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Testing Docs

This seems to be working. More tests. Print

April 14, 2021 April 14, 2021
One thing I did that makes me feel good about myself … one habit this shows.

One of the things I did this weekend was to think and write (or at least begin to write) about the different discourse options that are available on Youth Voices. I found passages in James Moffett’s important book, Teaching the Universe of Discourse. Maybe I should collect those here. Here’s something I wrote recently: In Coming on Center (1981), James Moffett calls […]

April 12, 2021 April 12, 2021

Youth Voices is a site where you can From freewriting, drafting, and inviting peer response To revising, editing, and publishing with media       Print

April 11, 2021 April 12, 2021
Bio on you working portfolio

Paragraph 1: Who are you? What’s important to know about you? What ethnic and cultural heritages are in your family? Where were you born, and what neighborhoods have you lived in? What schools have you been to? When did something important happen to you, a turning point? Paragraph 2: What do you like to do IN school, including extra-curricular activities? What are […]

April 10, 2021 April 10, 2021
Something I did in the past 24 hours that makes me feel good about myself… what this shows about me.

Last night just before I took my evening shower and went to bed I sat down and created an “activity” within a playlist on Youth Voices. Here it is This wasn’t that hard to do because I spent the last several days making another activity, and on Youth Voices you can just copy a published page and use that […]

April 7, 2021 April 7, 2021
Have you ever “snitched,” or told on someone else for breaking a rule? How did you weigh your relationship to that person, the trustworthiness of the authority and the legitimacy of the rule?

I don’t know. When you are snitching you are going to an authority to inform on your peer. In my life as a teacher, my peer relationships have always been more important to me than the ones I’ve had with the powers that be. So I think my answer has to be “No, I’ve never snitched.” Really, though? I mean […]

April 6, 2021 April 6, 2021
What teachers at P.U.L.S.E. are expected to show about their classrooms

provide engaging opportunities promote teamwork use engaging materials give students time to reflect especially in virtual environments and remote settings Print

March 26, 2021 March 26, 2021
I managed a new kind of TTT meeting.

How new is it really? I still do all of the inviting and some of the introductions, and I’m often the one stopping a presentation or asking for more. But it might become more and more an act of facilitating as we go. I like that three specific things bubbled to the surface. I think the tricider worked. Should I […]

March 25, 2021 March 25, 2021
After a year of living with new routines and habits, are there aspects of going back to pre-pandemic school, work and social life that concern you?

Again — and maybe this is my way — I want to change the question. Can we make it something like what can we keep from our new habits? How do we resist a return to normal with things that were not so good? How do we get people to not think of working on computers as a pandemic, remote […]

March 24, 2021 March 24, 2021
Should the Department of Education keep remote classes as an option for those who want it in the future? Why or why not?

What is a remote class? Here’s how I want the question to be asked: Should the DOE support teachers to make their teaching and students learning experiences flow as seamlessly as possible between face-to-face meetings and online synchronous and asynchronous learning? To this (rather tortured) question I would scream from the rooftops, YES! And yes, there are plenty of less […]

March 23, 2021 March 23, 2021
Kinds of Digital Discourse, Kumospace, Brendaly as an example, guides attached to posts… etc.

What’s been on my mind and what have I been doing that makes me feel good about myself has to do with feeling good about putting Brendaly into the middle of an online workshop with teachers (on May 1, Digital Discourse teachers — but could be others before and after that) that induces teachers to these newly described, not definite […]

March 22, 2021 March 22, 2021
Next steps for Teachers Teaching Teachers

Now I have set up a tricider for people to propose sessions for TTT. Take a look at Take a look! Print

March 19, 2021 March 19, 2021
Multimodal Literacy: NYCWP’s LRNG/NowComment Workshop for LUTE-STEM Residents

Teacher-Consultants in the New York City Writing Project jumped at an opportunity to create a summer workshop for the first cohort of LUTE-STEM residents at Lehman College in 2020. We knew how to introduce these young teachers to the theory and practice that has been central to our work with students and teachers in public New York City schools for […]

March 18, 2021 March 18, 2021
One thing I did in the past 24 hours that makes me feel good about myself.

Oh let me see — in my journal here, I’ve been writing about the transition that Teachers Teaching Teachers is going through, because of COVID and remote learning, because of Kumospace, because it is time to shed an old skin… because I want to hand some of the responsibility and joy of doing this work off to younger teachers. So […]

March 18, 2021 March 18, 2021
Do we need the arts (music, acting, dance, drawing/painting/design) in our lives? Why or why not?

I feel like we are never without the arts — somehow. The question is whether the arts are used as an escape or pure entertainment — which, of course, there is nothing wrong with — but I want to reverse the question to say how can the arts be used to make our lives better? Does that make sense? How […]

March 16, 2021 March 16, 2021
One thing I did that makes me feel good about myself

One thing I did this weekend that makes me feel good about myself is that I got 86 students up on Youth Voices, students from Bronx International High School. About 20 of these new students were actually put on the site in January 2018, and I can barely remember when we did this. I think it was part of a […]

March 15, 2021 March 15, 2021
Is it important for people with different opinions to be able to talk to each other? Why or why not?

In the background as I write my 90-year-old mother is playing hymns on the piano, which is better than her sitting in her room watching FOX. Do I even try to talk with her? Well, we have a book of Broadway tunes at the piano too, and she is currently picking her way through “Oh what a beautiful morning…” and […]

March 11, 2021 March 11, 2021
Do big companies have a responsibility to contribute positively to society?

How do I write about this without being hypocritical? I depend on big companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook (Instagram), Spectrum (cable and Internet), Twitter, WordPress (where I’m writing right now) all of the time. And I THINK these companies “contribute positively” to my life and to society. Do I think we as a people have a right and a responsibility […]

March 10, 2021 March 10, 2021
One thing I did over the weekend that makes me feel good about myself.

Well I finished part four of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and by “finished” I mean that I read chapters 21-32, I got these chapters recorded, then I carefully checked through the digital copy we have to find transmission errors when it went from a PDF to an HTML text and onto NowComment. So… the fourth of five parts […]

March 8, 2021 March 8, 2021
What problems in your community do you think the local government (mayor, congressperson) should try to solve?

That’s an interesting question. One of the things I need to figure out is how change happens in the different neighborhoods in the Bronx. Brian Lehrer is doing a series each week on West Farms 10460 and I’m learning from this how difficult it is to change a neighborhood like this. Okay… so I want to get this series […]

March 3, 2021 March 3, 2021
is it harder to grow up today than it was in the past? Why or why no

Oh, I don’t know. I mean, it has to be really hard now if you are a young person growing up with the uncertainty, sadness, and just trauma of this pandemic then I don’t think there’s any question that you have to have some sort of grit, some fortitude, some ability to grapple — or as I’ve learned from a […]

March 2, 2021 March 2, 2021
One thing I did that makes me feel good about myself

Okay, so I started working on a curriculum that is Bronx-centered and focused on the current primary season. I was going to write about upcoming elections, but we are in the middle of it already! What I think I’m figuring out is how to build a new project out of existing playlists — thinking about how to make them more […]

March 1, 2021 March 1, 2021
What is a story in the news that has caught your attention recently?

Let’s see… I’m interested in all of the go back to school news/controversy because I think different groups — parents, teachers, policymakers — talk around each other and rarely are youth considered. And it is such a different question at the different ages. Within that whole thing, I can’t believe that the Biden administration is saying that NY tests have […]

February 24, 2021 February 24, 2021
What have you been taught about slavery up until now?

There are a few recent bubbles of thought bouncing around in my head. I was just listening to a history professor — the president of Rutgers College — talking about how you can’t understand American history without understanding that America was built on the institution of slavery. Yesterday, a student who is reading Stamped asked if the is slavery anymore. […]

February 23, 2021 February 23, 2021
One thing I did over the break hat makes me feel good about myself

Let’s see, I solved a problem, but this doesn’t really seem worth writing about. But maybe. On Youth Voices, we have these “Habits of Mind” awards we can give to students, and when Chris Sloan gave one 10 days ago, I said that it was like putting a star at the top of a student’s paper — except it was […]

February 22, 2021 February 22, 2021
Defining the Need for Skills Acknowledgements

Why do we need skills, an assessment tool, on Youth Voices? Fair question, especially since simplicity is the key to success for online learning systems. But also, asking youth to pay attention to recommending each other for skills and also creating them for us to use all takes time away from other reading and writing and learning they might be […]

November 1, 2020 February 5, 2021
Why is it sometimes difficult to talk about race?

That’s a great question. Even the first thing that came into my head seems like it’s wrong to say, and I want to edit the thought or correct it before I say it. So this is a good example. What I want to say is that race is used too often in ways that are unhelpful to understanding the problem. […]

February 3, 2021 February 5, 2021
Managing posts on Youth Voices

It’s not such a noticeable thing I do, but I went through about 20 posts on Youth Voices yesterday, editing and making sure that each post is a good as it can be — and that it is in a category that fits the UN Sustainable Goals, and there is. tag to the school page, and a proper image, and […]

February 2, 2021 February 2, 2021
Habits Labels and Links

User input lable: Choose a user whose work, in your opinion, demonstrates this habit. Nomination button text: Click here to add this habit to the profile of a user who has work that shows this ability, power, practice, or disposition. Notes input label: Describe and paste links to this user’s work that shows this habit in action. (The box expands.) […]

January 5, 2021 January 5, 2021
Why and How to Make Youth Voices Your Locus of Assessment

In the early 90s my colleagues at University Heights High School and I collaborated with David Niguidula, David Allen, and others from the Coalition of Essential Schools on a digital portfolio and assessment process. Our goal was to work with each of our students to produce a collection of digital artifacts to represent their habits of heart, mind, and work […]

December 23, 2020 December 24, 2020
Should we care about events in other parts of the world why or why not?

What about the vaccine for the Coronavirus and who gets it first? I’ve been frustrated with an almost total focus in the United States on who gets it here first. And I’ve never been sure about what happens in other countries. Are rich, western (and Russia and China… ) going to get the vaccine first? When we think about distributing […]

December 22, 2020 December 22, 2020
What is a hero?

I resist the whole idea that someone can be a hero, although I’ve spent some time reading about Naomi Osaka who probably is a hero of mine right now. See this. Part of what I like about her is her ability to be great at what she does (play tennis) and pay attention to what is going on in the […]

December 21, 2020 December 21, 2020
Something I did in the past 24 hours that makes me feel good about myself… what this shows about me.

I enjoyed getting together with other teachers from all over the country to just check-in, see how each of us was feeling… but also get a sense of what is next in our work together on NowComment and Youth Voices. At least I kept listening for what questions were coming up about our work with students. One thing I noticed […]

December 17, 2020 December 17, 2020
Do suffering and struggle make us stronger and lead to success? Why or why not?

Struggle and suffering seem like two different things here, so let me take them apart. Suffering is what happens to you and sometimes there are terrible things that happen that don’t make us stronger at all. I think we accept this on a physical level. When we contract a disease that slows us down we don’t imagine that we are […]

December 15, 2020 December 15, 2020
One thing I did that makes me feel good about myself

Let’s see. Yoga… TTT … Ah, maybe that. I’ve been trying to create a set of curriculum materials that include both “How to” do the technology instructions and instructions for how to write a poem AND a template that would — for some — pull it all together. And I’ve been trying some of this out. Last night a teacher […]

December 10, 2020 December 10, 2020
Something I did in the past 24 hours that makes me feel good about myself… what this shows about me.

The first thing that comes to mind is running. Yesterday I started running a third time each day. What happens is that I try to increase the distance I run 10% every week, and I’m up to ten miles a day. If you do the math you can see that if I go out twice a day, I’m running for […]

December 9, 2020 December 9, 2020
Does everything happen for a reason?

Probably not, but I think life is easier to take if you look for reasons in everything that happens. So I would never take a tragedy — like my son’s dog getting sick and having is front, right leg amputated — but I do this rationalization in my head about how we will still love the puppy and maybe even […]

December 8, 2020 December 8, 2020
How much control do you think you have over how your life turns out? Why? Write your response in a Youth Voices Journal Doc

Control? Ah, I was walking in the park on Saturday. It was a very windy day and we were walking just above the Hudson River with gusts pulling us all around. Then I saw a dad with his daughter just about to fly a kite, and I remember thinking that this was an apt symbol of how little control we […]

December 7, 2020 December 7, 2020
What’s more important talent or hard work?

People who have talent without hard work are just more tragic in their failure. Maybe it’s not fair for me to think of my youngest son in this light, but when he reads a difficult novel and has brilliant insights, makes a painting, composes a poem, and write a piece of music, or when he sings in a choir and […]

December 2, 2020 December 2, 2020 journal
One thing I did that makes me feel good about myself

It seems like a small thing but I started setting everybody up to have their comments from NowComment appear on their activity streams on Youth Voices. This is such a small thing when the student or teacher sees it, but it wasn’t small at all to get web engineers and designers to work together to have the comments on NowComment […]

November 25, 2020 November 25, 2020
Does trauma bring strength?

I’ll write about the younger generation and what I might learn from them, what I might misunderstand about young people today. I think there is something about resilience in the younger generation, a strength that comes from having survived so many traumas. I don’t want to be overly romantic about this, but maybe there is something there worth learning about. […]

November 23, 2020 November 23, 2020
Something I’m afraid of and why I’m afraid of it.

The “it” here has me a bit stumped… or at least has slowed my start. Let me see, I’m afraid of getting hurt, disease, dying, people who I love getting hurt, getting a disease, or dying. So that’s pretty big, a pretty big set of fears. And during Covid, well I guess it’s obvious. So yeah. isn’t it obvious why […]

November 18, 2020 November 18, 2020
The best compliment you have ever received and how this makes me feel?

The first thing that came to mind is what people sometimes say about me that I like. It’s mainly that I ground my work with digital discourse in the theory and practice of composition. Ah… yes, I remember an exact moment when — oh, what was her name? I’ll look it up — but she was in a presentation that […]

November 17, 2020 November 17, 2020
About Me? How to ask youth to represent themselves.

One thing I did this weekend was I made a widget box work on everybody’s profile. That might not seem that important, but here’s how it might be. If you go to my profile, you will see two Web Stories in the biography section of my About You widget. This is what I would like students to do to. So […]

November 16, 2020 November 16, 2020
Something significant in the past 24 hours

I finished a Web Story about annotations yesterday. This is important because of the medium and my learning in that medium and because the content is important. I wonder if I can embed it here. Oh let me just link to it under an image. That might be enough of a challenge. Let’s see, here’s a link: Print

November 12, 2020 November 12, 2020
Testing Docs

I’m just checking to see about authorship and how Docs show up on the Activity stream. Print

November 11, 2020 November 11, 2020
Two things my family has taught me

Two things?! Okay, let’s see. I feel like my sons — both in their late 20’s — are teaching me about dogs. Pets are something that my wife and I never brought into our family, except if you count the few months with a gerbil before lost her. I don’t know what this is teaching me, but it is something […]

November 4, 2020 November 4, 2020
Over the past 24 hours…

I’m wondering how to consult with a student about her writing. We edit and suggest in the margins on Google Docs or on NowComment, but how do we have those moments where we ask a student to say more to explain what you mean by that or tell me a story about that. Then turn and say, okay now put […]

November 3, 2020 November 3, 2020
One thing I did this weekend…

Oh, not much, but let me think… One thing I did was I ran in the rain on Friday and on Sunday, a bit more than five miles each day, so yeah, that’s something. And I finished a revised, better (audio included) NowComment version of If Beale Street Could Talk… and what else. Oh, actually the thing I’m doing that […]

November 2, 2020 November 2, 2020
Turning Standards into Conversations

Youth Voices Skills A skill is a special post on Youth Voices. Any member can create a skills post to identify a valued habit of heart, mind, and/or work that there is evidence for in another member’s activity stream on Youth Voices or elsewhere online. Once a skill is posted to the skills page, both teachers and students on Youth […]

October 24, 2020 October 25, 2020
One thing I did in the past 24 hours that makes me feel good about myself. What this shows.

So yesterday I concentrated on creating a system on Youth Voices that would allow teachers and students to recognize each other for the skills they are showing in their work. Now anybody can go and create a “skill” for others. This reaches back to our early work with P2PU badges and brings the knowledge we’ve gained with issuing hundreds of […]

October 23, 2020 October 23, 2020 journal
Docs or Discussion Posts

A teacher just sent me an email:  I’m trying to have my students post as a discussion, as we’ve done in the past. Many are posting as docs. What’s the difference between the two? I see comments for both. I am not seeing the difference right now and I’m trying to learn so I can explain it. Here’s my answer […]

October 20, 2020 October 20, 2020
RSS Feeds are fun!

Something I’ve been doing is trying to figure out how to use RSS feeds to bring NowComment comments into the Youth Voices Activity stream. I know that sounds technical I end up now know what people are talking about, but there is a nice community of technical engineers who are willing to help as long as they get paid. Actually, […]

October 16, 2020 October 16, 2020

One thing I did is improve the messaging system on Youth Voices, but I’m not sure if it is working. Still, it would be good if we could have this backchannel for talking to each other. Oh, it’s not really a backchannel, but it is a way to talk to individuals or groups of individuals. So yeah, let’s work on […]

October 15, 2020 October 15, 2020
Video as a flattening out of the learning space

I’m liking this idea that video conferences flatten the learning space. I’m not sure why this appeals to me, but I am itching to describe how to build online experiences for youth that are not so teacher- and content-centered. I’m also not sure that I’m right, so I’m hanging back a bit but I do wonder how to bring the […]

October 5, 2020 October 5, 2020
Hang Out, Mess Around, Geek Out

Hang Out on Your Profile Add a new profile picture and cover image. Create frequent updates with writing, images, audio, video, or links. Friend other youth from around the country, and comment on their updates. Gather your thoughts privately or with others in a Doc, using  YV Docs as a writer’s notebook. Build your profile by adding widgets in your […]

October 1, 2020 October 1, 2020
My Journal for Today

It was sad an exciting at the same time to see children posing outside of my building this morning on their first day of school. I remember those photos with my children. They were important moments of saying goodbye — but not goodbye, really, more it was a kind of taking a deep breath and saying “Go for it.” It […]

September 29, 2020 September 29, 2020 journal
Explore the Universe of Digital Discourse

Register your students This is a youth-powered publishing platform that was started in 2003 by a group of teachers from local sites of the National Writing Project. We merged several earlier blogging projects. We have found that there are many advantages to bringing students together in one site that lives beyond any particular class. It’s easier for individual students to read […]

September 4, 2020 September 22, 2020 youth voices
What’s a Youth Voices profile?

Here’s a list of metaphors we thought of to describe a Youth Voices profile. It can be your personal online… …locker (where you can put video, audio, images and text that are important to you) …homeroom (where you stay connected with your Youth Voices connections) …home base (where you come back to re-focus) …home page (all of the work you’ve […]

September 15, 2020 September 16, 2020
The Universe of Digital Discourse on Youth Voices

Writing Tool Where and how to use it Publishing Options What this might be used for What’s New? By clicking the first link on the drop-down under the user’s home page link on the main menu, the user is presented with a box where there is unlimited space to write and add media. The most recent updates appear publicly under […]

September 7, 2020 September 8, 2020
Youth Voices: Building a Writing Community

We are asking you to consider bringing your students to Youth Voices to grow our network of teachers and schools and to enrich the conversations on the site. Now more than ever, youth need to be connected with each other, and Youth Voices has tried-and-true resources and new features that promise to expand the universe of digital discourse available on […]

September 5, 2020 September 6, 2020

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What's similar? And what are some of the differences?

She is catatonic … passed out.

I'm not sure what you mean by Red Flag here.

Thomas Jefferson was one of America's Founding Fathers. Here's a video about him:

This is for a chapter in a book that NCTE is publishing: “Growing High School Writers, Growing Writing Teachers: Professional Knowledge for Teaching Writing” (Principles in Practice: Writing in Today’s Classrooms) edited by Anne Elrod Whitney

This is for a chapter in a book that NCTE is publishing: “Growing High School Writers, Growing Writing Teachers: Professional Knowledge for Teaching Writing” (Principles in Practice: Writing in Today’s Classrooms) edited by Anne Elrod Whitney

No apologies!

Respectful and hard.

This answer seems so clear to me.

Loving the specifics… the details.

Change the filibuster! We'll deal with the problems if the conservatives get back into power.

This is so common sense and clear.

Diplomacy “conditioned on the ouctome”?

Again, detailed, competent, strong.

Great general question.

I thought I was going to be late, I guess not.

Which of these do I think is the most pressing: climate change, immigration, gun control, voting rights?

Wow, what a finely-tuned question!

Right! But do you think these racist Puritans believed in witches REALLY or did they just make this stuff up to say and do racist things? How do you feel about the RACISM in this paragraph?

Once students have a question, they need to create a Public Collection within the study group that they have chosen. Also. the examples below might make clear what to do.

Nice connection!

The Solutions Story Tracker is an amazing resource. Try it out for “Responsible Consumption and Production” here:

Each study group is linked to an archive of posts for that SDG. See hundreds of posts in the category “Responsible Consumption and Production” here:

Seeing our own inquiries, or own wicked problems and burning questions with a global lens is powerful. Here's an example: See how Study Groups on NowComment help students upload images, texts, and videos into public collections named with their questions and connected to one of 17 United Nations Sustainability Goals.

Find the LRNG playlist”Spark Inquiry with Questions” here:

Find the “Study Groups: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” on the NowComment homepage, or here:

Use the study group, “Responsible Consumption and Production” to see what's on these pages:

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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