Friday, September 26, 2014

Even if you didn't ask, BOOKSTORES RULE!

The Te@chthought prompt for today excited me tremendously because I thought I would be able to ramble on about my complete love and fascination with the inspirations of random things that I find -- usually from one of three places:

  1. University Bookstores
  2. Students
  3. Amazon's "helpful" recommendations just for me.  
It would be so easy to tell you about my early inspiration for developing curriculum through the (often) tradebooks I have discovered on the tables and shelves of university bookstores.  It started in 2005 when I was addicted to COSI's tomato, mozzarella and chicken pocket sandwich, and ate it every single day for two full weeks while in grad school at U Penn.  Fortunately for me, and not so fortunate for my bank account, COSI's was directly next door to the U Penn bookstore.  It was there that I discovered the book The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived and began to craft curriculum for high school gifted seminars.  (Now known as Themes in Literature).  While I still love bookstores, students, and the ever-growing list of books that Amazon recommends for me, Te@chthought wasn't asking.

Today's prompt actually was referencing SITES -- online places for help, tips and resources.  I know when to write to a prompt when I see one, so here goes...

Day 26 

What are your three favorite go-to sites for help/tips/resources in your teaching?

Initially, I was less than thrilled.  Then I started to realize how many amazing resources we will all have at the end of the day when we read each other's blogs.   I'm planning on posting the ones that seem relevant to me in links on my Pintrest -- mostly because I feel the need to apologize to anyone who decides to follow me and sends me a notification.  I know it's there, I just don't use it like I could.  (Which is probably true of many of my resources, but let's get to the top three!)

 My top three current sites are:

Just this morning I received an email advising me that the Habits of Mind site had been renovated, with all sorts of new teaching tips and materials.  This site makes it easy (and interactive) to teach kids the skills of metacognition.  They've even created posters, online games, and a cool selection of quotes to support their 16 Habits of Mind philosophy.  Teach them to think.  Really.
My friend, Flapjack Stevens, turned me on to this site, and the accompanying Sunday morning email.  If you sign up for the email, I suggest you grab the toast and hot beverage before you open your email, because you'll be inspired for a long time.  It's the 21st century version of the book list from the New York Times.

Created by a mom who was looking for a central place to find resources, hoagiesgifted is a phenomenon all its own.  Even if you don't teach exclusively gifted kids, the resources available on this site are the be all and end all.  There are tons of resources for parents, teachers, AND kids.

And when you're done looking there for inspiration, talk to your students.  Chances are, they have their own suggestions -- and will help you build your Pintrest boards so that you won't be embarrassed when you get notification that someone is following you and your boards. 

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