Archive for the ‘Literacy’ Category

  • Eight Ways to Teach Spelling to All Learners

    on Jan 21, 15 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments


    For some of us, spelling comes easily. For others, like me, it is wildly apparent that English is derived from a confusing array or sources. While most good spellers are good readers, not all good readers are good spellers. Still, kids need to be held accountable for their spelling. Every fall parents ask about spelling: spelling test, spelling homework, and spelling in their child’s writing. Spelling is a measure frequently used to determine whether a child is literate. Parents stress over whether the words are too easy or when will their darling stop using phonetic

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  • Beyond a Venn Diagram: Making Movies Work in the ELA Classroom

    on Jan 20, 15 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments


    The students of today are not like the ones twenty years ago, ten years ago, or even five years ago. Our students are used to a world where images change every second. A world where you can buy music, movie, or a book instantly without even going to a store. If you assign a book, chances are they will watch the movie instead. It is just their way. Teenagers are always looking for the easy way out. As a teacher, you have two choices: you can fight it or you can use it to your

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  • Disconnected Audiences: 2015 Oscars and English Classroom Literature

    on Jan 20, 15 • in Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments

    Disconnected audiences_ 2015 Oscars and

    The Hollywood Academy released the 2015 nominations this past week, and their choices for best picture, best actor, and best director lit a firestorm on social media about the lack of diversity in their choices. Some of the heated discussions called into question the make-up of the Academy, which according to a  2014 Los Angeles Times article is: 93 percent white 76 percent male Average age of 63 The percentages that make up the homogenized Academy bear a striking resemblance to the make-up in the canon of literature traditionally taught in high school English classrooms, a list of works dominated by

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  • Literature Circle Roles in New Wrappings

    on Jan 16, 15 • in Current Events in Education, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy • with Comments

    Literature circles(1)

    Educators regularly refurbish old ideas with new wrappings.  Take for example, the literature circle. The literature circle has been in education since 1982 when, according to Wikipedia, fifth grade students in Karen Smith’s class, organized themselves loosely into groups, and started to discuss individual novels.  Smith was surprised at the degree of their engagement with the books and the complexity of their discussions, they had no outside help or instruction from their teacher (Daniels, 1994). From here literature circles evolved into reading, study and discussion groups based around different groupings of students reading a variety of different novels. In

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  • Teaching with Controversial Topics

    on Jan 15, 15 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments


    The purpose of an education is to create functioning members of society. It is not about what the author meant when he said this, or what degree of angle is this if the other two are this and that. It is about being able to identify a problem and solve it. Sometimes problems can be solved individually and other times a problem must be solved together. One of the most challenging concepts to teach is how to work together to solve a problem while identifying and respecting another person’s opinion.  Here is how I approach controversial topics

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