“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” “There is no one alive who is youer than you.” “Oh the places you’ll go!” Who doesn’t remember a Dr. Seuss line from one of his many delightful children’s books? For decades, parents have been reading Theodor “Ted” Geisel—more commonly known to book and rhyming word lovers as Dr. Seuss—to their children. Dr. Seuss, whose birthdate is believed to be March 2, 1904, has touched the lives of millions of children and adults worldwide. Not bad for someone who dropped out of college and whose Dr. title was honorary.
Seuss was his middle name. And for decades, people have been pronouncing his name incorrectly. The correct pronunciation is “Zoice” not “Soose,” according to the author’s official website, Seussville.com.
I was excited to see the example in the book that described a good way to begin teaching varying sentences was to model. That is exactly what I did with my class last year when I dabbled in teaching sentence fluency. I wrote a story similar to the boring beach story in the book. Mine was about playing at the park. I started every sentence with we and the sentences were short and simple. Then next to it I had a story with descriptive words, varied sentence lengths and different words starting the sentences. I started by asking which one was more enjoyable to listen to. They were able to respond correctly and talk about what made it more interesting to listen to. We then focused on the poorly written park story and how we could rewrite it to make it have more sentence fluency. We never got past the modeling and shared writing portion of this because the school year ended. I am excited to try some more of the ideas in Spandels's book this year.
This post includes a list of online resources! ~Dennis
How did this page of lessons come about? Since the 1990's our Northern Nevada Writing Project has sponsored annual poetry events for students and teachers in Nevada. In 2001, when we launched the WritingFix website, we began posting many of the demonstration lessons from past workshops, and we began posting new lessons that were being created by our NNWP Teacher Consultants and teachers taking our inservice classes. This page began taking shape as our "poetry collection" in 2002.
"The only people who develop human potential and character as a calling are educators. This puts the men and women who choose to be teachers and principals in a position of unique power to help secure our children's future." -NIET Chairman and TAP Founder Lowell Milken
Plenty of other web pages offer advice on coding, design, and stylesheet tricks. This collection, emphasizing content, rather than coding, offers advice on how to write electronic documents (mostly web pages, but also e-mail and interactive fiction). It is part of a larger collection of handouts on writing. – Dennis G. Jerz
Listen to an interview with Kira J. Baker-Doyle about her book The Networked Teacher to learn about research and theory behind social networks and gain practical advice about how new teachers can create networks of peers and mentors that help them...
What does it mean to think critically? Some individuals would say to think critically is to deep think. Other individuals may say that critical thinking is thought that explores all possible logical outcomes. Critical thinking is best understood descriptively and through real life application analysis.
But dressing up a piece of prose with thesaurus-words tends not to work well. And here’s why: a thesaurus suggests words without explaining nuances of meaning and levels of diction. So if you choose substitute-words from a thesaurus, it’s likely that your writing will look as though you’ve done just that. The thesaurus-words are likely to look odd and awkward, or as a writer relying on Microsoft Word’s thesaurus might put it, “extraordinary and uncoordinated.” When I see that sort of strange diction in a student’s writing and ask whether a thesaurus is involved, the answer, always, is yes.
"...my classroom is a place where my students spend time piecing together what they have learned, critically evaluating its larger purpose, and reflecting on their own learning. It also means my students don’t acquire knowledge just for the sake of acquiring it. They need to do something with it — that’s where “project-based” comes into play.
Finally, technology is embedded into the structure of all we do. It’s part of how we research, how we capture information, and how we display our learning. It’s never an accessory tacked on at the end."
"Welcome Educators! With our unique writing platform and engaged community of passionate teen readers and writers, Figment is a natural teaching tool.
"And so Figment offers special features developed just for you to use with your students, including exclusive author programming, writing prompts, and private group functionality, where you can create a virtual writers’ workshop for your classroom.
"Learn more about how to use Figment in your class in our video promo. Then sign up for a free Figment educator account."
Readers’ Theater (also spelled "Reader’s Theatre" or "Readers Theater") is an activity in which students, while reading directly from scripts, are able to tell a story in a most entertaining form, without props, costumes, or sets.This is a reading activity, and students are not asked to memorize their lines. They are, however, encouraged to "ham it up" and use intonation and gestures appropriate to their characters and their characters’ words.
Like other dictionaries, the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is arranged alphabetically by headword, from A to Z.
What is different about DARE is that it shows where people use the words that are included. We all know, for example, that Americans have many names for the kind of sandwich that includes meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, etc., served in a long bun.
What DARE can tell you (and can often illustrate through the use of maps based on fieldwork) is where the words hero, hoagie, grinder, sub, torpedo, Cuban, etc. are the local terms for this sandwich. It can also tell you where people use the words darning needle, ear cutter, eye stitcher, mosquito (or skeeter) hawk, sewing needle, snake doctor, or snake feeder (among other terms) for a dragonfly.
I teach at Burlingame High School every day as I have for the last sixteen years and plan to do for many more to come. Though our work is demanding, even exhausting at times, it is important work. Most of my books focus on the instructional side of our work; others, such as The Teacher's Daybook, offer guidance and support in maintaining the personal-professional balance we must have if we are to enjoy and keep doing this vital work. I plan to make this site a priority in the future. In addition to the englishcompanion.com website, I have also created an englishcompanion ning, an online professional community for English teachers and those who support and prepare them. Please join us!
Writing-focused initiatives are supported by one-to-one technology programs in one California school district and one Colorado district. Fourth-grade students in Saugus, Calif., are using Web-based software accessible on their netbooks to help improve their writing skills. In Littleton, Colo., a technology-based writing initiative that began with fifth-grade students has been expanded to students throughout the district.
As a part of my day at the “Write to Learn: New World, New Literacies” conference yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to lead a keynote, do a breakout session on using mobile devices for digital composition (see this Google Doc for many links), and then do a three-hour writing workshop with fellow teacher/author Penny Kittle. While the morning sessions went well, and were quite enjoyable, I wanted to reflect specifically on the afternoon session that Penny and I led together.
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