To encourage summer reading, the school librarians went around to the English classes and talked up reading. For the first hour, they pushed around a cart filled with popular books, including current favorites Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars. They checked out a total of three books.  Continue reading...
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It was another dramatic finish at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. After the 46 semifinalists were whittled down to the dozen contestants for last night's finals, I tweeted, "12 kids enter, 1 kid leaves." Little did I know that two kids would be named co-champions in the Bee's first tie since 1962.  Continue reading...
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It's time once again for the Scripps National Spelling Bee! Two hundred and eighty-one young spellers gathered near Washington, D.C. and sweated through the preliminary rounds yesterday. For the second year, those rounds included not just questions about the spelling of words but also their definitions. After all was said and done, 46 survived to advance to Thursday's semifinals.  Continue reading...
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In Miss MacDonald's fourth-grade classroom in P.S. 206, in Brooklyn, New York, I had my tracing paper in front of me, unzipped my pencil case, picked up my sharply pointed #2 pencil, and I placed the transparent paper on top of the picture of the paperback bird guide drawing of the owl.  Continue reading...
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In September, my younger child turned 16. The day before her birthday, I opened the mailbox and pulled out a blue envelope. Her paternal grandparents had sent her a card. Her face lit up, and not just because there was a check inside. She'd gotten mail.  Continue reading...
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A publisher of digital textbooks has announced a utility that will tell instructors whether their students are actually doing the assigned reading. Another exciting example of interactive, digital education? Or a new way to snoop on students outside the classroom?  Continue reading...
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In this Wordshop article, Susan Ebbers considers how interest influences student learning. She focuses on a timely legal question sure to interest students and engage them in debate: whether Facebook "likes" count as free speech.  Continue reading...
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