Free download from National Council of Teachers of English.
"This NCTE Policy Research Brief offers updates on research with implications for policy decisions that affect the teaching and learning of writing."
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Description from Internet Scout Project
"Spotflux uses the power of the cloud "to conduct millions of real-time checks for invasive tracking, advertisements, malware, and other bugs that pose a threat to your identity or your data." The application helps scan and protect users' connections from malware and other viruses, along with concealing the identity and location of users' devices. This version is compatible with all operating systems."
After last week's epically disastrous hack of Mat Honan, a senior staffer at Wired, I became a lot more security conscious. It seemed like a wise step to install Spotflux, and I consider the Internet Scout Project quite a reliable source, so I installed it today. -JL
By Susan Silver
"There is no shortage of creativity at 12 Most. Every week writers from around the web come together to offer their best to the community. Heck, most of our readers are amazing writers in their own right. You should totally think about guest posting here with us.
"Influenced by Kim Phillips’ and Peggy Fitzpatrick’s thoughts on the topic, I began to think more about my own creative process. I realized that I had access to a brilliant group of writers in the 12 Most tribe and posed this question to them, “How do you sustain your creative side?” Below are their answers."
By Jeff Gerke
"Many beginning novelists think of the climax of their story as one single, explosive event. While that’s true to a degree, the climax of a novel actually has four components:
-The run-up to the climactic moment (last-minute maneuvering to put the pieces in their final positions)
-The main character’s moment of truth (the inner journey point toward which the whole story has been moving)
-The climactic moment itself (in which the hero directly affects the outcome)
-The immediate results of the climactic moment (the villain might be vanquished, but the roof is still collapsing)."
By Kerri Flinchbaugh
Summary by ASCD SmartBrief
"An object-writing exercise can be a powerful educational tool for engaging in personal reflection while interacting with a community of writers, offers writing program administrator and former teacher Kerri Flinchbaugh, who recently participated in a collaborative object-writing activity. In this blog post, Flinchbaugh provides a step-by-step guide for a classroom object-writing lesson, from selecting the object to involving students in creating the assessment rubric."
This is a great idea on so many levels. -JL
From the Executive Summary
"To be successful, students today need strong literacy skills, and also need to be able to use these skills as tools for ongoing learning. This report builds on Writing Next by identifying writing practices found to be effective in helping students increase their reading skills and comprehension. We hope that besides providing classroom teachers with research-supported information about how writing can improve reading, our data will stimulate discussion and action at the policy and research levels, leading to the greater use of writing as a tool for enhancing reading and a greater emphasis on the teaching of writing in our nation’s schools."
By Erika Gomez-Schanne
A detailed overview for elementary eductors on how to set up and conduct Writing Workshop, complete with numerous links to additional, more detailed, resources. Very good starting point for those desiring to get started with the workshop approach to developing their young writers. -JL
No tech, just cards in a box...but such a good tool. Smart people like you will figure out how to imvolve tech in this process. Certainly the writing can be online. There is a version for kids and also for young adults/adults. -JL
From the website:
"The Storymatic is a writing prompt, a teaching tool, a parlor game, and a toy. Combine a few of the 500+ cards, and watch a story take shape before your eyes. No wires. No screens. No batteries… Just a box of pure imagination.
"The basics of The Storymatic could not be easier. First, draw two gold cards. Combine the information on the two cards to create your main character. For example, if you draw "surgeon" and "amateur boxer," your character is a surgeon who is also a boxer. Next, draw one or two copper cards. Let the information on the cards lead you into a story. Wild cards are interspersed throughout, and they prompt you to go in directions you might not ordinarily go.
"There are literally trillions of stories in The Storymatic. That's a lot of stories, but there's one thing missing--a person like you to tell them.
The booklet that comes with each Storymatic is filled with prompts, suggestions, and games for writers, teachers, visual artists, and anybody who likes to tell stories and play games."
Presented by IDEO and Riverdale Country School
"Design Thinking is a mindset.
"Design Thinking is the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and a process to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education.
"Classrooms and schools across the world are facing design challenges every single day, from teacher feedback systems to daily schedules. Wherever they fall on the spectrum of scale—the challenges educators are confronted with are real, complex, and varied. And as such, they require new perspectives, new tools, and new approaches. Design Thinking is one of them.
"The Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators
"This toolkit contains the process and methods of design, adapted specifically for the context of K-12 education. It offers new ways to be intentional and collaborative when designing, and empowers educators to create impactful solutions.
"At IDEO, we’ve been using similar processes, methods and tools for years in tackling some dauntingly complex challenges. More often than not, we’ve experienced how Design Thinking helps to get to the next step. That’s why we are excited to see how it can impact the world of education. The partnership with Riverdale Country School has enabled us to create this toolkit and make it publicly available.
"This is an invitation to experiment with the design process. Let it inspire you to approach challenges differently, and experience how Design Thinking adds a new perspective to your work."
Download the Design Thinking Toolkit for Education from the large black rectangle near the center of this webpage. -JL
By Richard Byrne
"Story Map is a free interactive story planning tool from Read Write Think. Story Maps provides four templates for outlining stories. To use the templates students title their stories then choose one of four templates to outline their stories. The four template choices are conflict, setting, character, and resolution. Students can print their completed templates."
From the website
"We came across four excellent case studies produced by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, an independent research laboratory that supports research and development in educational digital media technologies."
"It is always great to see how teachers are using different technologies in the classroom in unique and inspirational ways. We came across four excellent case studies produced by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, an independent research laboratory that supports research and development in educational digital media technologies.
"The first case study shows Joel Levin, a school technology integrator, using MinecraftEDU with second graders at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City. Joel leads his class through structured game-based scenarios that emphases self-directed learning, collaboration between students, and positive social interactions.
"The second case study shows how Ginger Stevens, a 6th grade special-education teacher at Quest2Learn in New York City, utilizes the intentionally game-like environment of her school to maximize learning for students with special needs."
"This should be fun: a massively open online course (MOOC) on edtech startups, brought to you by David Wiley (Brigham Young), one of the guys who started the idea, Richard Culatta (Dept of Ed), and Todd Manwaring (also BYU). The "course"--if you could call it that--also features a cool lineup of contributors including Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures), Mark Surman (Mozilla), Jose Ferreira (Knewton), and even EdSurge's Betsy Corcoran. C'mon, climb in!"
From the course website
"Entrepreneurship in Education ("Ed Startup" for short) is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) after the old style - one that focuses more on building community and learning together socially than on watching video clips and answering multiple choice questions. Ed Startup is designed to acquaint educators, educational researchers, and others to the world of entrepreneurship and intrapeneurship, help you decide which one is right for you, and support you in the first steps of your journey. During the course you’ll learn directly with an incredible group of experts (people who have done it before and succeeded) as well as with peers (people who are passionate about making a change for the first time), and work toward transforming your own innovative idea – or another innovative idea established in the research – into a well-designed product or service that can improve the lives of teachers and learners. Ed Startup is completely free and is open to anyone. The course meets weekly from August 27 to December 14th."
By Tom Whitby
"I was a reluctant blogger. I needed to be pushed into doing it. I saw no need to put myself at the mercy of the public scrutinizing: my every idea, my every word, my every mistake. I also did not believe that, even if I managed to start a Blog, I could sustain it with any substantial ideas over a period of time. That was 136 blog posts and two years ago. That number does not include guest posts done for other Blogs. What I learned and appreciate more than any other thing that I get from blogging is that I write for me. It is a reflective, personal endeavor. I made the choice to open my blog to public scrutiny. I encourage comments to my ideas, to affirm, or further reflect on those ideas based on the reader comments. Testing my ideas in public is testing I can believe in. Of course I can take that position because pretty much most of what I have written has been fairly well received in over 2,000 comments."
Edited by Shane Arthur, Sean Platt, and David Wright
This is a nifty site that aims to help writers hone their craft. Every Monday and Thursday, the editors "create blog posts that contain 10 random words or phrases.In the comment section, you create and submit a cohesive, creative short story tying all the words together."
All the submitted writings, including comments from readers, are posted for the world to see.
This could yield a good deal of stimulation for young writers, middle school and up. They can submit their writings (with real or psuedonyms) for comment, comment on already submittied writing, practice offline, and develop their own online versions of this exercise. Teachers can use the already submitted stories as examples of good, bad, and in-between writing for students to analyze and critique.
All in all, Creative Copy Challenge seems like a refreshing change of pace for practicing/learning how to write better. -JL
Tim Bedley offers practical videos and other matierials for teaching writing to 4th and 5th graders. Topics for videos include:
-Writing a multi-paragraph essay
-Critiquing and essay
-How to take notes from informational text
-Writing a theme multiparagraph essay
-Summarizing from a source (parts 1, 2, 3, and 4)
And the ever popular...Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes (previously scooped). -JL
There is nothing much rewarding for students than to see their accomplished work being published and celebrated with others. This is very much motivating and is a strong impetus for them to achieve more and work harder. Can you imagine how happy a student would be to share his classroom work with his parents in a neat and clean online platform that they access anywhere and anytime ?
Via Heiko Idensen
From the NY Times Learning Network
By Katherine Schulten
"The U.S. Department of Education has declared August Connected Educator Month, and since we’d be nothing without the teachers we’ve connected with over the years, we’re enthusiastically on board.
"To celebrate, we asked every educator who has written a guest post for us, been featured in a Reader Idea, or collaborated on one of our features to answer two simple questions:
"What is one important thing you’ve learned from someone in your Personal Learning Network (P.L.N.), however you define that network?
"What one person, group or organization would you recommend every educator add to his or her P.L.N.?
"Reading their responses, below, is a crash course in how to be a “connected educator.” By our count, together they’ve recommended more than 100 people, organizations, sites and other resources you can learn from right now, as well as shared insights on how to learn from them.
"So read what they have to say, follow the links to their work both within and outside The Learning Network, and, when you’re done, tell us how you’d answer those two questions yourself. Like the connected educators we are, we’ll then share some of our favorite responses on Twitter, via @NYTimesLearning."
By Deb Lund
"As a school librarian and classroom teacher, I often hired authors to speak to my students, and I witnessed the growth that took place during and after school author visits. I have several observations on what school author visits can do for students, and I’d love to hear your observations, too."
By Jane Friedman
"Last week, we asked you to share your favorite writing prompts or exercises—and more than 70 of you responded via the blog, Facebook, and Twitter! Thank you. The randomly selected winner of the Miro journals is Catherine Campbell.
"Below, we’ve selected some prompts that are either unique or that represent common approaches in the prompts that you shared (e.g., using photos or visuals as a story spark). We’ve also compiled a list of the resources you shared with us—look for that at the end of this post."