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Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.
This website is dedicated to the classic Japanese Haiku poet Issa. They feature a daily haiku by the master that is sent to your email.
I like this daily reminder to be in the moment.
Here's one sent today:
fall quickly, hidemy home village...mist and cold rain
In a recent Question of the Week, we asked our tech-savvy readers: “How do you get tech-reluctant teachers and administrators to use technology effectively?” Here are our readers' top answers.
If you ask students to identify how a character is feeling in a story, you might hear one of the following three words pop up: happy, sad, mad. Character emotions and traits are not something children automatically understand. To help students with this, we need to be intentional.
Inferencing a character’s feelings or personality traits is complicated. It involves looking beyond the words. It takes time to build this skill in young readers. Making it tangible can help. One way to make it more concrete is to put a face to it. Here are three activities, all of which will help with reading into a character’s personality and emotions.
Many teachers have heard my spiel on the Test Lady™, the woman who scores the state prompt writings. Giving students a person or audience to write to is more motivating than if they think their writing will be scored by a machine. This is what prompted me to invent the Test Lady™--the old lady who reads and scores the state writing prompts. Students are more apt to try harder on this assessment, be more specific, and provide more detail when there is a live person on the other end of the writing.
Voice Lessons: Here's an archive of lesson plans designed to teach voice in writing!
Scholastic Professional Author TalkAbout video interviews feature expert authors as they answer questions on important issues in education-from reading, writing, and vocabulary instruction to topics of special interest to literacy leaders.
...and many more!
When students receive writing instruction, their reading fluency and comprehension seem to improve.
In the Harvard Educational Review (Winter 2012), Steve Graham and Michael Hebert (Vanderbilt) report the results of a meta-analysis of 95 literacy studies, which confirmed the following:
Short video guide to writing in the argumentative mode.
Author: Douglas BorcomanCSUDH/Coastline College/University of Alaska
Listen-and-write.com is a simple but very useful site for learners of English. It’s dictation practice: you listen to a text and then you have to write down every word. Your work is checked in real time – you have to spell each word correctly. If you make a mistake, you can’t go on but have to try again until you get it right. You can stop and play the text again as many times as you like. There are a lot of different levels of difficulty, so everybody will find suitable texts. If you register on the site you can record your results and check your progress too.
Reading is critical to students' success in and out of school. One potential means for improving students' reading is writing. In this meta-analysis of true and quasi-experiments, Graham and Herbert present evidence that writing about material read improves students' comprehension of it; that teaching students how to write improves their reading comprehension, reading fluency, and word reading; and that increasing how much students write enhances their reading comprehension. These findings provide empirical support for long-standing beliefs about the power of writing to facilitate reading.
Why email is the perfect way to teach writing.
Each year another thirty or so college students, for the most part English majors, stumble onto -- and then take furious advantages of -- an almost impossibly capable machine.
It works via e-mail. You send it fragments of your paper, maybe a provisional thesis or a few snippets of exegesis. Moments later it returns a fine-grained commentary: "I think you need to make this 'art' connection more clearly in your first paragraph if you're going to follow it throughout the paper.... Are you maybe a little too black / white here?.... I think it's key that you say both things -- that Stephen achieves a success but it's qualified by the ironies with which Joyce frames it.... I don't think the poem suggests he's in a daze."
As some of my readers may know, I had an awakening of sorts this past summer: I am NOT going to teach so test driven, I told myself. I'm tired of the five-paragraph essay! Where does it exist anywhere but in school? Instead, I decided, that everything I did this school year would have some connection to the world outside of school. The plan: to immerse my lessons and my classroom assessments in authenticity. And test scores be damned.
OK, so maybe I wasn't that confident. Nevertheless, I went ahead with my plans and devised units based on project-based writing.
This site asks you to enter a keyword and then assembles a planet of images using Flikr photos. I entered the word writing and then played with a threeD planet of pictures. Click on an image and it floats forward.
This could be a great way to prompt journal writing or poetry. Fun to play with! Use it for some idea generation the next time around!
Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature.
In the 1990s, the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association established national standards for English language arts learners that anticipated the more sophisticated literacy skills and abilities required for full participation in a global, 21st century community. The selected standards, listed in the appendix, served as a clarion call for changes underway today in literacy education.Today, the NCTE definition of 21st century literacies makes it clear that further evolution of curriculum, assessment, and teaching practice itself is necessary.
Originally published in Feb. 2008, this document remains relevant, particularly for those in the humanities who may see their disciplines as refuges from the imperative to embrace technology. -JL
Q: I think my students finally understand what voice is, but I don't know how to help them tap into it within their own writing. I'm looking for some picture books that would demonstrate different types of voice and then coordinating strategies to elicit writer voice. Any ideas?
Sample papers for grades 1 - 12. Dozens of samples!
Communicating in pictures is the first form of writing-on-paper primary teachers address. The power of more picture details is that students then have more details to label. The more they label, the more they can write and develop. This produces young writers who can do more than draw a picture and write a single sentence. They can draw a picture and write numerous sentences!
But don’t just tell students to draw with details, teach them how. There are several explicit lessons you could address within these first weeks of school. Take your time as you introduce these new concepts in lessons. Each idea might require more than a one-day mini-lesson.
Blogger Rebecca Alber shares how writing and reading with your students can make a difference.
To help our students become writers, we need to write side by side with them.
"Writing to learn focuses on deepening understanding and improving retention of content."
Writing Across the Curriculum
The concept of writing across the curriculum is commonly credited to James Britton (1970, 1972).
The writing activities, typically:
Five Phases for Understanding
Defined Instructional Practices Build Collective Capacity
The Common Core State Standards make school wide literacy a must do. School leaders are faced with the challenge of increasing the capacity of their entire instructional staff within a brief period of time. In order to raise the collective capacity of teachers, school must employ a locally agreed upon set of defined instructional practices in which all teachers engage in every classroom every day. Defined practices build collective capacity!
Free personal journal and online diary....
Penzu is a service that makes publishing your texts online simpler than you ever thought possible.
Whether you're currently enrolled in a language program or not, take advantage of free online instruction from an experienced teacher. The lessons will introduce new content to some and serve as a review for others.
I show my students how to setup Google Docs for our ESL writing class.