To Read or Not to Read…aloud

At its core, the Education Week article “The Power of Reading AloImage result for education week teacherud in Middle School Classrooms” discusses the power and skills gained by reading aloud in the classroom.  However, the author, Timothy Dolan goes deeper by explaining how a central theme of readings creates linear understanding and how reading those texts aloud together allow the teacher constant opportunities for differentiation.


Marrying Math and Language Arts

The race against the standards clock is always on for teachers of Mathematics and Language Arts, which can make consideration of pairing the two areas a challenge. However, author Ryan McCarty argues that teachers should consider The Power of Writing in Math and work together to help their students get collectively stronger.
McCarty takes some example standards of ELA and Math and breaks down how the use of writing in Math not only makes that subject strong, but the descriptive nature of the writing allows for the ELA side to grow as well.
The author concludes by sharing a powerful insight on how the power of writing in math provides direct insights into the minds of your students.  Powerful stuff if these two curricular areas can find the time (fingers-crossed) to collaborate!
Read the article on the Teaching Channel.

News: Fake or Fact?

Fake news has become ubiquitous on social media, and it’s increasingly difficult to determine if the stories are legitimate or not. Following are some resources for helping kids and adults sort out the fact and the fiction.  Below that you’ll find a real NPR news story about how one high school class is confronting this problem.

Fake News or Real? How to Self-Check the News and Get the Facts

Assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College, Melissa Zimdars created this guide for her students.

Learning to decipher fake news
Click the image above to read or listen to “The Classroom Where Fake News Fails” (from NPR).

SAMR Music Example (part 2)

In early Beatles’ music, the studio only provided a way to record what the band was already doing live. Technology didn’t present any new opportunities. That completely changed with the album Revolver. In particular, the song “Tomorrow Never Knows” reveals how technology was able to help the band capture the sounds they heard in their heads. Producer George Martin along with sound engineers were able to use technology to help the Beatles redefine their music. Watch this video from the PBS series Soundbreaking to learn more.

See the PBS Learning Media Site for Indiana for more lesson ideas. Additional materials are available at

SAMR music example (part 1)

A few weeks ago, I was watching an episode of the excellent PBS program Soundbreaking. I realized that the Beatles’ music is another great way to think about the SAMR model. As Ringo Starr explains, when they recorded their early albums, they basically just went in the studio and recorded what they’d been playing live for audiences. This is a great example of substitution in SAMR because the studio allowed the Beatles to record their music, but it didn’t actually change the music.

Find lessons and teaching materials for the Beatles on Soundbreaking at the PBS Learning Media Site for Indiana. Additional materials are available at, but you’ll need to create a free account.