Learning Links 06/06/2013

  • Fascinating!

    tags: writing CCSS tems520 Strategies HS MS

    • Neurologists at the University of Indiana found more advanced neural activity in children when they wrote by hand as opposed to typing. An educational psychologist at the University of Washington found that 2nd, 4th, and 6th graders in a study there “expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus using a keyboard to compose.”
      • This is contrary to upcoming online writing assessments.
    • emphasizes the importance of taking one’s time by making a connection between writing and drawing: before her students even start writing, she asks them to take fifteen minutes or so to make a sketch of the scene they want to create. When they are done, she has them list all of the sensory details in the picture.
      • Stragegies we use with developing writers…used by a college professor!
    • you are creating the containers where you will eventually do your thinking.  If you are just thinking, on a screen, where you can write so fast and erase so fast, it’s kind of like Frost’s thing of playing tennis without a net.”
    • “getting your mind on the page, without the interference of the editor, the fake voices, the cleaner-upper, the conformist.”
    • Sellers believes writing by hand can improve literacy by deepening students’ engagement with word and world.
      • This correlates with the “Close & Critical” reading concepts–getting to deeper understanding and “so what” making connections to the greater world
    • They have to do the handwriting thing for thirty minutes a day for thirty days. For many of them, it’s the only time in the day they are alone.  It’s a form of meditation, right? To sit with oneself and discover what’s in there.  Writing by hand, then, is a great way, of creating a conversation with oneself.  That’s vital for the first year writer—maybe the most vital thing.”
      • We have implemented/are implementing “fluency logs” to build writing stamina–but looks like it can have a deeper purpose.
    • “And I’m not sure writing by hand is right for every teacher, every writer, every classroom. I just want to make sure we don’t lose methods that really work.”
      • One size does not fit all–options for students!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Things About Me as a Reader

This post was inspired by Kevin, who was inspired by Franki. (I found myself nodding, “me, too!” as I read Franki’s list.) I was inspired so much, that I actually began this post in the morning. With my coffee. When I should have been getting ready for work! (My friend, Tracy, did the same thing!) I decided not to put a number in my title, because I didn’t know how far I’d get.

  1. I don’t remember learning to read, I just remember reading. (I seem to always put this first whenever I do any sort of “Me as a Reader” activity.)
  2. I do remember Dick and Jane, Sally, Spot and Puff.
  3. I remember my mom telling me I taught my sister to read; I don’t know if that is true.
  4. I remember losing myself in books, and in my mind, I was usually the protagonist.
  5. I remember my mom taking us to the library. A lot. Wherever we lived. (We moved several times during my elementary years.)
  6. Round robin reading was painful for me. I had no patience for word-by-word readers and I would always read ahead. And then get in trouble for not knowing where to read when it was my turn.
  7. I was always in the highest reading group. Until 6th grade. And I remember being so disappointed,  trying so hard, and wanting so badly to get in the top group. I hated 6th grade.
  8. As an adolescent, I lived a few blocks from the Mt. Clemens Public Library, and would spend many hot summer days reading the day away in the cool AC of the children’s room.
  9. I went on reading binges. When I found an author or series I liked, I wanted to read ALL of the books.
  10. I loved Nancy Drew.
  11. I read the entire Little House series in 2 weeks. When I was 11.
  12. In high school, I often had a book inside of my textbook.
  13. When I went to college, there was so much I had to read, that reading was one of the last things I chose for recreation. 🙁
  14. But, I did read the entire Chronicles of Narnia the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college.
  15. When I became a teacher, my recreational reading was children’s books.
  16. My all-time favorite book is The Secret Garden.
  17. It wasn’t until I became a teacher and started studying the teaching of writing that I understood why I loved the book–the craft of the author, Frances Hodgson Burnett.
  18. I have wonderful memories of my mother reading aloud to us, and doing all the voices.
  19. Reading aloud to students was one of my favorite things to do as a teacher.
  20. When I became a media center teacher, I loved being surrounded by books.
  21. It took me a whole summer to automate my library, because I kept reading all the books!
  22. I loved sharing my childhood favorites with students, helping them find “the book” that might hook them.
  23. When I came across a poster of all the Newberry Medal winners, I set a goal to read them all. I didn’t. 🙁
  24. The Breadwinner is a book that troubled me greatly. I had a chance to talk to a woman who left Afghanistan, and asked her how accurate the story was. She said real life was much worse. At that moment I recognized the power of story, and how important it is for certain stories to be told.
  25. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is another book that moved, troubled, and angered me.
  26. The Harry Potter books brought back the thrill of “just one more chapter” and not being able to stop.
  27. I was in a book club, and loved having an excuse to read for fun.
  28. I need to find another book club. AFTER my dissertation is done and defended.


Delicious Websites Worth a Taste 2010-04-14

  • Grammar Bytes is a website, which provides exercises, handouts and presentations for teachers to use to aid in grammar instruction.
  • FreeRice is a vocabulary type game. For every answer you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger.
  • ABCya! is the leader in free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web. All children's educational computer games and activities were created or approved by certified teachers. ABCya! educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn. ABCya! games and activities incorporate content areas such as math and reading while introducing basic computer skills. Many of the kindergarten and first grade games are equipped with sound to enhance understanding.

Calling All Michigan Teachers: Student Publication Opportunity!

Each year, Michigan Reading Association (MRA) sponsors Kaleidoscope, a book of writing by students in grades K-12 from all over the state of Michigan. Each school building is allowed to submit one entry for possible publication. Prose or poetry are acceptable, and students may also submit a black-line drawing. All entries must be polished and triple-checked for errors. For a complete details, see the information sheet on the MRA website.

Students whose work is accepted for publication are invited to attend the Young Author Luncheon at MRA’s annual conference. This year the conference is March 20-21 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, and the scheduled featured speaker for the Young Author Luncheon on Sunday, March 20, is Brod Bagert.

East Detroit teachers, please contact your Literacy Coach for district-specific directions for entering. The district deadline is Friday, November 20.