Textbook Scavenger Hunt

slide1I put this together recently for my literacy class. I’m posting here mainly because I there’s quite a variety of questions that can be asked in a textbook scavenger hunt. I think I did a pretty good job of covering a wide range of potential questions and having them available in the future should speed up the process. The textbook I used is one of the books required for my literacy class, so it’s not exactly representative of a book you might use in a high-school classroom, but the principals are the same

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Learning about Edutopia

I had assumed that the George Lucas of the educational foundation that carries his name was not THE George Lucas… but he is. Fortunately he’s a better philanthropist than script-writer.

Edutopia is one of the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s projects. They maintain a large and very active community of teachers and administrators. They also promote and curate content from that community on their website, which you can search/browse by topic or strategy.

Most of the content that they promote falls into specific categories, since they have explicitly aligned themselves with a few different “core strategies.” Technology integration, project-based learning, comprehensive assessment, integrated studies, and social-emotional learning, are their big themes.

Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers

I’ve started my search for teaching materials and resources that I can really make my own with with podcasts, since that’s pretty close to where I live right now. I listen to podcasts all the time, and it just makes sense to be getting ideas and inspiration for teaching from that source. So far I’ve turned up some fairly unhelpful podcasts, and one absolute gem.

Angela Watson’s special focus is helping educators with their mental and emotional health. every episode begins the same way, with Angela serenely intoning “I’m here to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the hearts and minds of teachers.” Episodes are short; around 10-12 minutes. I’ve noticed a lot of what she talks about actually has elements of cognitive behavioral therapy.

“Teachers need truth more than anything else. Teachers are constantly being told things that aren’t true. Things like ‘your value is determined by you students’ test scores.’ Things like ‘there’s one right way to teach, and you’re not doing it.’… Someone needs to counter lies like these, and speak truth into teachers’ lives. I’m typically known as being a positive and encouraging person… but I want to be known as a truth teller as well.”

You can see she talks a lot about truth. I’m really connecting with that. I’ve become allergic to positivism for the sake of positivism. The truth heals even when it hurts. Education is complicated enough without creating barriers against simple honesty, with ourselves as well as others.

She signs off with “You can do this. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.” Thanks Angela. I believe that.

11/01 Edit: She has a pinterest site