Blogs on Literacy

Blogs on LiteracyRSS
Monica BurnsJanuary 27, 2014

There are so many ways that iPads can be used in the classroom, and one of my favorite things about these tablets is the ability to use iBooks with students. Although there are tons of great options available in the iBookstore, there is a program for MacBooks that let users create their very own interactive books for iPads. This free program gives teachers the ability to create iBooks that can be shared with students by adding them to individual devices or published to the iBookstore to share with the world.

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David CutlerJanuary 14, 2014

It's high time for more English and history teachers to set aside their literary purism, and to embrace superhero comics as effective and legitimate teaching and learning tools.

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Todd FinleyJanuary 2, 2014

"Change your language and you change your thoughts." -- Karl Albrecht

Understanding Academic Language

Academic language is a meta-language that helps learners acquire the 50,000 words that they are expected to have internalized by the end of high school and includes everything from illustration and chart literacy to speaking, grammar and genres within fields.

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Beth HollandDecember 27, 2013

It's my fault. I'll admit it. During my eight years in the classroom, I ruined at least two amazing literary works by assigning horrifically dull reading projects. My only hope is that those middle school students, whose enthusiasm I quashed, found another way to become passionate about literature.

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Caroline TrullDecember 16, 2013

Students are taught that a closing paragraph should accomplish three things:

  1. Restate an essay's thesis
  2. Summarize main points
  3. Provide a finished feel

In response to this information, young writers often exhibit confusion. "Aren't I repeating myself if I copy the same content from the first paragraph? And what's a finished feel?"

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Beth HollandDecember 9, 2013

I'll admit it. At the end of the day, I like to read books -- the paper kind. Twitter alerts and email don't randomly pop up when I read a hardcover book, nor does the lure of checking "one more thing" tempt me from the pages of a paperback. I have a singular focus, unfettered by a device -- or the tools behind it.

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Beth HollandNovember 26, 2013

Take a moment to think about how you learned to write. What steps did you go through? What was your process?

Most of us learned the same core set of skills on paper: organize, draft, edit, revise, turn in. Our teachers then marked up what we had handwritten or typed, and returned our writing. From there, maybe it ended up tacked to a bulletin board, stuck on the refrigerator door, stuffed into a notebook, or tossed in the nearest trash can. Let's call this Writing 1.0.

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Elena AguilarNovember 15, 2013

If you're looking for something to read this winter by a woman author, something that'll engross you, take you to new worlds and introduce you to characters you'll never forget, I have some suggestions. These books are among my all-time favorites -- to be included, they had to be on my list of favorites for at least a decade.

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Monica BurnsNovember 15, 2013

For families traveling this winter or teachers simply looking for an alternative to tablet games, there are lots of great apps for winter reading. Android devices, iPhones and iPads can be turned into ebook readers with a quick tap or swipe. Portable and kid-friendly, these interactive storybooks will support and engage young readers.

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I'll admit, as the mom of a toddler I may be excessively preoccupied with the alphabet. But truly, letters are the building blocks of the English language and early literacy. Since November is National Novel Writing Month, I indulged in sharing a few of my favorite ABC videos. I started this playlist just for fun, and quickly found that the constraints of the 26-letter sequence provide a great framework for engaging lists of all kinds. As an exercise for your students, little and big, ask them to use the letters of the alphabet as a structure to get creative around a topic -- just see what they come up with!

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