Introducing Notable Notes

All, Education, Notable, Teaching, Writing

As I’ve blogged before (see “PLNs, Serendipity, and Learning” and “My PLN is the Terminator”), this is a great time to be an educator because there are so many tremendous resources available to us and because social media has allowed us to create connections and communicate across time and space in ways that just weren’t possible when I began my career. I can remember my second teaching job – teaching GED preparation classes at night in a high school that was typically empty of everyone other than my class and a custodian. For a very young teacher it was more than a little frightening and often frustrating. Today’s teachers have a wealth of online choices from real-time Twitter chats to asynchronous blogs and Pinterest boards with MOOCs and other active communities offering the best of both worlds.

I try to do my part and pay forward the many wonderful resources, tips, and tricks and especially hacks that I encounter on my electronic journey, but I know that many of my friends and followers are super-super busy and so they might miss some of those great shares – and to be honest sometimes I don’t have the time and/or energy to always give them the attention they deserve when I first encounter them – so I have decided to get into the curation business. I sort of do this using various other curation tools (Pinterest, ScoopIt, Tumbler, etc.)  as well as by favoriting and liking – yet all too often I forget that I did any such thing and far too often when I want a half-remembered resource I can’t find it again. So my attempt to curate those resources on a regular schedule will be to blog every Monday about the NOTABLE discoveries of the previous week! I know this will be useful for me and hopefully for my readers and PLN as well.

I will probably play around with some different resources, but this week I found my top Tweets through mytoptweet.com – check it out! http://mytoptweet.com/?u=deannamascle

My top Tweet happens to be a terrific article on EdWeek by Starr Sackstein – “5 Questions Educators Must Ask Themselves Daily” – I think it is important for every educator to have a set of gut-check core questions they ask themselves whenever they are struggling with the day (or week or year) or simply with a behavior or content area. Back when I first began teaching at the college level one of my mentors asked me an important question and I continue to use it (modified for the occasion) as my touchstone. That question is simply: “Who is served?” Hmmm, maybe a future blog post in that…

Another top Tweet came from the National Writing Project’s Digital Is and was written by Mindy Early – “Meme-Inspired Writing Activity” which just goes to prove that Digital Is provides amazing resources and that Memes are awesome. It also reminded me that I need more Meme-related activities for my writing-classrooms.

The final Tweet I’ll share in this inaugural “Notable” post is actually a compilation of images (quotes) shared by Justin Tarte on his Life of an Educator blog – “10 images to share at your next faculty meeting” which is well worth reading and sharing. The image I posted with this blog post came from this collection.

This week’s bonus Tweet is the most shared Tweet featuring one of my own blog posts on my Metawriting blog – “You Can’t Teach the Writing Process: How to Make Writers by Showing Not Telling” continues to resonate with me more than a year after I wrote it so I am very pleased that it does with others as well.

2 comments

  • Great article! Thanks for sharing out my meme activity. After doing it in a few different classrooms and exploring it through a few different lenses, here’s a meme warm-up I developed that I do with classes before letting students loose in the gallery:

    Part I. Full Class Exploration/Warm-Up

    1. Before students arrive, tape the five to ten photos around the room to create a gallery.
    2. When it’s time for the activity, ask students, “What’s a meme?” to create a working definition of a meme as a class. Ask students to share some fo their favorite picture-based memes.
    If the Morpheus meme doesn’t come up, ask students if they heard of it. Definition: The Morpheus meme is based on the character from the movie The Matrix. In it, Morpheus is a guru-like character who can “blow your mind” by sharing great secrets or truths.
    So when Morpheus in this meme says, “What if I told you…” the goal is to complete the meme with something that’s going to blow people’s minds.
    3. Ask students to sit in a circle. Hand each student a copy of the same photo that has been formatted like the Morpheus meme, with “What if I told you…” written at the top and a blank space at the bottom.
    Ask each student to complete the meme, by thinking of a secret, a fear, a desire, or even a hobby that character has that would blow people’s minds. Instruct students to not put their name on the paper, and to write clearly so that others can read it.
    4. When students are finished, instruct them to place their memes in the center of the circle. Once all the memes are all in the circle, have students choose one that is not their own and then return to their spot in the circle.
    5. One at a time, go around the circle and have students share the memes. Ask group which ones stuck to them, or sounded like they would make an interesting story, and why (identifying their responses as plot, conflict, motivation, etc. when applicable).

    • I love it! So much potential for an ice breaker or to introduce a new writing assignment or to explore a reading

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