Blogs on Literacy

Blogs on LiteracyRSS
Todd FinleyApril 16, 2013

To be subtle. To be true. To be original. To be on. • To sing without moving your lips. • To explore the conventions of a thousand genres and befriend a thousand tribes. • To set your love free. • To tweet and be RTed. • To convince someone to give you money. • To get better at doing hard things.

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Jonathan OlsenApril 10, 2013

At its core, the six-word memoir teaches us to be concise but also introspective. Try describing yourself in six words. Not easy, right? So, for English teachers, the six-word memoir is a great way to get students to focus on getting a point across in as few words as possible. Students have to choose words precisely since they can't waste any. The six-word memoir teaches all of us writers a critical skill: words are valuable and have meaning -- don't waste them.

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This year, I admitted a hard truth to myself. I wasn't having my students write enough. In an attempt to follow Kelly Gallagher’s advice that students should write more than we can assess, I decided to have them blog weekly.

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Ben JohnsonApril 8, 2013

How do you tell if someone has been reading a book critically? One way is they have dog-eared the pages, underlined key ideas, annotated the margins, highlighted quotable phrases, and filled the book with tabs on pages of interest.

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Mary Beth HertzApril 5, 2013

Poetry has a very special place in my heart. I started writing poetry in high school and continued throughout college and even into my 20s. Eventually, teaching fulltime, along with other responsibilities, pulled me away from that art form, but I still love to read poetry, and I love hearing it read.

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Todd FinleyMarch 20, 2013

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."

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Matt DavisFebruary 25, 2013

Editor's Note: This year, Read Across America day is Monday, March 3rd -- a day later than usual. We published this reading-themed blog last year for Read Across America and Dr. Seuss's birthday, and it was a huge hit with readers. This year, we've updated the post to include a few new resources. (Updated 02/2014)

Each year, teachers, students, and parents are encouraged to read their favorite books together in early March to honor Dr. Seuss who once said, "You’re never too old, too wacky, or too wild to pick up a book and read to a child."

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Elena AguilarFebruary 19, 2013

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.

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Todd FinleyFebruary 13, 2013

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.

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Elena AguilarFebruary 13, 2013

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!

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