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Teaching Reading in the Digital Age

Teaching Reading in the Digital Age | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
What does it really mean to teach reading in a digital age? It means teaching both ways and also in new ways. It means going back to school and learning to read along with our students, in a world ...

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Lauren's curator insight, July 30, 2013 11:24 AM

Great thoughts for reading teachers 

Lynnette Van Dyke's curator insight, August 7, 2013 2:29 PM

Earlier this summer, following a deep dive into the paradigm shifting models of design thinking and gamification in education at the annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE 2013), I found myself settling in to a week-long study of the time-tested, best-practices pedagogy at the Reading and Writing Institutes at Teachers College, Columbia University. It felt a bit like inhabiting one portion of my brain and then taking up residence in an entirely different thinking space – both equally valid to my professional life. Searching for a way to reconcile my learning, I am left wondering most about what it means to be a reader today.

Common Ground

The educational visionaries at ISTE, who call for creating a radically different learning environment for today’s self-directed learners, can find surprising common ground with some of the basic tenets of the Lucy Calkins approach to teaching reading (at least as I understand it as a first-year attendee of the Reading Institute).

For both, student choice remains central to learning, whether students are choosing the books they want to read from a classroom library or researching how to modify classroom furniture for a project employing design theory.Another crossover, the role of the teacher as coach who provides mini-lessons on learning strategies, might succeed as easily with a teacher seated at a chart and easel as with the digital-age teacher who uses short flipped lessons to deliver directed instruction.Innovators who tout the merits of gaming as a way to fire up students about their learning, for — ISTE keynoter Jane McGonigal, for instance — surely must recognize how the storytelling narrative sparks engagement in a gaming environment; likewise, the Reading Workshop method employs “leveling up” strategies familiar to gamers to move students through “leveled” classroom libraries that present offer more challenges and require greater sophistication as a students gain mastery of reading skills.

Digital Readers Reading

What, then, does this mean for those of us who teaching readers today? I am still searching for answers to questions that won’t let go of me.

The Reading Institute puts a lot of emphasis on “eyes on print” time – that is, on classroom time given over to readers engaged in the act of reading. This requires creating a culture of readers with books in their hands and sticky notes at the ready for jotting questions and tracking observations (leading to critical thinking). As a teacher who recognizes that students read in digital contexts as well, I find myself wondering if “eyes on text” (eyes on media?) might be a better term. Or is it even the same thing?  My students are constantly reading as oodles of different kinds of text-based media cross their paths. Don’t we need to prepare them with the nuanced skills required to read in every way possible?My students who use tablets or e-readers for reading time love the easy access to digital dictionaries. This frees them to engage with their reading even more deeply. Are they absorbing vocabulary more thoroughly and accurately than the students who are too lazy or too engrossed to open a dictionary? Digital readers do not necessarily preclude commenting on texts. Students with e-readers can certainly annotate their reading with digital comments. Is this any different from the kind of critical questioning students do with pen in hand?My goal is to teach my students to develop a passion for reading, but I also want them to use any effective means that can help them go beyond the surface in their reading. I also recognize the value in sharing their ideas with others. Is there something magical about the handwritten (and easily sharable) sticky note comment favored by the Reading Institute, or can my students do just as well (better?) with a sticky note app like Popplet?The Reading Institute went to great pains to introduce lessons about the reading of nonfiction, acknowledging a new pedagogical emphasis on nonfiction in the Common Core. As a result, considerable (though not exclusive) attention at the Institute was given over to using historical fiction in classroom libraries and as “anchor texts” for mini-lessons. I want to go further. I would venture that most students don’t know enough about the variety of nonfiction forms to know the difference between what is basically made up (fiction) or basically true (nonfiction) – in my experience, they tend to see everything they read in terms of story. Students need to be able to read an article online and identify it as a blog or a news story or a reference source. They need to recognize rhetorical strategies like comparison or illustration and understand how they affect a reader. As my section leader at the Reading Institute stated, students need to question perspective and bias in every kind of writing. I wonder, are we really doing enough to address these skills in our classes?Reading also represents an intersection of design, image, and text. The picture book, at its best, uses each avenue of communication to the fullest. So I am excited to follow the Reading Workshop method and return to picture books and image-rich texts (online or otherwise) as a means of teaching reading skills. I also like how the Reading Institute breaks down the skills needed to deconstruct a page and address the increasing complexity of the relationship of image to text, as this builds from mere illustration to direct contradiction. How can teachers of reading in a digital context build upon this work? At the same time, how might we all step back and consider more thoroughly the elements of design and their relationship to meaning?Reading for pure pleasure is certainly something we still want to nurture – whether the children we teach are “trapped” by an engaging story (as one of my rising sixth-graders put it on a recent discussion board about his summer reading) or whether they follow the meandering path of their burgeoning curiosity by skipping from website to website (we used to call this browsing when we did it in libraries or bookstores). Still, what are the ways we can encourage our students to extend their reading – yes, by reading for depth and understanding in a traditional sense, but also by accessing auxiliary information available to us online, by following hyperlinks to make more connections, or by engaging in a rousing backchannel chat?At the same time, we certainly also need to teach students how to handle the distractions of reading in a digital context, just as we help them mediate the distractions of an antsy classmate or a nearby whispered tutorial. How can we do this if we never allow them to read on their own devices and in ways that are second-nature to them?

A New Generation of Readers

After participating in these two very different learning venues, I went off the grid and experienced three delicious days of beach reading. I felt the pull of the stories like the tide, and I gave into where they took me. I want my students to feel that. But since I’ve come home, I’ve caught up on my Twitter feed, read my personal and work emails, and browsed for articles related to the topic of this blog post. This is the kind of reading my students will do – and already do – on a daily basis.

What does it really mean to teach reading in a digital age? It means teaching both ways and also in new ways. It means going back to school and learning to read along with our students, in a world in which we are surrounded by text from which we must derive meaning.

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Rita Pierson's Funny and Inspiring TED Talk

Rita Pierson's Funny and Inspiring TED Talk | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Rita Pierson died on June 28, 2013 at the age of 61. The lifelong educator kicked off TED Talks Education with an inspiring talk that has been seen by millions.
ratzelster's insight:

Recommended by WendyP....this video clip of about 8 minutes will get you started on the right tone for the school year.

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Shannon CdeBaca's curator insight, August 28, 2013 9:09 AM

This is an inspiring way to begin your year. If you get bogged down in the crush of startup, take a look. 

Paula Silva's comment, March 4, 2014 2:30 PM
Will you check this scoop? Thank you so much. http://sco.lt/5okJ17 It's for my research project.
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Education minister drops standardized tests

Education minister drops standardized tests | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
News: National standardized tests harm schools, create 'league table' culture, ministry says in statement. 'We veered from learning to measuring,' Minister Piron claims
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Is this a start of a global trend?

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Hawaii Schools Struggle To Keep New Teachers-Low salaries & high cost of living make it impossible

Hawaii Schools Struggle To Keep New Teachers-Low salaries & high cost of living make it impossible | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Hawaii schools struggle to keep new teachers
ratzelster's insight:

Manage to create a program to help teachers understand the job and the school culture, but economics derails even the best of efforts.

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Do u know what some r saying? Losing Experienced Teachers Is Bad for Schools, Right?

Do u know what some r saying? Losing Experienced Teachers Is Bad for Schools, Right? | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
ratzelster's insight:

I believe that a fundamental piece of civic discourse is not only knowing what you think is "true" and "right".  But also knowing people on the other side think.  This article will give you that insight.  It's interesting to read and is a good kernal of knowledge to tuck away after you process and know what you think.

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In Sync | Young Adult Authors Collaborate

In Sync | Young Adult Authors Collaborate | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
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Great options for your classroom next year....anyone read these?

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More schools allowing students to bring smart phones, tablets to the classroom

More schools allowing students to bring smart phones, tablets to the classroom | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Schools have been wary of allowing students to bring cell phones to class -- with many banning them or only allowing restricted use. But that tide is slowly turning.
ratzelster's insight:

I'm not sure that 73% of my students use phones to complete assignments.....is that true in your room and in your content area.

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A Family Consents to a Medical Gift, 62 Years Later

A Family Consents to a Medical Gift, 62 Years Later | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
A deal was reached with the family of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells became critical in research after her death from cancer in 1951.
ratzelster's insight:

Real life application about why science class and the humanities (ethics) are important to educating our future citizens.  Consent?  Reimbursement?  Control over your DNA sequence?  Philanthropy?

 

Amazing story that studnets should know and debate?

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8 Great Ideas to MAKE Back to School 2013 Memorable

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Shannon CdeBaca's curator insight, August 28, 2013 9:10 AM

Just the site for those trying to make some meaningful changes to this years start.

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Eight Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom

Eight Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
David Bill, who's spent the past three years helping teachers redesign classroom spaces, offers eight tips and tricks to remake your room.
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Find Your Path through the NGSS

Find Your Path through the NGSS | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Find your path through the new Next Generation Science Standards using the Concord Consortium's interactive pathfinder.
ratzelster's insight:

Another Concord Consortium winner interactive....WOW.  It really helps.

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Do you need 2 update your Tech Vocab...quick infographic 2 bring u up 2 speed

Lebara Mobile offers you low cost international calls and UK calls with your mobile phone. Get a free sim from Lebara Mobile and call abroad at a low standard rate.
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What Induction Coaches Do

What Induction Coaches Do | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
 What Induction Coaches Do   by Dawn Casey-Rowe, Social Studies Teacher and Learnist Evangelist New teachers face many challenges. They are entering the field at one of the most demanding times ever, and turnover is high....

Via Mary Perfitt-Nelson
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Mary Perfitt-Nelson's curator insight, August 8, 2013 11:06 AM

"The coaches observe and offer suggestions, help teachers design and achieve goals, and give new teachers a sounding board when sticky situations arise. Often new teachers feel insecure asking questions of evaluators, fearing they may not be doing well enough, and that their job could be at risk."

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Why The Brain Benefits From Reflection In Learning

Why The Brain Benefits From Reflection In Learning | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Why The Brain Benefits From Reflection In Learning

Via TeachThought, Robinson Elementary School
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Paper blogging with my students ...

Paper blogging with my students ... | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
ratzelster's insight:

Highly effective...this strategy really helps students understand the difference between the kinds of informal communications they have with each other and what they might use in a more formal setting like school.

 

Time and again, teachers have proved that using something like this paper blogging allows students to learn how to make high quality comments, peer-tutor/edit with each other, and get strategies from looking at each other's work.  Then they are more focused about what they should do once they are working alone in their own blog.

 

This teacher provides an example of that instructional strategy.

 

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How did your summer school program stack up?

ratzelster's insight:

The RAND study shows that it takes at least 6 months to plan a high quality summer school program AND that the programs should operate for 5-6 weeks, 3-4 hours per day in order to have a significant impact on student performance.

 

Do we have the money to do this?  How did your district's summer school program look if you use the bullet points for comparison?

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Mentoring Students to Prevent the 'Summer Slide': Does it work really?

Mentoring Students to Prevent the 'Summer Slide':  Does it work really? | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Most students lose a month or more of skills over the summer break. A new program is helping struggling student use that time to move ahead instead.
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Jeb Bush: Eliminate teacher tenure and certification processes

Jeb Bush: Eliminate teacher tenure and certification processes | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
ratzelster's insight:

This idea is picking up momentum in the popular culture.....question is.....is that what we want for our profession?  Or do we want to change the conversation to our own ways of reforming? 

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Crafting Digital Writing Webinar Archive

Crafting Digital Writing Webinar Archive | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Aired: June 18, 2013 With so many possibilities for creating and capturing students’ digital compositions, how can we invite them to document all their learning? How can they design an effective we...
ratzelster's insight:

Thinking about how to improve your writing pedagogy for this school year?  Take a look at this archive for loads of good ideas to incorporate.

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Amazing PD courses 2 learn:PBS TeacherLine

Amazing PD courses 2 learn:PBS TeacherLine | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
PBS TeacherLine is the premier online professional development resource delivering courses online for PreK-12 teachers.
ratzelster's insight:

Have you seen this?  Check out the self-pace courses and the schedule to see what might help you up your teaching practice for 2013-2014.

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Big Problem: Why Aren’t More Girls Attracted To Physics?

Big Problem:  Why Aren’t More Girls Attracted To Physics? | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Even as the gender divide in some areas of science has diminished, a stubborn gap has persisted in high school physics.
ratzelster's insight:

It's all about role models...so how will get more of these in front of children?

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Catherine Cronin's comment, August 12, 2013 11:25 AM
Thanks for sharing this, Marsha. The under-representation of women in physics, engineering & computer science/IT is a persistent problem. I did research on this in the mid-1990s (examining the previous 20 years of research!). The key to addressing this issue is changing culture, i.e. changing the masculine culture of physics & tech subjects, academic departments and workplaces. Of course, all of these are socially constructed. In my view, the problem with focusing solely on role models is that this usually means asking the few women physicists/engineers/etc. (the 15%) to act as role models/mentors for girls & younger women, without requiring the majority of physicists/engineers/etc. (the 85%) to change at all! Thus the culture does not change. The so-called "leaky pipeline" of women out of tech subjects is testament to this.
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The NEW Remind101 iPhone Teacher App

The NEW Remind101 iPhone Teacher App | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
Earlier this summer we released the latest version of our Android app. Afterwards, we got a lot of responses asking for some iOS love. Today we’re happy to share that the love has arrived!
ratzelster's insight:

Will you be using something like this in your classroom this year?  Upping the embedded technology?  Or does your district disallow this kinds of digital tools?

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20 Ways to Influence People at Work

20 Ways to Influence People at Work | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
ratzelster's insight:

Good advice...maybe we should print this out and put it by our desk to read every morning.

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PBS LearningMedia: Keeping up with the Jones'

PBS Learning Media Home Page
ratzelster's insight:

Amazing resources for fre....PBS has changed their website so be sure to take 10 minutes to review and get up to speed with the changes.

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Planning to Meet CCSS Grade Level Literacy Standards

Planning to Meet CCSS Grade Level Literacy Standards | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it

Do any of those questions sound familiar? I spent this week with some fabulous teachers working on the Iowa Core Writing Standards. Did we work on all of them? No! Did we talk about all of them?...


Via Darren Burris, Mary Clark, Kim Muncie
ratzelster's insight:

Overwhelming???  Maybe.  But there are ways in which to consider this in small enough size pieces that make sense.

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Mary Clark's curator insight, August 5, 2013 11:15 AM

A teacher thinking aloud about CCSS implementation.  Sharing this blog post to show how ELA teachers are working with the standards.

Wendi Pillars's curator insight, August 13, 2013 7:32 PM

Lots of good links on this sight, also.

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The Future of Self-Improvement, Part I: Grit Is More Important Than Talent

The Future of Self-Improvement, Part I: Grit Is More Important Than Talent | Teacher Leadership Weekly | Scoop.it
What if long-term success doesn't really have that much to do with your potential? A look at recent research that debunks talent in favor of true grit.

Via Robinson Elementary School
ratzelster's insight:

Are you working on teaching students how to hang in there...and overcome obstacles?  I am.  This is a good starter article.  Relevant for anyone involved in CCSS, MakerEd and/or PBL.

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