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The 4 Keys to Using Group Discussion in the Language Classroom | Teach them English

The 4 Keys to Using Group Discussion in the Language Classroom | Teach them English | AdLit | Scoop.it
In this post I want to look at what I consider to be the four absolute keys to using group discussions in your classes.

Via TeachingEnglish
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Begoña Iturgaitz's curator insight, December 5, 2013 4:23 PM

Accurate comments on strategies to foster oral intersction within language classes.

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Enabling the CCSS version of exemplary adolescent literacy.
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Reading Specialists Resources - LiveBinder

Reading Specialists Resources - LiveBinder | AdLit | Scoop.it

A collection of resources for Reading Specialists on CCSS

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Inside the Brain of a Struggling Reader | Infographic | Scientific Learning

Inside the Brain of a Struggling Reader | Infographic | Scientific Learning | AdLit | Scoop.it
When a student struggles to read, we look to factors such as socioeconomic status or access to books. But brain differences are also part of the equation and should not be overlooked.

Via Beth Dichter, Miloš Bajčetić
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Beth Dichter's curator insight, September 16, 8:30 PM

This infographic looks at the brain and how we learn. As more is learned about the brain it is clear that education is not a one-size-fits all.

* Learn how the occipital lobe, Wernicke's area, Broca's area and auditory processing impacts reading. 

* Read three examples that show brain plasticity (the ability of the brain to change over time).

* And find out how struggling readers can be helped at a neurological level.

Some additional resources are also included.

We have many students who struggle with reading. This infographic provides information that you may want to share with parents.

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Using 'Brainwriting' Not Storming For Idea Generation

Using 'Brainwriting' Not Storming For Idea Generation | AdLit | Scoop.it

Brainwriting is an easy alternative to face-to-face brainstorming, which often yields more ideas in less time than traditional group brainstorming.


Via Andrea Zeitz
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Charlie Fox's curator insight, September 13, 9:55 PM

Método para criar ideias em grupo mistura o brainstorming com técnicas de colagem ao estilo de cadavre exquis

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Can Training to Become Ambidextrous Improve Brain Function?

Can Training to Become Ambidextrous Improve Brain Function? | AdLit | Scoop.it

Although teaching people to become ambidextrous has been popular for centuries, this practice does not appear to improve brain function, and it may even harm our neural development.

Calls for ambidexterity were especially prominent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For instance, in the early 20th century English propagandist John Jackson established the Ambidextral Culture Society in pursuit of universal ambidexterity and “two-brainedness” for the betterment of society.

This hype died down in the mid-20th century as benefits of being ambidextrous failed to materialize. Given that handedness is apparent early in life and the vast majority of people are right-handed, we are almost certainly dextral by nature. Recent evidence even associated being ambidextrous from birth with developmental problems, including reading disability and stuttering. A study of 11-year-olds in England showed that those who are naturally ambidextrous are slightly more prone to academic difficulties than either left- or right-handers. Research in Sweden found ambidextrous children to be at a greater risk for developmental conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Another study, which my colleagues and I conducted, revealed that ambidextrous children and adults both performed worse than left- or right-handers on a range of skills, especially in math, memory retrieval and logical reasoning.

These effects are slight, but the risks of training to become ambidextrous may cause similar difficulties. 


Via iPamba, Jocelyn Stoller
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Can Students ‘Go Deep’ With Digital Reading?

Can Students ‘Go Deep’ With Digital Reading? | AdLit | Scoop.it

While ever more schools adopt textbooks and student reading materials to digital readers like iPads and Chromebooks, some recent research suggests students may comprehend more from reading print. Middle school students who read from both print and e-books showed they understood more of what they read from the ink-and-paper book

 


Via Nik Peachey, Helen Teague
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Mary Starry's curator insight, September 12, 11:24 AM

As students buy fewer textbooks and utilize more e-books provided by institution purchase, such as PharmacyAccess, this needs to be kept in mind.  Do we need to provide paper handouts of the key points? Should students take notes or create mind-maps of the key points to help further reinforce what they are reading electronically? There is also new studies highlighting the importance of note taking. Faculty may need to develop new approaches to achieve the deeper learning desired in our electronic device world.

Helen Teague's curator insight, September 13, 6:40 AM

This is a thorough treatment of the subject and is another reason to have several options for students to have choices of both the methods and deliverables of their learning.

Larissa Bonthorne's curator insight, September 13, 6:44 AM

Interesting article about the differences between digital and print reading.

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Feature: Reading Quickly and Efficiently Online | UKEdChat.com

Feature: Reading Quickly and Efficiently Online | UKEdChat.com | AdLit | Scoop.it

Sometimes it can feel that you are overwhelmed with the amount of reading that is on your ‘ToDo’ list – articles you have saved to read later online; all the fantastic articles to read on UKEdChat.com (!); research articles; news articles – it can sometime seem like a never ending list. Many people still struggle reading longer texts online as it can be inefficient so therefore do not fully engage and persist with such articles.


Via Elizabeth E Charles
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"Teach comprehension strategies as a scaffold for dealing with challenging text." - Tim Shanahan

"Teach comprehension strategies as a scaffold for dealing with challenging text." - Tim Shanahan | AdLit | Scoop.it

"I would encourage you to continue to teach comprehension strategies as a scaffold for dealing with challenging text. The point would be to make it possible for kids to make sense of truly challenging texts; the use of strategies could be enough to allow some kids to scaffold their own reading successfully--meaning they might be able to read frustration level texts as if they were written at their instructional level."


Via Mel Riddile
Lynnette Van Dyke's insight:

Strategy instruction always worked for my students!

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Rescooped by Lynnette Van Dyke from Creating a community of readers
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Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels

Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels | AdLit | Scoop.it
More than 75,000 of you voted for your favorite young-adult fiction. Now, after all the nominating, sorting and counting, the final results are in. Here are the 100 best teen novels, chosen by the NPR audience.

Via Sue Ward
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Technology for the Core – Apps and Tools for the Literacy Curriculum’s Reading Strand, Part 2

Technology for the Core – Apps and Tools for the Literacy Curriculum’s Reading Strand, Part 2 | AdLit | Scoop.it
The Second Post in this Week's 3 Part Series Focuses on Apps for Teaching Text Complexity Dr. Leslie Suter and Dr. Melissa Comer are faculty members in the
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8 Places for Thrifty Bookworms to Download Free E-Books

8 Places for Thrifty Bookworms to Download Free E-Books | AdLit | Scoop.it

Summertime is prime time for getting a good read in. Here's a list of eight places where you can download free e-books.


Via Maggie Verster, Sue Ward
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Lena Leirdal's curator insight, August 17, 1:04 PM

How great to come across sources like this one! Perhaps some of my students would prefer to read e-books instead of paper versions? This site provides a list of 8 great sources where we could locate books together :)

David R. Perry's curator insight, August 17, 6:15 PM

.......Then all you need is a rainy day by the window with no one around.

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How Graphic Recording reduces Complexity | Andreas Gaertner | TEDxMünster - YouTube

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Transforming meetings, conferences as well as academic debates into...

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Reading behavior in the digital environment: Journal of Documentation: Vol 61, No 6

 

Abstract:

Purpose –This study attempts to investigate reading behavior in the digital environment by analyzing how people's reading behavior has changed over the past ten years.

 

Design/methodology/approach –Survey and analysis methods are employed.

 

Findings –With an increasing amount of time spent reading electronic documents, a screen‐based reading behavior is emerging. The screen‐based reading behavior is characterized by more time spent on browsing and scanning, keyword spotting, one‐time reading, non‐linear reading, and reading more selectively, while less time is spent on in‐depth reading, and concentrated reading. Decreasing sustained attention is also noted. Annotating and highlighting while reading is a common activity in the printed environment. However, this “traditional” pattern has not yet migrated to the digital environment when people read electronic documents.

 

Originality/value –Implications for the changes in reading behavior are discussed, and directions for future research are suggested.

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Digital Tools for Pairing Literary and Informational Texts and Close Reading Skills

Digital Tools for Pairing Literary and Informational Texts and Close Reading Skills | AdLit | Scoop.it
Final Post in Series Looking at Apps and Tools for the Common Core Literacy Curriculum Reading Strand Dr. Leslie Suter and Dr. Melissa Comer are faculty
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Anchor Papers: A Journey Toward Better Student Papers

Anchor Papers: A Journey Toward Better Student Papers | AdLit | Scoop.it
I’ve recently had an ah-ha moment about teaching writing at all levels using anchor papers.  Anchor papers are basically a set of papers that each represent the characteristics of a particular grade range.

Via Charles Fischer
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Read Slowly to Benefit Your Brain and Cut Stress

Read Slowly to Benefit Your Brain and Cut Stress | AdLit | Scoop.it
At least 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading with a book or e-book helps.

 

Once a week, members of a Wellington, New Zealand, book club arrive at a cafe, grab a drink and shut off their cellphones. Then they sink into cozy chairs and read in silence for an hour.

 

The point of the club isn't to talk about literature, but to get away from pinging electronic devices and read, uninterrupted. The group calls itself the Slow Reading Club, and it is at the forefront of a movement populated by frazzled book lovers who miss old-school reading.

 

Slow reading advocates seek a return to the focused reading habits of years gone by, before Google, smartphones and social media started fracturing our time and attention spans. Many of its advocates say they embraced the concept after realizing they couldn't make it through a book anymore.


Via Mary Daniels Brown
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The Pause that Refreshes.Choice Literacy

The Pause That Refreshes: Write When the Conversation Gets HotSuzy Kaback

This year I am participating in a book group for parents at my kids’ school. Instead of reading popular parent fare, How Children Succeed, or Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, we are tackling Plato’s Republic, one book at a time. Twelve parents, once a week, for two hours. I don’t remember ever reading Republic, but I am grateful to be experiencing the book now, as a more fully actualized learner, because I see in every section a connection to modern life.

Maybe the most surprising connection between Republic and contemporary America is its discussion of education. If you’re like me, you might think that a book written more than 2,300 years ago would be concerned with how to share a city’s one papyrus scroll among all the children who need to learn to read, or deciding on the scope and sequence of introducing the Greek gods into the curriculum. In fact, Plato’s Republic deals with issues that are surprisingly contemporary: Who deserves an education, and what kind? What are the “right” subjects to teach? And what role do the arts play in learning?

Because there are so many parallels between Plato’s writing and the issues we wrestle with in education today, our group sometimes forgets to leave our 21st century eyes behind and to evaluate Plato’s work in the proper historical context. One passage from Book II in particular really irked me. Plato, through the character of Socrates in the book, explains that in order to maintain the integrity of his educational philosophy, it would be necessary to control the exposure students had to certain pieces of literature. At one point, Socrates asks, “Then shall we carelessly allow the children to hear any old stories, told by just anyone, and to take beliefs into their souls that are for the most part opposite to the ones we think they should hold when they are grown up?” When his companions say, “We certainly won’t,” Socrates replies, “Then we must first of all, it seems, supervise the storytellers.”

When our group reviewed that section of Book II, I practically shouted, “Supervise the storytellers? Is he kidding? That’s censorship! He’s a control freak!” Turns out, not everyone was as incensed as me. Turns out, some parents in the group agreed that adults are responsible for “grooming” literature to make sure it reflects family values. Turns out that not everyone had read Milton Meltzer’s brilliant essay about writing history for young people called If the Fish Stinks, Say That It Stinks. Turns out there are people who think Junie B. Jones encourages children to behave badly.

The conversation had turned hot, and overcome by the heat, I stopped listening.

Instead, I went inside my head, constructing an argument that was calm, but persuasive, holding on to my ideas while I waited for another turn to talk, not allowing any other conversation to break through the audio-barrier I had created, one step removed from having my fingers in my ears and chanting “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.”

Suddenly I realized that I was having a teachable moment. What our group needed to do was take a break and write about what we were thinking, to get it all down on paper. I was socially savvy enough not to actually make the situation into a teachable moment, but later, I continued to think about the value of writing during a discussion. I came up with five reasons why it’s a smart idea especially when a conversation heats up.

Reason #1 to write when the talk gets hot: You offer a time to chill out.

During an intense conversation, everyone has an idea and wants to get his/her two cents in. Once an idea bubbles up, there’s no way to contain it. It has to get out. Without a place to let the idea overflow, it becomes a distraction, and any possibility of staying engaged in the conversation goes away. You can tell the idea pot is boiling over when you see lots of hands frantically waving in the air, when you hear kids interrupting each other, when side conversations pop up among classmates who just need someone to listen right now while the idea is white hot.

Action: Give students a three minute pause to write. Let them capture the ideas that are ricocheting around their neural pathways. This is often as satisfying as talking out loud.

Reason #2 to write when the talk gets hot: You provide a place to park a runaway idea.

How many times have you observed a discussion in which a student has been (patiently or otherwise) waiting to talk, only to exclaim, “I forgot what I wanted to say!” when it’s finally her turn? In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman explains that when humans are thinking hard, they have one big observable physical response -- their pupils dilate. A person who is fully engaged in a cognitive task, according to Kahneman, “may become effectively blind,” so absorbed in the task that she loses track of everything happening around her.

Allowing students time to record what’s on their minds not only has a calming effect, but it acts as a placeholder. The ideas are now recorded for posterity, the writer can relax, and start listening to the conversation again, secure in the knowledge that what she was thinking won’t get forgotten in the conversational shuffle.

At the height of my book group’s conversation about “supervising the storytellers,” I shut down, deaf, if not blind, to what everyone else was saying. I didn’t want to lose the thread of my argument, and I worried that if I continued listening, I would. A three minute writing pause would have helped.

Action: Identify beliefs. In my Plato group, I assumed that all the other parents at our progressive school would reject Socrates’ suggestion that the “guardians” control what children read. I was wrong, and I was blindsided when someone said, “I think parents and teachers should make sure that children read lots of stories with strong moral themes, especially when they’re young.” If I had taken time to write down the beliefs I was bringing to our discussion -- for instance, that sanitizing children’s literature was a bad idea -- I would have been more thoughtful about the fact that some people might not agree, and if they didn’t, how I could respond. In our three minute writing pause during the discussion, I could have taken a look at the assumptions I wrote down before talking, and reflect on what was reinforcing or challenging my existing beliefs. Primed to consider the “big ideas,” my response might have been tactful rather than reactionary.

My fifth graders used to read Tuck Everlasting and discuss the book in a series of literature circles. The big question in this story is, would it be desirable to live forever? The book offered a perfect opportunity to teach my kids to examine their beliefs. Before we started reading, I asked the class who thought living forever would be desirable and who was less enthused? I encouraged everyone to hold this assumption about immortality at the front of their minds as they talked and listened to their peers discuss each section we read, keeping track in post-literature circle reading logs whether or not their beliefs were changing.

Examining assumptions works with nonfiction texts, too. During a science unit on insects, my students read an article in Ranger Rick magazine that asked readers to consider whether or not one species of endangered animals deserved more protection than others. Before we read the article, I asked the class if they would rather do a fundraiser to save the pandas or the ground beetle. The answer, I explained, revealed beliefs readers bring to the article about the worthiness of a creature’s right to be protected.

In your classroom, before starting a conversation about reading, consider asking students to write down two beliefs they’re bringing to the talk. Noticing and naming our beliefs takes some practice, but once students learn to identify their biases, they are more skilled at making a conversation get “hot” or at anticipating when a topic might excite, irritate, or challenge them.

Reason #3 to write when the talk gets hot: You invite everyone’s voice.

Whether a passionate conversation is respectfully contained, or mimics the Call on me, call on me!, frantic hand-waving, impolite interrupting, eruptive-side-conversation scenario described above, there will be quiet children with plenty to say who won’t get heard. These students are more likely to contribute to a discussion if they have a non-verbal option for warm-up, a place to rehearse what they want to say before they say it. Teachers often require that students put ideas in writing before discussing a book they’ve read because having a piece of paper in front of you offers a measure of confidence, especially if you want to introduce a sensitive or unorthodox topic. Take the same approach and apply it during a meaty discussion.

Action: Pause during a discussion and ask students to write for three minutes about a new idea, an idea they’re resisting, a question, a connection. Track the conversational turns once the talk resumes. Chances are, different hands will be raised, new voices will be heard.

Reason #4 to write when the talk gets hot: Writing clarifies thinking.

Joan Didion put it this way, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” In the spirit of this article, we might add to Didion’s list, “I write to find out what I think about what I’m hearing.” In my Plato group, when the conversation got hot around the idea of “supervising the storytellers,” I didn’t have the advantage of taking a three-minute writing pause. Later, though, I did send an email to our group’s host apologizing if I came on too strong during the discussion. The note probably took about three minutes to write, and in the course of my apology, I was suddenly writing about censorship and white privilege. White privilege? I didn’t see that coming, but there it was.

Action: After students have had three minutes to write, ask them to highlight one word, phrase or sentence that surprised them when it went down on paper. Trust the process. Model it yourself. If a student says that nothing she wrote surprised her, ask her to highlight her favorite word, phrase, or sentence. Take turns reading the highlighted sections. Does the group hear a pattern? Could students arrange themselves in a particular reading order so that when read aloud the words, phrases, and sentences created a kind of found poem? (For more on this idea, check out Action Strategies For Deepening Comprehension by Jeff Wilhelm. In chapter 9, he writes about using excerpts of students’ writing to create a choral montage.)

Reason #5 to write when the talk gets hot: You learn things you cannot otherwise know.

Whether a teacher is observing, facilitating, or participating in a discussion, she is often trying to keep track of who’s engaged, what’s being said, how the conversation evolves and influences students’ thinking. Giving students a three-minute writing pause means the teacher now has something to collect as evidence of students’ engagement and growth. In Blending Genre, Altering Style: Writing Multigenre Papers, Tom Romano explained the value in having students reflect on their learning. He wrote, “I urge you to also have students include a personal reflection about that work. It will particularize your evaluation, make you privy to students’ behind-the-scenes thinking, attitudes, and processes that will further your understanding of their work. These reflections usually teach me things I cannot otherwise know.” Although a teacher might not always want to collect the writing generated during a three-minute writing pause, it is a useful option for assessing students’ learning.

Action: Decide when collecting students’ three-minute writing would add value to the multiple measures you use to monitor their learning. Will you attach a grade to their writing, give points for participation, or leave the writing “unmeasured” but responded to? Do you want to collect everyone’s three-minute writings every time? Do you want to invite students to turn in their three-minute writings if they’re looking for another set of eyes to respond to their ideas? And if you give students a choice of handing in their writing or not, does it always have to be you who reads what they wrote? Could students have the option of giving their writing to a peer for no-stakes feedback?

For now, I’m not going to interrupt a parent book group discussion with the "three-minute pause" proposal, but I am going to try the approach with teachers when the conversation gets hot. It would have been handy last semester during a children’s literature class I was teaching. We had all read Frog and Toad Together, a crown jewel in the world of early reader chapter books, in my opinion. When we started to talk about the book, a young woman remarked, “You know, I just don’t get it. Amphibians wearing clothes? And what’s with their friendship? Are we supposed to think they’re gay? Should this book even be in schools?”

Yes, a writing pause would have been a welcome refreshment to many people in the room that day.

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Advanced Google Search Tip: Sort by Reading Level

Advanced Google Search Tip: Sort by Reading Level | AdLit | Scoop.it
While presenting a series of Google trainings in Alaska last week, I discovered that very few participants knew how to do an advanced Google search by reading level. It's such a useful trick for differentiating reading materials in the classroom, I wanted to share it. Step 1: Enter your search

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Kelly Christopherson
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Toby Grosswald's curator insight, September 12, 8:47 AM

Differentiating reading levels!

Kelly Christopherson's curator insight, September 12, 11:42 PM

This is a great idea to share with all educators! 

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Pew Report: Millennials Are Bigger Bookworms Than Their Elders

Pew Report: Millennials Are Bigger Bookworms Than Their Elders | AdLit | Scoop.it
It turns out that Millennials are the most well-read generation we've seen in quite a while. This is according to an extensive Pew Research report on younger Americans and libraries, released earlier this week.

Via Dean J. Fusto
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Handwriting v. Laptops? Why People Ask the Wrong Question (and Why Think Pair Share Rules Yet Again)

Handwriting v. Laptops? Why People Ask the Wrong Question (and Why Think Pair Share Rules Yet Again) | AdLit | Scoop.it

Do students learn less when they are taking notes on a laptop than they learn when they take notes in a lecture class by handwriting?


Via Hybrid Pedagogy
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Free Technology for Teachers: NEWSELA + Google Docs = Differentiated, Collaborative Reading!

Free Technology for Teachers: NEWSELA + Google Docs = Differentiated, Collaborative Reading! | AdLit | Scoop.it

Via Cindy Riley Klages
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Apps and Tools for the Common Core Literacy

Apps and Tools for the Common Core Literacy | AdLit | Scoop.it
Final Post in Series Looking at Apps and Tools for the Common Core Literacy Curriculum Reading Strand Dr. Leslie Suter and Dr. Melissa Comer are faculty

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Inside author Andy Griffiths' joyously silly wonderland

Inside author Andy Griffiths' joyously silly wonderland | AdLit | Scoop.it

 

"He wants to get away from the 'bum' and 'poo' books he's sold millions of, but Andy Griffiths' army of young fans can rest assured his imagination-stretching tales will always go to the limits of good taste, writes Lisa Clausen."


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What are the hardest languages to learn? - Lingholic

What are the hardest languages to learn? - Lingholic | AdLit | Scoop.it
What’s the deal? Is there really any such thing as a “hard” language, or even the “hardest” one? Find out in this informative post!

Via Diana Turner
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A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences

A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences | AdLit | Scoop.it
Once a popular way to teach grammar, the practice of diagramming sentences has fallen out of favor.

Via Diana Turner
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Being a Better Online Reader - The New Yorker

Being a Better Online Reader - The New Yorker | AdLit | Scoop.it
Soon after Maryanne Wolf published “Proust and the Squid,” a history of the science and the development of the reading brain from antiquity to the twenty-first century, she began to receive letters from readers. Hundreds of them. While the backgrounds of the writers varied, a theme began to emerge: the more reading moved online, the less students seemed to understand. There were the architects who wrote to her about students who relied so heavily on ready digital information that they were unprepared to address basic problems onsite. There were the neurosurgeons who worried about the “cut-and-paste chart mentality” that their students exhibited, missing crucial details because they failed to delve deeply enough into any one case. And there were, of course, the English teachers who lamented that no one wanted to read Henry James anymore. As the letters continued to pour in, Wolf experienced a growing realization: in the seven years it had taken her to research and write her account, reading had changed profoundly—and the ramifications could be felt far beyond English departments and libraries. She called the rude awakening her “Rip van Winkle moment,” and decided that it was important enough to warrant another book. What was going on with these students and professionals? Was the digital format to blame for their superficial approaches, or was something else at work?
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Storytelling in the Classroom as a Teaching Strategy

Storytelling in the Classroom as a Teaching Strategy | AdLit | Scoop.it

Storytelling in the Classroom as a Teaching Strategy


Via Maggie Verster
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