A collection of civic engagement resources for supporting productive conversations in the classroom and beyond.
From the Community
This collection shares resources created by educators across the Educator Innovator network who are working to transform their teaching in order to promote connected learning.
“I need someone to be the victim.” Laughter echoes through the elementary STEM lab on a frosty Saturday morning in Grand Haven, Michigan. Two girls giggle, surrounded by wrinkly chart paper full of messy writing, as they attempt to recruit actors for their anti-bullying video. A third girl rushes over, and the trio huddles around an iPad. The space is fairly noisy, maybe more so than a typical classroom, with pockets of kids spread out around the room. Looking beyond the mess and the noise, you might notice ten third and fourth grade students all highly engaged in learning. You might also notice a few adults coaching kids and asking questions. What you would have a hard time seeing is who is in charge.
I thought I'd mark the occassion. This year marks my 2nd year in Writing Project World. I'd just returned to teaching. My thinking at the time was, How long am I doing this? Am I in it for the long-term? Then the National Writing Project led me to understand that there was a way to marry my love for writing and creation to teaching. Now I'll be a learner all my life.. and nothing, absolutely nothing will get old in my classroom... I'm very happy to be here, and I look forward to being an active member of this community. It's taken me 2 years to find you.. for me, it's a relief to be among friends. :)
I’m a science teacher. I didn’t immediately embrace this identity, as I began my career a passionate English teacher. It didn’t take long before I was bouncing back and forth between English and science classrooms, and I quickly grew to love both equally. ... I am always looking for opportunities to incorporate new literacy skills into my science classroom.
via http://van-life.net/ I don't know what to make of the piece by Rachel Monroe in The New Yorker about #VanLife, which focuses on people who have taken to living in their vans (mostly VW vans) for all sorts of reasons -- economic, lifestyle, etc. These #VanLife folks then share their travels and world via social media, often with the hashtag of #VanLife, and mostly on Instagram. That's fine. Our world is one built on sharing and community practice (yes, there is a #VanLife network of people) but where I started to shake my head and wonder is when the article shifted to the money being made by those who are living in their vans.
A funny thing happened on my way to the Rhizome sometimes last year ... the hashtag got switched. Now, normally, this would not be a big issue. But I have come to realize more and more how much I rely on the columns of my Tweetdeck app (sorted by hashtags) as a place to keep connected to various projects. So, when someone switches a conversation from one hashtag (say, #rhizo16) to another (say, #resilience16), I suddenly feel disorientated. Lost. And I depend on the kindness of strangers. A few rhizo folks had made some initial tweets with both hashtags (which is quite generous because together, they take up a good portion of the 140 characters to begin with, you know?).
High school English teacher Scott Glass at Glenbrook South in the suburbs of Chicago had always been interested in art and creating, but didn’t do a lot of it himself until he started teaching a humanities class.
Colleagues of mine from the Philadelphia Writing Project asked me recently if I had suggestions about ways that they might think about extending their Summer Institute (SI) beyond the summer and into spaces, on and offline. The goals were to allow for beyond-the-summer discussions as well as to support others in joining in and participating beyond that particular SI cohort. Below are a set of Whys followed by a list of Hows ideas that I put together for them; sharing them here as a resource for other writing project sites and colleagues across the country. Feel free to add to an editable version of this list!
Starting something new is perpetually a complex endeavor: exciting and challenging; confusing and frustrating; fun and eye-opening; and important and mysterious --- think first day as a freshman, think mid-week of the first week of the Summer Institute (as part of the National Writing Project), think first day on the job. Being a member of this team of teachers (see links, below) working on creating curriculum for Youth Voices was just as amazing.