Friday Link Up!

Friday Link Up

10 Back-to-School Tips for Teachers Using Google Docs via Te@chThought

Cultivating Creativity in Standards-Based Classrooms via Edutopia

“Interactive Sites for Education” Roundup from Larry Ferlazzo

Why Are There Silent Letters in the English Language from Mental Floss (via Larry Ferlazzo)

Ten Free Apps and Tools for Starting Out (and Staying) Organized via Edutopia

Favorite Pins

Setting Up Your Classroom: 9 Practical Things You May Not Have Thought Of via Teach 4 the Heart

Practice Makes Perfect: Citing Textual Evidence via Lesson Planet

53 Ways to Check for Understanding via Edutopia

What to Look for in a New Curriculum

This upcoming school year, our school will be looking at adopting a new high school ELA curriculum.  I have a very limited background when it comes to school districts and their adoption or development of curriculums.  I have seen many documents online as I have done my own research for my own, which was based solely on the incorporation of the state standards, researched-based strategies, and strong texts.

I have been through several textbook series and curriculum support presentations in my career, and this summer would be no different.  Before the presentations began, I sat down and made a list of all the features I would want the ideal ELA curriculum to have:

  • Standard-based lessons and activities
  • Reading, Speaking, Listening activities
  • Close Reading
  • A strong writing program
    • Synthesizing information presented into a product
    • “Beyond-the-text” assignments
    • MLA/APA/Citations/Plagiarism support
    • How to do research – online and in libraries
  • Rubrics
  • The text selection would be both rigor-appropriate, but also high interest
  • Technology & multimedia must be incorporated
  • Digital copies of the texts for the students and teachers
  • Differentiated options
  • Support for ELL/ESL students
  • A user-friendly interface
  • Support for teachers (professional development, customer service support)
  • Options for teachers to customize the content/assessments/assignments

Educator Question of the Day: What other features do you look for in a new curriculum?

August Goals

It took me awhile to come up with my goals for August because I knew that despite the roll I was on, both planning and reading-wise, my schedule would be changing quite a bit.  It would be unrealistic for me to expect to maintain either levels of productivity.  With that being said, I was able to come up with three goals for the three major areas of my life.  I really did take the time to ensure that they were S.M.A.R.T. goals, which isn’t something I always do.

smart-goal-photo2

Reading Goals for August:

1.  Read daily for a minimum of either 30 minutes or 50 pages.

2.  Complete five full novels – (20 nonfiction articles = 1 novel).

3.  Write a review for each of the novels (nonfiction article sets) I complete.

4.  BONUS: Daily, read two articles my friends/colleagues share with me (either via email or Facebook).

Professional Goals for August:

1.  Convert my text notes from the previous year into Evernote.

2.  Create departmental meeting documents

  • Individual Meeting Form
  • Monthly Meeting Agenda (department-specific)
  • Create individual meeting schedule for the 1st quarter

3.  Create a database of articles to read for our PLC time

Personal Goals for August:

1.  Create weekly dinner menus the week in advance – preferably by Sunday.

2.  Create weekly shopping list based upon the menu created.

3.  Find an outside bookclub to attend

  • Meetup.com
  • Local libraries
  • Barnes and Noble(?)

4.  BONUS: Family Budget

  • Update budget daily – easily done on Quickens
  • Create and maintain a travel budget/savings