Several weeks ago I posted a series of ideas about how to use Good Magazine to help enrich student knowledge, teach empathy and consider moral/ethical debates. However, every teacher needs an arsenal of resources to expand student knowledge. Common Core Standards in regards to Integration of Knowledge and Ideas for reading standards require evaluation of tone/rhetoric in sources presented in different “media or formats.”
When budgets are tight and classrooms are large, a variety of “formats” can be a difficult task. Some of my favorite resources to supplement expanding student literacy can be found online. Easy to access via computer, Smart Phone or tablet, online magazines, newspapers and blogs offer an infusion of options. Students have the ability to choose topics that interest them, and educators have at their disposal texts that fall in line with Common Core expectations. Yet, teachers are often unaware of those resources.
To that end, this week’s posts will focus on Brain Pickings, a website that “curates” culture. The website is the brain-child of Maria Popova and partners with The Atlantic. On its own, the site is a wonderful resource for a harried teacher who simply wants 10 minutes to remind themselves that classrooms are microcosms. From the perspective of curriculum enrichment, Brain Pickings is a vast resource of information on Charles Dickens, Jackson Pollack, Bicycle Art, Vintage Valentines Day Cards, even a scales of income walking tour by the percents. It is, in essence, a site that demands that we see how science, math and the humanities overlap. As such, it is an elegant way to build student knowledge while improving critical thinking skills.