Standard 9 of the Common Core State Standards underscores the importance of students reading and writing about complex literary and informational texts, skills critical for "college and career readiness in a twenty-first-century, globally competitive society."
Dr. Seuss's 109th birthday is March 2, and since 1998, Read Across America has shared the same date. Each year, teachers, students, and parents are encouraged to read their favorite books together to honor the author who once said, "You’re never too old, too wacky, or too wild to pick up a book and read to a child."
In my last post I described 10 ways to cultivate a love of reading in kids. I want to expand on that theme by suggesting 10 alternatives to the book report. I'm not a fan of book reports; I don't think they are an effective way for a student to demonstrate understanding of a book and I don't think they help students enjoy or appreciate reading.
Although House of Cards on Netflix, the fictional Elmer Gantry and the preposterous Watergate cover-up all provide ammunition to those who view rhetoric pejoratively, rhetoric should be studied as a powerful tool for good. Winston Churchill composing speeches from bed comes to mind, as does the Gettysburg Address, a marvel of brevity more poignant than Winter Aconite, a speech that redefined the Civil War as a national fight for equality. The Gettysburg Address, composed by that hipster Abraham Lincoln, has never been more relevant, especially to the framers of the Common Core Curriculum Standards who appropriated Lincoln's address because of its literary rhetorical characteristics.
As a teacher, I was obsessed with cultivating a love of reading in my students. I love to read, loved it as a kid too. I'm equally compelled to ensure that my own child loves reading -- and he does. I well aware that I'm on a mission -- but I also know it's a worthy one!
Ten years from now, maybe sooner, you'll be able to find this article and laugh at its concept. Defending print -- how 20th century. As more schools move towards 1:1 computer-to-student ratios, as textbooks become digital and periodicals move online, it will become increasingly rare for students to avoid the glare from computer screens. However, my experiences in the classroom have shown that students can benefit tremendously from reading physical copies of print media.
Only a decade and a few years in, how can we fully describe the twenty-first century learner? So far, this we do know: She is a problem solver, critical thinker, and an effective collaborator and communicator. We also know that a deeper learning environment is required in order to nurture and grow such a learner.
Organized debates are an engaging way to help students discover, explore and organize ideas during the writing process. However, neither my teacher colleagues nor students share my enthusiasm. To find out why, I asked how they felt about using debate in the classroom. Here were their responses:
Write Beside Them: Risk, Voice, and Clarity in High School Writing is a compelling and seminal work on the practicalities of teaching writing to high school English students from New Hampshire teacher and literacy/instructional coach Penny Kittle. You can also watch the speech she gave when that book earned her the 2009 NCTE Britton Award. I've used the book and accompanying DVD for three years now, and my English education pre-service teachers have called the unequivocally helpful text "warm, inspiring and intelligent," "100 % heart," and hailed the author as "a writer's teacher of writing."
Parent involvement is the number one predictor of early literacy success and future academic achievement. However, according to a 2007 report by National Endowment for the Arts, there are more literate people in the United States who don't read than those who are actually illiterate. How do we change that pattern for the future of our children?