I am looking forward to watching the movie BULLY. I was moved nearly to tears by this movie trailer clocking in just over two minutes long. Looks like a powerful movie that teachers, parents and administrators should all watch.

I came across this film as I was collecting resources for a student who is writing her persuasive essay on bullying. Unfortunately, the film is rated R. However, a high school student who was a victim of bullying wants more kids her age to see this film. So, she started a petition to have the MPAA change the rating from R to PG-!3. Click here to sign the petition!

Photography + writing project with partner school in Rio de Janeiro

Towards the end of the school year the Hybrid Huskies will study Latin America in social studies. Students are going to have the opportunity to learn about Latin American culture and geography through a pen-pal project. However, as I am planning this with a teacher in Rio de Janeiro, I am learning that there will be a language barrier…only a small percentage of her students speak English. So, were seeing this as a creative opportunity for the students to take photographs representing their daily lives, the geography surrounding them and eventually write a caption or word as the basis for this cross-cultural exchange.

To make this pie-in-the-sky dream come true, I am partnering with a non-profit called Every Person Has a Story.

“EPHAS shares stories and connects people around the world through the power of photography. We put cameras in the hands of students and provide teaching and guidance. Then, we use the power of the internet to get their stories told. EPHAS currently operates 20 schools in Cambodia, the DR, Haiti, Rwanda, and the U.S., and we share over 300 images per week. We believe that Every Person Has A Story, and that every story deserves to be told!”

Script Frenzy!

I just got an email with tons of great resources for students and teachers from The Young Writer’s Program Script Frenzy! I won’t ever forget the powerful writing experience my students and I went through during The Young Writer’s Program National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo) back in December.

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants attempt the creatively daring feat of writing an entire script in the month of April. Click the link below to watch a video trailer explaining Script Frenzy!

Who: You and everyone you know. No experience required.

What: Write a script in 30 days. (Screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comics, and graphic novels are all welcome.)

When: April 1–30. Every year. Mark your calendars.

Where: Online and in person (if you’re participating with your class or with a group of friends).

Why: Because you have a story to tell. Because you want a creative challenge. Because you’ll be super-bummed if you miss out on the adventure!

How: Sign up. Tell everyone that you are in the Frenzy. Clear your calendar. Start some wrist exercises. Have fun!

iPad

I recently got an iPad. During this break, I have downloaded app after app to explore the iPad’s usability in the classroom. One of my favorite websites for the iPad is built just for teachers and students – http://www.appitic.com/
Whether you have an iPad or not, you can explore some of the powerful uses for teaching and learning. While I have my reservations (cost of product, fragility, difficulty of typing on device, etc) there are plenty of benefits for using a tablet like the iPad in the classroom. For example, the apps “explain everything” and “screen chomp” are great freetools for students to create presentations or for the teacher to create tutorials. I recently participated in a webinar all about the uses of those apps and more and the possibilities are very exciting.

Pen pal project social studies

I am very excited to have letters, photographs and stories arrive from our partner school in Kenya. My students have already written letters introducing themselves and asking questions to their pen pals. As my sixth grade social studies classes are learning abut culture and geography in Africa, this is a real, meaningful and authentic way for students to learn. It’s taken a while to establish just the right partnership with a school, but I have connected with a heroic teacher at a middle school in rural Kenya. She is typing up all 70 of her students letters at the local cyber cafe. I will post more info as I get it!

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