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.
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.
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."
Writing today,” say the authors of Because Digital Writing Matters, “is pervasively and generally digital; composed with digital tools; created out of word, image, sound, and motion; circulated in digital environments; and consumed across a wide range of digital platforms.” Many teachers are wondering, however, whether digital writing can align with the ELA strand of the Common Core State Standards, now adopted by 45 states and DC.
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.
"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).
Writing should be integral to instruction in all subject areas.
Writing is fundamentally a constructive process of encoding new information.
The act of translating experience into a personalized account aids and extends learning.
Writing to learn focuses on deepening understanding and improving retention of content.
The writing activities, typically:
resemble an advanced form of note taking.
Five Phases for Understanding
Phase 1: Record - Here, students record their understanding of the content.
Phase 2: Compare - In this phase, students share what they've recorded with a partner, noting what's similar and different between their two recordings.
Phase 3: Revise - This phase occurs right after the comparison phase, although a teacher might assign it as homework instead.
Phase 4: Combine - Here, students combine the products of the R–C–R cycles they've completed and then generate and defend one or more generalizations. Students must support their generalizations using specific evidence.
Phase 5: Review - This last phase always occurs before an assessment, although a teacher could request it at any time.
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!
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.
Though we are all sort of burning the midnight oil by this time of year, at the end of a jam packed week, I thoroughly enjoyed my Friday today. I thought I'd share this poetry lesson which has gone well...
Creative Writing Can Be Taught: Creative Writing Professors Answer More ...Huffington Post (blog)You can judge that as you wish, but that is not what happens in any college classroom I've observed and it is certainly not what happens in our many...
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