Blogs on Literacy

Blogs on LiteracyRSS
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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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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Elena AguilarAugust 1, 2013

Sometimes you need to be really far away to get perspective and be reminded of what you already know. As I write this, the eight thousand miles between myself and the schools I work in are illuminating the inside out, backward, and upside down nature of our education system. I'm am talking about the spliced into 55-minute periods, standardized testing, and the disconnection from authentic application and what makes life meaningful. I know, not all schools in the US are like this, but too many are.

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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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Rebecca AlberJuly 23, 2013

Summer is the time to look over those unit plans. As you reflect and rethink lessons, here's something to consider: How can you turn direct instruction into experiences where students instead discover?

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Marc AndersonJuly 18, 2013

I wanted to talk to someone. But who? It's moments like this, when you need someone the most, that your world seems smallest. -- Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Let's face it -- everyone has something to say some time or another. ESL learners are no different. As a teacher of either online English or classroom ESL instruction, it is important to make your students feel comfortable speaking. They may feel embarrassed about their inability to speak English fluently. Or perhaps they are just shy. As an instructor, you need to ask yourself how you are impacting the learning environment:

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Suzie BossJuly 11, 2013

After seven years of leading an innovative high school near Oslo, Norway, Ann Michaelsen had acquired some keen insights about what it means to be a global learner with ready access to technology. So she decided to write a book. Not just any book, mind you. Connected Learners: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Global Classroom, a 219-page digital book, features a cover picture of a group of teens (and one adult) standing in the snow. The byline tells the rest of the story: by 27 students and their teacher Ann Michaelsen, Sandvika High School, Norway.

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Gregory WebsterJuly 5, 2013

When teaching a new unit, teachers know that their strategy can either "sizzle" and get the class excited, or "fizzle" and lose their attention. As a first-year teacher, I saw a good number of my lessons fizzle out. But one that really sizzled was my unit on poetry. When we started, my fourth grade students hated the idea of poetry. However, by the end of the unit, my neglected poetry section became the most popular part of my class library. This metamorphosis is all thanks to the careful use of selected authors and scaffolded instruction.

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