Thursday, June 25, 2015

Illustrating "Beloved" by Toni Morrison

An illustrated version of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Beloved  has recently been published by The Folio Society. The illustrations done by Joe Morse bring the brutality and hardships of living in the post civil war south to life.

Morse,who was hand picked by Morrison, was interviewed by Flavor Wire and the two talk about how he began the creative process.
"When I work with a text, I look for the visual images embedded in the words that will support the narrative. I try to build a thread from image to image so that they belong together with the text, rather than appear dropped in like candy."
The full interview can be read here.

To purchase the paperback version of Beloved visit

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A simple plan to make Summer Reading more effective

"Both classes were given literacy test before and after summer vacation. Sure enough, the students who chose their books did better, improving from the previous summer. Those in the community program showed no improvement" 
Above is a quote form a study done by Dr. Erin Kelly at the University of Rochester Medical Center. In her work she tried to negate the "summer slide" problem that plagues many teachers.  

In her study she allowed small groups of students to pick the type of books that they wanted to read over the summer, and she saw immediate improvement. Give the full article a read here

Monday, December 1, 2014

Study finds digital learning less effective (and more expensive) than traditional teaching

Politicians from Jeb Bush to President Obama like to hype the revolutionary power and cost-effectiveness of digital learning, but a new study suggests, in many cases, it is neither more powerful nor cheaper than old-fashioned teaching.

Billions of public dollars have been directed toward digital learning initiatives in recent years, and the report from the National Education Policy Center, a research institute at the University of Colorado, found that they rarely improved outcomes. When they did, they cost more money, not less.

"On the whole, it is very difficult to have faith in the path we're going down," says Noel Enyedy, a researcher at UCLA who performed the analysis.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Is classroom technology actually working?

School districts always roll out technology adoptions with a great deal of fanfare. But what happens a year later, when the new ipads are yesterday's news? It is perhaps too early to say, but classroom technology follow-up stories are few and far between. Here is one from the New York Times which paints a somewhat pessimistic picture about the effectiveness of digital technology in the classroom.
“This is such a dynamic class,” Ms. Furman says of her 21st-century classroom. “I really hope it works.”
Hope and enthusiasm are soaring here. But not test scores.
Since 2005, scores in reading and math have stagnated in Kyrene, even as statewide scores have risen. To be sure, test scores can go up or down for many reasons. But to many education experts, something is not adding up — here and across the country. In a nutshell: schools are spending billions on technology, even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, with little proof that this approach is improving basic learning.
This conundrum calls into question one of the most significant contemporary educational movements. Advocates for giving schools a major technological upgrade — which include powerful educators, Silicon Valley titans and White House appointees — say digital devices let students learn at their own pace, teach skills needed in a modern economy and hold the attention of a generation weaned on gadgets.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Experience the power of a bookbook™

This is simply great. Yes, it is done as a bit of a joke, but seriously folks - the benefits of books discussed in this video are real - especially for schools and students.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Our 'Reading Informational Texts' is the "We Are Teachers" Pick of the Week connects teachers to the best resources in education.

Why we love it: Each book in the series includes four to five writings from historic figures like Frederick Douglass, speeches by leaders such as Winston Churchill, court opinions such as Brown v. Board of Education, scientific essays and more. Each text's introduction gives vital background information on historical context and short, side-margin annotations to help students unpack challenging ideas.

Terrific teacher editions: In addition to answer keys, analysis of each text's complexity is provided so you can gauge when your students are ready for each section. Meaty, instruction-packed teaching tips are provided at the beginning of each book relevant to teaching informational texts for the appropriate grade level.
Click here for the complete review. 

For more information on the series visit

Friday, August 29, 2014