What would you like to see more of in 2014?
Share your ideas with us in the comments box below!
As the year winds down, let's look back at the INBOX Ideas to see the resources most opened by our readers:
The Council Chronicle article "The Play's the Thing: Getting the Most Out of Shakespeare" shares effective methods for teaching Shakespeare, including ones that develop reading and interpretation skills.
Gloria Pipkin asks, "Why don't we devote some time during the last couple of weeks of school to promoting real summer reading? Not mandating or requiring or assigning but encouraging it." In her Classroom Notes Plus article "Promoting Real Summer Reading," Pipkin lists a few ways she has tried and some she'd like to try.
Habits of Mind
"Beyond Standards: Disciplinary and National Perspectives on Habits of Mind" from College Composition and Communication praises the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing and how it encourages rhetoric and composition to engage the liberal arts tradition and promote ethical and civic educational aims.
In "Studying the Reading Transition from High School to College," from College English, college students report spending significant time reading online documents and provide hints as to why and how they read. Given what we know about the reading demands on college students, it might be time to rethink the college reading course.
"'Why Do You Think That?' A Supervisor's Mediation of a Preservice English Teacher's Understanding of Instructional Scaffolding" in CEE's English Education reports a study of a university supervisor and a preservice English language arts teacher as they worked collaboratively within two different field experience sites.
In "A Formative Assessment System for Writing Improvement," Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher assert that the time teachers spend providing feedback could better be used to focus on formative assessment systems. In their English Journal article, they also provide an error analysis sheet and share its role in a fully functioning formative assessment system.
In "Something to Talk About: Teacher-Led Vertical Teams That Work!" from CEL's English Leadership Quarterly, English language arts department chair Melanie Mayer shares "talking points" from her district's vertical-team meetings centered on writing. A vertical team is a group of educators (teachers, counselors, administrators) from different grade levels who work together to develop a curriculum that provides a seamless transition across grade levels.
"Children's Literature Reviews: 2012 Orbis Pictus Award Winners," from Language Arts, highlights the one award-winning book, five honor books, and eight recommended books from among more than 300 titles of nonfiction for children submitted last year for the 2012 awards. These books explored a variety of topics, including history, art, nature, biography, and science.
Maureen Kendrick, Margaret Early, and Walter Chemjor in their Research in the Teaching of English article "Integrated Literacies in a Rural Kenyan Girls' Secondary School Journalism Club" argue that the learning space of a journalism club, including its mediating digital tools, affords identities of empowerment to students' writing and experimentation.
Kidwatching is discussed in "It's All about Looking Closely and Listening Carefully" in School Talk. The strategy is based on "a seek-to-understand stance by attempting to look at life, literacy, and learning through the children's eyes."
Culturally Relevant Texts
In the Talking Points article "Connecting Students to Culturally Relevant Texts," Yvonne Freeman and David Freeman argue the importance of providing students with culturally relevant books and discuss their criteria for deciding if a book is culturally relevant to a particular child.
High School & College Writing
The Teaching English in the Two-Year College Forum, "Bridging the Gap between High School and College Writing," offers a rationale for, a history of, and some guidelines for creating a dialogue between high school teachers of writing and college instructors of writing.
In the Voices from the Middle article "'Why Are There So Many Words in Math?' Planning for Content-Area Vocabulary Instruction" the authors offer a tool to help content-area teachers think through the issues around content vocabulary as part of the lesson-planning process.
Effective differentiation begins with purposeful assessment. In the ReadWriteThink.org strategy guide "Making the Reading Process Visible through Performance Assessment," you'll learn how to construct an authentic performance-based reading assessment that will give you access to students' thinking before, during, and after reading.
One of the key findings in Remodeling Literacy Learning: Making Room for What Works, released by the National Center for Literacy Education, is that educators at every level and in every subject area embrace the responsibility for improving student literacy.
It's important to remember that "Digital Learning Is about More Than Tools." As Lara Hebert writes in the Literacy in Learning Exchange, "When we talk about the need for digital literacy, technology integration, and digital learning, we need to remember that effective digital learning is not just about the technology tools that are available in the classroom, but about their effective and meaningful use in instruction. Digital Learning Day should be as much (if not more so) about the ongoing professional learning needs and the organizational structures provided to educators to ensure their ability to continuously learn and grow in this area."
What would you like to see more of in 2014? Share your ideas with us!
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