Posts Tagged ‘ASCD’


Compare and Contrast

April 9, 2011

I watched  a live stream from the 2011 ASCD conference that really inspired me in the classroom. It was presented by Harvey Silver of Silver, Strong and Associates, and it is well worth watching.  The title of his presentation was the Strategic Teacher.

The presentation consisted of two parts, the first on using the strategy of compare and contrast. Powerful is a mediocore adjective to describe  it.  It made so much sense that I couldn’t wait to apply it.  I took his principles and applied to the NYS ELA test coming up in May.  In Book 3 they present two related readings to the kids coupled with a graphic organizer, two short response and an extended response.  Quite often the extended has presented the similarity of the two and gives them the task of which would they prefer, a lifestyle, a way of helping, a lesson etc.  So, what I did was take the c/c strategy and applied to the persuasive/opinion part of the test.

Often, myself included, we make a quick a decision without analysis.  My task was for students to recommend either the story of “Perseus” from Bernard Evslin’s Heroes, Gods and Monsters or the movie version Clash of the Titans also about Perseus.  The results were remarkable.  Probably these were the best 5 paragraph essays I have read consistently in years.  Not only were they great, but the percentage of students completing the assignment blew me away.  It made sense to them.

Next Step:  I am going to do it again this week on the topic of Heroes.  Also, I am going to explore how to use this strategy in multiple choice questions.


Inspiration: The Webinar

March 27, 2011

Webinars are great!

When I first conceptualized this idea/blog, I never thought how technology could influence me in the classroom.  What do I mean by this?  I really was not thinking outside the box.  I was stuck in the activities that I could do in my classes using technology not I was getting via technology. This weekend the ASCD had a conference in California.  I live in New York and as much as I would have loved to have gone, there was no way.  Actually, I didn’t even know about it.  I learned about through an email from Thoughtful Press (Silver, Strong and Associates).  Harvey Silver was presenting and his session was going to be streamed live.  I love this guy.  About 12 years ago, I was blessed to have partaken in a week-long workshop in Binghamton.

I missed his, it will be archived, but what I did see three others (so far), Bob Sullo, Peter Reynolds and Curriculum 21 guru Heidi Hayes Jacobs.  I will address each one. separately. Each presenter blew me away in some form.  I have gone from the beginning of the year engrossed in my work to dormant to alive. This transformation was brought possible because of the technology on my lap.

This is global education at it’s finest.  This weekend I went to California and I didn’t have to pay a cent.  I have to capture this in my classroom.  I am going to find a classroom  in Greece for my classes to Skype with.  How cool is that