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Is Your Child Getting a Good Writing Education? Four Questions to Ask Your Child | Teachers, Profs, Parents: Writers Who Care. By Ken Lindblom You want to make sure your child is getting an excellent education in writing. But if you’re not an expert, how do you really know? Here are four simple questions to ask your children about the writing that they are doing in their classes to determine if they are receiving an education in writing that is based on research and that reflects best practices for authentic writing. Question 1: How many different genres are you writing in school? The more genres your child is writing, the better. Academic writing definitely matters. You want your child to be learning to write academic essays, literary analyses, and writing that will work for exams.

You want your child to be comfortable writing in many genres, and you want this for at least two reasons: Each genre of writing has different expectations for tone, style, format and conventions. There are many genres in the world. There are more extensive lists that can offer ideas of things to do with your child as well. Like this: Google Keep: Lit Circles - Teacher Tech. Guest Blog post by Rayna Freedman (@rlfreedm) Digital PostIts I fell in love with Google Keep at first sight. Once I saw the color-coded notes, reminders, labels (think hashtags), and image upload capability my head began swirling with possibilities for my 5th-grade students. What a great tool to help students organize their assignments or projects! Aha! Students have a place to send reminders and break down project directions!

Google Keep for Learners Upon first glance, I began to realize Google Keep was great for all learners, especially ones who faced challenges with executive functioning. In integrating this new learning tool into the classroom culture and teaching students how to use it I needed a perfect spot for it to be accessed daily. Lit Circles I decided to use it to help students collect information for their jobs in literature circles. Job Descriptions Students were using a reading log to take notes as they read, but I decided to test out Google Keep. 25 Reading Strategies That Work In Every Content Area. 25 Reading Strategies That Work In Every Content Area Reading is reading. By understanding that letters make sounds, we can blend those sounds together to make whole sounds that symbolize meaning we can all exchange with one another. Without getting too Platonic about it all, reading doesn’t change simply because you’re reading a text from another content area.

Only sometimes it does. Science content can often by full of jargon, research citations, and odd text features. Social Studies content can be an interesting mix of itemized information, and traditional paragraphs/imagery. Literature? This all makes reading strategies somewhat content area specific. But if you’d like to start with a basic set of strategies, you could do worse than the elegant graphic above from Looking for related curricula ideas? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. To the above list, we’d add: 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 25 Reading Strategies That Work In Every Content Area.

Culture of Readers. Culture of Readers Problem: Kids don’t have a sense of accomplishment when they complete books. Solution: Problem: Students get stuck reading one type of genre. Problem: Students don’t finish books in a timely fashion. Problem: Students don’t discuss what they are reading with their peers (collaborative conversations) in 5th grade. Solution: Created a book club for a small group of fifth grade students. Problem: Students in primary grades struggle to find life lessons in picture books. Solution: Student held lunch groups with various students (3rd-4th grade) to talk about the different books and promote the enjoyment of reading.

Problem: Students are quick to dismiss books that have a slow start. Problem: New students to Hopewell struggle to find books that captivate their interest. Solution: Create a student survey that new students could complete. Problem: Students struggle to read great literature over the summer. Solution: Develop a National Summer Reading list promoted online. Problem: Dr. What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon. The number one concern that I hear from educators is lack of time, particularly lack of instructional time with students. It's not surprising that we feel a press for time. Our expectations for students have increased dramatically, but our actual class time with students has not. Although we can't entirely solve the time problem, we can mitigate it by carefully analyzing our use of class time, looking for what Beth Brinkerhoff and Alysia Roehrig (2014) call "time wasters. " Consider the example of calendar time. In many U.S. early elementary classrooms, this practice eats up 15-20 minutes daily, often in a coveted early-morning slot when students are fresh and attentive.

Yesterday was _______. Does dressing a teddy bear for the weather each day make optimal use of instructional time? 5 Less-Than-Optimal Practices 1. Students are given a list of words to look up in the dictionary. 2. 3. 4. Studies have found that this doesn't actually foster reading achievement. 5. Measure of Success Notes. Ten ways to Ditch that Reading Log - Middle School Minds. Teaching Determining Importance As More Than Just a Skill on a Checklist | Crawling Out of the Classroom. I have written before of my own fear of teaching reading comprehension strategies as items on a checklist to merely be taught in order to say that we are teaching them.

Too often I found myself falling into the trap of asking, “How am I supposed to teach __________ (insert whatever reading comprehension strategy you would like)?” And then I would search on the internet or in books for ways to teach these strategies. It took me a long time to realize that before I could ask, “How?” I had to start by asking, “Why?” And so as my students and I arrived at our final reading unit of the year, I found myself wondering about why and how I was going to teach determining importance to my students.

On one hand, the why was pretty easy. Within the strategy of determining importance, I am supposed to touch on the genres of informational texts and historical fiction. On top of all of that, I am also supposed to teach about the Civil Rights Movement. So that’s a lot. But our kids deserve better. Booked. Booked Written by Kwame Alexander Published in 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Grades 4-8 Book Review Newbery medal-winning author Kwame Alexander has another captivating and emotionally charged novel-in-verse in Booked. Nick Hall is an eighth grader who is both likable and relatable. Teaching Ideas / Invitations for Your Classroom: Grades 4-8 Booked. Text Clubs: Novels in Verse.

Exploring the Sounds, Structures, and Language of Poetry. Found Poetry. Conversation Poems. Footnotes: A Duet Model. Critical Literacy Rethinking What It Means to Be a Boy. Women’s Soccer Pay Discrimination. Further Investigation Online Resources Kwame Alexander’s Site Follow Kwame Alexander on Twitter and Facebook Mr. NPR Interview with Kwame Alexander PBS Coverage of L.A. Found Poetry Review Site Found Poem Examples Books Alexander, K. (2013). Alexander, K. (2009). Alexander, K. (2007). Haddon, M. (2004). Woodson, J. (2010). Woodson, J. (2010). Smart Boarding School. How Do We Develop a Writing Identity? | TWO WRITING TEACHERS. I am a writer. There was a time in my not-so-distant past when I never would have uttered those words.

I didn’t believe them. After all, I had no published work. I was not getting paid to write. How could I call myself a writer? Those two things are still true – I have no published work and I don’t get paid to write. Yet, I do consider myself a writer today. I have been grappling with this question for some time now. This is the crux of the matter: how might we help kids build a writing identity? When I consider my own writing journey, I realize it was when I finally gave myself time and space to write what was in my heart that I began to consider myself a writer.

Factors Leading to the Development of a Writing Identity (Click to enlarge.) Reflecting on my own journey makes me wonder how we could help our students develop writing identities as well. It is a tall order, I know, but I think maybe it all starts with having choice and the space to write what is in our hearts. Like this: Related. Use Thematic Text Sets to Spark "Unstoppable Learning" By Katie and Chris Cunningham When we think about the middle school experience of today, we often ask ourselves…what matters most?

For us, it is that students become more self-driven in their approach to learning, more resilient as they face inevitable pitfalls and adversity, and more empathetic through valuing, respecting, and understanding another person’s views. So, how do we do all that? We believe it is possible when we support middle schoolers to experience the feeling of unstoppable learning, and when they then want to share what they’ve learned and what they believe with each other. Unstoppable learning for grownups First, it’s helpful to think about times when you have been engaged in that feeling of unstoppable learning and when you wanted to tell everyone you know about what you found out.

We look to our own reading lives for evidence of our unstoppable learning. The diversity offered by text sets reflects real life Essentially, we are living “text-set literacy” lives. In grade 5: 28 Black Picture Books That Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball | Scott Woods Makes Lists. A few years ago I was asked by a local TV station to suggest some books for children in honor of Black History Month. Being a Black librarian I relished the opportunity, but I did point out that my offerings would avoid the typical fare of Black children’s books: boycotts, buses and basketball. We’ve picked up a few other hobbies since the 1960s, and there are hundreds of books to show for it.

Here is a humble sampling of some just in time for Black History Month. 28 children’s picture books, most of them featuring Black children doing what all children do: play, make up stories, learn life lessons, and dream. I picked titles that came out within the last ten years (or so). I also tried to spread out the gender of the protagonists, as well as put some light on some typically ignored aspects of Black life in books (loving and present fathers, non-urban life, and so on). Books list creators as follows: author/illustrator. Like this: Like Loading... 21 Anchor Charts That Teach Reading Comprehension.

This blog is sponsored by Questar Assessment, a K–12 assessment-solutions provider focused on building a bridge between learning and accountability. Reading comprehension is one of the most complex skills to teach. It’s also arguably the most important. Students will only succeed in other subject areas (and make it a lifelong habit to read for pleasure) if they understand what they are reading on an ingrained level. Many factors go into the development of reading comprehension, including building an extensive vocabulary, asking questions, making connections and visualization. Below, you’ll find 21 anchor charts that tackle some of the trickiest parts of teaching comprehension. Use them as models for your own teaching and pass them along to a teacher friend! 1.

SOURCE: Life in Fifth Grade 2. SOURCE: McDee’s Busy Bees 3. SOURCE: Head Over Heels for Teaching 4. SOURCE: Creating Readers and Writers 5. SOURCE: Just Reed 6. SOURCE: Teacher Trap! 7. SOURCE: Teaching With a Mountain View 8. 9. 10. 11. Inspirational Quotes from Fictional Mentors. Toronto, KC libraries trade barbs over Jays-Royals playoffs - Toronto. A war of words is brewing between two libraries rooting for their hometown baseball teams. After the Toronto Blue Jays' 7-1 comeback over the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night, the Toronto Public Library cleverly arranged a few books to form a new poem, gloating the victory.

"The Comeback, Blue Jays Blowout The Royals. Come Together. " But the Kansas City Public Library, which initiated the poetry face-off Tuesday night, is not standing down. "The Bad Guys Won! The Toronto Public Library returned a literary jab at the Kansas City Public Library. After the Jays' rough Game 4 against the Royals, the Kansas City Public Library tweeted a little poem at its Toronto counterpart. "Canada, Sorry You Lost, What Bluebirds Do. " Not to be outdone, the Toronto Public Library tweeted back Wednesday with its own subtle yet stinging book-spine poetry, which quotes the late baseball superstar and sage, Yogi Berra. "Warning, Kansas City, It Ain't Over Till It's Over. " That's one for the books, TPL. Talking Batman and Secondary Literacy w #TVDSB Admin! #TVDSBEnglish. 4 Strategies for Teaching Students How to Revise. I'm a fan of the writing workshop. That means I also write with my students, and I allow plenty of time for students to conference with me and with each other.

I also provide models of what good writing looks like -- and lots of them. Here's what the classroom writing process looks like: Brainstorming (Think About It) Drafting (Getting It Down) Revising (Making It Better) Editing (Making It Right) Publishing (Sharing It!) At the beginning of the writing process, I have had students write silently. For it to be successful, in my experience, students need plenty of topics handy (self-generated, or a list of topics, questions, and prompts provided). Silent writing is a wonderful, focused activity for the brainstorming and drafting stage of the writing process. However, when it comes to revising, and later, editing, I think peer interaction is necessary. Strategy 1: Provide Models This is the number one strategy for a reason.

We revise the example together. Strategy 2: Adding Details. Reading. Reading Is Fundamental Combats ‘Summer Slide’ Photo Some of my favorite childhood memories don’t spring from my own childhood at all; they are borrowed from the pages of books. I waited for spring with Frog and Toad, helped deliver Grandmother’s kiss to Little Bear, and walked to school along the beach in Provincetown on The Day the Whale Came to My Town. I had a lovely childhood on its own, but when amended by the tales on my bookshelf, it was all the more rich, filled with mystery, adventure and most important, learning. But then, I was fortunate. Fortunately, Reading Is Fundamental, or RIF, has been enriching children’s childhoods through the distribution of free books since 1966, when the founder Margaret McNamara resolved to give books to the children of Washington, D.C., children who may not otherwise have the chance to own books.

RIF’s vision has remained constant since Ms. Literacy is a prime predictor of student success, as well as a range of economic and physical well-being. I asked Ms. Unite for Literacy library. Your Rubric Is a Hot Mess; Here’s How to Fix It. Share with Friends 28.1KShares See Mrs. Jones. She has a fantastic idea for a new assignment. It’s going to be challenging and engaging and fun. Then it’s time to build a rubric. See Mrs. If you’re like Mrs. Then, when it comes time to assess student work, you’re likely to find many assignments that don’t fit neatly into any one column. And do students even read these rubrics? Might there be a better way? Instead of detailing all the different ways an assignment deviates from the target, the single-point rubric simply describes the target, using a single column of traits. For some, this alternative might cause apprehension: does this mean more writing for the teacher?

With a single-point rubric, the farce of searching for the right pre-scripted language is over, leaving you free to describe exactly what this student needs to work on. Is there ever a need for a fully loaded, “hot mess” rubric? But a teacher aspires to more than that. You and me and Mrs. About The Author Jennifer Gonzalez. Blogging in the Classroom: Student Roles.