Blogs on English Language Arts

Blogs on English Language ArtsRSS
Mark GuraSeptember 26, 2013

Having been involved with student robotics programs for many years, I feel that robotics just may be the most perfect instructional approach currently available. It offers classroom activities that teach high-value STEM content as well as opportunities to powerfully address ELA Common Core Standards. In fact, there are connections to robotics across the full spectrum of the curriculum. Robotics is also a highly effective way to foster essential work skills like collaboration, problem solving and project management. It does all this while keeping kids so motivated and engaged that getting them to stop working and move on to the rest of the school day can be a challenge -- a good problem to have!

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Marilee SprengerSeptember 18, 2013

Teaching vocabulary within the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is an essential component of standards-based curriculum alignment. Making the critical words second nature to our students will enhance achievement on assessments and will be useful in college and career. To process and store the academic vocabulary of the standards, our students’ brains require an efficient automatic memory system. This system, also called nonmotor procedural memory, stores information that is repeated, such as multiplication tables, song lyrics, words and definitions.

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Monica BurnsSeptember 17, 2013

Finding ways to integrate technology and align instruction to the Common Core Learning Standards can be a challenge. Part of making sure that students are college and career ready goes beyond rigorous class work and should include interaction with 21st century technology.

Let's take a look at two Common Core Anchor Standards in Reading. These anchor standards are written generally for grades K-12, and each has grade-specific standards that address the particular skill sets necessary for each level of students.

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Andrew MillerSeptember 12, 2013

For those of us who work in states where the Common Core is already being implemented, we all must address the Common Core Standards, even if we are not English language arts or math teachers. However, this provides a great opportunity to support the literacy work already occurring in the ELA classroom. The Common Core Standards for Literacy in the History/Social Sciences, Science and Technical Subjects are all standards that non-ELA teachers, from art to science, can target. Consider the following ideas so that you can be not only effective but intentional in teaching and assessing the Common Core Standards.

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Matt DavisAugust 22, 2013

How will the Common Core shift English-language arts learning in elementary school? Well, the transition to more nonfiction readings has certainly received the most attention, but that's just one subtle way. To help parents understand these shifts, we've compiled some of the best Common Core resources from around the Web.

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Ainissa RamirezAugust 21, 2013

Humans have a few basic needs: air, food, water, clothing, shelter, belonging, intimacy and Wi-Fi. (OK, the last one is not really on the list.) Regardless of my attempt to be funny, what is no laughing matter is that we have primary needs. What might surprise you is that another primary need is the need to be creative. We are creative creatures and have been since we first existed, as evidenced by the first cave paintings formed over 40,000 years ago. But somehow in this modern day, we've forgotten that being creative is part of the human experience.

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Judy JesterAugust 15, 2013

I sell literacy. I do. If I don't sell kids on wanting to learn to read and write as well as they can, they won't. Sometimes it's an especially hard sell for kids in middle school, both for those who are competent in these areas but choose to be illiterate, and for those who have always struggled with these skills. You've heard the old axiom, "What you plant in September, you reap in June," so it's crucial to set the right tone from the start. Here's what I do.

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Jason CranfordTeagueAugust 13, 2013

Once upon a time, typography was the domain of a few arcane professionals with ink-stained fingers who labored away at huge machines, setting letters one at a time. These days, everybody is a typographer. Anyone using a word processor, writing a blog, or just sending emails is setting text to communicate ideas.

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Jason CranfordTeagueAugust 8, 2013

Before we dig in, let's start with a quick multiple-choice quiz:

Font : Text ::

A. Hat : Head
B. Coffee : Tea
C. Voice : Speech

The answer is C. The font you choose to display text is every bit as important as the voice you use to speak if you want a reader to not only understand what they are reading, but also remember it as well. The primary purpose of type is not really to be readable, but to convey information that is to be remembered. Surprisingly, readability might not always lead to the best information retention.

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Todd FinleyJuly 26, 2013

"There is not a writer in our classrooms today who will not be producing something with a digital writing tool in her or his lifetime." -- Troy Hicks

Troy Hicks frequently uses the words "intentional" and "deliberate" to highlight the need for writers to conscientiously think through composing digital texts. Those two words could just as easily describe the author's thoughtful affect on Paul Allison's Teachers Teaching Teachers or the degree to which his new book, Crafting Digital Writing: Composing Texts Across Media and Genres, methodically articulates how 4th-12th grade instructors can introduce technology tools, mentor texts, composing practices, and heuristics for helping students write.

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