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Enabling the CCSS version of exemplary adolescent literacy.
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8 Creative Ways to Get Reluctant Readers to Read | Edudemic

8 Creative Ways to Get Reluctant Readers to Read | Edudemic | AdLit | Scoop.it
According to a study led by Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center, about 23% of 1005 participants (randomly called via landline and cell phone) had not read a book in the past year, including ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks.

 

With the massive influx of information that students receive on a daily basis thanks to the Internet, it is not a surprising statistic. Not surprising, but quite alarming.


Via Ivo Nový, Ariana Amorim, Dean J. Fusto
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Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal

Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal | AdLit | Scoop.it
An investigation revealed a scheme to "deceive" journal editors by suggesting fake reviewers for submitted articles.

 

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Tuesday March 31, 2015

Separate controversies over peer-review processes lead to retractions, resignation

The UK-based BioMed Central, a publisher of 277 peer-reviewed journals, has retracted 43 scholarly articles after learning that they were involved in a fake peer-review scheme that has also affected a number of other publications. In a recent statement, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) said that it "has become aware of systematic, inappropriate attempts to manipulate the peer review process of several journals across different publishers." These efforts, COPE said, seem to originate with third-party agencies that offer services to authors. While some of these agencies are legitimate, others have sold services including authorship of manuscripts and the provision of false reviews. COPE says it is not always clear how aware academic authors are of the fraud being perpetrated. Meanwhile, Mark Maslin, an editor of the Nature Publishing Group's (NPG's) open-access journal Scientific Reports, has resigned in protest of NPG's move to allow authors to pay to expedite the peer-review process. "My objections are that it sets up a 2-tiered system and instead of the best science being published in a timely fashion it will further shift the balance to well-funded labs and groups," said Maslin. Maslin's resignation comes amid the emergence of a number of companies seeking to profit by privatizing peer review. Washington Post | COPE Statement | Science


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Rescooped by Lynnette Van Dyke from iGeneration - 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)
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44 Diverse Tools To Publish Student Work

44 Diverse Tools To Publish Student Work | AdLit | Scoop.it
44 Diverse Tools To Publish Student Work

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Francisco Velasquez's curator insight, April 1, 2015 11:13 AM

adicionar a sua visão ...

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Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs - ReadWriteThink

Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs - ReadWriteThink | AdLit | Scoop.it
By critically analyzing popular television programs, students develop an awareness of the messages that are portrayed through the media.

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Research Writing Skills: Research Writing Skills (Writing about the work of other authors)

Research Writing Skills: Research Writing Skills (Writing about the work of other authors) | AdLit | Scoop.it

Introduction

A vital skill in research and all academic endeavours is the ability to summarise - that is, to reduce information to its essence without losing accuracy, by subsuming elaboration and detail into broad main points. In the planning sheets in this section you will be able to practise 'Summarising' from your own choice of materials.

Similarly, you are frequently asked to bring your own critical faculties to bear on what you read - not to take anything in research at face value, but to question and evaluate so as to build up and apply a high level of informed judgement to activities and assertions in your field. Some techniques for' Critiquing' are made explicit, and the planning sheets offer you an opportunity to practise these.

When you are writing about other people's ideas, it is important for you to be in control of 'Voice' - that is, to make sure that your reader knows whether they are reading directly from the original source, or indirectly, filtered through your understanding and reiteration of the original.

Finally, there are conventional ways of giving prominence either to an item of information, or to its original author, and you will discover some techniques for achieving this in ' Author orientation '..  

 

Each of these is discussed in more detail in the following---->>>>

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How The Activity Learning Theory Works

How The Activity Learning Theory Works | AdLit | Scoop.it
How The Activity Learning Theory Works 

Vygotsky’s earlier concept of mediation, which encompassed learning alongside others (Zone of Proximal Development) and through interaction with artifacts, was the basis for Engeström’s version of Activity Theory (known as Scandinavian Activity Theory). Engeström’s approach was to explain human thought processes not simply on the basis of the individual, but in the wider context of the individual’s interactions within the social world through artifacts, and specifically in situations where activities were being produced.

In Activity Theory people (actors) use external tools (e.g. hammer, computer, car) and internal tools (e.g. plans, cognitive maps) to achieve their goals. In the social world there are many artifacts, which are seen not only as objects, but also as things that are embedded within culture, with the result that every object has cultural and/or social significance.

Tools (which can limit or enable) can also be brought to bear on the mediation of social interaction, and they influence both the behavior of the actors (those who use the tools) and also the social structure within which the actors exist (the environment, tools, artifacts). For further reading, here is Engeström’s own overview of 3 Generations of Activity Theory development. The first figure shows Second Generation AT as it is usually presented in the literature.

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manukadroopy's comment, August 30, 2016 5:36 AM
Thats interesting
Dr. Theresa Kauffman's curator insight, August 30, 2016 8:46 PM
This is a fascinating take on Vygotsky's work applied to modern technology. What do you think?
Jaydin Nies's curator insight, September 19, 2016 2:47 PM

Many times when we learn we use many tools. They may be our minds or they may be outside objects. This is how we put them together and use it for the better. 

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Reading and Writing Come into Focus. NCLE RPT Part II

Reading and Writing Come into Focus. NCLE RPT Part II | AdLit | Scoop.it

http://www2.smartbrief.com/servlet/encodeServlet?issueid=99C8EB2A-DC56-4A4E-9908-A8BF6D65DFE2&sid=19d22418-52ba-4ec6-85aa-8010e4ded326Efforts to increase reading and writing in classrooms have meant more creativity by teachers. In schools nationwide, teachers are encouraging students to read and write across subjects, delve into nonfiction and try poetry on for size.

This NCLE SmartBrief Special Report, Part II of II, looks at how teachers are encouraging students to read and how nonfiction and poetry fit into modern classrooms. In the Expert Q&A section, D. Ray Reutzel, an author and professor at Utah State University, discusses the importance of close reading, the theories behind it and how teachers can teach the principles of close reading. This report also includes NCLE Spotlights.

See Part I at http://www2.smartbrief.com/servlet/encodeServlet?issueid=DDAFF05A-2C51-463F-AB17-C4FC850B50DA&sid=5e32ed3d-1c27-421f-beab-e0e23f037499

 

Lynnette Van Dyke's insight:

Efforts to increase reading and writing in classrooms have meant more creativity by teachers. In schools nationwide, teachers are encouraging students to read and write across subjects, delve into nonfiction and try poetry on for size.

This NCLE SmartBrief Special Report, Part II of II, looks at how teachers are encouraging students to read and how nonfiction and poetry fit into modern classrooms. In the Expert Q&A section, D. Ray Reutzel, an author and professor at Utah State University, discusses the importance of close reading, the theories behind it and how teachers can teach the principles of close reading. This report also includes NCLE Spotlights.

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Using Student-Generated Reading Questions to Uncover Knowledge Gaps

Using Student-Generated Reading Questions to Uncover Knowledge Gaps | AdLit | Scoop.it
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Student-Generated Reading Questions: Diagnosing Student Thinking with Diverse Formative Assessments, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 42 (1), 29-38. The Teaching Professor Blog recently named it to its list of top pedagogical articles.

As instructors, we make a myriad of assumptions about the knowledge students bring to our courses. These assumptions influence how we plan for courses, what information we decide to cover, and how we engage our students. Often there is a mismatch between our expectations about what students know and how students actually think about a topic that is not uncovered until too late, after we examine student performance on quizzes and exams. Narrowing this gap requires the use of well-crafted formative assessments that facilitate diagnosing student learning throughout the teaching process.
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The Art of the Discussion Prompt | IDDblog

The Art of the Discussion Prompt | IDDblog | AdLit | Scoop.it
Discussions are sometimes called the engine of an online course. Discussions provide an opportunity for students to engage with the course content, with each other, and with you—the professor—simultaneously, which means they have a lot of potential for meaningful learning and high retention.

There is no guarantee that students will really apply themselves by just creating a discussion. What you get out of a discussion assignment depends on what you put into it. Here are some tips for writing your discussion prompt, selecting your settings, and participating in the discussion.

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Kiruthika Ragupathi's curator insight, March 21, 2015 9:45 PM

good design advice on structuring discussions. Follow these principles to create better discussions in your online or blended classes.

Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, March 21, 2015 10:04 PM

Dialogue and conversation have different feels than discussion which is about winning one's argument.

 

@ivon_ehd1

Doug Ward's curator insight, March 22, 2015 7:47 PM

Good advice.

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Response: 'Every Teacher Is A Language Teacher'

Response: 'Every Teacher Is A Language Teacher' | AdLit | Scoop.it
Response: 'Every Teacher Is A Language Teacher'
By Larry Ferlazzo on March 17, 2015 3:35 PM

(This post is the last post in a two-part series.  You can see Part One here.)

This week's question is:

What are the best strategies to use when teaching English Language Learners in content classes?

The question above is my simplified version of the actual one sent by a teacher who requested anonymity.  Here is what was submitted:

I'm at my start of second school year teaching 8th grade social studies which is tested! My population of Spanish dominant students is the majority. Social studies was never taught at the elementary level. I feel hopeless. I'm using different strategies that include foldables class discussions essential questioning visuals primary sources ...etc etc!! I cant reach them! Sometimes I wonder if its me..other teachers say I work too hard. But I really want my student to learn about history but I have to be both a English teacher and social studies teacher at same time. I need help!


Part One in this series shared responses from four experienced educators: Judie Haynes, Mary Ann Zehr, Bárbara C. Cruz and Stephen J. Thornton.  You can also listen to a ten-minute conversation I had with Judie and Mary Ann on my BAM! Radio Show.

Today's guests are Margo Gottlieb, Maria Montalvo-Balbed, and Tracey Takuhama-Espinosa.  In addition, I've shared responses from readers.

Response From Margo Gottlieb

Margo Gottlieb is lead developer for WIDA at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and director, assessment and evaluation, at the Illinois Resource Center, Arlington Heights. Her latest publications include co-authoring and co-editing a compendium of books by Corwin on Academic Language in Diverse Classrooms; a foundational book, Definitions and Contexts, and six others, Promoting Content and Language Learning, English Language Arts and Mathematics for grade-levels K-2, 3-5, and 6-8:

Around the country, linguistically and cultural diversity is becoming part of the classroom mosaic. For English language learners to succeed academically, teachers must interweave the academic language of each discipline into their instruction. As educators begin a new school year, here are some tips for content teachers.

Partner with a language teacher in co-planning, co-constructing, and co-teaching as you share instruction, engage in classroom assessment, and assume joint responsibility for your language learners.
Incorporate the students' linguistic and cultural resources and expertise into lessons and units of learning so that all students can engage in authentic and meaningful learning experiences.
Use college & career readiness standards in conjunction with language development standards to gain a better understanding of the developmental and linguistic pathways to student achievement.
Pair the standards-referenced skills and concepts of a topic or theme with the academic language required of those understandings.
Formulate content and language targets to guide teaching and learning for a unit for all students. These targets provide a global view of key learning and guide the creation of objectives for individual or related lessons.
Maintain grade-level rigor of the content while differentiate language according to the students' levels of language proficiency. Differentiation includes consideration for the students' literacy in their home language as a scaffold for English language development and as a means to communicate conceptual knowledge.
Center on academic language use within and across language domains, such as during interpretative listening, interactive reading, academic conversations, and writing across the curriculum.
Plan, collect, analyze, interpret, and act on evidence for student learning through performance assessment that occurs within and across lessons.
Rely on students as contributors to and evaluators of their own learning as they engage in self-reflection and peer assessment.
Don't forget that school is a unique place where every teacher is a language teacher and every student is a language learner.


 

Response From Maria Montalvo-Balbed

Maria Montalvo-Balbed has developed and taught numerous professional development classes in the areas of diversity, cultural literacy development, and authentic engagement of English learners. She is a member of the ASCD Faculty and the Fisher and Frey Cadre, where she works with schools and districts to implement customized, research-based curricula and instructional strategies:

Of course, it goes without saying that strategies are only the best strategies when they are aligned to the learning purpose. To learn more, see ASCD FIT Model authors Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey.  

I do think the following areas of support are critical to a high functioning classroom that supports the needs of ELLs:

Systematic practice of the academic and social discourse. See Jeff Zwiers work for specific strategies on Academic Conversations.
Students need to be engaged in continuous and strategic practice of listening, speaking, reading and writing in all courses; not just in Language Arts.
The classroom teacher must be highly aware of how to set up social and metacognitive supports for ELLs. Teachers can easily do this by modeling behaviors, think-alouds, and processes, strategies for reading and writing and speaking in different contexts and to different audiences. The language overload of any course for ELLs requires that teachers use language scaffolds intentionally (See Virginia Rojas' toolkit for great ideas). Teachers must be very strategic about teaching ELLs (See ASCD Whole Child Education tenets).
The systematic use of visuals/non-linguistic supports.


 

Response From Tracey Takuhama-Espinosa

Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, PhD, is Dean of the Faculty of Education at the Universidad de las Américas in Quito, Ecuador. She serves on an expert panel for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to determine Teachers' New Pedagogical Knowledge, including the influence of neuroscience and technology on education, and is professor of a course on the "Neuroscience of Learning and Sustained Change" at Harvard University. She is the author of Making Classrooms Better: 50 Practical Applications of Mind, Brain, and Education Science (W. W. Norton; 2014) and Mind, Brain, and Education Science: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Brain-Based Teaching (W. W. Norton; 2010). Visit her at traceytokuhama.com:

While activities are important and this teacher is determined to find the right activities to reach her ELL 8th grade social studies students, activities are only as effective as the planning context in which they are devised.

Great ELL teachers are simply great teachers. A great teacher knows how to identify desired results before choosing an activity. The teacher should identify the objectives of each class and then try to express these objectives as competencies, or the combination of knowledge (dates, facts, formulas, people, places, etc.), skills, and attitudes (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). Once clear and concise objectives have been identified, the teacher can then decide what she will accept as evidence that she is reaching these objectives, otherwise known as her evaluation criteria. Finally, she can then consider what activities to undertake. Choosing the activities ("foldables, class discussions, essential questioning, visuals, primary sources" or others) should depend upon the objectives of the class and cannot be chosen in a vacuum. It is likely that this teacher is not meeting the success she hopes for and is working harder than her students because she has not yet identified the main objective of each class and aligned her activities accordingly.

Language skills can be learned through content. Actually, the best way to go about improving English is by teaching it through meaningful content (Snow, Met & Genesee, 1989). One key way to teach is to focus on authentic lesson planning in which the context of objectives coincides with students' own interests. The great challenge of U.S. state curricula is its focus on heavily content-based ideas ("Analyze how the American Revolution effected other nations, especially France"; "Describe the nation's blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English parliamentary traditions" [California State Curriculum, Grade 8, 2009, p.33]), rather than on greater, global, yet personal concepts ("Why do nations go to war?"; "What's worth fighting for?"; "How does being free as a person differ from a nation being free?"). For example, devising a debate on "what's worth fighting for?" and then relating it to the American Revolution would be a far more effective way to approach the 8th grade curriculum than through "foldables" or "visuals." Depending on the objective, different activities will be most appropriate.



 

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How To Change A Reluctant Reader Into An Active Reader

How To Change A Reluctant Reader Into An Active Reader




By MATTHEW FORTE, WRITING CONSULTANT
Monday, March 16, 2015 at 06:27 PM
 

Understanding Reluctant Readers:

Parents usually sigh in frustration when they discuss with others that their child “hates” reading.  However, kids don’t hate reading; instead they hate being forced to read.  Many school curricula have mistakenly placed an emphasis on quantity rather than quality reading.  For example, reading twenty minutes a night, or four books in a marking period are simply quantitative requirements that are forcing young students to check off time like a prisoner making hash marks during his sentence. 

Instead of presenting the requirements of time and text, find topics and other printed materials, whether hard copy or e-copy, of things that are of interest to them.  For instance, my 11 year-old son likes to read Sports Illustrated for Kids because he loves sports.  My daughter reads her teen magazines, which is her break from the intensity of her middle school workload.  Finally, my youngest son reads Harry Potter with me, and on his own.  All three of them read well, and for school; however, the task is not overwhelming to them because they are exposed to material that is of high interest to them, thereby providing them with lots of practice in an environment that is not forced upon them.

All of them groan when they are reminded to read, but all of them do it, because what they are reading is of high interest to each of them.  Once kids learn that there are many things of interest to them in a written form, and are presented with the evidence, then half the battle is over. 

 

Be an Active Reader:

Reading is not a passive activity.  It is tantamount that young readers are exposed to active reading habits such as reading titles and making an inference from it.  Formulating questions prior to, and after reading is an a way to actively interact with text.  Furthermore, taking notes in the margin and highlighting key terms are active reading skills that enhance and promote higher order thinking skills. 

 

Be a Role Model:

If your kids see you reading, then you are showing the value of the activity at home.  The newspaper, People Magazine, Romance Novels, are all forms of reading that can be used to model for your children.  In fact, when reading the newspaper, it is great to discuss what you are reading with your children.  This empowers and makes them see how information is something important, and can only be gained through interaction with a text.  I use current events from hard copy and online newspapers to discuss what is occurring in the world today with my children.  Don’t ever underestimate what your son or daughter can handle or understand.

 

Final Thought:

If we allow or present reading to be a negative experience, then we cannot be surprised when our children have negative responses to the request.  There is a ton of access to reading materials without having to drive to the store or library.   The key at the start is not so much the quantity, but the quality and the subject matter is of high interest to the target audience: your children

 

Writing for Success will help you with your writing needs.  Writing clearly with cohesion is a challenge for most secondary students. With personalized help, students can learn more in one session with an experienced teacher, than he/she can accomplish in a week within the confines of traditional classroom settings.  

Matthew Forte is currently a professor teaching Writing Skills at County College of Morris in Randolph, NJ.  He previously was a classroom English teacher for 11 years In the New Jersey public school system. He obtained two Masters Degrees in English/Pedagogy, and Education Administration. He has experience in tutoring students with college essays, and addressing multi-prong writing prompts.  Furthermore, Professor Forte has experience helping students with application writing for schools such as: the University of North Carolina, the University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, William and Mary, Rutgers and more. He has tutored students in middle and high school with their English classes and various reading comprehension and writing needs.   Please visit http://mforte1970.wix.com/thewritingpro for a free consultation.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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Leon Foxwings's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:48 AM

This is much more useful than calling them stupid

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Writing Our Way Into Inquiry and Presearch | DMLcentral

Writing Our Way Into Inquiry and Presearch | DMLcentral | AdLit | Scoop.it

As we continue our efforts to think about writing literacies as a focal point of our inquiry work in a high school library, my colleague Jennifer Lund and I continue to see the power of an old school technology: pen and paper.


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Gifted and Dyslexic: Identifying and Instructing 2e Students @cdcowen @ryan_masa @lawrenceschool

Gifted and Dyslexic: Identifying and Instructing 2e Students @cdcowen @ryan_masa @lawrenceschool | AdLit | Scoop.it
Twice exceptional students are often lost in the school or IEP system, have their talents neglected in favor of remediation, or confuse diagnosticians so they do not qualify for much needed differentiated, specialized instruction they need for their gifts and to address their dyslexia. Practitioners and clinicians agree that the needs of a gifted student with dyslexia are very different from the individual with dyslexia or giftedness alone. Intellectual giftedness can complicate the diagnosis of dyslexia such that (because of high IQ) a person may not be found eligible for special services. Moreover, a reading disability may hinder the development of an academic gift because of focusing on the disability and neglecting growth and challenge in the areas of giftedness.

Students who have both gifts and learning disabilities require a “dually differentiated program”: one that nurtures gifts and talents while providing appropriate instruction, accommodations, and other services for treating learning weaknesses. Unfortunately, research- based, well-defined, and prescribed practices for the 2e student with dyslexia are hard to find, and current practices vary widely.

Instruction for 2e students should be designed to develop higher-level cognitive functioning, or for their challenges–to develop basic skills (e.g. handwriting, reading, spelling, written expression, math computation). Otherwise, these students may be labeled average students or underachievers who simply need “to try harder.”

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Lou Salza's curator insight, March 31, 2015 9:09 AM

2e students suffer disproportionately in our schools. Often well meaning parents and teachers pin the blame for underachievement in very bright students with dyslexia on lack of effort. Telling a 2e student struggling to keep up with the work in school to "try harder" not only unhelpful but damaging. This article offers a comprehensive look at serving 2e students in our schools and classrooms. --Lou

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Superlative and Comparative Adjectives

Superlative and Comparative Adjectives | AdLit | Scoop.it
How to make and use comparative and superlative adjectives.

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40 Viewing Comprehension Strategies

40 Viewing Comprehension Strategies | AdLit | Scoop.it
40 Viewing Comprehension Strategies: Watching Videos Like You Read A Book

 

Due to diverse content, mobile access, credibility with students, and temptingly passive consumption, video is a pedagogical goldmine. In fact, the YouTube model of content distribution has been so successful, we took lessons from it last year and applied them to academic content distribution in How To YouTube Your Classroom.

Below are a few possibilities, many of which you’ll notice apply to non-digital media as well.

A Note About Student-Centering

Reading strategies, viewing strategies, thinking strategies–any “strategy” should be student-centered. One way to interpret this is to say that it should only be used if necessary, should be accessible and meaningful to the student, and ideally would be selected by the student without prompting. See Readicide for a powerful argument of how we as teachers, while well-intentioned, can “schoolify” reading and viewing and learning to the point that it’s unrecognizable to anyone anywhere on the planet outside of the classroom, and make students think they hate what they’re doing in the process. This doesn’t mean we can’t support students to use said strategies, but blind force-feeding will likely be self-defeating in the long run.

How The Viewing Comprehension Strategies Are Structured 

The viewing comprehension strategies are organized in a Before-During-After structure, much like traditional reading strategies are. As with reading strategies, there is overlap from one part (e.g., Before Viewing) to another (e.g., After Viewing). That is, some strategies can be used at different times, but we had to place them somewhere.

Each category has four anchor strategies. These are “thinking templates” that can be used in multiple contexts and combinations. For example, “Predict’ can be used in countless ways–predict the tone, predict the audience, predict the narrative, etc.)

These anchor strategies are the most universal, and thus the most flexible for use with different kinds of videos, in different content areas, and at different grade levels.

40 Viewing Comprehension Strategies That Help Students View Videos Like They Read Books

Before Viewing

Before viewing comprehension strategies that promote understanding of video and streaming content.

Anchor Strategies: Viewing Purpose, Preview, Predict, Connect 

1. Set a viewing purpose

2. Predict (e.g., sequence of events, video creator’s position on a given topic, etc.)

3. Preview video (editing conventions, length, title)

4. Identify media connections (e.g., I read a book on a related topic recently; I saw a tweet that described this same idea but in sarcastic terms, etc.)

5. Make True/False statements about general video topic

6. Begin KWL chart

7. Roughly summarize (e.g., what they know about topic. video creator, channel, etc.)

8. Concept map the video topic in a given or self-selected context

9. Complete Anticipation Guide

10. Create self-produced guiding questions

 

During Viewing

During viewing comprehension strategies that promote understanding of video and streaming content.

Anchor Strategies: Stop, Clarify, Question, Infer

11. Stop (or pause) the video while viewing based on viewer preference and monitoring of own understanding

12. Rewind to clarify understanding or uncover subtle data/events

13. Rewatch video with new purpose and perspective

14. Form relevant questions based on viewing

15. Clarify (e.g., information, bias, fact/opinion, “author” position, etc.)

16. Monitor & Repair Understanding

17. Evaluate use of primary and secondary modalities

18. Make meaningful and personalized inferences (e.g., primary and secondary audiences)

19. Infer underlying assumptions of video

20. Adjust viewing speed (i.e., use slow-motion) if available (e.g., physics videos)

 

After Viewing

After viewing comprehension strategies that promote understanding of video and streaming content.

Anchor Strategies: Summarize, Analyze, Create, Socialize

21. Retell what happened; Paraphrase “standout” ideas

22. Summarize main idea and key supporting details

23. Recall own thinking and/or emotions during video (metacognition)

24. Modality Analysis (e.g., identify and analyze prevailing modalities and their effect)

25. Metric Analysis (e.g., to infer social context with respect to total views, currently watching, social shares, etc.)

26. Analyze idea organization of video

27. Create a word cloud (e.g., that reflects diction, tone, theme, etc.); Tweet, comment on, blog, or otherwise socialize initial impressions in a way that reflects digital citizenship

28. Socialize extended responses (e.g., in writing, on social media, etc.)

29. Categorize information and perspectives

30. Separate explicit and implicit ideas

 

Extended

Extended comprehension strategies are meant to provide extended learning around video and streaming content, as well as opportunities for more complex thinking about that content.

Anchor Strategies: Reflect, Create, Critique, Design

31. Reflect on “fit” of video with regards to Viewing Purpose

32. Compare & contrast video with similar video content

33. Create Anticipation Guide (for viewers that haven’t seen video)

34. Identify “big idea” of video

35. Critique video for which modalities supported video purpose and theme, and which seemed to distract

36. Roughly determine history of topic in similar and dissimilar media

37. RAFT thinking & extension (Role, Audience, Format, Topic/Theme)

38. Prioritize ideas & information from least to most important

39. Distinguish between tone and mood of video

40. Design follow-up medium that extends and deepens purpose of video

40 Viewing Comprehension Strategies: Watching Videos Like You Read A Book

 

  


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How to Read Intelligently and Write a Great Essay: Robert Frost’s Letter of Advice to His Young Daughter

How to Read Intelligently and Write a Great Essay: Robert Frost’s Letter of Advice to His Young Daughter | AdLit | Scoop.it

Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays,” E.B. White wrote in the foreword to his collected essays. Annie Dillard sees things almost the opposite way, insisting that essayists perform a public service — they “serve as the memory of a people” and “chew over our public past.” Although he had never written an essay himself, the advice Pulitzer-winning poet Robert Frost (March 26, 1874–January 29, 1963) offered to his eldest daughter, Lesley, not only stands as an apt mediator between White and Dillard but also some of the most enduring wisdom on essay-writing ever committed to paper.

During her junior at Amherst College, Lesley shared her exasperation over having been assigned to write an academic essay about a book she didn’t find particularly inspiring. In a magnificent letter from February of 1919, found inThe Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 1 (public library), the beloved poet gave his daughter sage counsel on her particular predicament, emanating general wisdom on writing, the art of the essay, and even thinking itself.......

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The Oxford Comma: Love It or Leave It?

The Oxford Comma: Love It or Leave It? | AdLit | Scoop.it
One of the questions that I get asked most frequently when people find out that I am an English professor and writer is: “So what’s the deal with commas before ‘and’ in a list? Do I use it or not?

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Building the habits of close reading to support comprehension | SmartBlogs

Building the habits of close reading to support comprehension | SmartBlogs | AdLit | Scoop.it

A key objective of the Common Core State Standards is for students to cultivate close reading skills—the ability to read literature and complex texts and interpret their meaning. D. Ray Reutzel, education professor at Utah State University, outlines the key principles of close reading and offers ideas to help teachers and administrators guide students to success.

 

What is close reading? What are the key principles and essential steps?

Close reading is making a comeback with national adoption of the Common Core and other college and career readiness standards in English Language Arts. Educators have been doing this type of reading with students for decades under other names. Close reading is deep, effortful and sustained reading versus casual, surface, or quick reading of text. It requires students to peel back multiple layers of meaning embedded in text to derive an interpretation of text meaning that is not explicitly stated. Close reading is highly focused on helping students to make reasonable inferences using text-based information.

How has close reading been taught prior to the renewed attention on close reading demanded by the Common Core State Standards? In the past, teachers focused on the big idea, topic or theme of a text during the first reading. Then, on the second reading they often focused on details found in the text that related to the main idea. Thus, the practice of close or analytic reading, as some call it, was for the reader to identify big ideas and then drill down to the supporting details in the text. This process is actually the reverse of how we should be teaching close reading when referencing the CCS ELA reading standards.

The Common Core standards were designed in such a way so as to be sequenced in three clusters around the new reading anchor standards. The first reading cluster is focused on helping students identify key ideas and details in text. The second cluster is focused on helping students identify the author’s craft and structure used for the writing of the text. The third cluster is focused on helping students to integrate knowledge and ideas from the text with the readers’ background to construct an interpretation of the situation described in the text. These three standard clusters when used in a sequence along with carefully selected comprehension strategies will unleash a virtuous comprehension cycle where knowledge begets comprehension, and comprehension begets more knowledge.


Why is close reading important?

The big answer to this question is that close reading increases students’ reading comprehension. We don’t want students to read to memorize; rather we want them to construct meaningful interpretation from text using their unique background knowledge and experiences to do so. In short, we want students to learn how to learn from text.

Close reading demands that students learn how to make reasonable inferences. We also want to improve students’ abilities to comprehend texts independently in order to ensure they will be successful when encountering more complex texts throughout school and later on in their careers. Much of reading is done privately for the reader’s own cognitive purposes. For example, if a student becomes a mechanic as an adult, he or she will need to be able to comprehend a repair manual independently in order to succeed in that career. Mechanics will not be able to ask their teacher what the manual means and how to comprehend it!


How can educators get started in teaching the principles of close reading?

To provide effective close reading, educators need to understand the theories and models about how people actually process information in text. To begin, students need to be able to understand each word’s meaning in a text. They then have to string word meanings together to understand sentences. Next, they need to be able to connect sentence meanings to construct the meaning of paragraphs in text. Once they can understand the meaning of larger units of text, paragraphs and beyond, they can also determine how texts are structured as well as connecting text-based information to their own background knowledge and experiences.

When starting out, educators should focus on assisting students’ efforts to achieve local level text comprehension by using texts that are fairly brief. At the local level of reading comprehension, readers focus on making inferences that connect sentence meanings together. This is often difficult when authors leave out vital connecting terms in order to lower text difficulty indices such as Lexiles. Unfortunately, decreasing a text’s Lexile level through writing short sentences and by leaving out connecting terms only serves to increase the readers’ need to make inferences at the local or intersentential level. For example, Jane and Jacquin went to the store. They were hungry. The connecting term “because” is missing and must be inferred by the reader. Making inferences between sentences and beyond in text, such as how the authors have organized or structured information in texts, becomes an important part of teaching close readings of text effectively. Lastly, students integrate the information in the text by connecting it to their own knowledge and backgrounds. This is a key step in helping students construct meaningful interpretations of text in order to grow what they know.


What further advice or strategies can you offer teachers to ensure students are successful with close reading?

It is important to select the right length and kinds of texts. Close readings should typically use shorter text length because of the effortful, focused and demanding nature of the text’s content and structure. Educators should look for texts that contain compelling content while leaving some inferential gaps for students to fill in. High-quality close reading texts are complex and don’t give up their meaning easily. Text selections, like those found in Curriculum Associates’ Ready® Reading program as well as those in their online i-Ready® Diagnostic & Instruction close reading lessons, are two great sources.

Teachers can also examine how many and what types of text-dependent questions, or those that can only be answered by referring back to the text, are necessary for students when selecting texts that are worthy to be read more than once. Texts that very explicit may not be very good candidates for close reading unless the content is challenging or unfamiliar. On the other hand, familiar text content that is written in ways to conceal deeper meanings can also be good candidates for close readings. A rule of thumb is how complex and difficult the ideas are to extract from the text.

To support the development of students’ abilities to make inferences, teachers can help students know which types of inferences the text is asking students to make. Many teachers and students think there are an infinite number of inferences that can be made from a text. In truth, there are only about ten different types of inferences. Students can learn to make these inferences by identifying and answering questions such as “Where did it take place?” and “What was used to make it happen?” Doing so is akin to playing the popular board game of Clue®.


How can administrators be supportive of teachers in elevating their classroom instruction to support close reading?

Principals need to understand that teachers are learners too. Teachers get better at guiding students’ close reading the more they do it. Principals need to provide adequate professional development and carefully designed support materials in order to elevate the quality and efficacy of close reading instruction. Providing opportunities and resources to build teacher capacity to use higher levels of text-dependent questions is one example where teachers could use substantial professional development. Research by Janis Bulgren and others at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning can help educators sequence text-dependent questions so that they advance from low-level questions such as “What color was the wolf in Red Riding Hood?” to “How did Red Riding Hood determine the wolf was not her grandmother?” This is the art of effective sequencing of text-dependent questioning.

 

 

Reutzel will be conducting a webinar sponsored by District Administration on this topic on April 1, from 2–3pm ET. Register here.

D. Ray Reutzel is Distinguished Professor and Emma Eccles Jones Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education at Utah State University. He is an elected member of the ILA Reading Hall of Fame and is an author of Curriculum Associates’ Ready Reading and Ready Writing programs, as well as an expert advisor for their i-Ready program.

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Top 11 Trusted (And Free) Search Engines For Scientific and Academic Research — Emerging Education Technologies

Top 11 Trusted (And Free) Search Engines For Scientific and Academic Research — Emerging Education Technologies | AdLit | Scoop.it
Whether Conducting Academic Research or Purely Scientific Research, These Sites can be an Invaluable Aid. Researching is the most crucial step of writing a scientific paper. It is always a well-researched scientific paper that inspires the assessor. At the same
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Nancie Atwell Gets It Exactly Right

Nancie Atwell Gets It Exactly Right | AdLit | Scoop.it
Teaching in America has been systematically de-professionalized. It's no longer a job where experience and creativity are valued. The evidence around that--beginning with test score-based teacher evaluation, and ending with federal funding for Teach for America-- is incontrovertible. We keep saying we want teacher leaders at the table, informing policy. But when Nancie Atwell was given a seat at a big, shiny international table, we're stunned when she tells her truth?
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Shanahan on Literacy: Middle School Interventions

Shanahan on Literacy: Middle School Interventions | AdLit | Scoop.it
Middle School Interventions We are a K-12 district and are revamping our grade 6 through grade 8 instructional supports, which include a 40 minute additional session of reading and/or math instruction  anywhere from 3 to 5 days a week. This extra instruction is provided to any student below the 50th percentile on the MAP assessments ---roughly 2/3 of our student population in our 5 middle schools.   Where we are struggling is in determining whether this additional instructional time  (taught during later periods in the day  by different teachers from the core instruction) should be based on addressing gaps in foundational skills or supporting grade level curriculum.   In the 4 years we have been using this system of support we have changed our position, from filling in holes to supporting core instruction and our results have been inconclusive on which method leads to the greatest growth. We are torn between raising the rigor of instruction to offer students more “time” grappling with the harder material and using a Leveled Literacy program that has delivered good results to us in the primary grades. Help.   What you are trying to do is terrific for the kids. You see some students who aren’t keeping up and you want to beef up the amount of reading support that they get. That makes great sense to me and seems to be very much in line with the research. Additional teaching is a great idea. However, the 1-49%ile span for this group is simply too broad and too differentiated a swath of kids with whom to take a single approach. If I were calling the shots I’d treat those below the 30th or 35th %iles differently than those who are a little bit behind. I suspect that as you move down the continuum of kids you’ll start to find those with substantial gaps in their foundational skills (decoding and fluency basically). That is much less likely to be true for those who are almost at the 50th%ile. In discussions of learning disability, various experts (e.g., Joe Torgesen, Jack Fletcher, Reid Lyon) treat the 35%ile as being a dividing point between kids who are garden variety stragglers and those who might have a real learning disability. This will likely vary a bit by grade level and test, so rather than giving you a hard-and-fast rule, I’m suggesting that the cut-point be somewhere around the 30-35th%ile. Above that cutoff, and I would definitely just give these kids extra time with the demanding grade-level materials. Below that line, and I would want to provide at least some explicit instruction in foundational skills. (I don’t know what assessment information you have on these kids, but if such data reveals particular foundation gaps for students reading below the 35th%ile, I’d be even more certain that offering such teaching is a good idea.) What should the instruction look like for these groups? For those who are in that 35-49%ile span, that is kids who are at grade level to about 2-3 grade levels below level, I would have them doing more work with the grade level texts they are reading in class. This work should give kids opportunities to read the material again—but with greater or different scaffolding and support. Students might read this material before it is read in class (to give them a boost) or after, to ensure that they make as much progress with it as possible. I would consider activities like repeated reading (that is, oral fluency practice with repetition), rereading and writing about the ideas in the texts, going through the texts more thoroughly trying to interpret the most complex sentences or to follow the cohesive links among the ideas. For the students below the 30-35th%ile—who are low in decoding (probably the majority of them), I’d provide a systematic program of instruction that offers at least some explicit phonics instruction. I very much like the idea of using a program that has been found to be effective by the What Works Clearinghouse (that won’t guarantee it will work for you, but that it has worked elsewhere tells you it is possible to make it work effectively). As important as phonics instruction can be to someone who lacks basic decoding skills, I’d recommend against overdoing it. The National Reading Panel found that phonics instruction for poor readers beyond grade 2 tended to improve their decoding skills (which is good), but without commensurate impacts on spelling and reading comprehension (which is not so good). I think it is important to make such decoding instruction part of a larger effort that addresses reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing, and oral reading fluency. How best to balance this effort will depend a lot on what else the kids are getting. For example, if the really low decoders are already being instructed in these skills in Special Education, then I wouldn’t double up here. That would just free time space for other kinds of reading help. Another possibility may be to offer these students some of the same grade level instruction noted above, but in smaller groupings to enable the teachers to offer greater support to these kids who are further behind. Beyond beginning reading levels, there is no evidence students need to work with low-level texts—at least when there is sufficient scaffolding to guide them through such reading. Perhaps these students would work on decoding and fluency using a set program part of the time, and working with regular classroom materials with greater amounts of scaffolding than would be available to the other, better-performing students.  (One last thought. It is terrific that the intervention program you have identified is working well with your primary kids. That's great, but it does not mean that I would necessarily adopt it for use in my middle school. I'd go with a program either aimed specifically at these older students or I'd try out the materials with them to see their reaction. Often, terrific decoding programs are too babyish to gain much buy in from the older kids. It would even be better if WWC indicated that the program had worked effectively with middle-schoolers.)
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Coaching Strategies to Enhance Online Discussions

Coaching Strategies to Enhance Online Discussions | AdLit | Scoop.it

"Prepare students for the challenges of online learning and interaction. Identify the skills students will need. Provide examples of successful and not-so-great discussions. Critique work together. The bunny slope is filled with beginners falling and skiing clumsily. Remind students that discussing content online is awkward and difficult."


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Response: 'Every Teacher Is A Language Teacher'

Response: 'Every Teacher Is A Language Teacher' | AdLit | Scoop.it
Response: 'Every Teacher Is A Language Teacher'
By Larry Ferlazzo on March 17, 2015 3:35 PM

(This post is the last post in a two-part series.  You can see Part One here.)

This week's question is:

What are the best strategies to use when teaching English Language Learners in content classes?

The question above is my simplified version of the actual one sent by a teacher who requested anonymity.  Here is what was submitted:

I'm at my start of second school year teaching 8th grade social studies which is tested! My population of Spanish dominant students is the majority. Social studies was never taught at the elementary level. I feel hopeless. I'm using different strategies that include foldables class discussions essential questioning visuals primary sources ...etc etc!! I cant reach them! Sometimes I wonder if its me..other teachers say I work too hard. But I really want my student to learn about history but I have to be both a English teacher and social studies teacher at same time. I need help!


Part One in this series shared responses from four experienced educators: Judie Haynes, Mary Ann Zehr, Bárbara C. Cruz and Stephen J. Thornton.  You can also listen to a ten-minute conversation I had with Judie and Mary Ann on my BAM! Radio Show.

Today's guests are Margo Gottlieb, Maria Montalvo-Balbed, and Tracey Takuhama-Espinosa.  In addition, I've shared responses from readers.

Response From Margo Gottlieb

Margo Gottlieb is lead developer for WIDA at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and director, assessment and evaluation, at the Illinois Resource Center, Arlington Heights. Her latest publications include co-authoring and co-editing a compendium of books by Corwin on Academic Language in Diverse Classrooms; a foundational book, Definitions and Contexts, and six others, Promoting Content and Language Learning, English Language Arts and Mathematics for grade-levels K-2, 3-5, and 6-8:

Around the country, linguistically and cultural diversity is becoming part of the classroom mosaic. For English language learners to succeed academically, teachers must interweave the academic language of each discipline into their instruction. As educators begin a new school year, here are some tips for content teachers.

Partner with a language teacher in co-planning, co-constructing, and co-teaching as you share instruction, engage in classroom assessment, and assume joint responsibility for your language learners.
Incorporate the students' linguistic and cultural resources and expertise into lessons and units of learning so that all students can engage in authentic and meaningful learning experiences.
Use college & career readiness standards in conjunction with language development standards to gain a better understanding of the developmental and linguistic pathways to student achievement.
Pair the standards-referenced skills and concepts of a topic or theme with the academic language required of those understandings.
Formulate content and language targets to guide teaching and learning for a unit for all students. These targets provide a global view of key learning and guide the creation of objectives for individual or related lessons.
Maintain grade-level rigor of the content while differentiate language according to the students' levels of language proficiency. Differentiation includes consideration for the students' literacy in their home language as a scaffold for English language development and as a means to communicate conceptual knowledge.
Center on academic language use within and across language domains, such as during interpretative listening, interactive reading, academic conversations, and writing across the curriculum.
Plan, collect, analyze, interpret, and act on evidence for student learning through performance assessment that occurs within and across lessons.
Rely on students as contributors to and evaluators of their own learning as they engage in self-reflection and peer assessment.
Don't forget that school is a unique place where every teacher is a language teacher and every student is a language learner.


 

Response From Maria Montalvo-Balbed

Maria Montalvo-Balbed has developed and taught numerous professional development classes in the areas of diversity, cultural literacy development, and authentic engagement of English learners. She is a member of the ASCD Faculty and the Fisher and Frey Cadre, where she works with schools and districts to implement customized, research-based curricula and instructional strategies:

Of course, it goes without saying that strategies are only the best strategies when they are aligned to the learning purpose. To learn more, see ASCD FIT Model authors Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey.  

I do think the following areas of support are critical to a high functioning classroom that supports the needs of ELLs:

Systematic practice of the academic and social discourse. See Jeff Zwiers work for specific strategies on Academic Conversations.
Students need to be engaged in continuous and strategic practice of listening, speaking, reading and writing in all courses; not just in Language Arts.
The classroom teacher must be highly aware of how to set up social and metacognitive supports for ELLs. Teachers can easily do this by modeling behaviors, think-alouds, and processes, strategies for reading and writing and speaking in different contexts and to different audiences. The language overload of any course for ELLs requires that teachers use language scaffolds intentionally (See Virginia Rojas' toolkit for great ideas). Teachers must be very strategic about teaching ELLs (See ASCD Whole Child Education tenets).
The systematic use of visuals/non-linguistic supports.


 

Response From Tracey Takuhama-Espinosa

Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, PhD, is Dean of the Faculty of Education at the Universidad de las Américas in Quito, Ecuador. She serves on an expert panel for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to determine Teachers' New Pedagogical Knowledge, including the influence of neuroscience and technology on education, and is professor of a course on the "Neuroscience of Learning and Sustained Change" at Harvard University. She is the author of Making Classrooms Better: 50 Practical Applications of Mind, Brain, and Education Science (W. W. Norton; 2014) and Mind, Brain, and Education Science: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Brain-Based Teaching (W. W. Norton; 2010). Visit her at traceytokuhama.com:

While activities are important and this teacher is determined to find the right activities to reach her ELL 8th grade social studies students, activities are only as effective as the planning context in which they are devised.

Great ELL teachers are simply great teachers. A great teacher knows how to identify desired results before choosing an activity. The teacher should identify the objectives of each class and then try to express these objectives as competencies, or the combination of knowledge (dates, facts, formulas, people, places, etc.), skills, and attitudes (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). Once clear and concise objectives have been identified, the teacher can then decide what she will accept as evidence that she is reaching these objectives, otherwise known as her evaluation criteria. Finally, she can then consider what activities to undertake. Choosing the activities ("foldables, class discussions, essential questioning, visuals, primary sources" or others) should depend upon the objectives of the class and cannot be chosen in a vacuum. It is likely that this teacher is not meeting the success she hopes for and is working harder than her students because she has not yet identified the main objective of each class and aligned her activities accordingly.

Language skills can be learned through content. Actually, the best way to go about improving English is by teaching it through meaningful content (Snow, Met & Genesee, 1989). One key way to teach is to focus on authentic lesson planning in which the context of objectives coincides with students' own interests. The great challenge of U.S. state curricula is its focus on heavily content-based ideas ("Analyze how the American Revolution effected other nations, especially France"; "Describe the nation's blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English parliamentary traditions" [California State Curriculum, Grade 8, 2009, p.33]), rather than on greater, global, yet personal concepts ("Why do nations go to war?"; "What's worth fighting for?"; "How does being free as a person differ from a nation being free?"). For example, devising a debate on "what's worth fighting for?" and then relating it to the American Revolution would be a far more effective way to approach the 8th grade curriculum than through "foldables" or "visuals." Depending on the objective, different activities will be most appropriate.



 

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Camala Mitchell's curator insight, August 13, 2015 11:13 AM

If you don 't a subscription to edweek.org,  you should definitely subscribe.  This is a very informative blog about Content Teachers and ELs.  

Brenda Contreras's comment, October 12, 2016 10:38 PM
Great responses from the experts in giving advice to this teacher and everyone out there with this same situation. It's all about been focused on the objective.
Brenda Contreras's curator insight, October 20, 2016 8:37 PM
Great responses from the experts in giving advice to this teacher and everyone out there with this same situation. It's all about been focused on the objective.
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Hopes of preserving Cherokee language rest with children

Hopes of preserving Cherokee language rest with children | AdLit | Scoop.it
In this Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 photo, Rainy Brake leads an early childhood development class at New Kituwah Academy in Cherokee, N.C. Although not a native speaker or enrolled member of the tribe, Brake is helping to ensure that the Cherokee language remains a living one. With fewer than 300 native Cherokee speakers remaining in North Carolina, tribe members hope to preserve their language and culture through this small school where their children are immersed in their people’s native tongue.

CHEROKEE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Tafoya grew up hearing Cherokee all around him — his mother, a grandmother and grandfather, aunts and an uncle all spoke the language that now is teetering on the edge of extinction.
Yet his mother purposely didn't teach him.
"She told us she had a hard time in school transitioning from Cherokee to English," Tafoya said. "She didn't want us to have the same problem so she never really taught us when we were younger."
Now the 37-year-old wants something different for his 6-year-old son, Moke, and his 2-year-old daughter, Marijane. Both are enrolled at New Kituwah Academy, a Cherokee language immersion school.

The language is "probably only the last real thing about being Cherokee that we have left," he said. "I mean, we have our different arts and stuff. But I think our language really defines us as it does any people."
With fewer than 300 native Cherokee speakers remaining in North Carolina, the clock is ticking to preserve not just the language, but a culture too. For the Eastern Band of Cherokee, hopes lie first with six fifth-graders who have attended New Kituwah (pronounced gi-DOO-wah) since they were babies.
"That's a big thing to hold on the shoulders of kids, that they're carrying the language," said Kylie Crowe Shuler, principal of the private school operated by the tribe. "And I don't want to beat that on them. I want them to enjoy it. And I think that they do."
The school, which opened in 2004, has about 90 students, with 55 in elementary and 35 in early childhood. Kituwah is a powerful word for the Cherokee and the name that they call themselves. The word can have different meanings, including mother town or the center. The area called Kituwah is located about 10 miles west of Cherokee.
From their earliest years, students learn only in Cherokee. Only in the higher grades is English introduced, mostly as a bow to parents concerned about what happens after their children leave the school.
The fifth-graders, members of the first class to attend New Kituwah, seem to grasp what's at stake.
"We're trying to keep a culture going," Haley Smith, 11, said in a recent interview.
Bo Taylor, 45, directs the Museum of the Cherokee Indian; he learned the language as an adult. One of the fifth graders is his 10-year-old daughter Abigail.
"I cannot emphasize enough this first class," he said. "These first kids, these parents that were willing to risk their child's futures and gamble with the belief that Cherokee was important, that's amazing because they were guinea pigs."
Next year, the fifth-graders will get to continue that schooling, thanks to a decision by the tribal council to fund New Kituwah Academy for grades 6-12. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited New Kituwah in January.
Cherokee had no writing system until the early 1800s, when the renowned Sequoyah wrote a syllabary to put its sounds on paper. While English has one symbol for every letter, Cherokee has one symbol for each of its 80-plus syllables. Unlike many other languages, which focus on nouns and adjectives, Cherokee focuses on verbs. One verb can reveal how many people are talking, what they're doing and how near they are.
The near demise of the language came largely thanks to the U.S. government. Most Cherokee were forced to make a brutal march from the Southeast to Oklahoma in the 1830s. A few stayed behind, keeping a desperate grip on their way of life.
Then, beginning in the late 1800s, officials set up boarding schools to eradicate the American Indian languages. Teachers punished students for speaking their native tongues.
Without New Kituwah or something like it, "the Cherokee language will for sure die," said Walt Wolfram, director of the North Carolina Language and Life Project at N.C. State University. "Lots of people remain skeptical about whether languages can be revived. But the (other) option is certain death. In that sense, Kituwah Academy is the only antidote for what will be inevitable."
New Kituwah is one part of the Eastern Band's effort to preserve the language, said Annette Clapsaddle, director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, which has given almost $2 million to the school. Other initiatives include Cherokee language programs at public schools and a Cherokee studies program at Western Carolina University, she said.
Throughout the U.S., Native American tribes in recent years have launched efforts to preserve their languages.
The Cherokee nation in Oklahoma opened the Cherokee Immersion Charter School in 2002, said Julie Hubbard, a spokeswoman for Cherokees there. Students start at age 3 and go through eighth grade, when they can transfer to a public school or to Sequoyah High School, where the Cherokee immersion students study together, she said.
New Kituwah has had problems finding teachers fluent in Cherokee. Most native speakers are in their 60s and 70s and struggle with health issues, school administrators said.
Tafoya said he worries that his children may fall behind in some subjects, but the benefits of New Kituwah outweigh any downsides.
His 2-year-old, Marijane, is picking up some Cherokee words, Tafoya said. When Tafoya picks her up at school, she'll ask "Gah-ZUH a-GAH-shgaa?" meaning where is Rain, which is Moke's Cherokee name. And she knows a favorite word of 2-year-olds in two languages: "No." In Cherokee, that's "Ha-DEE."
Taylor said he believes the immersion school was the right choice for his girls. "Cherokee, it goes to the core of who we are," he said. While some American Indian cultures are in jeopardy, New Kituwah offers hope, he said.
"We're singing our songs again," he said. "We're telling our stories. And the one thing that we have is hope."
Even though she forgets words sometimes, Haley is certain that she and the other fifth-graders will never abandon the Cherokee language.
"A lot of people ask us, what if we forget our language," she said. "And all you can tell them is it's a part of life. You can't just forget that."
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Online:
About New Kituwah Academy:
http://nc-cherokee.com/education/hom/youth-adult-education-services/kituwah-preservation-education/
Cherokee Preservation Foundation: http://cherokeepreservation.org/
Link to documentary titled "First Language" about effort to preserve Cherokee language: https://news.ncsu.edu/2014/11/first-language/
Cherokee immersion school in Oklahoma:
http://www.cherokee.org/News/Stories/20140514CherokeeImmersionCharterSchoolgraduatesmorespeakers.aspx
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