Gaetan Pappalardo

Blog Posts

Tags Student Engagement
May 16, 2011

Updated 01/2014

So, I'm sitting in a workshop on vocabulary development listening to a bunch of research as to why kids lack the language to effectively comprehend and communicate. The largest factor (found by this specific research) that determines a child's vocabulary cache is...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
April 22, 2011

Be not simply good - be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau

"Valentine's Day is for suckers." I usually get a nasty look when I exercise my freedom of speech on heart day. Don't get me wrong, I'm romantic and sensitive -- I am a writer, remember? I just feel that a...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
April 18, 2011

Editor's Note: Today, Gaetan has given his pen to guest blogger Judy Jester. Judy has taught eighth grade English in suburban Philadelphia for 23 years; she also co-directs the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project at West Chester University.

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Tags Teacher Leadership
March 18, 2011

"It's nice to be considered" encapsulates the philosophy of The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), a K-8 school in Edgecomb, ME. Those exact words, spoken by CTL teacher Ted Demille, still reverberate within my psyche weeks after my visit; I don't...

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Tags New-Teacher Support
January 28, 2011

Updated 01/2014

"With what are you struggling?" I ask.

"I think I need some more direction on the little decisions like what do you do when a student complains about a stomach ache right before a lesson," replies student teacher.

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Tags Teacher Leadership
January 13, 2011

I had a student ask me for a month straight, almost every day, if it was okay to write a story about Transformers. At the beginning of each writing workshop, he would stroll up to me and ask the same question.

"Yes, you can write a story with Transformers in it." I thought I sounded...

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Tags Education Trends
December 6, 2010

There were really no wrong answers: just answers. I guess that's why I became an elementary school teacher: to look at the day's offerings with brand new eyes. How about you? Don't you long for those days, too? I hope you remember what it's like to be a kid because I think that's just what...

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Tags Student Engagement
November 15, 2010

Get in on
Give it up
Come on give it all you got


--AC/DC

If someone were crazy enough to let me run a school and I had the privilege of interviewing teachers, my first question would be, "What's your passion?" I almost stood and applauded when I heard Bruce...

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Tags Student Engagement
October 27, 2010

I want you to reach up and feel the bumps on your head. Let your fingers run along the hills and crevices of your dome; examine the terrain. End your exploration by palming your entire head like a basketball. Now I want you to unzip your skull. I can hear the slow clicking of each metal tooth...

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Tags Technology Integration
October 14, 2010

I often get a look of confusion when I tell my students to, "Go mess up, will ya'." Their eyes widen and they turn to a neighbor for a lifejacket because I just threw them in the deep end of technology. Come on, it's only a computer. Using tech in the classroom requires trust. Are they going...

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PA Writing and Lit Project, National Writing Project, West Chester U., Discover Writing, Marine Mammal Stranding Center