First off, happy #NationalPoetryMonth! Looking for an easy way for students to create their own poetry this month? Try newspaper blackout poetry! Every year, I give students a theme or topic and have them create blackout poetry from old newspaper articles! I am always amazed at the work students produce when writing poetry this way. The fact that students can only choose the words on the page in front of them helps to narrow down the options and make the task of creating poetry easier - after all, rather than having to choose from a dictionary of endless words, students must only borrow from the words in the article to create their own poetry. Trust me, you will be in awe of the poetry that is produced!
Materials needed for blackout poetry:
Remember to share your work using #NewspaperBlackoutPoetry #PitchThisEDU and #NationalPoetryMonth on Twitter!
For students who are inspired to do more blackout poetry, provide an opportunity for them to participate in the New York Times Spring Poetry Contest for Teenagers!
For more inspiration (for you...the teacher), check out these books by Austin Kleon!
(Ok - I know it’s cliche, but hear me out.)
In a culture where ‘going big’ seems to be the way to go, I have been intrigued lately by little things...mini objects. So, I started a collection of mini-objects for my classroom. Here are some classroom plans for my new collection of learning tools:
Thinking of starting a collection of your own? Check out these options below! Oh...and...if you follow @PitchThisEDU on Twitter during the month of April, you will be entered into the #PitchThisEDU contest to win a box with a few of these mini-items in it!
Inspire a love of learning beyond the walls of your classroom
Over the past couple of years, I have tried to set an engaging tone to my classroom by focusing each day on a separate activity; while, continuing to teach the skills and content outlined in my curriculum. So, days like #MysteryMonday, #TravelingTuesday, and so on have kept me accountable to students to provide engagement each day - in one way or another.
Recently, I came across #MakerMonday and some terrific resources by John Spencer - creator of the Maker Monday Challenge - check it out! This would be a great way to creatively engage students at the start of each week.
For additional inspiration (and to get into the "maker mindset") - read Nicholas Provenzano's "The Maker Mentality."
So, what about #TravelingTuesday?
As a teacher in a rural district in northeastern New York state, I have assigned myself the purpose of inspiring students to love learning by offering them opportunities to connect to people, places, and ideas well beyond the walls of my classroom. Over the past five years, we have participated in round-table discussions with students in Ethiopia, consulted with professionals at the World Food Programme and MIT Media Center's Open Agriculture Initiative, traveled virtually to NASA Kennedy Space Center and several National Parks across the United States. #TravelingTuesday gives us an opportunity each week to 'travel' to a new place, talk to different people, and come in contact with new out-of-the-box ideas. So, since this blog is about sharing resources...here are some ready-to-go options for your #TravelingTuesday!
As always, if you know of other #TravelingTuesday resources, please share with me @jenhesseltine @PitchThisEDU on Twitter, or via email at email@example.com and I will update the blog!
The January 2019 #PitchThisEDU (mini) Newsletter is live - featuring 3 mini-grants for P12 educators! Check out the newsletter HERE! Along with the three awesome opportunities outlined in the newsletter...check out the three additional opps listed below for both teachers and students!
Look around you. Chances are, you live and work in a place surrounded by learning opportunities. Where does your food come from in your community? What does the infrastructure of your city, town, or village look like? Whether you live in a city, suburban area, or rural region - there are opportunities to teach your students about agriculture, infrastructure, and more. In preparing our students for future challenges, we need not look any further than our own backyard. What local learning opportunities surround you? With whom can you partner in your local community? How might you connect solutions to local challenges with solutions to global challenges? For an outstanding example of place-based education, check out Teton Science Schools and this article from Getting Smart. Finally, check out the December edition of the #PitchThisEDU (mini) Newsletter - with 3 opportunities related to place-based education. For more information, read David Sobel's - Place-Based Education!
The November 2018 edition of the #PitchThisEDU (Mini) Newsletter is out! This month we feature 3 mini-grant opportunities for P12 educators. Enjoy! To receive it each month, sign up HERE.
If there is one email that I wait for every week, it is the NASA Express (STEM Connection) newsletter that is packed with awesome opportunities! This week's newsletter highlights some great contests that would be applicable to the K12 crowd. Teachers take note of Earth Science Week (October 14-20, 2018). The American Geosciences Institute organizes this week long event, including contests that you could absolutely host in a K12 classroom environment. The theme of Earth Science Week 2018 is "Earth as Inspiration" with photography, visual arts, essay, and video contests that express such earth-related themes as, "Inspired by Earth" and "Earth Expressions." Check out the contests on the Earth Science Week website and start making plans for the upcoming school year!
Sign up BELOW for the FREE PitchThisEDU E-Newsletter
In an effort to communicate the opportunities that are available to classrooms, schools and school districts across the United States, I will be hosting a free monthly e-newsletter throughout the 2018-2019 school year that will feature the following information:
How might you and the stakeholders in your district be able to use this e-newsletter?
Here are some ideas!
Administrators - include our newsletter at faculty meetings, project/program planning meetings, and in teacher email inboxes. Feel free to copy information from our monthly e-newsletters and include in your own district print or e-newsletters!
District Business Office Folks - be in-the-know about mini-grants to supplement teacher programs and projects in your district. Apply for funds for STEM/STEAM, humanities, makerspace, and after school programming, or share the information with teachers and administrators who may need additional support for upcoming projects.
P12 Teachers - use mini-grant funding for special projects and programs and build your own professional development network with partnerships and fellowships. Provide students with exposure to new learning opportunities.
Should you want (and have time) to dabble in some education-related opportunities over the summer months, here are some opportunities that have come up recently:
We are educators. We tend to be modest. We aren't worthy of a grant. Nothing special going on here! Nope.
Guess what? You are doing great things. You are engaging kids in content. You are teaching them how to create their own content. You are teaching them how to be kind, knowledgeable human beings. You are helping to raise an entire generation! You are worthy. Someone is going to win that grant award...why not you and your students?
So, I realize that a school year is ending. But, a new one is going to begin before your grade book even has time to cool. A new school year...a fresh start. In the process of your end-of-year reflection, what is one project, lesson, special event or activity that could use some extra funding? Think about it. There is money out there...and the money will be awarded for a school project, somewhere.
Keep an eye on @PitchThisEDU on Twitter for weekly posts highlighting grant opportunities with upcoming deadlines. If you need encouragement, help, or a bit of a push in the right direction - reach out to me...I have written a few EDU pitches and am happy to help - firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
I see opportunities come across my screen...a lot. I have acted on some, but not all. So, I started a collection. A collection of EDU opportunities. I share my collection @PitchThisEDU. Pick one and apply. Let me know if you need help. BTW - I'm a teacher, [purposeful] writer, tweeter. -Jen Hesseltine (@jenhesseltine)
The (Mini) Newsletter
Each month, #PitchThisEDU publishes a mini-newsletter featuring 3 opportunities for P12 educators. It's called a "mini-newsletter" for a reason! Sign up below to receive our short, but definitely sweet, mini-newsletter once per month in your email inbox.