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Writing about reading: offering students choice in reading responses

Writing about reading: offering students choice in reading responses | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
When I first began teaching, Nancie Atwell’s In The Middle was my go to PD book for all things to do with reading and writing workshop.  I modeled so many of my teaching practices on what I learned...
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10 Reasons Why Texting Is Awful For Society And Ruining It Too

10 Reasons Why Texting Is Awful For Society And Ruining It Too | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Something awful has happened to teenagers and young adults everywhere.
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Overweight Kindergarteners More Likely to Become Obese Teens

Overweight Kindergarteners More Likely to Become Obese Teens | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Behold, one of the most depressing sentences you'll read today, courtesy of the AP: "A new study finds that much of a child's 'weight fate' is set by age 5." Quick! Put Big Bird and Paddington Bear on a diet!
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Teens Who Skip Breakfast May Face Metabolic Syndrome Risk In Middle Age - Huffington Post

Teens Who Skip Breakfast May Face Metabolic Syndrome Risk In Middle Age - Huffington Post | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
The Malay Mail Online Teens Who Skip Breakfast May Face Metabolic Syndrome Risk In Middle Age Huffington Post Teenagers who don't eat breakfast or who only eat or drink something sweet for breakfast may face a higher risk of metabolic syndrome...
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3 Punctuation Marks to Incorporate Into Your Writing Today - Huffington Post

3 Punctuation Marks to Incorporate Into Your Writing Today - Huffington Post | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
3 Punctuation Marks to Incorporate Into Your Writing Today
Huffington Post
Most people don't spend much time thinking about punctuation. We're not most people.
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Improving Student Writing Using iPads - Dr. Wesley Fryer

"Slides for a series of hands-on iPad workshops by Dr. Wesley Fryer with elementary teachers in Lewisville, Texas, January 23-24, 2014. Learn more on: http://maps.playingwithmedia.com"


Via John Evans
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Gunnar Sewell's curator insight, January 25, 2014 7:56 AM

While tablets such as the iPad can be a very useful tool for teachers and for student engagement, it is my strong belief that they should never replace or reduce interpersonal activities. Educators must always remember that the push to use technology in the classroom is mainly the result of high tech companies' marketing campaigns. 

Susan Berkowitz's curator insight, January 25, 2014 6:31 PM

teachers often underestimate or underuse the power of the iPad

Terry Doherty's curator insight, January 27, 2014 5:45 PM

Interesting perspective ... will engaging kids in elementary school translate to the stronger writing we expect of students.

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Kids Aren't Reading On Tablets - Business Insider

Kids Aren't Reading On Tablets - Business Insider | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Business Insider Kids Aren't Reading On Tablets Business Insider Sixty-two percent of children had access to either an e-reader, a tablet or both -- but only 49 percent of them used the devices for reading, either alone or with their parents, the...
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The kids are alright: Erin Schrode helps teens go green | Grist

The kids are alright: Erin Schrode helps teens go green | Grist | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Teens Turning Green co-founder Erin Schrode found a receptive and curious audience by approaching sustainability in ways teens find palpable.
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We're Teaching Books That Don't Stack Up

We're Teaching Books That Don't Stack Up | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
All too often it's English teachers who close down teen interest in reading.

Via GoogleLitTrips Reading List
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GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, January 24, 2014 3:36 PM

24 January 2014

 (This scooped article was orignally published in 2008)

 

Okay, Gulp!

 

I think I'll begin my comments with one of my favorite Dick Cavett quotes....

 

__________

It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear.

__________

 

There, I said it. Literature teachers, we may just be a big part of the problem, well intended as we may be.

 

If you don't read the scooped article, or finish my brief comments, I'll include one paragragh from the article worthy of some open-minded collegial contemplation in a pending department meeting...

 

__________

""Butchering." That's what one of my former students, a young man who loves creative writing but rarely gets to do any at school, called English class. He was referring to the endless picking apart of linguistic details that loses teens in a haze of "So what?" The reading quizzes that turn, say, "Hamlet" into a Q&A on facts, symbols and themes. The thesis-driven essay assignments that require students to write about a novel they can't muster any passion for ("The Scarlet Letter" is high on teens' list of most dreaded). I'll never forget what one parent, bemoaning his daughter's aversion to great books after she took AP English Literature, wrote to me: "What I've seen teachers do is take living, breathing works of art and transform them into dessicated lab specimens fit for dissection."

__________

 

(awkward pause)

 

 

 

Yes, we do need to sow the seeds of the next crop of English majors. But, we ought to consider it even more important, since the numbers are so lopsided, to remember that as many as 90% of our students "ain't gonna major in English" and perhaps as many as 50% of our students "ain't gonna read a single piece of fiction" after they are no longer required to do so.

 

I know.

 

I don't particularly want to hear it either.  But "facts is facts." And, if there is any truth in the contentions made in this article that in too many cases we may be killing what we believe we are nourishing we may want to revisit even our own personal favorite lessons.

 

I am not proposing that we "dumb down" but rather that we give some thought to how we might "relevance up" what we do in our literary reading instruction. Anyone who can't imagine how to "relevance up" say a play like Cyrano deBergerac, must surely have forgotten what it felt like to have acne or the intensity of the forces of physical attractivenss at a time in one's life when "inner beauty" is just something that teens' parents say is really important while correcting their children's posture.

 

Yes, of course! That's it. Our students don't particularly want to hear what they don't want to hear either. But, we're the grown ups in the room aren't we? 

 

Of course if taken as a blanket condemnation of how we teach literary reading, then it is a harsh and unfair implication to suggest that none of us do manage to successfully engage the vast majority of our students. But, if we are willing to listen and hear what we may not really want to hear, we may give some readjusted attention to the complaints of those who are brave or annoyed enough to express those complaints. And, if we really do want to hear what we really don't want to hear, then we might also spend significant time listening to the eerie silience of those who "lay low" only pretending to care or to those silent ones who don't even bother to pretend to care while wondering why the clock moves so slowly.

 

We can sometimes too easily explain away the complaints and disengaged silence by believing that "they're just lazy, they spend too much time on facebook, they just don't care, that they just want less challenging work." There certainly are those. But a surprising number of the disengaged don't want less; they want "something" more.

 

It was not too long ago that the battle cry was, "No Child Left Behind!" But, I would propose that perhaps an equally important concern is that when we finish with them, that they do not ride off "into the real world" happy to be finally free to leave some of their teachers behind.

 

Teach to their hearts and their minds will follow.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is the fictitious business name for GLT Global ED, a 501c3 tax-exempt educational nonprofit

 

Shay Davidson's curator insight, January 24, 2014 8:47 PM

Interesting. I'm quite sure people could argue all day about the books kids are forced to read in high school. I only wish that good teachers had a choice in the books they wanted to present to students--and I'd get to pick the good teachers out!

Steffen Sipe's curator insight, January 30, 2014 3:45 AM

sorry....

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Text Message Tells Ukrainian Protesters Their Cellphones Are Being Tracked - Popular Science

Text Message Tells Ukrainian Protesters Their Cellphones Are Being Tracked - Popular Science | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Text Message Tells Ukrainian Protesters Their Cellphones Are Being Tracked Popular Science Meanwhile, because everyone is denying involvement, it's unclear exactly how the creepy text messages reached phones and whether protesters are really being...
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Science confirms walking while texting makes people dangerous and annoying - Digital Trends

Science confirms walking while texting makes people dangerous and annoying - Digital Trends | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Digital Trends
Science confirms walking while texting makes people dangerous and annoying
Digital Trends
While it's clear some think nothing changes when they're walking and texting, science has now proven otherwise.
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E-Readers and Tablets Detrimental to Children's Reading Says Study - Guardian Liberty Voice

E-Readers and Tablets Detrimental to Children's Reading Says Study - Guardian Liberty Voice | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Guardian Liberty Voice
E-Readers and Tablets Detrimental to Children's Reading Says Study
Guardian Liberty Voice
A new study was just released earlier today that shows e-readers and tablets are detrimental to children's reading habits.
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Free e-book: Parenting the Internet Generation | Covenant Eyes

Free e-book: Parenting the Internet Generation | Covenant Eyes | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
When someone you trust receives a report of the websites you visit, it changes how you use the web. Find Internet safety through Accountability and Filtering.
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How to Write About Something You’ve Never Experienced

How to Write About Something You’ve Never Experienced | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
fictionwritingtips:
“I’ve seen this question floating around here, so I wanted to tackle it on this blog. There are a lot of things that we write about that we might not have personally experienced...
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If You Spend Your Entire Date Texting, You Deserve to Die Alone - Huffington Post (satire)

If You Spend Your Entire Date Texting, You Deserve to Die Alone - Huffington Post (satire) | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
If You Spend Your Entire Date Texting, You Deserve to Die Alone
Huffington Post (satire)
Some months ago, I sat across from two gay men who were on their first date.
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Clive Thompson says the digital age is making us smarter and the kids are ... - The Daily Telegraph

Clive Thompson says the digital age is making us smarter and the kids are ... - The Daily Telegraph | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Clive Thompson says the digital age is making us smarter and the kids are ...
The Daily Telegraph
Young teenagers texting on mobile phones. Picture: ...
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Teens Pump The Brakes On Getting Their Driver's Licenses - Huffington Post

Teens Pump The Brakes On Getting Their Driver's Licenses - Huffington Post | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Teens Pump The Brakes On Getting Their Driver's Licenses
Huffington Post
This article was written by teen reporters from The Mash, a weekly publication distributed to Chicagoland high schools.
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Growing Up Online: How Texting Can Strengthen Relationships ...

Growing Up Online: How Texting Can Strengthen Relationships ... | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
By now, parents of kids with cell phones understand that texting has created new possibilities — and problems. Although research is sparse, a few preliminary studies suggest that, like other forms of communication, texting ...
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It's All Story: Games, Coding and Student Writing | MiddleWeb

It's All Story: Games, Coding and Student Writing | MiddleWeb | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Tech teacher Mark Gerl reflects on the key role that language arts plays in successful video games and the chats his students have with adventure game designers

Via John Evans
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Are E-Books Killing Reading For Fun? - NPR

Are E-Books Killing Reading For Fun? - NPR | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Are E-Books Killing Reading For Fun?
NPR
Americans are reading differently than they used to: more e-books, more audio books and young people choosing not to read at all.
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10 Great Quotations from Writers about Writing

10 Great Quotations from Writers about Writing | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Some inspirational quotations to keep you going whilst writing. (10 Great Quotations from Writers about Writing http://t.co/6lkUCt2OrR)
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Ukraine Tracks Protesters Through Cellphones Amid Clashes - NPR (blog)

Ukraine Tracks Protesters Through Cellphones Amid Clashes - NPR (blog) | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
NPR (blog) Ukraine Tracks Protesters Through Cellphones Amid Clashes NPR (blog) We have news from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev: The New York Times is reporting that the Ukrainian government used technology to zero-in on the locations of cellphones...
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No warrant, no search of your cellphone - Los Angeles Times

No warrant, no search of your cellphone - Los Angeles Times | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Las Vegas Review-Journal No warrant, no search of your cellphone Los Angeles Times Forty years ago, when the Supreme Court expanded the right of police to search people they took into custody as well as the possessions they were carrying, the...
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Your Texting Addiction is Starting to Cost the Government - TIME

Your Texting Addiction is Starting to Cost the Government - TIME | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Your Texting Addiction is Starting to Cost the Government
TIME
The stories sound like jokes with the same punch line: Why did the man almost walk into a bear? Why did the woman tumble into a fountain?
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Teenage Logic Values Rewards Over Consequences - The Atlantic

Teenage Logic Values Rewards Over Consequences - The Atlantic | Teaching Teens | Scoop.it
Teenage Logic Values Rewards Over Consequences
The Atlantic
As teens, we are often not oblivious to the negative consequences of our actions.
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