Blogs on Literacy

Blogs on LiteracyRSS
Robert WoodJune 12, 2013

Cultural responsiveness in the classroom can often be written off as something patched by a quick fix, especially in an English classroom where swapping a traditional (read: Dead White Guy) text with something written by a person from an underrepresented background can take the place of more significant cultural response. Don't get me wrong, I think that putting Zora Neale Hurston, Chang Rae Lee, and Junot Diaz into "the cannon" is an important social step for our discipline, but doing this at the expense of also having substantive structural changes in the classroom is a temptation that one has to be careful of embracing.

Read More
David CutlerJune 6, 2013

Few subjects are as challenging to teach as journalism, a field that is changing as fast as technology itself -- or faster.

I reached out to William Zinsser, age 90, a living legend, stellar journalist and one of America's greatest teachers of writing. I was curious to hear how he adapted so successfully to publishing his work online. Following are highlights of that conversation.

Read More
Sarah Mulhern GrossJune 6, 2013

I'm an evangelist.

A book evangelist, that is. I hand out books to students and colleagues, booktalking them in class, at lunch, and even in my email signature. I want my students to read widely and read often, to pick up a book instead of browsing Tumblr every time they are bored. But I have no desire to assess my students for each book they read during the year. I'm a voracious reader, but I don't take a quiz after each book I finish. If I did, I don't think I would be a reader for very long! I do want my students to think about some of the books that have affected them and influenced them, though. And I want them to plan ahead and think about the books they want to read in the future. In other words, I want them to be readers.

Read More
Maria WaltherJune 3, 2013

Like you, I've been doing a lot of thinking and wondering about text complexity. As a first grade teacher, I'm pondering what that concept means for young readers and guided reading instruction. How do we support readers as they gradually climb a staircase of texts that leads them to those with greater complexity? My research-guided experience says, "Let’s take it one step at a time!"

Read More
Mark PhillipsMay 30, 2013

During my years as a high school teacher, summer vacation was often the time to catch up on the reading I didn't have time for during the school year. My reading list frequently featured books unrelated to education, but I always included a book or two related to my teaching, as long as it was both thought provoking and readable. So I want to suggest some books that I think would be good to check out for this summer. These are my picks.

Read More
Lee Ann SpillaneMay 14, 2013

"I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity."
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio might move teens to fall in love with the story of the book, but it won't make them better readers of the novel. Long before the film was announced, I've been using simple technology tools to help my eleventh graders become curious critics analyzing the text patterns Fitzgerald employs.

Read More
Rebecca AlberMay 13, 2013

Adults forget all that they do while reading. We are predicting, making connections, contextualizing, critiquing, and already plotting how we might use any new insights or information. Yep, we do all that when we read.

Read More
Anne OBrienApril 30, 2013

We all know that the demographics of America's public school population are shifting. In 2011, nearly a quarter -- 23.9 percent -- of pre-K-12 students was Hispanic, many either immigrants or the children of immigrants who speak another language at home. And that proportion is projected to grow in the coming years, bringing new challenges and opportunities to schools across the country.

Read More
Heather Wolpert-GawronApril 29, 2013

William Shakespeare was the R-rated writer of his time. His plays were potentially more sexy than any E.L. James novel and oft-times more violent than any Quentin Tarantino film. The words of the Bard make up a universal language, one that can unite cultures with their themes and conflicts. And, more importantly to this blogger, William Shakespeare changed my life.

Read More
Lisa Michelle DabbsApril 18, 2013

"As a child I walked with noisy fingers along the hemline for so many meadows back home." - Jewel

I love to read poetry for many reasons, but some that strike me as being the most important are:

  • Reading poetry relaxes me.
  • Reading poetry makes me laugh!
  • Reading poetry allows me to see into a deeper, more emotional part of myself.
Read More