3 Great Articles to Spark Discussions

There are three articles I’ve read recently that I wanted to share with you. While each of them is focused within a different topic area, they are all related to the field of education and have the potential to spark wonderful discussions within colleagues, friends, or even students. They are listed in no particular order. When Finnish Teachers work in America’s Public Schools By Timothy D. Walker of The Atlantic Teaching Children the Real Names for Body Parts By Perri Klass of The New York Times A Deep Conversation about Binary Thinking By Allie Jane Bruce of Reading While White I find these three to be a fun change of pace for a K-12 staff meeting (or high school current events class) in which the entire group is broken up into three smaller groups. In this setting each group is given one of the articles to read and discuss before sharing out with the whole group. The larger group can then have a discussion if time permits. I hope you enjoy! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Infographic: 200 Powerful Words to Use Instead of “Good”

I was recently contacted by the creator of a handy infographic that fits in well with the  128 Words to Use Instead of “Very” infographic. I envision this being extremely helpful to writers of any age. Please take a minute to check out: 200 Powerful Words to Use Instead of “Good” In order to make the infographic a bit more accessible for those of you that prefer black-and-white versions of each section, I’ve created a multi-page PDF to accompany the original. There are a few words that have been removed and some added however the rest remains the same. Below are links to the full page and quarter page versions of all sections of the above infographic. Powerful Words to Use Instead of “Good” – full pages PDF Powerful Words to Use Instead of “Good” – quarter pages PDF As always, please contact me if there’s any way I can be of assistance. Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences

Most people are familiar with the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences (AMPAS) for the Oscars; however, as a nonprofit they provide much, much more! Teacher’s Guide Series Their teacher’s guide series provides entire guides for middle and high school teachers to download and print about: animation – creating movement frame by frame art direction – the visual language of film costume design (en espanol) – defining character costumes and makeup – character by design documentaries – searching for the truth film editing – manipulating time and space screenwriting – the language of film sound and music – the power to enhance the story visual effects – seeing is believing These guides facilitate exploration of the art and science of motion pictures within the classroom. They are designed to tap students’ interest in film and the excitement of the Academy Awards to teach critical thinking, creative writing, and visual literacy. Events There are also many events hosted by AMPAS. Check their calendar to find out what’s coming next! Academy Originals Finally, one of my favorite things to check out are the Academy Originals. They are videos and photos focused on many different aspects of motion pictures. Two of my recent favorites are embedded below. The […]

Circulate Knowledge

Whatever your role within your community may be …student, teacher, mentor, grandparent …circulate knowledge through the sharing of ideas with these tear-off quotes. The first set includes four pages (front and back) of messages from Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, John Lewis, and Bayard Rustin. Circulating knowledge through this type of resource fosters: learning for the sake of learning the opportunity for youth to read new ideas from great mentors the sharing of ideas outside of the classroom critical thinking Download, print, cut on dotted lines, and post them in your school, library, and/or community. They are available as individual downloads or one longer PDF through the following links: Set 1 (includes quotes from all four people below) Maya Angelou Jane Goodall John Lewis Bayard Rustin I’m interested in hearing from you. What people would you like highlighted within future pages? Please comment below with the person and the 5-8 quotes you’d like to see for pages. Thank you. Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

The Great Wall of Los Angeles

This summer I was able to visit the Great Wall of Los Angeles. This was a destination that came up when I was searching for free things to do in Los Angeles that looked interesting. And though it looked like everyone else there was catching Pokemon, the mural completely exceeded our expectations. It’s an amazing depiction of California’s history from prehistoric times to the 1950s. Though a lot of the material was unfamiliar to me, it made me want to learn a lot more about the history of California. The mural is 1/2 mile in length and is located in the Tujuna Flood Control Channel of the San Fernando Valley. Most importantly, it was created by SPARC – the Social and Public Art Resource Center – that have been creating sites of public memory since 1976. This mural in particular began in the summer of 1976 with a team of 80 youths, 10 artists, and 5 historians collaborating under the direction of Chicana artist Judith Franciso Baca. By 1980 the mural was more than a 1/2 of a mile and had consumed some 600 gallons of paint and 65,000 kid-hours. To date the number of participating youths has reached over 400; however, this wall is […]

Quality Resource: Cursive Logic

Cursive handwriting is something that is in and out of the news due to people’s conflicting opinions on its usefulness. I was able to attend a seminar at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2015. It was there I learned about CursiveLogic. CursiveLogic is a simple, fun, and intelligent new way to teach cursive handwriting. First of all, the letters are grouped by shape in order for the entire lowercase alphabet to be learned. Expanding upon these shapes create letter strings to capture the flow of cursive handwriting. There are also visual and auditory cues using theme colors and verbal task analysis. If you’re asking yourself why cursive, what’s the method, and/or what does the workbook look like? Simply use the links and learn more at CursiveLogic!