Literacy in the News (but not CCSS)
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Literacy in the News (but not CCSS)
Current news & opinion on pK-12 Literacy education methods & tools. CCSS excluded. Does not overlap my Classics or Science in ELA scoops.
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Should students learn how to write copy? | John Spencer

Should students learn how to write copy? | John Spencer | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
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Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:
Yes to Spencer's question. If only because it would improve Twitter.
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Words to Describe Hair

Words to Describe Hair | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it


This began as a guide to describing Afro/curly hair but of course, I got carried away. From look and texture of hair, colors and various styles, this guide serves as a thesaurus of sorts for hair, as well as pointers for use in your writing.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Important resource to keep in your writing toolkit - images, lists, links. Something to get right.

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Black Girls Matter: a YA Reading List

Black Girls Matter: a YA Reading List | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it

Suggestions from We Need Diverse Books

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

If you are as woefully out of touch as I am, click through this and select a few to read, even if you have to judge by the covers.  We have to start somewhere!

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Learnalytics | What Kids Are Reading

Learnalytics | What Kids Are Reading | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
During the 2014–2015 school year, 9.8 million students from 31,327 US schools read over 334 million books and nonfiction articles, per data captured by Accelerated Reader 360TM.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Pick a state and a grade. Are you surprised that Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are tops in most states in grade 6? In your state? They all Lexile over 1000 - hmm - but they are also short - and illustrated. This is worth a deeper look.

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Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Good Typing Instruction and Practice Sites for Kids

Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Good Typing Instruction and Practice Sites for Kids | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it

From Richard Byrne, a list with short pep talks.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Don't pretend that typing (keyboarding) is not necessary in our schools. These online game apps pay off - more than SSR - if they are consistently allowed time and monitored.

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100 Novels All Kids Should Read Before Leaving High School

100 Novels All Kids Should Read Before Leaving High School | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
Last year, a Slate essay called “Against YA” by Ruth Graham irked thousands of readers who took offense at her argument that although grown-ups “brandish their copies of teen novels with pride…. [a]dults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children.” Whether we label her article an instance of shaming, trolling, or just the expression of a not-especially consequential, “fuddy-duddy opinion,” what it also served to highlight—as so many other thoughtful and not-so-though
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Links to more than one list.  OK - so how do you match up?  As for me, I think every school should have a "read 100 novels" beginning in grade 6 - with good lists that get more challenging as students age.  Ideas here, yes.  But there are so many great novels from other cultures!!

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Shanahan on Literacy: Does Preschool Improve Later Literacy Achievement?

Shanahan on Literacy: Does Preschool Improve Later Literacy Achievement? | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it

"I think the experts are looking in the wrong direction."

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Be sure to read this all the way through. It makes good sense and, I know from experience with my grandkid (reading Harry Potter in grade 1 - really!) that there is good truth in what he says. She benefits from a small public school system. But what if she were in a large classroom?  It seems to me that Shanahan's line of thinking can direct some good change in the way business is done in most public elementary schools.

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32 Essential Asian-American Writers You Need To Be Reading

32 Essential Asian-American Writers You Need To Be Reading | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
You're going to need a bigger bookshelf.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

For the HS classroom, course reading list, library.  I have not read all of these authors, but over half - this is a very good list.

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Shanahan on Literacy: More on the Instructional Level and Challenging Text

Shanahan on Literacy: More on the Instructional Level and Challenging Text | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it

"plenty of kids will need to be taught at their frustration level to meet the standards"

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

I like Shanahan's honesty on this issue - missing from too much rhetoric. Now we need publishers to find and take the risk to print more challenging YA lit.  And teachers to risk using it in the classroom (instead of just high-lexile informational texts).After all, if Duke is assigning a graphic novel to all in-coming kids as reading, we may have  a problem in lit reading...

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Digital Storytelling: What it is... And... What it is NOT

Digital Storytelling: What it is... And... What it is NOT | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
I was lucky to have shared my childhood bedroom for a few years with my grandmother, when she had come to live with us after an illness. At bedtime, she would tell me stories of her parents and thr...
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

From Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, an exciting idea-filled overview with links to The Best online examples. 

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Shanahan on Literacy: The Spirit is Willingham, but the Flesch is Weak

Shanahan on Literacy: The Spirit is Willingham, but the Flesch is Weak | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it

just wondering what you think of Willingham’s paper

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

And Shanahan has definite, well-informed thoughts about Willingham's paper on reading strategies. I would give this article to a teacher group grappling with reading instruction.  Ask them first to summarize and then to question.  Then to follow through with some research and self-analysis.  

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Campaigns we can believe in - CNNPolitics.com

Campaigns we can believe in - CNNPolitics.com | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
Presidential candidates have to find fresh ways to sell themselves and their ideas to the American people. From "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" to "Change we can believe in," here are some of America's best presidential campaign slogans.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

This is great stuff for the Fall classroom!  

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Following LEGO Kit Instructions Shown to Reduce Creativity - GeekDad

Following LEGO Kit Instructions Shown to Reduce Creativity - GeekDad | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
The marketplace essentially offers more products that engage us in well-defined problem-solving. The goal of this paper is to better understand the downstream consequences of engaging in this type of behavior
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

One study done with college students. Does this hold for 7-year olds? In my experience, yes. But on the other hand, a young well-defined problem lover (say, who memorizes geographical facts and dinosaurs but does not dream about What if?) will prefer to build from a kit, which his/her parents will purchase, and then they will bemoan the lack of creativity involved. My creative kids are bored with kits.  So are we just helping something more innate to develop as it always has?

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Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Settings You Should Know for School or Classroom Facebook Pages

Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Settings You Should Know for School or Classroom Facebook Pages | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:
Important info for all teachers these days! Take the time.
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ThingLink Live & On Demand: Digital Differentiation | Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners

ThingLink Live & On Demand: Digital Differentiation | Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
Learn how to use toolkit of strategies and resources to facilitate personalized learning experiences while addressing the diverse needs of all students in your classroom. 
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

This is important professional development for MS and HS teachers - in any subject area. Grow your instructional literacy!  

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Shanahan on Literacy: Please Be Charitable for Literacy

Shanahan on Literacy: Please Be Charitable for Literacy | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it

Please consider any and all of these literacy-oriented charities. They all do terrific work and could use your help at this time of the year.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

A highly selective list of charities to consider.  Any one of these would be a great target for a student designed and led fund-raiser.

It doesn't get more "real" than that.

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Star Wars Characters Will Now Teach Your Kids To Code

Star Wars Characters Will Now Teach Your Kids To Code | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
For its annual Hour of Code, Code.org is harnessing the force of Star Wars to get kids interested in computer science.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

I know, I know - many of you don't believe that coding is a literacy. But I do. Don't like the male-appeal of this image, though. 

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Black Girls Matter: A YA Reading List

Black Girls Matter: A YA Reading List | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
Black lives matter, and that mattering extends to those teen black girls who deserve to be listened to, acknowledged, boosted, and treated as human beings with immense potential, perspective, and possibility ahead of them.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Short annotations as well as titles.  Keep this one handy.

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2016 Presidential Election - ProCon.org

2016 Presidential Election - ProCon.org | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
Coverage of the 2016 US presidential election with presidential candidate biographies, finances, and pro and con positions on key issues.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

If, like me, you consider the critical reading a range of opinions to be a major literacy skill, also consider using this site (or another like it) to support ongoing lessons.  

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How TV Can Make Kids Better Readers

How TV Can Make Kids Better Readers | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
Literacy is an expansive word—getting more expansive with every passing year.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

But really this is about the quality of the digital screen time experience and about the necessity of shared (with an adult) viewing and literate follow-up with the content (in the real world). Get kids out of the house with an adult also - a talking adult.

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45 Books to Teach Children About Black History

45 Books to Teach Children About Black History | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
A collection of books to teach children about Black history.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Elementary and MS level lists. Fiction and non (history).  Use this a way to diversify classroom collections.

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Sketchnoting For Reflection

Sketchnoting For Reflection | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
As a reader of my blog, you have followed my journey into exploring Sketchnoting  since April 2014. I have come a long way by studying and learning from other sketchnoters: their techniques, their ...
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

More deeply into the Why of Sketchnoting. Note at the end of the post: use a tablet and a drawing app if you can - but paper is always on hand.  I wonder how an unartistic doodler like me can make use of this?  How many of us see doodling in student notes? I certainly did, and made multiple uses of arrows and other shapes. We need to help a student find her own best method... But given new research on handwritten note-taken (better for learning), sketchnoting is something to consider.

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How to Create ExplainerGIFS

How to Create ExplainerGIFS | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it

A FREE self-paced guide to creating animated GIFs that explain your ideas quickly.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Basic digital literacy for teachers and students as young as grade 1. The lessons take 30 minutes at a single sitting, or use them incrementally in the classroom.  Educate yourself!  Note: I personally prefer the term Explainers to the term Informational StoryTelling.  And I prefer the gif format to straight slide presentations or Thinglink, Prezi, etc.  Annotation is not the same as explanation!  Apple users can translate most of this from PowerPoint to Keynote or Google Slides (via Drive).

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Close your laptop. Handwriting could make you smarter.

Close your laptop. Handwriting could make you smarter. | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
You might type notes faster than you write them, but according to research, longhand is better for remembering and synthesizing information.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Note what it says: longhand.  Are we  now going to return to teaching longhand (or what I use, "quick print") in elementary school?  It seems handwriting and note-taking methods should definitely be on the table. In the day, I "taught" notetaking at the middle school level. Made it fun. Made it useful.  Off the table? Copy-paste.

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The Mouth Is Mightier Than the Pen

The Mouth Is Mightier Than the Pen | Literacy in the News (but not CCSS) | Scoop.it
The written word may not be the best way to impress, a new study shows. A better bet: Use your voice.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

interesting to me as a veteran educator who has seen many talking heads come full circle - back to the essential need for f2f conversation in the classroom.  it is what teachers used to do best - making this happen.  how can we train both teachers and kids to value "the mouth" again?

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