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.

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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Evaluating Speaking

Look around your building. You will see students speaking, sometimes informally, sometimes formally. Sometimes teachers grade those speaking assignments. Now look closely at the rubrics and score sheets that are being used. Each one is unique. No two teachers have … 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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100 English Teachers Walk Into a Bar

Originally published in California English          One hundred English teachers walk into a bar. One by one, the bartender asks them why they became English teachers. The first one says, “I love poetry! I write poetry and … Continue reading

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Spotting a Fake Post

Spotting a Fake Post: Teaching About Media Literacy on Social Platforms October 09, 2019 Erik Palmer Program Consultant, Into Reading and Into Literature This blog post is part of a series focusing on media literacy. If you have been on social media, … Continue reading

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Why Student Presentations Bore Classmates

“In New Jersey v. TLO, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider the appropriateness of the application of the exclusionary rule.  The Court overturned the lower court ruling in a 7-2 decision and held that the search did not violate … Continue reading

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What’s it gonna be this year?

Inevitably, there is some new initiative, some new program being introduced. If you have taught for a while, you have seen many of these come and go. Maybe last year was the year they introduced the new spelling program that … Continue reading

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