Monday, October 6, 2014

Heads up! Summer just got away.

Sara and I are back from a quick trip to Springfield Illinois where we were featured speakers at the Illinois Reading Councils conference.

It's nice to be working so close to home and we had a really good time meeting and laughing with a whole bunch of teachers in the land o Lincoln.

We talked about writing,  from the outside in, across the curriculum, as an assessment tool and as a component in a no rigor zone. Somewhere the powers that be decided to adopt the term rigorous instruction - it's as if they didn't bother to look the word up in the dictionary e.g.

 (1) :  harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment :  severity (2) :  the quality of being unyielding or inflexible :  strictness (3) :  severity of life :  austerity
b :  an act or instance of strictness, severity, or cruelty
2:  a tremor caused by a chill
3:  a condition that makes life difficult, challenging, or uncomfortable; especially :  extremity of cold
4:  strict precision :  exactness rigor
5a obsolete :  rigidity, stiffness
b :  rigidness or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli
c :  rigor mortis
Sounds like a great learning environment huh?  
Anyway - we are actively supporting anti-rigor - let's replace the word with vigor (as our friend Lester Laminack suggests) or let's just continue the good teaching practices that were in place before all this silly rigor stuff started getting tossed around.

As such - Sara and I have decided that this year we will be posting more lessons to OUR Teachers Pay Teachers site as well as books from out back catalog. the books will be re imagined as PowerPoint presentations - we're calling them Heads Up books because they are project-able. This way the class has their eyes up where a teacher can see them, engaged and ready for discussion.

So - that's what's new right now - we are off  to dive down the rabbit hole at the end of the month - headed to Borneo and Indonesia - in the meantime let's get a cup of coffee, send me a note and we'll set it up.


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