What’s New? Resources for You and Your Classroom: October 2019


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Day of the Dead, ditching the clips, identifying fake news, and blue ribbons for schools.

By Barb Szyszkiewicz

A couple of things that caught my eye this month:

Congratulations to the 39 Catholic schools honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools this SeptemberNCEA notes that of the 50 private schools receiving this award, 39 were Catholic schools! One of them is Old St. Mary’s School in Chicago; this school graciously hosted our Cover Teacher photo shoot last spring.

Our friends at NCEA discuss learning about and observing Day of the Dead customs; this festival coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

The Day of the Dead is much more than a celebration, it is a day that focuses on family and friends gathering together to pray for and remember those who have passed on as well as help support their spiritual journey.

There’s been a fascinating conversation on Twitter about clip charts. You can follow it, and participate in the conversation, at #ditchtheclips.

Some teachers have shared articles with alternative classroom-management ideas with readers of this hashtag. Check these out:

A good classroom management system changes and evolves with the teacher and the students. It focuses on finding ways to help children become better humans and less on shaming them for their mistakes. (BetterTrainings.com)

My take? I never had these in my own classroom, but when I was substitute teaching I ran into quite a few of them. At that point, I was busy enough trying to keep the regular classroom routine going, so I didn’t pay attention to those clips — though I will say that seeing them hanging on the wall made me try very hard to reward any effort at good choices from those kids whose behavior indicated that their clips rarely, if ever, made it to the top of the charts.

I’ve also heard horror stories from teachers about bad behavior from parents who weren’t happy about their children’s clip-chart color of the day; this only served to convince me that clip charts might not be the way to go.

Help your students identify fake news with this weekly feature from the Associated Press. Not Real News is an online column that points out mislabeled or manipulated photos as well as misleading articles. You can also follow their Twitter account: @ApFactCheck.

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media.

Barb Szyszkiewicz is editor at CatholicMom.com and managing editor of Today’s Catholic Teacher.

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