Monday, February 22, 2010

Imagine a Multimodal Research Paper

Here's a great video that demonstrates children using digital tools to narrate and post their research online so that others can also add comments and extend the learning: Voicethread classroom video

What would you post and what would you say about your research with this tool?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Great Ideas from Teachers

Eyeball Neighbors and Shoulder Neighbors
Here's an elaboration on Hale's "Turn and Talk" that Jenn heard in her classroom:
Have the students turn to their "eyeball neighbor" (the student seated across from them) or their "shoulder neighbor" (the student seated next to them) to either read aloud or discuss.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hot Topics in Literacy Education

The International Reading Association's 2009 survey revealed the following "hot" topics in literacy education:

adolescent literacy
English as a second language/English–language learners
high–stakes assessment
literacy coaches/reading coaches
response to intervention (RTI)
early literacy
struggling/striving readers (grade 4 and above)

Other ideas for hot topics include:
gender and literacy
poverty and literacy
graphic novels
films and media
popular culture

These topics were NOT HOT:
phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary

Less is More: Literacy Learning, Standards, & Engagement

Here's a great quote about the power of deeply engaged learning by Susan Engel in the Op Ed section of the New York Times. Engel argues that instead of a curriculum crushed by "laundry lists" of superficial skills, students would be better served by rigorous focused goals such as immersing learners in purposeful reading and writing:

"In this classroom, children would spend two hours each day hearing stories read aloud, reading aloud themselves, telling stories to one another and reading on their own. After all, the first step to literacy is simply being immersed, through conversation and storytelling, in a reading environment; the second is to read a lot and often. A school day where every child is given ample opportunities to read and discuss books would give teachers more time to help those students who need more instruction in order to become good readers.

Children would also spend an hour a day writing things that have actual meaning to them — stories, newspaper articles, captions for cartoons, letters to one another. People write best when they use writing to think and to communicate, rather than to get a good grade."