Helping Educators Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

The following post is from Teachercast. Please consider organizing a support group in your school or district to bring awareness and aid to this cause. Thank you.

Dear Friends,

The last few days have seen some of the most heartbreaking photos and videos coming out of the state of New Jersey. Even days after the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy, over 1 million New Jersey residents are still without running water or power.

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Digital Writing Conference

I recently attended the Digital Writing Conference, held at Central Connecticut State University on October 25th. In 100 words, here is the most important aspect that I took away:

Consider working a multimedia essay into your unit. This project weaves together oral and written narrative, music, images and video into one cohesive presentation. It is recommended that students write a rough draft of their essay first, and then turn the final product into a multimedia piece via a platform such as Google Docs or Prezi. For example, students can write about their family or community (two topics that typically hook kids!) and can include embedded audio interviews, photos of people, places and events, and background music that signifies the discussed culture and might changes to fit the mood of the piece.

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Multiculturalism Conference @ CCSU

Isn’t our education already multicultural? In her opening speech at the October 18th New England Conference on Multicultural Education, Dr. Penelope Lisi discussed how multiculturalism is not an end-goal, but rather a “nomadic” or organic aspect of education in which we must always stay involved and instructed. Professional development will help partly in this, but educators must also reflect on their own experiences and multicultural environment to analyze where change is needed.

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Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: 6 Practices

Culturally responsive pedagogy enhances student-achievement and can help close the achievement gap. It is not “a bag of tricks” ignorant of standards, but rather has a solid research base. At the October 18th New England Conference on Multicultural Education, Keynote Speaker Jacqueline Irvine noted that research has uncovered six key practices that culturally responsive teachers utilize:

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Graphic Organizer Templates

For students to have the greatest success in their writing, thought process and overall learning, we must often provide them with a framework on which they can place and advance their thoughts. Graphic organizers give students a structure for their writing. While there are literally thousands of options available, Jim Burke offers some of the field’s leading examples in his book Tools for Thought: Graphic Organizers for Your Classroom. Lucky for us, he generously provides a collection of his templates for free. You can download the PDF linked here.

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Hi all, and welcome to LukeDigital. Here you’ll find my teaching portfolio and blog, as well as resources for my sections of Writing and 10 Honors English at William Hall High School (password protected). The framework for this website is very much established, but I will be filling out the content of my portfolio as the year progresses. In the meantime, feel free to browse around or message me via the Contact Page or by email at luke @

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