Adventures of a Teacher Nerdfighter

Nerd life really is better than regular life.

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Dear Common Core English Standards: Can we talk?

Dear Common Core English Standards: Can we talk?

Originally posted on Daniel Katz, Ph.D.:

Back in 1993, when I had barely been teaching in my own high school English classroom for a month, I had an epiphany.  I looked around my classroom of ninth graders and realized, consciously, that they were not all going to become high school English teachers.  As epiphanies go, I admit that does not sound exceptional, but it was actually foundational for…

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Can Harry Potter Change the World?

Of course! It already has, according to this wonderful opinion piece in The New York Times. It shows respect for millennials as readers and as thinking citizens of the world. It shows respect for Harry Potter as literature and as a social movement.

So I have one question:

Why, when considering whether Harry Potter should “be introduced to official school curriculum,” would the professor quoted in…

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In Case of Inspiration Emergency: Write a Letter to a Character

lettersandlight:

image

Whether you’re a planner or not, there’s one thing every writer will need as they prepare for NaNoWriMo: inspiration. We’ve challenged some of our favorite authors, and the NaNo staff to inspire you by sharing what’s inspired them… and challenging you to prepare a specific jumpstart for that inevitable idea drought:

The Inspirer: Sarah Mackey, NaNoWriMo Director of Community Engagement 

The Inspiration Sources:

The Jumpstart: Write a short letter to one of your possible characters for them to respond to in November.

Why This Will Inspire You: I’ve been contemplating writing an epistolary novel for NaNoWriMo this year. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, it’s a story written in the form of documents, usually letters. They are among my favourite type of novels to read, and although I’ve often included various letters, emails, text messages, and other documents in previous novels, I’ve never gone 100% epistolary before.

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Great advice! I’m considering writing my novel as a series of 1,667-word blog posts, some with reader comments.

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Exploration and Xerox PARC

Beginning next week, the students in the House of Awesome will begin a learning adventure called Exploration (known in many classrooms as Genius Hour). Here’s how it works: Every Tuesday afternoon, students will be in charge of their own learning. They will choose a topic that interests them, submit a proposal, plan and conduct their own research, create something to show what they learned, and…

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Filed under allons-y education fifth grade genius hour nerd

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neil-gaiman:

fangirlquest:

To anyone who’s having a bad day, remember: Neil Gaiman cares and wants you to carry on.

And more importantly (at least from this end), I can have rough days too. We all can. The important thing is the being human, and reaching out.

neil-gaiman:

fangirlquest:

To anyone who’s having a bad day, remember: Neil Gaiman cares and wants you to carry on.

And more importantly (at least from this end), I can have rough days too. We all can. The important thing is the being human, and reaching out.

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NaNo Prep: Giving Your Hero a Reason to Heal

lettersandlight:

NaNo Prep season is here! Whether you’re already planning your novel, searching for inspiration, or planning not to plan your novel, we’ll be providing insights, tips, and writer fuel to help you hit the ground running in November. Today, author Alan Sitomer shares how you can give your protagonists drive—and find healing:

To have a great story you must have a great hero. And to have a great hero, you must beat the crud out of them.

Totally serious. Great heroes, over the course of great stories will have been dragged through the mud physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. Maybe not in that order, but it will have happened. Each hurt should be wrenching, vivid and altering (if not downright scarring).

Indeed, to become a successful writer you must love your hero and hurt your hero. Why? Because readers love it! Why do they love it? Because the more formidable the challenge, the deeper down the hero must reach in order to achieve their goal and heal.

Over the course of a good story, the reader will come to experience a couple primary hurts:

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NaNoWriMo Is Coming!

NaNoWriMo teachers: The 2014 classroom noveling kits are here! If you haven’t tried NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with your students yet, I highly recommend it! It is the most empowering, exhilarating, motivating activity you could possibly dream of bringing to the classroom. I have done it for four years with my fourth through sixth grade students, and I look forward to it with…

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Filed under education fifth grade nanowrimo teaching writing