"Research has shown that children from low-income families come to school typically lagging two years behind their more privileged peers on standardized language tests. This achievement gap, which has been called a 30 million word gap (Hart and Risley, 2004), affects their ability to learn to read, and persists throughout their school careers. Identified as equally important in learning to read by researchers is access to books in the home. Again, children from low income families frequently have few or no books at home, and enter kindergarten not knowing that books in English are read from left to right, or being able to identify the letters of the alphabet.
To prepare these at-risk students for kindergarten, The Napa County Office of Education (NCOE) began collaborating with local non-profit NapaLearns to launch the first countywide offering in the nation of a digital early-literacy program. The program primarily uses the Footsteps2Brilliance “app” on tablets and other devices, and is provided at no cost to preschools and to parents of preschool age children in the county, including those not enrolled in a preschool program."
An awesome list of novels based upon the awards they have won and book lists they've made. LIterature teachers will find this fascinating.
"Going to the library gives people the same kick as getting a raise does — a £1,359 ($ 2,282) raise, to be exact — according to a study commissioned by the U.K.'s Department for Culture, Media & Sport. The study, which looks at the ways "cultural engagement" affects overall wellbeing, concluded that a significant association was found between frequent library use and reported wellbeing. The same was true of dancing, swimming and going to plays. The study notes that "causal direction needs to be considered further" — that is, it's hard to tell whether happy people go to the library, or going to the library makes people happy. But either way, the immortal words of Arthur the Aardvark ring true: "Having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card!""
If you want to use Google Play Books for iOs, here's how you download. With the deals this weekend, you'll want to do it now.
There are some new apps in Chrome. I've installed the "pocket" app. These are basically apps that stand alone but sort of have chrome running in the background. Here's information on these handy tools to help you get more done. I do recommend Pocket (and have the app for my ipad as well) for offline reading. There are times I find a great article that I know I want to read, when I click "add to pocket" it puts it into pocket and then, when I sit down to read at night, there's the personal magazine assembled from the day's interests.
The recent Kindle updates over the past few months have quite a few teachers. In particular, if you have a textbook on Kindle, you can collate notes by color, which is a major enhancement. This article does a nice job of summarizing the features important to educators.
"The update also brings some changes that should be especially helpful for students and teachers, like the ability to highlight long passages that span multiple pages.
In addition, the Notebook feature for textbooks has new filtering options, which should help you more quickly and easily find all your notes, bookmarks, and highlights by colour"
If you love to read (like me) and enjoy science and technology, this list will give you many articles to peruse (or add to Pocket if you're getting ready to go on a trip.) As many of us teachers are expected to have reading across the curriculum, there are fascinating topics you could use in science,history, or even literature. Not all of these are for high school use, but all should be fine for college classes.
An alphabet chart that you may print out and use for your classes to help them remember the sounds of letters.
This fantastic article from Harvard links to research on why leaders read. This is an example, in my opinion, of how the modern scholarly article should look. It is convincing about the topic but also has hours of reading and research behind it. I think that such articles should be required writing for college and high school students and are entirely different from traditional academic papers. Hyperlinks are the modern footnote but are different in how they are used. Great article to share for two reasons: he who reads leads, and he who can write this way can disseminate scholarly writing effectively. Hats off to the author, John Coleman on a very well written, convincing piece.
This method of reviewing a book will save you a lot of time.
1- Survey the book by reading the table of contents, the introductory chapter and the introduction and summary of each chapter. This determines whether you want to read the book at all and gives you an overview knowledge of the book.
2- Question. Write the questions you have about the book. These then become your study questions or learning goals about the book.
3- Read. When you Read the book, it is very helpful to take notes in the form of a mindmap. (I do this and then save each mindmap to evernote.)
4. Recall - IN this case you work to recall what is in the book. The key phrase or notes that summarize each section. You should use your own words and can note it at the beginning or end of the chapter if you have a Kindle (then you can take these notes and export them as well.) It also helps to share these with another person verbally or with a group.
5. Review. As you review what is in each chapter, you can look at the key phrases. This is when I like to make a blog post or journal entry.
This very important method is used by Mrs. Grace Adkins who runs our learning lab at the school. She's 85 years old and an incredible inspiration. She can recall and remember so many books and reads four or five of them a week.
While this method of getting the most out of a book was based on initial research done in the 1930's, I find it very helpful today. Good writers are good readers and this method helps you prepare to read well.
Reading rockets has a lot of resources for parents working to help their children improve their reading over the summer. I have a child with dyslexia and each summer, reading is one of our most important things we do. Every day I set the timer and my son and I both get our favorite book and get on the couch and read.I read too. If it is important enough to have him do, it is important enough for me to do too.
If you work with young children and teach reading, read this article. When reading to young children, focus on the words. It seems that running your finger under thee words and drawing attention to the words makes a big difference in helping chidren begin to read. This current research on children and reading is important enough to share, discuss, and further research.
A chart making the rounds that shows that almost half of us are reading books or novels RIGHT NOW. We're reading more than ever, not less. Lots of discussion about this including that this chart doesn't measure the "quality" of our reading. But of course that question implies some sort of academic snobbery - who decides "quality." The fact is that more are reading NOW than ever before. I have to wonder the impact of ebooks and tablets on this number. We always have a book with us now.
The hungry caterpillar ebook (in a powerpoint) that uses sound effects and animations. You could use this on your board to retell the story.
Learning analytics and personalization only begins with technology for "drill and kill" but certainly that is one place we should always use it, like this student learning spelling words. Article from scholastic about Read 180.
"But while this student practiced his words, the most powerful stuff was happening behind the scenes. Out of eyesight.
With every keystroke, the technology gathered data on his spelling fluency. It calculated how fast he was at spelling each word. It remembered what he got right and got wrong, and knew exactly how many times it had to re-ask the same word before the student really knew it. Every bit of data it collected would update and add to the student’s personal learning profile — a collection of data the teacher could look up at any time to track progress and glean insights on the student’s accomplishments and struggles, and that the computer could interpret and display for the student in ways that empowered him and showed him how successful he had been.
Mike Muir is cited in this article. He's always impressed me with his ability to be a researcher but translate his results into practical classroom application. If he says it, I believe it. He shares the following results in this article.
"Early test results of kindergarten pupils like David who used iPads for nine weeks last fall — compared to kindergartners who did not — show the iPads pupils did better, according to an Auburn School Department report released Wednesday.
In 9 of the 10 areas of testing around pre-reading skills, the group of 129 students with iPads made slightly larger gains than the 137 students without. Testing included listening and comprehension, identifying letters, reading, vocabulary and identifying letter sounds.
Only one area, however, was statistically higher: recognizing sounds and writing letters. In that test, students were dictated words. They had to translate the sounds into letters and write the words. Kindergartners with iPads gained 13.72 points, compared to an 11.58-point gain for students who didn’t have iPads. That difference is significant, said Mike Muir, the Multiple Pathways leader for Auburn schools."
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