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6 Modern Media Projects for Creative ELA

Whether you're teaching a communications elective, a journalism class, or really, any ELA class at all, there is so much to tap into in the world of modern media. The process of sharing ideas in the modern world is becoming more and more intertwined with multimedia, and our students know this. Giving them a chance to explore and present ideas through mediums like podcasts, blogs, infographics, and social media will help prepare them for the world they're graduating into. Plus, it will help engage them right now, since its relevance will be obvious to them. 

Today, I just want to quickly share some ideas for integrating media-based projects into your classroom. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I bet scanning through this list will help you start brainstorming many more possibilities. This is a fun world to dive into! 

120: Collegiate High School's Digital Literary Food Truck Festival

Alyssa Medrano and Amy Marquez work together at Collegiate high school in Texas. Alyssa is a newer English teacher, full of energy, creativity, and enthusiasm for her work. Amy is an experienced librarian, always up for the next wonderful collaboration with her teachers. Together, they launched a digital literary food truck festival this year, and it was a huge success. They used the free curriculum I published this year (you can grab it below) and created a path to success for their students, then helped their students showcase their work online in an exciting final event for their community. 

Amy is here on the podcast today, in episode 120, to represent this dynamic duo, and I’m so excited to share Amy and Alyssa’s story with you. I hope it will inspire you to try a digital literary food truck festival of your own, perhaps in collaboration with a teammate or two at your school.

Hexagonal Thinking in the Digital Classroom: Step by Step

So maybe you keep hearing about hexagonal thinking and how wonderfully it works for unlocking student discussion online, but you just can't quite wrap your head around how it. 

I hear you. 

119: 5 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes in ELA

I was late on board the QR code train. I saw them floating about at museums and on the back of my cereal box for years before I really paid attention. 

Then as I prepared to speak at a conference, I read somewhere the advice that I could add a QR code to my first slide and enable everyone in the room to grab all my supporting materials simply by opening the camera on their smartphone and scanning the code.


That was my first QR code experiment, and it went off perfectly. From there, I was hooked. Because here's the thing, using QR codes is waaaaaay easier than I thought it would be when I first saw those weird black and white scramble squares looking back at me above my bowl of cinnamon Life. 

Since then I've begun to experiment with fun and creative ways to build QR codes into the classroom, though I still recommend the QR code trick for presentations! No need for photocopies or email address gathering anymore. 

Today, on episode 119, you'll discover five fun ways to build interactive QR codes into your ELA classes. Try one, or try them all!

First Chapter Friday: 11 Videos for High School ELA

So you're doing your online First Chapter Friday program (whoo hoo! Good for you!) and you could use a boost. Someone to back you up, read a few of those first chapters for you in this unbelievably, crazily busy time. 

Might I suggest Nic Stone? Jason Reynolds? John Green? 

I've been doing some Youtube spelunking and I've found serious gold for you! Today I'm going to share the best First Chapter Friday videos I've found; I hope you can sprinkle them into your winter playlist. 

118: Big Ideas for Better Writing Instruction, with EB Academics



When it comes to writing instruction, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Which of the many wonderful strategies out there should you go with? Writer's workshop? The writing makerspace? Writing stations? Should you use peer editing? Self editing? Conferencing? How many types of writing should you teach in a year? How much should you differentiate your instruction, given that all your writers will be in different places?

117: 10 Ways to Encourage a Reading Culture in your (Online) Classroom

With so many schools online right now, it may seem harder than ever to get your students reading for joy. But I'm here to tell you, there are still a lot of ways you can help a reading culture flourish in your classes! Here are some of my favorite ideas - try one or try them all! 

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