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Turning Struggling Students into Superheroes: Comic Books as Teaching Tools

The following guest post is an excerpt from Michael Strom’s graduate thesis Finding Comfort in Comics: Using Comic Books and Graphic Novels to Reach Struggling Male Readers. Strom is a graduate student at C.W. Post where he is pursuing his Masters of Science in Literacy.

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The Hero’s Journey

I don’t remember what it was about reading that got me hooked so young. Did I really enjoy it, or was I pressured into it from my mom? Either way, I didn’t fight it. Reading was the ultimate adventure, and I was the hero in that journey.

The structure of a hero’s journey is outlined in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell argues that the fundamental structure of a hero’s journey (or “monomyth”) is found…

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10 Promises Every Special Education Teacher Should Make To Their Students’ Parents

Guest post by Tim Villegas

1. I promise to stop calling parents who have high expectations and advocate for their children “high maintenance” and I will equally try to discourage the term “high profile” if due process is involved.

2. I promise to presume competence (always assume that your child can learn and is interested in learning) even if they are unable to communicate to me what they know (yet!)

3. I promise to never use the “R” word and to speak up against it when I hear it used in private or public.

4. I promise to ask your input on the educational goals for your child BEFORE the IEP meeting and realize that without your collaboration we have no team.

5. I promise to remember that YOU were your child’s first teacher and YOU are an expert on your child…not…

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Mike & The Nasty Self Fulfilling Prophecy [by Dr. Laz]

By Dr. David Lazerson, 2008 Inductee National Teachers Hall of Fame

“You’re wasting your time,” a colleague advised me. “He’s just a little kid in a big body.”

“You might be right,” I responded. “But I’ve seen music work its magic before.”

“Yeah,” he said shrugging his shoulders. “But not with all the issues this one has. Even his IEP says that he’s unable to predict outcomes.”

It blared off the paper like a flashing neon light. But this was not something to be taken too lightly. After all, it was the “holy grail” in the wide world of special education: the IEP in all …

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This is Incredible!! The Teach 100 Reaches 500 Blogs!

On January 8, 2013, Teach.com launched the Teach 100--an innovative new system to score the performance and importance of education blogs. Our goal was to provide an accurate and authoritative resource for everyone to expand their knowledge across a variety of areas. Over the past year, you've helped us achieve all that and more. Thanks to our passionate bloggers, the Teach 100 has developed into a community driven by the voices of the most prominent figures in the space.


Today we’re thrilled to announce that the Teach 100 has reached 500 bloggers! Your community has grown tremendously over the past 11 months, with over 450 submissions bringing us from our initial 120 to this epic milestone. Your Teach 100 community represents educators from 26 countries and numerous backgrounds, and we’ve been thrilled by th…

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Music: The Best Way to Boost Brain Power

Whether students are tickling the ivories on the piano or strumming a guitar, the hours they spend in music lessons and rehearsals are worth every penny. According to Education Week, studies presented at a recent Society for Neuroscience meeting pointed to the many academic benefits of learning a musical instrument. According to the studies, time spent doing so has been connected to a positive boost in creativity, memory, decision-making and multitasking skills. As with any talent or skill set, the earlier students get involved in music, the better.

One of the greatest outcomes of music instruction is the pleasure that students get from liste…

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Teachers are America’s Superheroes: Honoring Sandy Hook One Year Later

“Real heroes don’t wear capes. They work in America’s schools.”

The above-mentioned quote was taken from Nelba Marquez-Green’s open letter to our nation’s teachers, shortly after the tragedy that took the lives of 26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last December. Nelba’s daughter, Ana Grace, was one of those 26 children. Her letter is an equally heartwarming and heartbreaking dedication to the people she sees as America’s true heroes - our teachers.

The tragedy that shook Newtown undoubtably raises a number of issues, including that of mental health awareness, school safety, and gun control. However, as we approach the one-year “a…

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Schools Pushing for Eco-Friendly Cafeterias

Compostable trays and pesticide-free produce are just a few of the items that large school districts across the nation are hoping to offer within their school meal programs.

According to The New York Times, the Miami-Dade County school district is one of the larger districts that have started to use compostable trays, rather than the Styrofoam trays traditionally used for student lunches. Made of sugar cane, the trays will be composted for farms and gardens rather than filling up oversized landfills. With 345,000 students in the Miami-Dade district, that really is a lot of trays. Penny Parham, administrative director of food and nutrition for the district, feels…

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