with unique insights into their learning preferences, behaviors and attitudes.

Using Place-Based Education to Revitalize Rural Schools – and Communities Last year, in an Edutopia post, Claus von Zastrow highlighted the achievement of Detroit's Carstens Elementary School -- achievement that unfortunately has not yet spread to its greater community, which remains blighted, lacking assess to many essential services and economic opportunities. "I'm not sure we can expect schools alone to make up for the lack of opportunity that drives people out of our struggling urban centers. ...The current rhetoric of school reform notwithstanding, you just can't expect educators to bear the whole weight of a city's decline and resurgence on their shoulders." In a similar vein, Harvard's Mark Warren argues that the fate of urban schools and communities are intertwined, and that to truly succeed in improving either, one must simultaneously address both. I firmly agree with that sentiment.

Over 100 ideas for using Twitter in the Classroom This handful of resources provide about 100 different ideas for, and examples of, using Twitter in the classroom. It’s been almost 8 months since I published the post, “6 Examples of Using Twitter in the Classroom”, about uses of the popular micro-blogging tool in the instructional setting. This post generated a lot of traffic, and continues to attract hundreds of viewers every week. CAELA: ESL Resources: Digests Donna Moss, Arlington (VA) Education and Employment Program (REEP) Carol Van Duzer, National Center for ESL Literacy Education December 1998 Project-based learning is an instructional approach that contextualizes learning by presenting learners with problems to solve or products to develop. For example, learners may research adult education resources in their community and create a handbook to share with other language learners in their program, or they might interview local employers and then create a bar graph mapping the employers, responses to questions about qualities they look for in employees. This digest provides a rationale for using project-based learning with adult English language learners, describes the process, and gives examples of how the staff of an adult English as a second language (ESL) program have used project-based learning with their adult learners at varying levels of English proficiency. Rationale for Project-based Learning

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