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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." - Joseph Brodsky
Mining online data on struggling readers who catch up
Renaissance Learning, the maker of Accelerated Reader, finds that high AR achievers "read an average of 19 minutes a day on the software,” whereas "the kids who remained at the bottom read only 14.3 minutes a day."
Improving Reading by Playing With Words: Four Classroom Activities
Article from Education Week. Article is behind a paywall, so see a librarian for help getting access to it.
Enacting the ACTS of Reading
Deborah Hollimon of the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School writes that “if we know nothing else about reading, we know that the way to become good at reading is to read. A lot. Volume is important."
New Game Using ARIS for Language Teaching
Another game has been released on ARIS Profilecalled Finders Keepers, a game which involves the player making important decisions that will have a direct impact on the way the narrative progresses.
NEW! Interactive, Research-Based Reading Intervention - iSPIRE
iSPIRE leverages new technology to deliver the powerful, teacher-led instruction in S.P.I.R.E. to more students. This robust program incorporates phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency in a dynamic 10-Step Lesson Plan. iSPIRE is systematically structured to ensure students experience continuous and visible success.
Teach Like a Champion Author Tackles Reading in New Book
Published in February 2016, the book is aimed mainly at middle and high school English teachers and reading specialists, though the authors emphasize there's something in there for anyone teaching literacy. The nearly 500page manuscript is divided into eight major reading topics, including text selection, close reading, nonfiction, and vocabulary.
Hamilton College merged its libraries and IT departments. "The new department is better positioned to support Hamilton’s growing Digital Humanities initiative and its consortium with three other liberal arts colleges to experiment with online education, among other projects that require both library and technology expertise.”
What's Your Favorite Poem?
New York Times Sunday Book Review Poetry Round Table. Well known personalities share the what's and why's of their favorite poems.
Dead Poets Society Is a Terrible Defense of the Humanities
From The Atlantic. "I’ve never hated a film quite the way I hate Dead Poets Society. I expect that them’s fighting words, at least in some quarters; at least I hope they are. Because I’m trying to pick a fight here."
The Secret of Good Humanities Teaching
From the Chronicle of Higher Education. A student recalls how his best professors "took texts that seemed complicated, made them look simple, and then made them complex again."
How the Crisis of the Humanities Is Like the Greek Economy
Steven Conn of Miami University in Ohio says that the crisis of the humanities is like the crisis of the Greek economy.
What Is The Value Of An Education In The Humanities?
"In spite of being a scientist, I strongly believe an education that fails to place a heavy emphasis on the humanities is a missed opportunity. Without a base in humanities, both the students — and the democratic society these students must enter as informed citizens — are denied a full view of the heritage and critical habits of mind that make civilization worth the effort."
Dyslexia: Could An Early Intervention Narrow The Achievement Gap?
A study out of UC Davis and Yale University finds "marked differences already present in first grade between typical and dyslexic readers” and recommends “implementing effective reading programs early during kindergarten or even preschool” to close the achievement gap.
Defending the "D" Word...Dyslexia
Article posted on EdView 360 blog from Voyage Sopris Learning. "Louisa Moats, one of the world's leading experts on reading disabilities, has come out in support of the term "Dyslexia", countering the widely reported view of two well-known and respected researchers, Julian Elliott and Elena Grigorenko" (Silverye).
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Frank Furedi at the University of Kent observes that “in previous centuries, people sought distraction by reading novels,” whereas “today the concern is that people have become distracted from reading itself."
T-shaped Leaders and Learners
The T-Shaped Leader and Learner
Carla Silver, Executive Director of Leadership+Design, extols “T-shaped leaders and learners” — specialists who are
nevertheless well-educated (and therefore well-read) across a range of subjects
Digital Tools Aim to Personalize Literacy Instruction
This article by Benjamin Herold suggests a new ways to individualize each student’s learning experience. Included are a number of resources that can help teachers target reading skills, including an application that adapts the text to reading level of the student, assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each student and provides different ways for students to show what they have learned.
92 Percent of College Students Prefer Reading Print Books to E-Readers
Despite the embrace of e-books in certain contexts, they remain controversial. Many people just don’t like them: They run out of battery, they hurt your eyes, they don’t work in the bath. After years of growth, sales are stagnating. In 2014, 65 percent of 6 to 17-year-old children said they would always want to read books in print—up from 60 percent two years earlier.
For the Love of Books and Reading
Anne Lamott on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity
Fromm Brain Pickings: “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.
Omission: choosing what to leave out.
New Yorker writer John McPhee characterizes the act of writing as “selection”: “If something interests you, it goes in — if not, it stays out.”
Are Some English Teachers Encouraging Bad Writing?
Anthony Rebora asks whether English teachers are inadvertently encouraging bad writing by prohibiting commonplace words.
Evidence of Student Learning: A Starting Point for Collecting and Analyzing Data Related to Communication
Nicole Sherf, writing for The Language Educator, says that language teachers “have historically placed far too much emphasis on precision. We have valued correctness over communication We can change that by encouraging our students to have less fear in creating with the language by telling them that errors are a natural part of language learning."
10 Surefire Ideas to Remove Writing Roadblocks
"So you want to teach writing well. It’s not as hard as you think. Yes, it’s a challenge, but it can be exhilarating."
Hemingway’s Advice on Writing, Ambition, the Art of Revision, and His Reading List of Essential Books for Aspiring Writers
"In 1934, a 22-year-old aspiring writer named Arnold Samuelson set out to meet his literary hero, Ernest Hemingway. He ended up staying with Hemingway for almost an entire year, over the course of which he became the literary titan’s only true protégé. Samuelson recorded the experience and its multitude of learnings in a manuscript that was only discovered by his daughter after his death in 1981. It was eventually published as With Hemingway: A Year in Key West and Cuba (public library) — the closest thing to a psychological profile of the great writer."
Reading and STEM
Building a Bridge Between Engineering and the Humanities
The engineering field is booming these days. Society regards it as an essential part of innovation, and colleges promote a degree in it as an entry into a fruitful, sustaining career. The humanities, by contrast, are in peril, with fewer students each year. We want to bridge this divide and help create a system where the two areas are not separate but are essential to each other.
Recently Added Articles
Do Teens Read Seriously Anymore?
A recent summary of studies cited by Common Sense Media indicates that American teen-agers are less likely to read “for fun” at seventeen than at thirteen. The category of reading “for fun” is itself a little depressing, since it divides reading into duty (for school) and gratification (sitting on a beach towel), as if the two were necessarily opposed.
Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives.
A bestselling author and distinguished critic goes back to high school to find out whether books can shape lives
How a Google Spreadsheet Saved My Literature Class
Because technology offers infinite glistening portals for escape, a challenge we face as instructors is how to keep students present — fully and richly present — in the classroom. But what if an answer lay in those very portals?