Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Nonprofit Will Review Common Core Materials

 This may be a bit of public relations management, or it could be really helpful.  Time will tell. 
A new nonprofit organization called has announced that it will provide free, web-based reviews of instructional materials series (including technology-enabled products). Reviews will focus on alignment to the Common Core and other indicators of high quality as recommended by educators, including usability, teacher support, and differentiation. 

Funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will release its first round of Consumer Reports-like reviews later this year or early in 2015, focusing on K-8 mathematics materials. Subsequent reviews will include high school mathematics and K-12 English Language Arts. For further information, including a list of the 21 K-8 math instructional materials to be reviewed in the first round, read this article from Education Week.

You can sign up to get email updates on the project by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Are you thinking about teaching "The Giver" by Lois Lowry? students will love reading about a utopian society that seems perfect to outsiders but actually contains many flaws, but they may have problems with the book's open-ended, ambiguous ending.

For a complete Teacher's Guide to The Giver visit

Robin Williams' Hilarious Shakespeare Improvisation, Johnny Carson's Ton...

Monday, August 11, 2014

In honor of Ernest Hemingway...make this week absurdly manly


On this day in 1937, Ernest Hemingway bared his hairy chest,  then pulled open the shirt of critic,  Max Eastman, to expose his unhairy one.  Hemingway demanded "What do you mean accusing me of impotence?" and then wrestled Eastman to the floor in the Scribner's office of their mutual editor, Max Perkins.  Being a gentleman, Perkins then exposed his chest as well. 

But wait. You don't have to beat anyone up to get 30 copies of The Old Man and the Sea complete with teaching materials, you only need to visit

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

When a person, event or literary genre makes it to 'The Onion' you know it has arrived

In its own way, 'The Onion' is our paper of record.

Groundbreaking Young Adult Novel Features Protagonist Who’s A Bit Of A Loner

BEND, OR—Poised to shake up the genre with its daring choice of protagonist, a groundbreaking young adult novel released this week by author Joan Berman reportedly makes the bold choice of following a moody, independently minded high school student who could be described as something of a loner. “Rather than focusing on a popular member of the in-crowd, Happy Nowhere challenges readers’ expectations by telling the outcast’s story,” said book critic Anna Meier, noting that the work’s convention-defying heroine, 16-year-old Shelby Sartell, doesn’t particularly fit in with her classmates, sometimes gets teased and bullied, and even has a rather unusual family life.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Are you thinking about teaching 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett?

Help, The

Your Students will love the hopeful tone and ambitious nature of the main characters, but may have some problems understanding the context of the time period. Go to Prestwick House for a complete teacher's guide to The Help.