Monday, June 5, 2017

State Maps Give Us Insight — Sort Of?

Did you see this map circulating on Twitter? There are some embarrassing insights:
Why are so many Rhode Islanders trying to spell "liar"? How can it be that people in New Jersey can't spell "twelve"? And really, New Mexico: "banana"?
Perplexingly, the word for which Wisconsinites most often need spelling help is: "Wisconsin." NPR
Don't get too alarmed — the map below points out (with humor) to consider the information offered in a different light.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Read Books You Hate?? Yes!

It’s about finding a book that affronts you, and staring it down to the last word.
At a time when people are siloed into narrow sources of information according to their particular tinted worldview — those they follow on Twitter, the evening shoutfest they choose, AM talk radio or NPR — it’s no surprise most of us also read books we’re inclined to favor. Reading is a pleasure and a time-consuming one. Why bother reading something you dislike?
But reading what you hate helps you refine what it is you value, whether it’s a style, a story line or an argument. NY Times   Illustration credit Matt Chase

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

We Have A Winner!

The golden pencil rolled out of the pencil dispenser on May 2. Balloons dropped, confetti flew, horns trumpeted and our lucky SC student won a free print card.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

High School Student Power

In Kansas, a student newspaper is being praised for its hard work in reporting that Pittsburg High School's newly hired principal had seemingly overstated her credentials. The principal, Amy Robertson, has now resigned, after the paper found she claimed advanced degrees from Corllins University, an entity whose legitimacy has been questioned. NPR
Those teenagers were able to do that work because of a state law enacted in 1992 that offers K-12 students protection, in addition to the First Amendment, from administrative censorship. But not all student journalists in the country have such protection. Washington Post

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Take a Learning Myths Quiz

This blog post has some pretty useful information. So print it out; get out your highlighter and take off the cap.

Ready? Now throw it away, because highlighters don't really help people learn.
Got a minute? Go to NPR and take their learning myths quiz. You might be surprised and learn more effective studying techniques. Image from Boston Globe

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Taking the leap to self publishing.

Teens Can Write, Too! Founded in September 2011, Teens Can Write, Too! (TCWT) is a blog dedicated to supporting and encouraging teen writers. As of August 2015, TCWT has officially closed down. Still, they have four years of archives behind them, and will be useful to any newcomers.

ePublishing + school classes In some high school classes, teens are becoming published authors through self-publishing projects. Smashwords working with Los Gatos (CA) Public Library and Los Gatos High School published an electronic poetry anthology. Physics and engineering teacher Bryan Holmes has been advising a handful of students this year on a self-publishing project at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut. U.S.News

Open Call for Young Adult Short Story Submissions Wanted: short stories for realistic teen fiction anthology, On The Edge of Tomorrow. Submissions open through April 30, 2017. All short stories should be a minimum of 1,500 words and a maximum of 7,500 words. For a complete list of guidelines, including manuscript submission guidelines, please visit and click on 2017 Anthology Submissions.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fake News?

IFLA has made this infographic with eight simple steps (based on’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News)  to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you.  Download pdf of poster