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.

Does Remote Learning Work (Part One)

Have you seen enough yet? It doesn’t work, does it? Every parent knows that online learning does not work. There is no meaningful instruction as a result of screen time at home. (Verification from the N.Y. Times here.) This is … 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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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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Does remote learning work? (Part Two)

So here we are in crisis. Schools are closed for an indefinite time. The key is to move your instruction online. Young students will access the materials we put online and will learn effectively. They will watch the instructional videos … Continue reading

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Don’t hit record yet!

Fourth graders are learning about the Reconstruction. The teacher wants to test out his new green screen tools. She has students speak and posts the video on YouTube. A huge problem: she is so focused on the tech tool that … 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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What the Oscars can tell us about speaking

Are you going to an Oscar party this year? At the last one I attended, as we came into the party, we were given an Oscar “ballot.”  Each of us marked off our predicted winner for each of the many … Continue reading

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The Real Problem with Fake News

At every press event, Donald Trump criticizes the media and/or specific people/networks. Initially, he picked on the New York Times and CNN. Now, in the President’s mind, not only are almost all news sources fake, they are enemies of the … Continue reading

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