Blogs on English Language Arts

Blogs on English Language ArtsRSS
Becky Mladic-MoralesMarch 12, 2014

Children's books with multicultural settings and characters can transport us on a global adventure, dispelling negative stereotypes, teaching tolerance and respect, encouraging pride in kids' cultural heritage, and showcasing universal human emotions and feelings. When paired with extension activities, quality multicultural literature teaches kids about the world beyond our communities while sharpening their critical thinking skills.

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Monica BurnsMarch 11, 2014

Poetry can take so many forms, and sometimes it's hard to know where to start when planning a unit of study. You might focus on figurative language with third graders, you might want seventh graders to look at rhyme sequence, or you might simply want to introduce classic pieces to high school students.

There are some great tools on the web for teachers gathering resources to use with their students. Here are a few worth checking out.

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Janice DoleMarch 7, 2014

In part one of this series, I shared how I use freely available video in my reading and literacy methods course to help my preservice teachers understand close reading instruction at a level that could not be attained through reading and discussion alone. In part two, I shared my curated collection of videos for general Common Core info, as well as videos to teach the close reading, text complexity and informational texts standards.

Below is my curated collection of videos of exceptional professional websites for reading teachers that feature videos and resources on word generation, explicit instruction, graphic organizers and text difficulty, among other topics.

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Janice DoleMarch 7, 2014

In my previous post, I shared how I use freely available video in my reading and literacy methods course to help my preservice teachers (PTs) understand close reading instruction at a level that could not be attained through reading and discussion alone.

Below is my curated collection of videos for general Common Core info, as well as videos to teach the close reading, text complexity and informational texts standards.

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Janice DoleMarch 7, 2014

For preservice teachers (PTs) to be able to teach well, they need to "get it" -- that aha! moment when they truly understand what good teaching looks like. My PTs often do not witness close reading (identified in the Common Core State Standards as a critical skill) modeled in their practicum. Fortunately, free high-quality video of this skill being taught can be found on the Internet and is among the most effective teaching tools I use.

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Joshua BlockMarch 6, 2014

The wonderful poet Naomi Shihab Nye first introduced me to William Stafford's idea that no one becomes a poet. She says that we are all born poets, and it's just that some of us choose to keep up the habit.

At times, all of us inevitably get stuck viewing ourselves in static and limiting ways. When I tell students that we will be studying poetry there are always some students who mutter, "I can't write poems."

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Larry FerlazzoFebruary 27, 2014

Editor's Note: This blog was co-authored by Katie Hull Sypnieski. Portions of this post are excerpted from their book, The ESL/ELL Teacher's Survival Guide: Ready-to-Use Strategies, Tools, and Activities for Teaching English-Language Learners of All Levels.

Helping English-language learners develop proficiency in academic language has always been a priority for K-12 educators, and its importance has only been heightened with the advent of the Common Core. To better understand academic language, let's examine the distinction between two terms introduced by Jim Cummins, basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), that have impacted both policy and practices in second-language education:

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Mary Beth HertzFebruary 18, 2014

Many educators are worried about how technology is affecting the amount of reading that students are doing. They notice that:

  • Students are struggling to read and comprehend longer texts.
  • Students are struggling to read deeply.
  • Many students report that they don’t read outside of school at all.

There are a few contributing factors to this, technology being one and high-stakes testing being another. We could also argue that kids aren't reading less, they're reading differently.

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Abbie KopfFebruary 14, 2014

Editor's note:This post was coauthored by Philomena Jones, a Big Thought Fellow with a focus on literacy development and arts education. Her background is business writing, recruiting and K-college public and private education.

Bookworms everywhere mourned the state of our country when Pew released a poll that found 23 percent of Americans didn't read a single book in the previous year. Things aren't looking particularly encouraging for future generations, either. Experts estimate that only 1/3 of parents regularly read to their children, even though reading plays an immense role in cognitive development.

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Lisa Michelle DabbsFebruary 14, 2014

"Read along with me: the best is yet to be." - Lisa Dabbs (adapted from Robert Browning)

When I first became a teacher, I was excited to begin sharing the love of reading with my students. I grew up loving to read and couldn't wait to open up the children's literary book club pick that my Dad had on monthly order for me.

The time I spent with books transformed my life and sparked my imagination. I wanted to create a similar experience for my students, but I found that it was sometimes a challenge due to their home life circumstances. In the end, though, it was well worth the effort.

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