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Middle  School  English and Reading
Creating a love to read, write, speak, listen, view, and above all--think
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CCSS: Write More - Grade Less - by Mike Schmoker

School and District Improvement, Assessment, Curriculum and Staff Development Consultation (Worried about grading all the writing called for in CCSS?
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6 Free Online Resources for Primary Source Documents

6 Free Online Resources for Primary Source Documents | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
The Common Core Learning Standards describe the importance of teaching students how to comprehend informational text. They are asked to read closely, make inferences, cite evidence, analyze arguments

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Sandra Carswell's curator insight, September 18, 2013 10:09 PM

Be your social studies teachers' hero.

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, September 19, 2013 4:39 AM

A great resource for Global history and a good archive for primary sources.

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Common Core recognizes three tiers of vocabulary

Common Core recognizes three tiers of vocabulary | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

3 Simple Tools to Support the CCSS Academic Vocabulary Shift

Getting Smart

 

by Susan Oxnevad -

 

The Common Core identifies six instructional shifts needed to effectively implement the standards in ELA/Literacy. Shift 6 suggests an instructional change in
the teaching of Academic Vocabulary.


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Mel Riddile's curator insight, September 4, 2013 9:24 AM

For many schools explicit vocabulary instruction may represent a quick-win in building literacy skills. Teachers already teach Tier 1 and Tier 3 vocabulary. Tier 2 vocabulary should be the focus of school wide efforts to improve reading and literacy skills.


The Common Core recognizes three tiers of vocabulary.

Tier 1

Words acquired through every day speech, usually learned in the early grades.

Tier 2

Academic words that appear across all types of text. These are often precise words that are used by the author in place of common words. (i.e. gallop instead of run). They change meaning with use.

Tier 3

Domain specific words” that are specifically tied to content. (i.e. Constitution, lava) These are typically the types of vocabulary words that are included in glossaries, highlighted in textbooks and address by teachers. They are considered difficult words important to understanding content.

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"Be very intentional about what you do in showing them (students) the value of literacy."

"Be very intentional about what you do in showing them (students) the value of literacy." | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
I sell literacy. I do. If I don't sell kids on wanting to learn to read and write as well as they can, they won't. Sometimes it's an especially hard sell for kids in middle school, both for those who

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I may tru this

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Les Howard's curator insight, August 16, 2013 10:59 AM

An idea for the first day of school

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Excellent Video Clips on Plagiarism to Share with Your Students

Excellent Video Clips on Plagiarism to Share with Your Students | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlin's insight:

to share with plagiarism unit

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A Nice Visual Representation of Plagiarism

A Nice Visual Representation of Plagiarism | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlin's insight:

Am I plagiarizing?

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Lucas Sponsler's curator insight, July 5, 2013 9:37 AM

Should be a bucket of duh, right? not so much.

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The #CCSS Speaking and Listening Standards…in 20 days or less!

The #CCSS Speaking and Listening Standards…in 20 days or less! | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

The Speaking and Listening Standards are the fuel that give the ELA Common Core standards their oomph.  In fact, without the SL standards, our kids will NEVER be able to master the full standards.  Why?


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Michael Rost's curator insight, August 17, 2013 4:28 PM

Speaking and listening competencies are foundational for content learning...

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RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation

RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

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Gary Faust's curator insight, July 27, 2013 12:19 PM

These guidelines are particularly helpful in evaluating "science" sources. So much that isa presented as "science" is biased and may be more appropriately categorized as "political science".

Carol Thomson's curator insight, July 30, 2013 5:12 AM

Clear and easy to understand.

Alejandro Ibañez Bonilla's curator insight, January 9, 2014 9:32 AM

Pasos para evaluar la información en línea...

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Getting Ready to Write: Citing Textual Evidence

Getting Ready to Write: Citing Textual Evidence | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Teaching students to use textual evidence is a key component of the Common Core. Learn how to teach students to cite textual evidence, engage in collaborative discussions and draw evidence from literary text in preparation for writing.


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David Kevin Myers's curator insight, March 10, 2013 12:48 PM

This link will take you to a 6 minute video that discusses the Common Core focus of citing textual evidence.  It shows excerpts of an actual lesson and offers teacher insight into its use.

David Kevin Myers's curator insight, March 10, 2013 12:48 PM

This link will take you to a 6 minute video that discusses the Common Core focus of citing textual evidence.  It shows excerpts of an actual lesson and offers teacher insight into its use.

David Kevin Myers's curator insight, March 10, 2013 12:48 PM

This link will take you to a 6 minute video that discusses the Common Core focus of citing textual evidence.  It shows excerpts of an actual lesson and offers teacher insight into its use.

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Common Core Practice | Narrative, Argumentative and Informative Writing about Baseball

Common Core Practice | Narrative, Argumentative and Informative Writing about Baseball | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
The baseball season has begun, and our New Jersey classroom collaborators — many of them passionate Yankees or Mets fans — explored America's pastime for this week's writing prompts.

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RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation

RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

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Gary Faust's curator insight, July 27, 2013 12:19 PM

These guidelines are particularly helpful in evaluating "science" sources. So much that isa presented as "science" is biased and may be more appropriately categorized as "political science".

Carol Thomson's curator insight, July 30, 2013 5:12 AM

Clear and easy to understand.

Alejandro Ibañez Bonilla's curator insight, January 9, 2014 9:32 AM

Pasos para evaluar la información en línea...

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Teach Informational Texts Alongside The Literature You Love

Teach Informational Texts Alongside The Literature You Love | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
The Common Core places new emphasis on the importance of reading and analyzing complex nonfiction and informational texts. This has many English teachers feeling like their literature is under attack, but students fall in love with stories.

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Free Teaching Resources & Lesson Plans from the Federal Government

Free Teaching Resources & Lesson Plans from the Federal Government | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
More than 1600 federal teaching and learning resources organized by subject: art, history, language arts, math, science, and others -- from FREE, the website that makes federal teaching and learning resources easy to find.

Via Beth Dichter
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlin's insight:

Interesting free resources

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, June 19, 2013 10:02 PM

This site organizes many of the free reosurces available through various federal agencies. Subjects covered include Art and Music, Health and Phys Ed., Language Arts, Math, Science, World Studies, U.S. History Topics, and U.S. Time Periods.

Resources include lesson plans, animations, primary documents, photos and videos. 

Amy Odlum's curator insight, September 19, 2013 4:28 AM

US govt?

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Smithsonian Finds E-readers Makes Reading Easier for Those with Dyslexia

Smithsonian Finds E-readers Makes Reading Easier for Those with Dyslexia | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

"As e-readers grow in popularity as convenient alternatives to traditional books, researchers at the Smithsonian have found that convenience may not be their only benefit. The team discovered that when e-readers are set up to display only a few words per line, some people with dyslexia can read more easily, quickly and with greater comprehension."


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Heather MacDonald's curator insight, September 23, 2013 11:20 AM

I love these kinds of advances.  For those of us who know of people who've struggled with language learning challenges this is a great discovery. Language leaning problems create way too many other personal and social problems for children who then grow to be adults with problems unless they are diagnosed and helped.

Way to go Smithsonian researchers!

Sharla Shults's curator insight, October 2, 2013 5:41 PM

The wonders of modern technology never cease!

LS5043-2014's curator insight, November 6, 2014 6:34 PM

Important evidence re: usefulness of e-readers to underserved library populations.

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NoRedInk Gets Bigger and Better But Still Free

NoRedInk Gets Bigger and Better But Still Free | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

"Emphasizing students need to learn proper grammar can sometimes feel like we are talking about 20th century skills because, in this day and age, we seem to focus on STEM, the 4 Cs and 21st century technology skills. I appreciate the importance of all these topics.. but being able to communicate effectively through writing is truly a basic life skill every person in this world needs. Being able to utilize good grammar is absolutely essential..."


Via Beth Dichter
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlin's insight:

We used this site last year a lot and were really hoping for new strands. The kids love the personalization.

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, September 9, 2013 10:59 PM

NoRedInk has made many changes to their website and if you have not looked at it recently you may want to travel over and check it out. The site is to help students learn writing and grammar skills. Now you can:

* Create assignments and quizzes without doing any grading

* Target Common Core skills using your students’ interests

* Provide students with unlimited help whenever they need it

* Track growth using our color-coded heat maps

To help students stay engage they "generate questions from each student’s favorite celebrities, hobbies, TV shows, and friends." When it is time for an assessment of student work  they will "drag in commas, click words to capitalize them, throw out unwanted punctuation, and edit the text directly" resulting in a more authentic assesment. And as we are asked to personalize instruction this site will help in the areas it covers.

To go directly to NoRedInk click on this link: https://www.noredink.com/

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15 Of The Best Educational Apps For Improved Reading Comprehension

15 Of The Best Educational Apps For Improved Reading Comprehension | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
15 Of The Best Educational Apps For Improved Reading Comprehension

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Free Technology for Teachers: 43+ Alternatives to YouTube

Free Technology for Teachers: 43+ Alternatives to YouTube | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

"Excellent educational content can be found on YouTube. However, not every teacher can access YouTube in his or her classroom. That's why a few years ago I compiled a big list of alternatives to YouTube. Over the years some of those sites have shut-down, started charging a fee, or have switched into another market. So this evening I went through and eliminated some sites from the list and added a few new ones."


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Beth Dichter's curator insight, August 13, 2013 10:33 PM

Richard Byrne has updated his list of sites that provide free videos. His top five list is below:

* Next Vista

* PBS Video

* Explore.org

* The National Film Board of Canada

* Vimeo

Each link provides a short description of what the site has to offer. You will also be able to access the fill list of sites through this post.
And if you are trying to search for a video you might want to try out the Custom Search Engine he has created through Google. This search engine is accessible at this link: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/08/a-youtube-free-video-search-engine.html

Videos are a great tool to quickly engage students in learning and this list of websites as well as this search engine are great options to put in your toolbox.

Gary Faust's curator insight, August 14, 2013 2:10 PM

So nice to have an update of video resources. Thanks!

Kimberly House's curator insight, August 15, 2013 4:35 AM

I will certainly be sharing this with staff at my school! The list is thorough and gives a brief desciption of each of the sites mentioned. The list is also up-to-date, having just been checked and edited by it's original creator.

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Fighting Plagiarism

Fighting Plagiarism | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlin's insight:

Will definitely use

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Summer Amuto's curator insight, May 14, 2013 9:31 AM

This has a good definition of plagiarism.

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Thinking Critically About Social Action Projects

Thinking Critically About Social Action Projects | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
Blogger Suzie Boss outlines ways in which social action projects can increase students' leadership skills.
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Locating Appropriate Reading Materials: 'refining searches according to reading level'

Locating Appropriate Reading Materials: 'refining searches according to reading level' | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

On Google's advanced search page there is a tool for refining searches according to reading level. This tool on its own can be very helpful in helping students locate materials that are appropriate for their reading abilities. It can also be helpful to combine use of the reading level refinement tool with a domain level refinement. For example, if my students are studying the American Civil War they might search for materials hosted on a ".k12.me.us" domain and refine that search according to reading level


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In Search of Shakespeare . Comparing Film Adaptations | PBS

In Search of Shakespeare . Comparing Film Adaptations | PBS | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Addresses CCSS ELA RL 11-12.7--analyzing multiple interpretations of a story, drama, poem.

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Teaching 7th and 8th Graders to Paraphrase - Step 1 | Running on Fumes

Teaching 7th and 8th Graders to Paraphrase - Step 1 | Running on Fumes | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
The first step in teaching your junior high / middle school students to paraphrase text is to learn what is plagiarism and what is paraphrasing.

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Mary Reilley Clark's curator insight, July 17, 2013 12:03 PM

The highlighters make the point! 

Catalina Oyarzún Albarracín's comment, July 23, 2013 1:51 PM
excellent,thank you.
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Common Core Practice | Deadly Showers, Killer Cats and Children's ....

Common Core Practice | Deadly Showers, Killer Cats and Children's .... | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

This week: narrative writing about a children's book award; informative writing about daily routines and their potential risks; and argumentative writing about cats and their surprisingly deadly habits.


Via Darren Burris
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlin's insight:

This is an entire series of cool common core practice. This particular group is quirky andinteresting.

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Taps4Less.com's curator insight, May 14, 2013 1:15 PM

interesting about showers

Readwritelearnwell's curator insight, August 26, 2013 7:26 AM

The NY Times Learning Blog features lots of do-able ideas for developing literacy in the classroom.

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Teaching Students Better Online Research Skills

Teaching Students Better Online Research Skills | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
Many educators are explicitly teaching such skills as how to evaluate a website's credibility, how to use precise keywords, and how to better mine search engines.

Via Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby, Patricia Sarles
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Linda Dougherty's curator insight, June 12, 2013 12:09 AM

Good article to share with your teachers who are looking to improve student research skills to meet standards.

Maria Persson's comment, June 17, 2013 11:00 PM
If this happens in the early years of learning it will not be such an issue at the tertiary level where plagiarism is still a real problem!
Maria Persson's curator insight, June 17, 2013 11:07 PM

A number of great points that are both practical and theoritical in terms of how to assist students' understanding of digital literacy skills, preparing them for the future, increasing their understanding of what the future might bring! 

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Driving Question to Facilitate Student Inquiry and Common Core

Driving Question to Facilitate Student Inquiry and Common Core | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

"I really like Driving Questions. In fact, I like them so much more then Essential Questions. You might ask why? I think it just might be my affection for the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. You may remember that in the revision the different levels were changed into action."


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Beth Dichter's curator insight, June 18, 2013 10:04 PM

In this post Gorman explains why he likes driving questions and how they differ from essential questions. He states "they allow students to work together in the amazing process of divergent thinking." 

Gorman also notes that it is difficult to create good driving questions (and one might say the same can be true with essential questions). The image above looks at questions asked in "educationese" and how one might translate that to a driving question.

In addition he provides links to quite a few resources that include:

* A resource that looks at concepts of the driving question

* A variety of resources on Project Based Learning, including how to craft a driving question (which also includes a video)

* Practice with driving questions