Author Archives: Erik Palmer

About Erik Palmer

The #1 language art is speaking. By far. I'm committed to promoting the teaching of oral communication in all of its forms.

Student Voice! You don’t have it if you don’t speak well.

voice The sound produced in a person’s larynx and uttered through the mouth, as speech or song. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/voice Student voice. What a hot topic! Educational conferences have themes such as “Raising Student Voice” (NCTE) and “Speak Up! Finding and Using … Continue reading

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Give Students a Digital Voice First

You want students to speak to the class. Maybe students are reciting poetry or participating in a mock trial or presenting their research reports or giving a book talk or making a podcast. Every teacher has speaking activities. I’ve written … Continue reading

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Shortchanging Speaking

A student turns in this paper: many people think that we should not have ginetticly modifyed foods we could be having health problems in the future if we eat them, Some studys say that they cause cancer. we should pass … Continue reading

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“Fake News” is frightening…but not the way you think it is

Millions of Americans do not believe Joe Biden received 80 million votes for president. Every election until now reported results and every citizen accepted that those results were accurate. How did we get to a point where millions of us … Continue reading

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Listen to the Rough Draft of the Speech. Yes, LISTEN…

Do you ever ask to hear the rough draft? Yes, you read that correctly. I want to hear my students’ rough drafts. Every day, students are speaking in class. Often, teachers assign some talks with higher stakes than the daily … Continue reading

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Don’t hit record! Don’t turn on the Zoom mic! Don’t Flipgrid! First…

Fourth graders are learning about the Reconstruction. The teacher wants to test out his new green screen tools. He has students speak and posts the video on YouTube. A huge problem: he is so focused on the tech tool that … Continue reading

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Fake Quotes: A lesson in how easily we can be duped

We all see the news: trolls are posting fake stories. We all think, “That’s terrible!” We worry that our students will be duped. Why do these falsehoods spread? Why do fake posts work? The answer to that can be found … Continue reading

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Listening skills: Way More Than “What’s the main idea?”

I sometimes get emails from an organization about improving student listening skills. They point out that speaking and listening are not being addressed in schools and claim that listening is a key piece of the “literacy puzzle.” Kudos to educators who … Continue reading

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Can Numbers Be Biased?

We love statistics. Specifically, we love raw number statistics: number of students proficient or advanced, number of babies named Emma, number of hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes, and more. We also love percentage statistics: grades; batting averages in baseball, … Continue reading

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Blame the messenger–Why Online Instruction Fails

You’ve heard the phrase before. Someone brings you some bad news, and, as you begin to get upset, he says, “Hey, don’t blame the messenger!” In a school I worked at, our team leader said it often. He went to … Continue reading

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