Last week, Stanford researchers released a “bleak” report showing that more than 80 percent of students can’t determine the difference between real and fake news. (Alas, it seems this is something adults struggle with, as well.)

The severity of students’ lack of media literacy was shocking to the study’s authors who were “taken aback by students’ lack of preparation…Many assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally savvy about what they find there. Our work shows the opposite.”

What to do about this? I’m going to start by Continue reading

As I’ve mentioned before, last year’s classes devoured my three sets of Brain Teasers during our Quarter Trio competitions, so building a fourth batch was high on my summer “to do” list. Happily, the latest set is now complete. So…wanna play? Continue reading

(Or, Why the STEM Kids Need Our Classes) An item on my news crawl this week confirmed what we all already know – businesses are looking to hire a legion of engineers and accountants. (Apparently, the nation also needs an army of educators to fill our current shortage, but this specific article didn’t get into […]

This post is part of an occasional series documenting my entry into project-based learning. This semester, my students will participate in a 20Time project, a 12-week experience where they choose a worthwhile project to complete (somewhat) on their own using 20 percent of our class time. You can read more about the path that led to […]

As every English teacher knows, dystopian young adult literature is on fire. Hunger Games. The Maze Runner. Divergent. Matched. Uglies. Unwind. Even older titles, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (1985) and Lois Lowry’s The Giver (1993), have recently been turned into films, as producers have chosen to strike while the dystopian box office iron is […]

I’m always on the prowl for engaging news stories that will give my high school English students access to high-quality writing on topics that will actually hold their interest. It’s not easy. Continue reading

“Hey, haters gonna hate you every time.”
– Uncle Si, Duck Dynasty
“The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise.”
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

What do the Duck Dynasty guys have in common with Transcendental philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau? Apparently, quite a bit. Both sets of men believed in writing their own rules, celebrated the benefits of time spent in nature, Continue reading