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.

Assign Blogs or Essays?

Focusing on the central question, “Does the average person, once they leave school, spend a lot of time composing academic essays?” English teacher Shelley Wright posits a mindshift is needed for allowing students to better show what they are learning.  

While she teaches traditional writing styles of voice, theme, thesis, and proper formatting, she noticed that her students had trouble transferring those skills after they graduated.  After pondering the issue for years, she began showing her students the power of blogging. Blogging, she believes is the new persuasive essay and students are able to better grasp the relevance of persuading their audience and most importantly finding a writing voice that will take them further in the future.  

Read the entire KQED Mindshift article.


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