PD-Café offers professional development activities to complete alone or with colleagues

Teaching Tolerance has posted an article titled PD Cafe, or Professional Development Cafe.  Why?  “2014-15 was the first school year during which no single racial or ethnic group made up a majority of the student body in our nation’s public schools.”  

Recognizing and acknowledging diversity in the classroom just got a little bit easier with these activities.  My personal favorite is Creating a Community Action Board.  Giving students the opportunity to post articles, illustrations, comics, poems or quotations that capture what’s happening in their homes and neighborhoods, seems so simple, yet I didn’t think of it!

There’s also Reflect and Research, Audit you Classroom, and Put it all Together. The article even gives educators suggestions for self-reflection.

Click here for the PDF version of PD Café.


15 Books that Will Actually Change Your Future

Wow!  I’ve actually read a couple of these!  Usually, when someone comes out with one of these lists, I’m like, “Hhhm, never heard of it, and probably will never find time time to read it.” But, after seeing authors I am familiar with, as well as a couple books I’ve read, I felt this may be a list worth a second look.

Guest blogger, Julia McCoy from Express Writers, compiled her version of the perfect summer reading list, and I agree!  Julie believes each book “can, in their own way, bring across a powerful message that has the ability to touch a reader’s life and change it for the better.”

Here is the first recommendation on Julia’s list:

1. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
“Orwell is known for his scary dystopian masterpiece, 1984, and his political commentary, Animal Farm,but his nonfiction is where all the life lessons are. Down and Out is a great story about his life in poverty, how he learned to cope with a world crumbling around him, and how he worked to get himself out of it. A powerful and encouraging read.”

You’ll be glad having read these top fifteen books this summer, and my guess is, you’ve probably already read a few of these.

Teachers Pay Teachers-Buy and Sell Original Educational Resources

Teachers Pay Teachers is an open marketplace for educators to buy, sell, and share their original resources.  I don’t know what I would have done the year I was asked to teach four different grade levels of high school English, mid-year, had I not been told about this great resource!  Many of the teachers offer free lessons and worksheets, while most are very reasonably priced.

Their search feature allows you to search by topic, subject, grade level, or even how much money you want to spend.  I particularly liked searching under “free.”

Membership is free and although I haven’t sold any of my original resources, plenty of other teachers are and making money!

The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources

Edutopia is another one of my favorite educational websites that I follow and for good reason.  According to their website, they are: a comprehensive website and online community that increases knowledge, sharing, and adoption of what works in K-12 education…emphasizing core strategies: project-based learning, comprehensive assessment, integrated studies, social and emotional learning, educational leadership and teacher development, and technology integration.

Today, Edutopia compiled an admirable list of teacher resources by topic:

  • Grants
  • Contests and Awards
  • Classroom Resources

Get a roundup of educational grants, contests, awards, free toolkits, and classroom guides aimed at helping students, classrooms, schools, and communities. Check this page weekly to get the latest updates!

**You’ll want to keep an eye on your calendar, since most of the grants and/or contests have deadlines!