Archive for the ‘Literacy’ Category

  • Rainbow it Up! The Color-Coded Essay

    on Sep 1, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments

    letter-writing-pic

    As a secondary English teacher, I teach many pieces of academic enrichments within my curriculum, but my main passion tends to fall at the feet of writing.  When I began teaching middle school English a handful of years ago, writing was barely a blip on the radar as we had so much pressure to pass a certain percentage of students in state assessments, of which writing wasn’t a focus that came up very often.  Nonetheless, I felt strongly that good writers made for accomplished citizens and I sought to teach it and teach it well. This is

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  • The Importance of Reading Out Loud

    on Aug 19, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Parents • with Comments

    Young Student Ready To Study

    Read out loud. It’s my mantra. I don’t care how old my elementary students are, I feel they all can benefit from reading out loud to their grown ups. And in this hurried world we live in, the grown ups benefit too. Younger readers need to read out loud to practice reading strategies, to work on pronunciation and increase comprehension. If younger students read on their own and stumble across words, they are losing valuable comprehension skills. Younger readers need to be reading under the watchful eye of a grown up in order for the

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  • Informational Texts: Legos “Lost at Sea”

    on Aug 14, 14 • in Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments

    Image by Tracey Williams/Lego Lost At Sea, via NPR

    Those tiny, multi-colored plastic building bits called Legos have a dedicated, even obsessive, fan base. Such fanaticism is the  reason why I thought the following story I recently heard on National Public Radio (NPR) would make for a great informational text that blends visual, print, and audio with social media for a wide range of readers. The story was titled,  Lost At Sea, Legos Reunite On Beaches And Facebook and the audio was broadcast on 7/26/2014. The text for audio link reads: Nearly two decades ago, a massive wave struck the Tokio Express, a container ship that had nearly 5 million Legos onboard. The

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  • In Balanced Literacy, Johnny’s Reading Means More than Decoding

    on Jul 11, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments

    student reading

    Throwbacks in education are common. This time, Robert Pondiscio, a Senior Fellow and Vice President for External Affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institution is itching for a fight to reopen old “reading war” wounds.He has taken umbrage with the NYTimes (7/2/14) opinion piece Balanced Literacy Is One Effective Approach by Lucy Calkins: Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University and a proponent of balanced literacy. Pondiscio’s op-ed (7/3/2014) titled, Why Johnny Won’t Learn to Read charges back into the heat of that fight as he referenced the 1997 National Reading Panel’s review of studies on the teaching of reading. In reminding everyone that “phonics won,” Pondiscio jettisons the definition of the word

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  • Vampires, Honest Abe, and the Future of History Instruction

    on Jul 1, 14 • in Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Social Studies • with Comments

    Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter Co

    America loves its heroes. From the earliest inspirational days of explorers sailing the ocean blue and “discovering” an unruly wilderness that would become the United States, to Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, to the canonization of Steve Jobs (notably by Ashton Kutcher is this film). Without a doubt, many of these heroes deserve their limelight. They have shaped American culture, inspired ambition, and present possibility for folks of all ages. American heroes fulfill the essential qualities of Horatio Alger’s American Dream. Abraham Lincoln is the essence of this American hero. Born in a log cabin

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