Sally Madonna, Sally Spears & Sally Gaga?

This presentation is a “must see.”

My friend, Joyce Valenza, is a teacher-librarian. She always introduces herself as a teacher-librarian and what a great teacher she is. In addition to her students, she has taught me much over the dozen plus years we have been friends. I would not be the educator I am today without her influence.

Joyce was recently asked to speak at a TEDxPhiladelphiaED event. It is here that Joyce introduces “the Sally’s” in her talk titled See Sally Research. You know the Sally’s if you’ve been in education for awhile. You may have been or known Sally Madonna or Sally Spears. Sally Gaga is in your classroom today.

As I listened to Joyce’s talk I couldn’t help think about 21st Century skills and how artfully she equips her students as they learn and practice these important skills. Joyce’s students “own” their learning. They become passionate learners. Their learning empowers them.

See Sally Research was inspired by a chapter Joyce wrote with Doug Johnson for Lehmann and McLeod’s What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media.

Joyce’s blog: Neverendingsearch.

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What to teach when they have “visions of sugar plums” in their heads?


Yesterday afternoon I attended a high school department chair meeting. As we were discussing various items on the agenda, I started thinking about how kids behave in class that last day of school before the holidays (the principal was going over the building schedule for those last few days of school before break).

If you are looking for something creative, interesting and festive try this (and hit a few PA CEW academic standards at the same time):

1. Ask the kids to recite the twelve days of Christmas and then show them what the experts predict the “twelve days shopping list” would cost.
2. Begin a discussion as to why these things cost so much. Student thinking will prove interesting. Turn the topic to who could have been involved in producing these “gifts.” Why do we always discuss the cost of this list and not who has trained and earns a living providing these items and services?
3. Ask students to work together to brainstorm as many professions as they can that are involved making the 12 gifts.
4. If you have a Pathways or Career Clusters model in your school you might ask your students to put the identified professions into the proper paths. Bring technology into the picture with spreadsheets, presentations, etc.
5. Have your students share their thinking and presentations. Wish them a happy and restful break and enjoy!

PDE CEW Standard: 13.1 Career Awareness A-H