Middle School English and Reading
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NoRedInk Gets Bigger and Better But Still Free

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

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


Via Beth Dichter
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlins insight:

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

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

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

* Create assignments and quizzes without doing any grading

* Target Common Core skills using your students’ interests

* Provide students with unlimited help whenever they need it

* Track growth using our color-coded heat maps

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

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

Middle  School  English and Reading
Creating a love to read, write, speak, listen, view, and above all--think
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Teaching Persuasive Writing via the Common Core Standards

Teaching Persuasive Writing via the Common Core Standards | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

The Bottom Line
By the way, one of the most interesting things to discuss with students is the reason, the driving force, behind persuasive writing. What’s the goal here? Is it (a) Getting someone to agree with you, or (b) Persuading someone to take a specific action? What do your students think? What do you think? I would argue that it is both of those–but that neither is the primary purpose behind this complex genre. The real purpose of persuasive writing is to guide the reader through a complex set of issues so that he or she can make a good decision. Lindstrom’s article does that very well, by the way. I will never shop the same way again–and that’s quite an outcome, considering he only had one page to win me over.


Via Mel Riddile
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Text Complexity: How do we measure it?

Text Complexity: How do we measure it? | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
Common Core: 5 Technology Tools To Measure Text Complexity

 

"This post specifically addresses one aspect of text complexity — what the Common Core terms “quantitative evaluation.”  It’s important to recognize from the onset that other measures must be in place to adequately explore complexity.

Currently, there are many web-based tools that help with the quantitative evaluation of books (for example, you can use Barnes and Noble to search by Lexile measure); however, as our students will likely be reading a combination of print and digital materials (especially in states giving the PARCC test), tools that help identify scales for online or digital text are also necessary. Here are five (mostly free) web-based tools that might be helpful as we curate reading content for students."


Via Mel Riddile
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlins insight:

Some interesting tools to use....

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Click and Clunk-A 5 Step Reading Strategy for Students


Via Beth Dichter
Beth Dichter's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:43 PM

This one page infographic provides a five step reading stategy for students using super heroes to help them become enaged. The five steps are:

Step 1: Preview the text for two to three minutes.

Step 2: Grab a pencil and read the passage aloud.

Step 3: What "clicked?"

Step 4: What "cluncked?"

Step 5: Put fix-up strategies into play.

Suggestions are provided in all but Step 2. Consider printing a copy of this out and using it as a poster in your room...or perhaps sending a copy home with students whom might need additional support!

Kate JohnsonMcGregor's curator insight, March 20, 2014 8:25 AM

In our pursuit to make literacy skills accessible, this quick, 5-step infographic has appeal.  

Reading Power's curator insight, March 23, 2014 10:15 AM

This certainly infuses power in reading. What are some of your favorite strategies?

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Engaging Middle School Readers

Engaging Middle School Readers | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

In middle school, we ask students to dissect texts and perform literary analysis. However, that does not mean that we have to limit how we assess their understanding of the books. If the desired learning objective is for students to . .

 

Demonstrate understanding of the plot elementsExplore the role of tone and themeIdentify significant scenes or events and their impact on the storyAnalyze a character and show an understanding of that character's motivationsExplain the relationship between the author's life and the story

. . . does it have to be an essay or book report?



Via Mel Riddile
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Common Core in Action: Narrative Writing

Common Core in Action: Narrative Writing | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
There is a panic amongst writing teachers that is based on the myth that our baby, narrative writing, is shunned by the Common Core standards. I'm here to encourage everyone to take a deep breath an
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlins insight:

Interesting take on narrative...especially hyperlinking

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Middle School Language Arts

Middle School Language Arts | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
Do your students struggle to write with detail? Are their descriptions limited, lacking in specifics or uninformative? If so, you can help your students write more engaging and elaborate pieces by teaching the following strategies for elaboration.

Via Charles Fischer, Maria Margarida Correia
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18 Free LessonCasts to Improve Reading in the Middle School

Because we believe professional development should be immediately relevant and actionable, we have also prepared a set of 18 lessoncasts on teaching reading strategies to middle school students, including handouts and lookfors. Enjoy our gift to you!


Via Andrew
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Teaching Reading in the Digital Age

Teaching Reading in the Digital Age | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
What does it really mean to teach reading in a digital age? It means teaching both ways and also in new ways. It means going back to school and learning to read along with our students, in a world ...

Via Mel Riddile
Lauren's curator insight, July 30, 2013 11:24 AM

Great thoughts for reading teachers 

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Common Core ELA Resources for Middle School Educators

Common Core ELA Resources for Middle School Educators | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
Many teachers this year are updating existing curriculum for the Common Core. And it's going to be a long process for everyone.

Via Mel Riddile
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How English Teachers Can Easily Address the CCSS

How English Teachers Can Easily Address the CCSS | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

With many schools now taking a look at their curriculum and assessing how to best meet the needs of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) one of the most poignant realizations is the increased demand for critical thinking.

 
Via Mel Riddile
Mary Reilley Clark's curator insight, October 25, 2013 10:20 AM

An excellent post to share with teachers and administrators! Increasing the reader task to emphasize critical thinking--brilliant summary of a key element of the Common Core.

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A Search Engine for SMART Notebook Files

A Search Engine for SMART Notebook Files | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Google Custom Search allows anyone to create his or her own search engine. The benefit of this is that you can create a very subject specific search environment. One such use that I found through The Whiteboard Blog is a SMART Notebook search engine. As you would expect from the name, the SMART Notebook search engine is designed to help you find resources designed for teaching with SMARTBoards.


Via Beth Dichter
Beth Dichter's curator insight, October 23, 2013 7:36 PM

If you have a SMARTBoard you may want to check out this Google Custom Search Engine that allows you to search only for resources (in this case designed for SMARTBoard). There are many excellent resources available and how you may be able to find them more quickly.

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Do Your Students Know How To Search? - Edudemic

Do Your Students Know How To Search? - Edudemic | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
There is a new digital divide on the horizon. It is not based around who has devices and who does not, but instead the new digital divide will be based around students who know how to effectively find and curate information and those who do not.

Via Beth Dichter
Pamela Perry King's curator insight, October 21, 2013 12:09 PM

The Big Six taught me a lot on how we assume kids can skim and scan.  We need to take more time to show them how to search.

johanna krijnsen's curator insight, December 4, 2013 2:07 PM

do your students know how to search, find and curate information?

Cindy Gerken Butler's curator insight, November 11, 2014 2:34 PM

We are a 1:1 school and we have several students who could learn a lot in regards to searching for content on the internet.

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Word Sense - See the Connections Between Words

Word Sense - See the Connections Between Words | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

"Word Sense is a neat little service that is one part dictionary and one part thesaurus. When you enter a word into Word Sense it will show you the definition(s) for the word as well as the connections to associated and similar words. You can see any of the definitions of the connected words by simply clicking on them to pop-up a definition."


Via Beth Dichter
Beth Dichter's curator insight, September 28, 2013 8:58 PM

Check out this new tool (to me) that Richard Byrne posted on his blog. Word Sense provides students with another way to learn and reinforce vocabulary words. Not only does it show definitions of the word as you mouse over and click on  other words you will see their devitions. It will also tell you the part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc.). The About section  on Word Sense states:

Search and explore word meanings and relationshipsInteractive figures connect related wordsFind more specific or less specific synonymsImprove your writing by discovering more descriptive wordsHyponymy and hypernymy exposed - look it up!Host thesaurus parties and use words to make new friends100% recycled word

Learn new words, see words in context, gain a better understanding of vocabulary, find new descriptive words...what do you think your students might do with this site? How might you use it within a lesson?

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Socratic Smackdown, a Game from the Institute of Play

Socratic Smackdown, a Game from the Institute of Play | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

"Teacher-tested, student-approved games for difficult-to-learn skills and concepts"

The visual above comes from the materials and there are additional strategies that are not shown.


Via Beth Dichter
Beth Dichter's curator insight, January 8, 2015 9:28 PM

Here is a print-and-play games from the Institute of Play that you may find helpful in your classroom.

Socratic Smackdown helps students practice "argumentation around any topic or text." You may use it to help students become self-directed learners. There is a great video that quickly walks you though the process and you may download a pdf that provides Game Basics, Game Play, Student Resources and Teacher Resources. This game is geared to students from Grades 6 - 12.

Below are some of the rules of the game (found in the pdf).

* Create teams of four to six players and provide a topic, text or issue that will be discusses as well as a question set

* Share that discussion skill strategies are part of the game

* Set chairs in fishbowl pattern when ready to start

* Choose one student from each team to play

* Have 2 or more students as scorekeepers who will use Socratic Smackdown Scorecards

* Coaching cards will be used by students not keeping score, or by all students after the end of the match (if all are also scoring)

* Students "play" for 6 minutes and Scorecards are collected

Playing Socratic Smackdown with students will help them develop discussion and debate skills, a component of Common Core Speaking and Listening,  and a rubric is also provided.

María Dolores Díaz Noguera's curator insight, January 9, 2015 5:34 AM

Método de Discusión ... socrático Smackdown, un juego en el Instituto de Reproducción |scoopit travésBethDichter http: //sco.lt / ...

Sue Alexander's curator insight, January 18, 2015 2:10 PM

Thanks again Beth, for sharing your toys. Students learning critical thinking and CC literacy skills while having FUN? Yes!

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Thinking Critically - A Student Toolkit

Thinking Critically - A Student Toolkit | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

"Understand what critical thinking means and how critical thinkers think. Learn to express yourself clearly and develop a balanced argument."


Via Beth Dichter
Beth Dichter's curator insight, April 7, 2014 7:55 PM

This site provides a range of materials to help students learn critical thinking skills. The resources include:

* A video that helps guide you on ways to improve your critical thinking skills.

* An infographic (see image above) that helps you visualize the questions to consider asking.

* Top Tips for Critical Thinking - Five tips are provided with additional information under each. 

* An Apply Section which has three questions that students may answer.

* Enhance Your Wellness - learn a few tips that will help your mental and physical health that may allow you to improve your focus and your grades.

There is a lot of excellent information in this post. Although it is geared to college students much of this may be used in upper elementary, middle and high school.

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Reading Standard 10 - Lexile Ranges Across Grades

Reading Standard 10 - Lexile Ranges Across Grades | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

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Joseph Hill Ed.D's curator insight, January 23, 2014 9:22 AM

Levels and Lexiles for Leaders

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5 Online Games That Teach Kids the Art of Persuasion

5 Online Games That Teach Kids the Art of Persuasion | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
Sure, games can teach gravity or supply and demand, but can they show us how to build a good argument? The following five games do just that by modeling the work of argumentation.

Via Beth Dichter
Beth Dichter's curator insight, December 20, 2013 9:30 PM

This post discusses five games that help student develop critical thinking skills and to build good arguments. The games are:
* Quandary - This game has you develop a colony in outer space. Students need to help settle disputes and solve problems.
* Citizen Science - Another game that requires you to use persuasive skills to help solve problems but these problems are related to science.
* Argument Wars -This game is part of iCivics. Students "use their persuasive abilities by arguing a real Supreme Court case". This site provides resources including lesson plans and worksheets as well as a teacher's guide.

* The Republia Times - A game that typically takes 10 minutes or so, the student becomes the editor of a paper and has to curate the front page.

* Papers, Please - In this game the student is an immigration officer in a ficticious country and must make decisions based on evidential arguments presented.

More information on each game is available in the post as well as links to each.

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Literature in Lexile - Only One Dimension of Text Complexity

Literature in Lexile - Only One Dimension of Text Complexity | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Literature in Lexile Harvard Crimson To the credit of the CCSS for English, “quantitative dimensions of text complexity” are only one third of the CCSS methodology of text evaluation—the other two are qualitative dimensions of text complexity and...


Via Darren Burris
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ANTHOLOGIES – FREE – 12 Common Core Essentials: Literature: Selections from New and Classic Books for the English Language Arts Standards for Middle and High School | Free Kindle Books

ANTHOLOGIES – FREE – 12 Common Core Essentials: Literature: Selections from New and Classic Books for the English Language Arts Standards for Middle and High School | Free Kindle Books | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
#FreeKindleBook #freebook #free ANTHOLOGIES - FREE - 12 Common Core Essentials: Literature: Selections from ... - http://t.co/X4oKrqyPwd
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A Question on Text Complexity

A Question on Text Complexity | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Tim Shanahan on Literacy

 

If the issue is teaching reading, then matching text complexity with student reading levels is NOT the issue. That’s where guided reading and similar schemes go wrong.Placing students in more challenging books is a good idea because it increases opportunity to learn (there is more to figure out in challenging texts). This is important since our kids do not read effectively at high enough levels.Increases in text difficulty levels need to be coordinated with increases in the amounts and quality of scaffolding, support, encouragement, and explanation provided by the teacher.

 


Via Mel Riddile
Mel Riddile's curator insight, February 7, 2013 11:19 AM

Key Point on Increasing Rigor:


Instead of asking what book level to teach someone at, teachers should ask, “If I place a student in a book this challenging, how much support will I need to provide to enable him/her to learn from this text?" 

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3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly

3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
Guest blogger Ali Parrish, educator and ed tech consultant, provides three strategies, low-tech and high-tech, for breaking through students' brain freeze when faced with the dilemma of what to write.
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Designing Media-Based Assignments

Designing Media-Based Assignments | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
This website helps college teachers develop, deliver, and assess assignments incorporating images, video, and sound.

Via Beth Dichter
ech08ravo's curator insight, December 1, 2013 10:50 PM

Fantastic website from Notre Dame helps instructors (and students) design effective media-based assignments. Great examples and how-tos for inspiration.

Malin Fölster's curator insight, December 7, 2013 8:37 AM

Wow denna sida var sååå bra. Jag förlorade mig själv på denna sidan idag! :))) 

brendasherry's curator insight, April 21, 2014 9:58 AM

Awesome collection of ideas and exemplars...

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The Inquiry Process - A Great Visual

The Inquiry Process - A Great Visual | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

Via Beth Dichter
Peg Gillard's curator insight, October 27, 2013 9:51 PM

We are so far removed from inquiry based classrooms that curiosity is but a shadow. Students wait to be fed the learning, which isn't true learning if it is fed. True learning comes from asking our own questions and setting out on a quest to unravel the riddle we have created. 

Drora Arussy's curator insight, October 28, 2013 4:10 PM

wonderful visual for the inquiry process - for educators and to share with students.

OCM BOCES SLS's curator insight, November 7, 2013 1:24 PM

Great graphic for inquiry learning

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Common Core recognizes three tiers of vocabulary

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

3 Simple Tools to Support the CCSS Academic Vocabulary Shift

Getting Smart

 

by Susan Oxnevad -

 

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


Via Mel Riddile, Jennifer Hurley-Coughlin
Mel Riddile's curator insight, September 4, 2013 9:24 AM

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


The Common Core recognizes three tiers of vocabulary.

Tier 1

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

Tier 2

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

Tier 3

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

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How To Add Rigor To Anything

How To Add Rigor To Anything | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it

"

"Rigor is a fundamental piece of any learning experience.

It is also among the most troublesome due to its relativity. Rigorous for whom? And more importantly, how can you “cause” it?

Barbara Blackburn, author of “Rigor is not a 4-Letter Word,” shared 5 “myths” concerning rigor, and they are indicative of the common misconceptions: that difficult, dry, academic, sink-or-swim learning is inherently rigorous.

Myth #1: Lots of Homework is a Sign of Rigor
Myth #2: Rigor Means Doing More
Myth #3: Rigor is Not For Everyone
Myth #4: Providing Support Means Lessening Rigor
Myth #5: Resources Do Not Equal Rigor"


Via Beth Dichter
Beth Dichter's curator insight, September 27, 2013 4:29 PM

How can we add rigor to lesson plans? For 10 strategies check out this post. Five of the strategies are listed below (with more information about them in the post):
* Necessitate a transfer of knowledge

* Require students to synthesizing multiple sources

* Design tasks with multiple steps that build cognitively

* Use divergent perspectives

* Use divergent media forms

The post also provides a great Rigor Rubric that looks at the four levels (as in Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 as found in the new assessment for Race to the Top) as well as two areas, Curriculum and Instruction. Curriculum is divided into Content, Connections, Perspective and Texts/Materials. Instruction is divided into Delivery by Teacher, Depth and Reflection.

Consider sharing this rubric in your school and engaging teachers in a discussion of how we can best provide rigor to our students.

Kathy Lynch's curator insight, September 28, 2013 12:38 AM

Thanks Beth!

David Baker's curator insight, September 29, 2013 6:48 PM

10 steps and Myths for Rigor will be a really good conversation at PIE.

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Copyright Infringement: 5 Myths vs Facts | Visual.ly

Copyright Infringement: 5 Myths vs Facts | Visual.ly | Middle  School  English and Reading | Scoop.it
We're in the middle of a Copyright Infringement epidemic happening on the Internet right now. Copyright is misunderstood and as a result webmasters an

Via Beth Dichter
Jennifer Hurley-Coughlins insight:

good to use with research intro

Kimberly House's curator insight, October 3, 2013 2:01 PM

A good info graphic to remind both students and teachers. It's a good starting point.

 

Adrian Satterfield's curator insight, August 16, 2015 2:41 PM

I always try to stay away from using other peoples work , but going into the industry an having the internet incorporated in almost every aspect of this career field makes even harder to protect my own work. I might stray away from using copyrighted work but there are people out there that don't have the same morals.

shamari m cross's curator insight, November 11, 2018 11:45 PM
This article is about the 5 myths and facts of copyright infringement. The writer explores many loopholes of copyrights that really aren't loopholes and also explains why alot of websites are getting introuble for posting content thats copyrighted. 

This Article comes from Visualy.ly and is a pretty reliable source for news and topics of this sort.

However it is not a major informational rrsource for the audio arts industry.