Student Interest Website

My students are always interested discussing their pets or helping animals.

Have your students go to:

“Right or wrong, you win! Click on an answer, and every day you do, we’ll provide kibble to animal shelters to help feed their hungry cats. Play every day – the more you play, the more kibble for the cats!
Become a Kibble Plus member and donate even more kibble!
Already a member? Login here.” ( 2018)

Pet Hero! 12-Year Old Feeds Thousands of Hungry Critters

Digital Citizenship

Lesson Plans. Interactive Games.

Professional Development. Family Education.

Navigating cyberbullying, privacy, safety, and other digital dilemmas are a real challenge for schools. But technology also provides incredible opportunities for students to learn, connect, create, and collaborate in ways never before imagined.

Your school can build a positive school culture that supports the safe and responsible use of technology with Common Sense Education’s K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum. Students can build skills around critical thinking, ethical discussion, and decision making. And you and your school can join thousands of others across the globe by getting recognized for your efforts.

Our turnkey curriculum includes comprehensive resources for students, like lesson plans, student digital interactives, and assessments, as well as professional development for teachers and materials for family education.



In just a few short days, crayons, popsicle sticks and poets will come together to celebrate the best day of the year in workplaces around the world.

Take Your Poet to Work Day is next Wednesday, July 20. (It’s always celebrated on the third Wednesday in July.) For the past few years, we’ve marveled at all the ways poets can help you out at work, from counting money in the cash register drawer to serving up espresso in the coffee shop. We’ve even seen a few poets in the board room, on the construction site, and, yes, on the beach. (Because poets take vacations too.)

We’re excited to release our free Take Your Poet to Work Day Coloring Book, updated with our fresh new crop of 2016 poets, including William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Seamus Heaney, and Emily Brontë, Judith Wright, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

So get out your scissors and glue, and join us for a day of fun and celebration with poets in the workplace. And be sure to tweet us photos of your poets at work to @tspoetry on Twitter, with the hashtag #poettowork, and maybe we’ll feature you.

Take Your Poet to Work Day is Coming: Here’s Our 2016 Free Coloring Book!


Lesson Plans from The Learning Network: NY Times

Year-End Roundup, 2015-16 | All Our Lesson Plans, All in One Place


Kathryn Rosnau, a member of this year’s <a href="">Student Council</a>, reads The Times as a regular part of her homeschooling, and <a href="">wrote about it</a> for the blog.
Kathryn Rosnau, a member of this year’s Student Council, reads The Times as a regular part of her homeschooling, and wrote about it for the blog.Credit Kathryn Rosnau
Lesson Plans - The Learning NetworkLesson Plans - The Learning Network


Teaching ideas based on New York Times content.

At the end of every academic year, we collect all the lesson plans we’ve published and list them in a kind of directory for teachers.

Below, you’ll find our 2015-16 offerings, but to scroll through all our roundup posts since 2010, just click here.

This year, we also featured a number of experimental educational features beyond our traditional lesson plans. Though they are not included in the lists below, you can find them here:

Happy summer, and let us know what topics you’d like us to take on in academic year 2016-17.

English Language Arts

Literature and Poetry


Harper Lee, 1926- 2016

Harper Lee, whose first novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” about racial injustice in a small Alabama town, sold more than 40 million copies, died at the age of 89.

By JOHN WOO, NEIL COLLIER and MONA EL-NAGGAR on Publish DateFebruary 19, 2016. Photo by Donald Uhrbrock/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images.

Teaching ‘Mockingbird,’ ‘Watchman’ and Harper Lee With The New York Times

Text to Text | ‘Antigone’ and Noche Flamenca’s ‘Antigona’

Text to Text | ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ and ‘On the Reservation and Off, Schools See a Changing Tide’

Reader Idea | Reading ‘Macbeth’ Through the Lens of Ferguson

What’s Going On in This Poem? | ‘Taking It Home to Jerome’

What’s Going On in This Poem? Exploring Poetry Through Open-Ended Questions

I Remember: Teaching About the Role of Memory Across the Curriculum

Literacy Skills and Strategies


What can you infer from this photo?
What can you infer from this photo?Credit Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Skills and Strategies | Making Inferences

Skills and Strategies | Annotating to Engage, Analyze, Connect and Create

Skills and Strategies | Fake News vs. Real News: Determining the Reliability of Sources

Skills and Strategies | Understanding Plagiarism in a Digital Age

Skills and Strategies | Doodling, Sketching and ‘Mind Mapping’ as Learning Tools

Skills and Strategies | Exit Slips

Before, During and After: Strategies From Our News Q’s Feature for Reading Nonfiction

Skills and Strategies | The Four-Corners Exercise to Inspire Writing and Discussion

8 Compelling Mini-Documentaries to Teach Close Reading and Critical Thinking Skills

Reader Idea | An Argument-Writing Unit: Crafting Student Editorials

Thinking Critically: Reading and Writing Culture Reviews

Teaching a Novel


Welcome to Novelinks

Novelinks is maintained by English teachers for English teachers interested in instructional routines and ideas for teaching the novel. Our goal is to provide educators with quality teaching materials that will enhance classroom instruction for a wide variety of commonly taught novels in middle through secondary schools.

Novelinks includes online as well as printed references to biographical, historical and critical insights on authors and their works. We also offer reading strategies and units for specific novels under the heading, reading resources.

Feel free to email us with your own contributions for us to consider as well as with any additional ideas, suggestions, and comments for improving the site.


11 Hilarious Hoax Sites to Test Website Evaluation



website_evaluation.8-10.custom_structured_siteIn this day and age, where anyone with access to the internet can create a website, it is critical that we as educators teach our students how to evaluate web content. There are some great resources available for educating students on this matter, such as Kathy Schrock’s Five W’s of Website Evaluation or the University of Southern Maine’s Checklist for Evaluating Websites.

Along with checklists and articles, you will also find wonderfully funny hoax websites, aimed at testing readers on their ability to evaluate websites. These hoax sites are a great way to bring humor and hands-on evaluation into your classroom, and test your students’ web resource evaluation IQ!

Check out these 11 example hoax sites for use in your own classrooms:

  1. All About Explorers
  2. Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division
  3. California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge
  4. Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
  5. Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
  6. Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
  7. British Stick Insect Foundation
  8. The Jackalope Conspiracy
  9. Buy Dehydrated Water
  10. Republic of Molossia
  11. Dog Island

Of all of these, my favorite is always the Dihydrogen Monoxide website, which aims to ban dihydrogen monoxide and talks in detail about its dangers. Only after a few minutes did I catch that dihydrogen monoxide, is after all, H2O!

Happy hoax-hunting!


11 Hilarious Hoax Sites to Test Website Evaluation

What to read next

If you do no know what to read next, check out these websites to help you find a book: –type in author’s name and select a book, other suggestions will show up.…Youll-Love.html

Other suggested websites:

Best books for Young Adults:


8 Clothing Stores with Discounts for Teachers


Hubert V. Yee , social media and marketing manager of startup


Here are 8 clothing stores, taken from prior community group discussions, that offer discounts online or in store for teachers. The process? Simple! Just mention that you’re a teacher to the sales representatives online or in the store and show them an ID.

Clothing stores that offer teacher discounts (Discounts 15% – 20%)

1) Ann Taylor LOFT (
2) The Limited (
3) Banana Republic (
4) New York & Company (
5) J.Crew (
6) J. Jill (In store only) (
7) Talbots (
8) Aerosoles (

For more places that provide teacher discounts on other items, take alook at our other articles, blogs, and community group discussions.

1) On the Road, on the Cheap: Get Around Without Going Under
2) Educators: You Deserve a Break and a Discount
3) Get 30% off at Borders and Waldenbooks for Educator Appreciation Week
4) What companies offer teacher discounts?
5) Perks of Being A Teacher?
6) Best place to shop for work clothes?

Do you know of any other businesses that offer teacher discounts? Add to these growing lists. Happy savings!

Post updated 7/09/14

5 great storytelling tech tools

By Steven Webb
Read more by  
June 30th, 2014


Explain Everything

Billed as an interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool, Explain Everything enables students to import and annotate items, as well as integrate images, text, video, and audio files into shareable recorded presentations. VPS students have enlivened science demonstrations with this app by embedding videos of experiments.


At Vancouver iTech Preparatory, a STEM-focused school, students researched eras of U.S. history and then created multimedia projects through Aurasma. The augmented reality app made history come alive through image-recognition technology that launches interactive content. As a result, both creator and consumer can engage with the subject matter in meaningful ways.

Watch more here.

Book Creator

This is the epitome of digital storytelling. Not only can students add images, videos, music, and narration to text, they also can share their works with their peers and build class libraries. The app removes barriers to participation such as speech disorders, English language learning, or reticence, and draws out the voices of students who might otherwise never speak in class.


Students aren’t the only ones leveraging technology for narrative purposes. I believe that storytelling is one of the best ways to reach stakeholders. I create monthly podcasts that spotlight success stories around the district to inform and, I hope, inspire the more than 3,000 employees who serve VPS.


Tweeting as @SuptVPS provides a real-time platform for sharing success stories and linking to both the VPS community and the education community worldwide. Thanks to fellow Twitter users, I also have a wealth of educational and leadership resources—and new stories—to discover.

Steven T. Webb has been superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools since 2008. Webb also is a member of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools’ executive advisory committee and chair of its research work group. In 2014, he was named an eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent.