Every March the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) hosts a Poetry Tournament. The idea is to create a basketball-tournament pairing chart like the NCAA does each year in March but using poetry, and to determine a final winner by reading the poems. Students can choose a “winner” in a number of ways: One option is that students select their favorite poems and then create the tournament brackets. Two students then read their poems in front of the class. The class votes, and the winning poems advance to the next round. The process continues until the final four and eventual winner are selected. Or the teacher can select 64 (or 32) poems and read them in pairs, one pair each day. The students select the one they like. This poem is then declared a winner and advances along the tournament bracket. The teacher and students can also select the poems together, and then a combination of the teacher and students read the poems. The website suggests other ideas as well. The tournament’s webpage provides a freely downloadable, blank bracket-pairing chart to start a competition today.
The K–3 STEM Foundations project is developing NGSS-aligned curriculum units for K–3 students that connect science concepts and guided inquiry activities to reading/language arts, as well as health and wellness. The units are designed for use during class time or after school.
The Scratch team in the MIT Media Lab is gearing up to release a new version of Scratch designed to work on mobile devices. The team is also working on a way to integrate the physical world with Scratch using what they’re currently calling a “Scratch Pad.”
A new exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian, titled simply Americans, shows how all aspects of contemporary American life have been touched by the history and symbols of native culture. American Indian images, names, and stories infuse American history and contemporary life.