Nearly imperceptible fluctuations in movement correspond to autism diagnoses

A new study provides the strongest evidence yet that nearly imperceptible changes in how people move can be used to diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

I have a feeling we have barely scratched the surface in understanding autism and can only imagine what future research will uncover. Research such as this, which actually provides tangible and measurable markers, fascinates me! What does it mean to us as educators?

Click here to read the article from Science Daily!

Should we just let the mockingbird sing?

This week my 8th graders started one of my favorite novels of all time. To Kill a Mockingbird speaks to our curriculum's pursuit of justice theme. Every year I read about schools who won't touch the story... even a twenty-foot pole! I feel fortunate to have a school district which still supports this timeless and touching piece of literature. As a teacher, I relish the opportunity to have rich conversations in class related to tolerance, innocence, courage, conviction and coming of age. It's also offers a perfect point to bring in so many relevant and rich nonfiction pieces of text. If you have a chance to encourage your school district to keep this text in the curriculum, even if it's done through excerpts, champion that cause! After all, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Does your school district still incorporate this novel? At which grade levels?

I can't live without these resources!

Guess what! If you are an educator, you teach writing. I don't care if English isn't your content area. History. Science. Technology. Robotics. Foreign Language. And, yes, even Math. We all "teach" writing! Each of these courses incorporates drafting and communicating through written responses into its curriculum. We live in a world of writing across all content areas. However, finding amazing writing professional resources can be harder than finding a parking spot at The Mall of America on Christmas Eve. Today, I want to share an author I found that makes writing (wait for it!) enjoyable for both the teacher and the students. I have yet to find an idea in her books that I couldn't tweak to my classroom needs. More importantly, my students have eaten up every single activity she's suggested. Get these resources! Make them your own. I've provided you one activity I've adapted from her books that I use in my own classroom. It's designed to provide students additional practice and focus in close reading a text as both a reader and writer, which is a necessity to grow writers of all ages. This lesson encourages analysis of writing style, diction, tone, mood, purpose, syntax, and more! My students can always use more help in these skills, and I'm betting yours also can. Enjoy!

Here it is! It's a valuable addition to my classroom's Readers/Writers Workshop: Check me out!