New free eLearning curriculum from Tom March
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February 2014 Newsletter

Long time between updates!

2013 was an eventful year where I found myself "child-free" with our youngest venturing off into the world.  So I reckoned it was a good time for me to do the same!  I spent time in Cambodia doing volunteer work as a English teacher and curriculum designer, returned to the US where I enjoyed summer in my hometown of Milwaukee, did LOTS of writing and returned to develop some of what I'll share below. 

Note: Many of you have been on my eMail list for over a decade and I thank you for your interest and support. Just in case you want to update your subscription preference or status, take this mailing as an opportunity (see the links at the bottom of the page).

Eyes on Art

Eyes on Art was one of the first Web-based learning sites I developed after leaving classroom teaching.  It includes a series of interactive learning experiences that help students expand their visual arts vocabulary, aesthetic and understanding of art movements.  Although the "look" is very 1990s, an email from a user suggested it was worth updating so I've refreshed the images and fixed a few rusty links.  For fun, try your hand at the Eyes on Art Quiz or explore the range of engaging images and activities!
Catcher in the Rye Unit and WebQuest

So here's something newer that harkens back to my teaching days.  When I wanted to practice my "Backwards Design" skills before a workshop with Jay McTighe, I decided to use one of the most popular novels I taught.  To create the "Understanding by Design" unit, I used Edutect's UnitPlanner in both the Web-based and iPad app versions.  You can download the unit plan I created or check out the complete WebQuest that features LOTS of great archival multimedia from the 1950s. The WebQuest is called "Fit in, Break out or Break down" because that seems to be what a lot of the 1950s iconoclasts were forced to do.
Look to Learn
For many years I've advocated what I call "Look to Learn" activities as a foundational classroom practice. The pedagogy is based on the Visible Thinking approach from Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, especially their Thinking Routines. The twist I've put on it is to use rich media from the Web as the stimulus or artifact. Fortunately Tumblr makes this both interesting and fun.  Check out the stream of Look to Learn activities at the site and if you have your own Tumblr account, you can follow me and easily reblog any of the activities for your  own students!
Thanks again for your interest and support. This message has focused on curriculum. The next one will provide a new tool and resources for school leaders to help them assess how ready they are for "Next Era Education."  I hope you stay a subscriber so you can let me know what you think about the learning activities above or the new ideas in future updates.

All the best always,

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