Writing Teacher Shannon Carey is teaching writing this year with an edge. Using the idea of "writing as resistance" she's helping kids find their voice on hard, tough topics and daring them to write great things. Read this blog post for ideas and to see some cool things you can do to challenge great writing.
An awesome list of novels based upon the awards they have won and book lists they've made. LIterature teachers will find this fascinating.
Great explanation of all of the writing events in November - #AcWriMo, #DigiWriMo, #NaNoGenMo
Literature teachers will love these book openings.
Tackk is a quick, simple way to create a page (without really having a website.) This page links to all of the tackk's relating to education. This is a cool, unique idea and I haven't seen anything quite like it. Sort of pinterest/ glogster mixed together. Cool. Writing teachers or anyone who has students do quick projects might be interested in this.
Booktrack gives you a way to read a book while listening to a soundtrack. I mentioned the research study in a previous bookmark / link. This is something librarians and literacy leaders should test and try out for themselves as it is a fascinating tool and potential. There are a thousand questions I have about this but plan to try it for myself.
On another note, you can also upload your own personal music and keep it private -- to play as you read.
This is an awesome sliderocket about how to use Google Docs to facilitate a Writing Workshop created by Susan Oxnevad. Look for links to examples within the presentation so you can use everything she shares. This slide show shares not only best practices in running a writing workshop but also is a best practice itself in creating a stand alone presentation that instructions in a powerful way. Writing teachers everywhere should take 10 minutes to work through this slide show this week.
If you want students to draft work in Google Docs, you have to teach them about the Research pane. It lets you search for the appropriate license (click the down arrow) and set the citation method. You can insert photos, search Google Scholar and a dictionary, your own files, and even the web. When you mouse over the item, you have the option to cite the source or insert a link. Very cool and handy for writers. This is an older feature that hasn't gotten the press it deserves in classrooms. If you have Google Apps for education this is a BIG DEAL because it simplifies finding pictures and does many other things that online citation generators do all within Google Docs.
I always like to watch people who are very productive and am deleting apps that don't add to my life. As a writer, I'm always looking for new cool apps and have been loving IndexCard for a while when drafting and writing books. Here's a new app called Editorial that has me intrigued along with one of the best posts on any app I've ever seen from the Mac Drifter. It has increased support for text versions in Dropbox, which intrigues me the most.
Jen Roberts gives tips on how to add voice comments to Google Docs. If you're writing in Google Docs, this is a great technique as voice always gives you a closer connection, particularly for struggling readers. They can also hear your voice and know the intent of your words.
Prezi meeting is a tool that students are using in the brainstorming and planning phase of a project. This presentation shares how this works.
There continues to be a problem that not all books in the Amazon kindle store have real page numbers. If students are expected to cite sources and not allowed to use location numbers, then Amazon can expect the pushback seen on this forum post. Meanwhile, a helpful person on the forum has noted how you can know what to read on the Kindle if your professor or teacher says "read page 80-92" - you can dive into the table of contents on the website and save a copy. This is the only solution. It is time for Amazon to get their act together and have all Kindle ebooks display page numbers if there is a printed copy of the book. If there is not a printed copy of the book, there needs to be a consistent reference point or "page" that all can use for sourcing and citing content.
"1. Look up the book in the in the Amazon Kindle store (where you purchased it).
2. Click on the book where it says "Look Inside." You want to look at the table of contents, which will have the pages numbers for each chapter.
3. It defaults to the "kindle edition," which does not have the page numbers in the table of contents. However, there is a tab above that says "Print Book." Click on that.
4. Once you're on the "Print Book" display, it shows the page numbers in the TOC.
By doing the above, I was able to determine that "the first 26 pages" = Chapters 1 & 2. I used Evernote to take a screen capture of the entire TOC, which I'll refer back to."
I think every literature teacher should participate in National Novel Writing month in November. It is a great free program that is gamified and electrified by students writing together. Sign up now and plan this into your writing curriculum. You set the goals for your student writing.
In a recent PEW study, National Writing Project (NWP) and Advanced Placement (AP) teachers said that “a top priority in today’s classrooms should be teaching students how to ‘judge the quality of online information.’” Furthermore, teachers are concerned that students don’t get past Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube into deeper (and more accurate) ways of collecting information. If you want to discuss research sources, social bookmarking is the best way to do this. We should see more classrooms using Diigo (the most superior bookmarking service, in my opinion) or Delicious as they discuss and share the documents they will use in their research papers.
I’ve found when topics need deeper research or when the sources of research are in dispute, that social bookmarking is the best way to facilitate those discussions. It is a powerful form of pre-writing for students. If they can begin the conversations around research articles and sources, then more accurate information will emerge in their final document. Often students don’t verify the sources of information and should learn to view all online information with skepticism and a critical eye as they converse over what makes a good source. Social bookmarking is a key source of discussion, data collection, and citation in the modern classroom.
The Florida Center for Reading Research has created an incredibly useful set of downloadable activities aligned to common core standards for fourth and fifth grade students. If you're teaching reading, you'll want to refer to this and dowlnoad some of these PDF's.
Free textbooks in a variety of topics on CK-12. This is promoted as "learning made simple." Do students know how to find and download alternate sources of information? Can they find and search for the topics they are currently studying? This is a valuable way to compare and research topics.
A nice reflection on what is happening to reading with Common Core. I find the overemphasis on literary nonfiction problematic, unless, the fact that math and history are primarily nonfiction allows literature to remain 60-70% fiction, however, for those schools who just have "reading" in literature (that would be sad), this is going to have issues.
This is a great read.
"The CCSS mandates that by the end of high school, 70% of what students read should be informational texts -- specifically, complex and non-narrative literary nonfiction. Furthermore, students should be able to identify central ideas and articulate their development, summarize, analyze, draw inferences, identify an author's purpose, evaluate the effectiveness of rhetorical features, and figure out the meaning of words. In short, the CCSS has reclaimed a technique popular in the 1940s, close reading, or sustained interpretation of, in particular, the wording of a text."
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