Teach100 – The Principal of Change

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#30: The Principal of Change

I am the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for Parkland School Division. I believe we need to inspire our kids to follow their passions, while letting them inspire us to do the same.

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  • Chris Hoovler

    Outstanding App for documenting student behavior- Teacher’s Assistant Pro. Seriously, it’s very good. Just read the comments:

    Free version:

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  • Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen

    Math Quizzer looks nice there is also Math Ninja or Junior bingo. The below are also good options for the younger students.

    Trunky Learns Letters

    Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

    Trunky Memory

  • iCue Network

    Great post – thanks for sharing these!

  • iCue Network

    We’ll definitely have to share this. What a great list of resources!

  • Susan Nunes

    Thanks for the site information. I have never heard of most of these. I would like to return to education in one capacity or another after being out of it (outside of some sub work) for almost four years.

  • Mrmathss

    Good stuff! But people prefer the noose for its entertainment value, so teachers will continue to be hampered in their efforts in a career that they chose to give to kids.

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  • Mario Wilson

    I am so glad that you are bringing this topic to light. The obesity rate is growing by the minute in America and it’s sad, but if we can just slowly but surely bring awareness to it, we can make a difference.

  • Ritarrr

    Thank you for presenting this information in the readable graphic. Thanks also for providing the coding to feature it on other web sites. I’ll use it on one of my blogs: The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide or the Boomer Consumer.

  • Hunterr

    why/how the surrender monkeys seem do to it way better….

  • Casey

    Good info on ads and childhood obesity but it leaves out this stunning fact: In 1983, companies spent $100 million marketing to kids. Today, they’re spending nearly $17 billion annually.

  • Jennifer (Food, Mommy!)

    Thank you for the addressing this issue, but we need to do more. It is at school where my child receives most of her “treats.” Pizza parties and candy for rewards, holiday parties where parents are asked to send candy, soda and chips, and sweet extras in the lunch line. The maketers are the least of my worries. We need to step up as the adults in our child’s lives and say NO!

    • imdanica

      The isolated instances in which your child receives treats at school is a drop in the bucket compared to the endless hours of advertising she is exposed to in a given week. It is important not to underestimate how advertising affects people. I work in advertising, so please take my word for it– advertisers know how to get through to people without them even knowing it.

      By all means, schools should not be serving up ice cream, cookies and other sweets– this perpetuates the idea that “dessert” is necessary or that sweets are a necessary component to a meal. That being said, parents need to be dilligent at all times– matching your child’s exposure to heavily-marketed junk foods with explanations of why those foods are bad and why they need to have healthy food instead– and, like you said, being firm about what children receive as “treats” at school.

  • Mollykate74

    Why double the servings? Isn’t the idea to promote healthy eating not overeating? This makes no sense. My child was sent home “sick” because he felt pressured by ‘no waste lunch’ to eat what he couldn’t finish, and made himself sick. Maybe we should leave the health of the children to the children and their parents, not the school, pto, gov etc.

  • Babszilla22

    There needs to be changes everywhere. I thought the school lunch was balanced until I found out every day he can choose chocolate milk canned fruits and A cookie. guess what he ate every time.

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  • Boo

    not for school num nut!

  • Anvonbank

    You model the real truth of the matter, that the building leader must embrace the change before they expect others to follow. Your school is transformed because you took an active role in helping it happen. Many school leaders miss this, waiting for their “techie” teachers to lead the way.

  • Sheryl Dwyer

    Interesting… These very same misconceptions are often the reasons/excuses schools choose not to prioritize the explicit teaching of skillful and effective thinking.

  • ClassDojo

    Hi – Kalen from ClassDojo here. Thanks so much for including us in this great blog post – really exciting to hear about all the innovation coming out of your program!

  • allah_speaking

    The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers…
    All on-line, so you’ll only be paying for your internet service…

  • Sarah

    OMG! Love it.

  • Holly Mcinerney


  • Selenastair

    This needs to be a poster! This chart needs to be available for teachers and librarians to put on the wall!!

  • Mgenevievey

    I wish it would print like a poster… Or maybe I could assign each student and give them some construction paper and we can make the map ourselves…

  • LD Robwell

    Why is heart of darkness on a path that says No Social Issues, Yes Dventure? It talks AT LENGTH about the exploitation of african workers by european companies and is very much a social commentary, not an avenue.

  • Kate Tallulah Taylor

    This is cool although the choices in fantasy seemed a little dated, especially when the genre’s enjoying such a resurgence: where was A Song of Ice and Fire, American Gods, Name of the Wind and other contemporary heavyweights?

  • Raquel Porto Monteiro

    Great, great flowchart! I’ll share it on my blog, if you don’t mind!

  • Aunt_freya

    Hillman book is titled “I will plant you a lilac tree”…

  • Sayre D

    What a great way to figure out what to read!

  • Brigidkehoe

    Would like to see one of these done for grade school kids!

    • Guest

      Oliver Twist. It was written for children and with a little hard work they will improve their reading skills

  • Erendrake2

    Wonderful! Add Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry to Dark Fiction category.

  • ALLaugh

    Having us double the servings of vegetables while not banning GMO’s in this country is hardly a “step up.”
    We also need to demand that animals and NOT fed antibiotics and hormones!!! My 8 year old granddaughter (and her friends) has breasts!!! Trust me it’s not genetic.

  • Rita Lovestosingknitread

    Thanks for all the food for thought!

  • Puttputt1198eve

    This is a geat idea — and great suggestions. I’m a retired teacher and this really works for me. Thanks!!

  • Lotsaboiz3

    Nicely done! This should be a poster

  • ClassicallyModern

    Some updates:
    What about Borges “Ficcones” with Poe for short stories?
    Where Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” under magical realism for a tour de force?
    What about Calvino & Pynchon? Kafka’s “The Trial”
    Why no “Pale Fire” from Nabokov?
    Where’s ‘Stream of Consciousness’ as a category…?
    Started out with some real greats, then some of the books toward the end were a little forced & too specific. Overall, great chart though.

  • Logophage

    Why is the picture for Lord of the Rings a photo of the DVD box set?

  • LongStrider

    The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

  • Gradybryan

    I like the idea — also — of having students make a similar chart.
    Maybe the faculty could create one as well.

    • Monica Roland

      Yes! Students could make their own!

  • Ксюша Матива

    I love it

  • Barbara Middlemast-Neal

    I think this is very clever and would certainly endorse many of the recommendations. I agree with a comment below, which says that this needs to be a poster. It would be difficult to display this vertically though – a landscape version would be brilliant; think of that, going around the wall of a library.

  • My Two Innings

    These flowcharts are always funny, but Time Travel as the distinguishing characteristic of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five”? Really? That’s all you got out of it?

  • Anonymous

    Persepolis and Maus belong in Non-Fiction (they are biographies/autobiographies).

  • Melissa Baern

    Jane Eyre is about growing up rich?

  • wurdnurd

    Interesting that Billy Collins is the ONLY contemporary poet, and the only female listed in the poetry category is James Franco’s mom (who didn’t even write either of the collections shown; they’re compilations of YA-written poetry). Beyond that, an interesting graphic showing the bestsellers from the past 10 years, and every book assigned in high school that we *may have* skipped reading at the time…

  • Cburton

    You can right click on the chart & save it. Then upload to Facebook & put in the link.
    I tried printing, but just did part of chart, but if you had time & smarts I know you could figure it out, but they probably want you to buy it.
    Would be a fun cling on the floor or wall too….I bet you could make up your own clever one.

  • Michelle Notinterested

    Great flowchart! After reading the first several, I was expecting to see a statement that “and these great works ae all banned..somewhere, read them now.” The beginning sure looks like a list of banned books from banned books week. They all look like great reads!

  • Jan Morrison

    I like that the 3 ‘dark fiction’ choices are by Canadian women. huzzah for the dark weird north!

  • Brian Will

    Thanks for putting this together. There are some great books on the chart!

  • A_LexWilde

    BRILLANT!!! je vous le pique, il marche aussi en français! Merci!!

  • BruceB

    Where can I get this poster for my classroom? And a second poster to forward to my board of education because they can use this and never have to write English/Literature/Speech/Grammar /History curriculum EVER again!!

  • Kwbmath

    This is really cool! Even for a math teacher who reads in the summers.

  • Kmichaelp

    I’d love to know how you made this? Is it a Web 2.0 tool?

  • Amanda Porfirio

    This is awesome!!

  • Med kharbach

    Thank you Eric, you have made a great point. I am so glad there are educators in your calibre who advocate the use of technology especially the emerging ones in education.

  • Med kharbach

    Thank you I will post this infographic to my readers on

  • Elizabeth

    Can this please be a poster? I want to put this up in my classroom!

  • Cjchristoff

    This generates a lot of interest in adding favorites or improvements. I love that readers are always willing to share their book favorites with friends and new friends.

  • Jmarq3

    Excellent! iIwonder how many of today’s schools even teach some of any of these books. For shame if they are not.

  • Katherine Traylor

    34 female authors and 68 male ones. About as expected. I certainly won’t be using this chart.

    • Sue Trudgian

      what tosh! Why would you count them to check anyway?

  • Delanobpurscell

    Become a person this summer

  • Hobbsk

    This flow is so AWESOME!!!! I embedded it into my web site! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Linkancowz

    I am a librarian and I’d love to have this as a poster to hang up for people to see!!!

  • Bcncoahran

    Would love to have one for middle school High Ability kiddos!

  • Andrew Wahl

    This is fantastic! We sent it out by Twitter yesterday and embedded on our site today. Thanks for the willingness to share!

    Andrew Wahl
    Communications Director
    Humanities Washington

  • Christina Beeler1028

    I absolutely love this! What a brilliant idea! I will definitely use this.

  • Ramseyk

    Summer reading should be fun and light, not dark, drab, and depressing.

  • rebecca b

    I like Pearson over all they have good textbooks but this seems totally insane.

  • Lynda Roy

    More useful than a poster, the books need to be hotlinked to Amazon.

  • Guest

    Pearson writes the MTEL (Massachusetts Test for Education Licensure), and you can image the type of round about, ridiculous questions people see on a standardized test that’s suppose to score whether a teacher can teach. Personally, I think all a bit much that students and teachers alike have to pass some kind of bubble test just to show their academic abilities. I’m sure there are better ways to measure these things. Additionally, what about students who don’t do well on tests? If a high school student can’t pass a state mandated standardized test, simply due to test anxiety or a different learning style, that student could suffer the consequence of not graduating. It’s absurd.

  • Ramakant Kumar

    Nice Blog, I appreciate. This is good for Teachers Eligibility Test

  • guest

    High-stakes testing is absurd and pushes teachers to teach to the test at the expense of critical thinking and other 21st century skills. Did you know that in Finland, ALL students are NEVER tested? Even the International test that they rank so high on is only given to a random sample of students. High-stakes testing stifles true education and fails to address the true issues of motivation to learn, 21st century skills of creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration.

  • Mrs. Noble

    How can I get a poster of this?

  • Lihar76

    the problem with this particular test and its multiple choice responses is that the last question is bullshit. Within the story, the moose doesn’t ask anything regarding the Pineapple”s sleeves, he merely states that they don’t HAVE any. the last question is posed wrong and none of its multiple choice responses are relevant since the moose never ASKED a question. it made a statement. Who is the loser exactly in this little test? I’m annoyed since all questions posed must be answered and there is no field for explanations, explanations, such as the last question is unaswerable due to irrelevance based on it never having happened within the story!

  • Oanderson9212

    Poster please! I’d buy copies for my library. Could be a very cool readers advisory tool too…..

  • PragmaticMom

    Love it!

  • Annsanchez48

    Learning and teaching to the needs of the students must be the focus of the classroom, not teaching to the test. Testing and assessment have been pushed so far down that pre school teachers are not teaching to the assessment tool that the state requires them to use. No more learning through free and joyful play? I hope it doesn’t come to that.

  • guest

    I agree with Nikhil, and I’m excited by his energy and enthusiasm for changing the educational landscape!

    • Nikhil Goyal

      I appreciate it!

  • Julieanne10

    Any chance you supply this as a printable poster???

  • Patricia

    I’ve been a biology teacher for many years and the more I teach the more I see that the system is in place to literally squash the young student’s enthusiasm and natural curiousity. I want to find a local school that I can help that uses a non-curriculum form of education. After all, a student can learn to communicate to others through writing, speaking, blogging, poetry…etc. and it doesn’t matter what the topic is. Let a child explore what they really love, and they will use art, visuals, 3-D objects, experiences, sounds, music, writing, math, science and so much more. And if they can work with a group, they can learn from each other and the sky is the limit to what they can accomplish.

    • Nikhil Goyal

      Thanks Patricia!

  • Abuela

    Great minds and teachers of our future, please listen to Mr. Goyal. Shamefully he has been victimized by “The System” and is crying out for an ear. As the fingers on our hand we are all different but all have a whole lot to share but won’t if we are curtailed.

    We all complain that “everything is the same” but don’t do anything about it, not because we don’t care but because we don’t feel anyone is out there with an absortive brain to listen. Creativity is a DNA element in our body as are blue eyes or course hair ‘IT IS PART OF US. DO NOT AMPUTATE ANY PART OF ME UNTIL I AM DONE WITH IT”. Let my children teach you how they want and need to be taught. If you don’t, they will fail any and all test given to them yet cure Cancer, produce light without poisonous residual, fly you to a new Galaxy and back, all while failing your tests.

    LET MY CHILDREN LEARN AS THEY NEED TO LEARN NOT AS YOU THINK.!!!! Your think will be their sink. :-#

    • Nikhil Goyal

      Greatly appreciated!

  • Jltaylor

    And yet the whole country is in support of the NFL referee union and not the teacher’s union.

  • Colin

    It’s awesome to see how versatile iPads can be in a classroom setting!

    For teachers who are looking for a super easy to use service to facilitate assignment or project file workflow between themselves and students, we’ve created a service called Showbie. With Showbie, teachers setup a class and assignments. They invite students to the class by giving the students a class code that links the student with all the assignments in the class once the student joins Showbie. This gives students each and assignment drop folder where they can upload work from their laptop via our website, or through WebDav. If you’re a teacher or student and on the iPad in an app like Pages or Keynote, you can easily save work into your Showbie assignment folder by putting in the Showbie server URL ( and then entering your Showbie login and password. Going forward, you won’t need to put in these credentials unless you log out of the webdav connection.
    If you have any questions or want to check us out head over to!


    Learning Happens Everywhere

  • Erum Kamran

    Welldone MR, Goyal, i really appreciate these BOLD step by this teenager who found himself trapped in an unnatural way of teaching methods ,but bold enough to CRY out and challenge the NATIONS of the world to RECTIFY NOW

    • Nikhil Goyal

      Thanks so much!

  • Kristina Saccone

    Here’s another way to celebrate our teachers today and every day!

    We put together this heartfelt video to thank teachers everywhere for all the things they do and for inspiring students and cultivating the love of learning.

    Salute to Teachers Video:

    Please join The GLOBE Program ( in celebrating teachers everywhere by sharing this with your favorite teacher, within your social networks or with anyone who shares our passion for education and those who truly make a difference in the lives of students around the world.

    If you currently are a teacher or if you were a teacher, thank you for all you have done, all you are doing and everything you will come to do. We are grateful for your service.

  • Been there

    This is pathetic….It all depends on the student population. Serious students will usually behave and act appropriately. It is the inner city hoodlums that are listening to music…texting each other, calling their relatives to come beat up someone who said something they didn’t like, take a pic of two girls “playing” aka fighting and rollling around on the girls bathroom floor- All this before lunch at my high school!

  • Connor Stafford

    Having read Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follet, I do not believe it belongs with the “God Bless Religion” category. Unfortunately, the category it belongs in is not covered by the scope of this flow chart, but as I haven’t read the other books in the category, it is also possible the category should simply be renamed. Additionally, it is unfortunate that you did not include any books by Isaac Asimov in any of the categories, but especially in Fiction/Classic Fiction/Sci Fi.
    But what I really want, is more flow charts, maybe then there will be space for more of my favorite authors!

  • Paul Jenkins

    I ended up on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad…yikes. I love the flowchart, so glad to see the medium being put to great use in education.

  • Ryan Tracey

    And if you are traveling down under… E-Learning events in Australia in 2013:

  • Qlazzy

    The expectation from watching video at home is to get the easy stuff done at home.
    In the class, they can focus on difficult stuff when teachers and friends are present around them.

  • Leadership360

    “Please note: The views and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by” should read….
    “We are proud to report we agree with Dr. DeWitt.” Thank you Peter, for once again standing up!

  • Dominikussadsuittubun

    president Dominikus sadsuittubun

    education,to hard to seeing that obama minus in education.

  • Brian Grover

    And don’t forget eBooks. They represent a whole ‘nother dimension on classroom use of the iPad. The first ever interactive, ‘multi-touch’ textbook, a resource designed to maximize oral
    output in the classroom, has just been published for iPad. This new classroom
    resource is called Catalyst: A Conversation Taskbook for English Language
    Learners and you can find out more by visiting or you can just
    download the free sample on iTunes
    Catalyst is also available in traditional paper.

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  • For the Teachers

    The education chats on Twitter are an amazing way to learn more about what’s happening in education all over the country, to connect with other educators and to get encouraged and inspired. And it’s just a lot of fun!

  • norma fay

    You have some really good points. I have spent a lot of time looking at different activities for gifted students for my daughter. One that has had great results for her is early college. Bard College at Simon’s Rock has made a big difference in her life and she genuinely enjoys it.

  • Molly

    Overall, great chart with lots of good ideas!
    But… Jane Eyre is about growing up rich?
    And Sense & Sensibility is about a fall from grace?

  • filbo

    Is there a text version of this list (even just title & author without the flowchart aspect) for the visually impaired?

  • sthomas

    If this were available as a poster, I would buy it!!!

  • Kate Rawlins

    Holy Crap ! Ditto – good, bad, suggestions, ages – whatever. KEWL !

  • Karen

    Great flowchart! You should check out ConceptDraw next time you are creating one. It does great infographics.

  • Gary Johnston


    My name is Gary Johnston and I’m an educator living in Vietnam. I hope that you consider my blog for the future!


    Gary Johnston


      Hi Gary,

      Can you please email to submit your blog, or visit the Teach 100 page ( and fill out the submission form where it says “Submit Your Blog” towards the top of the page. Thank you, and we look forward to reviewing your blog!


  • Stacey Shubitz

    What a phenomenal list, Lisa. I’m posting this on the TWT FB page right now.

  • Dünny Potter

    Having the two sides of the issue summarized here is helpful to remember that bilingual education is still highly debated in the United States. Also helpful is the list of different approaches to bilingual or multilingual education. Regarding the importance of maintaining a child’s native language and culture the opinions listed here truly stand at opposite ends. It seems to me, after reading part of the recently released analysis by Castro, Garcia, and Markos (2013, ) that both points of view–benefits versus drawbacks–often lack supporting research studies that are valid and applicable to the questions at hand. The analysis by Castro et al focuses on the effects of learning two languages at early ages and how this process plays out in the academic environment and the future success of these children.

    The main point I extracted out of this analysis is that there are definite benefits and drawbacks to dual-language learning but how to truly classify depends on the specific situation. Particularly important is that the bilingual education has to be adequate and consistent, which unfortunately does not seem to be the norm in the United States. In other words, one can arrive to wrongly generalized conclusions based on existing programs if they do not capitalize on the natural flow of dual-language learning and if their success is measured in the same terms as monolingual learning. One of the key points is continued exposure to both languages, which is a requirement normally defeated by the availability of funding.

    Moreover, as pointed out in The Atlantic article, it appears that the issue of whether parents want their children to study in a bilingual or monolingual school environment depends on many factors: culture, socioeconomic status, and the age of the students, among others. This is a clue that the issue involves many complex variables that can only be addressed and understood through well defined studies and not only by measuring the temperature of the public opinion, which highly depends on political and social influences and cannot be said to be completely objective.

    Thanks for posting this information and would love to see your take on the analysis I mention.


    Castro, D. C., Garcia, E. E., and Markos, A. M. (2013). Dual Language Learners: Research Informing Policy. Retrieved from

  • Brandt Hardin

    Here in TN they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

    • Paul Erna

      Why teach why they just let people go and go

      Bobby Brown Serves Nine Hours in Jail for Third DUI
      While California is known for having some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation, it seems Bobby Brown has been let off easy. He was released Wednesday after serving nine hours of his 55-day jail sentence for driving under the influence.

      This is simply embarrassing.

  • Joe Bowen

    As much as I want to see bullying reduced, I don’t have much faith in bullying prevention programs. Maybe because I missed out on them, but they all seem like putting perfume on cow shit. The bullying started for me in early elementary school from “friends”. I still feel like I chew too loudly because of what a “friend” said to me once. Continued through middle school, where in one incident, I was assaulted in front of a teacher and all she told me was to stop crying and sit down (all I asked was to go to the principles cause I didn’t feel safe). I’m only 28, so I’m not all that old, but bullying was horrendious, and the adults always made any situation worse. Sure, give the give the bully any indication he/she will get into trouble and see what happens to me after school. Which is probably what you guessed, got backed into a corner and jacked in the face twice. High school wasn’t much better, but at least I could blend in to the large school and avoid most of the bullies, but even still… Sometimes the teachers would join in, had a teacher mock me once for “walking to fast”… but that’s my rant for the day, I’m not sure I even really said anything fruitful, but I felt like getting that off my chest.

    edit: I should say that I do think this method might actually be fruitful, but I still feel a certain way about the whole idea that bullying can be prevented.

  • Julie

    For the Coming of Age section, I recommend If Jack’s In Love by Stephen Wetta. It’s a wonderful story of a kid who doesn’t fit in, set in Virginia in the 1960s, with a great mystery element to boot!

  • Paperback Princess

    Is there a way to download this? I’d love to be able to keep a copy and refer to it. I want to try and read all the books in this chart :D

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  • Anonymous

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is for No to social issues? Lone Ranger and Tonto is Fantastical?

  • Natalia

    that’s really a good initiative in education sector. One should do a lot of initiative to upring more quality in education standards year after year. Improvisation is neccessary.


  • isildur

    that`s a realy gud way to teach students…

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    That’s really good to hear. It is really helpful for their students so that they can be able to know foreign language that is really useful when they are going to conduct a good communication to those people who used this kind of language.

  • Paula

    Dear Michelle,

    I am currently based in the Middle East and parents are very conservative and fear social media. The schools are mostly separated by gender and face book etc are blocked in my school.
    I would love to have more buy in from my parents but they are afraid that their child would be exposed to outside influences against Islam. Can you suggest some school sites that can be controlled or filtered to build a trust for technology in my community? I guess you could say that if we teach our students to be socially responsible then these issues would be resolved but that is little comfort to my parents. As a school they want school assurances- can you help?

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  • Barbara Mascareno

    I’m so honored to be included in this list of wonderful writers and educators.

  • Steve Bohrer

    Great stories! (Nicely written, also)

  • Karren Barlow

    Great flowchart! I have also recently found a site that teaches How to Make a Flowchart and it is very easy to use! I would recommend it to all!

  • praveenkumar

    America is facing a competitive and critical moment in the global
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    grow our economy and increase job-growth. Research shows that 20 of the
    fastest growing occupations, 10 require an associate’s degree or less
    and require on-the-job training or an associate’s degree.


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  • Philip Ellis

    Yep you have hit the nail on the head with many of your points here. Some teachers are embracing these changes but there are many who are being left behind either by choice or lack of access to good platforms. Thanks for sharing

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  • Arturo Avina

    Love this! Our kindergartners celebrated pride month with a performance…

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  • Nicholas C. Rossis

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    I have enjoyed reading this fine article. As a retired business strategy professional in the second cycle of life, I owe my comparatively good command of the English Language [that was what my first English teacher wrote on my school leaving certificate] and my current voracious reading habits [I am an Amazon book reviewer] to having read comics widely when I was a young kid during the fifties till early sixties. Besides Beano and Dandy, graphic novels about the wild wild west (Bat Masterson, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy, Lone Ranger, and Rifleman, just to name a few) and sci-fi fantasy (Outer Space, Tales from the Crypt, Spaceman, Weird Fantasy, besides Batman and Superman) were my constant reading companions. They also had sparked my curiosity, provoked my visualisation, stimulated my thinking and stretched my imagination, which came in very handy while doing scenario projection in the corporate world during the 80’s and 90’s.

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    Comics were considered recreational reading at best, but usually adults saw them as mind-numbing tripe. You certainly would never have seen one used in instruction. Times have changed, and as comics and graphic novels become more accepted as a legitimate form of art and literature, they are making their way into classrooms.

  • Glen Downey, Ph.D.

    Great to see the promotion of Comics in the Classroom. The key to making visual narrative a more widely accepted form in the K-12 classroom is to show students (and parents and colleagues) that it has a tradition which reaches back further than even the oral and written traditions (literally to the time of ancient cave art). When critics see that visual narrative incorporates a wide variety of sequential art, and that its tradition includes everything from Egyptian Hieroglyphics to the Bayeux Tapestry to the Stations of the Cross, they’ll be much more likely to afford it the respect it deserves. We’ve done a great job using comics to engage struggling and reluctant readers, but now we need to focus on the academic classroom as well. Teach visual narrative like you would teach the novel, or short fiction, or poetry. There’s a reason that something like Watchmen is on Time’s list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th Century and Fahrenheit 451 isn’t.

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    Students in their early age in school are very much curious and eager to learn new things in class room. So to make them more precise and perfect in study teachers need to be smarter learning the comics for the initial stages. I think above mentioned way out would be better chances to make familiar in class room to the students. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Koray Okceci

    I would like share my experience with the second tip mentioned above for building great parent relationships in order to increase student`s learning experience and to help kids achieve their full potential in school: “home visit.” Last year, I was able to home visit all of my students in the home room class within the first two months by scheduling after school and it resulted very effectively on students` academic success and their behavior in class and at school. These visits made me establish a wonderful bridge between students/ parents and myself which resolved many small issues of kids in school before it got worse and complicated. Also, students were feeling that they could bring up their issues, challenges, or difficulties easily to me in order to find solutions as much as possible within my power that created a warm and safe school environment.

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  • Aswathy probytes

    I used to go my child’s school to know the updates. Actually the school management offered me many facilities such as school diary and also they used to message all notifications in school. But still I want to know more about my child. I never believe that academic scores show my child’s performance, beyond that I want to know my child’s behavior in school. How he talks with other students, how much he can concentrate in class…and like that i want to know everything about my child in school. So that I prefer a way that to meet his class teacher once in a week. My friends consider this as a joke and they told me that i am over conscious about my child’s education and all.

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