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Writing opportunities within the content area classroom can be exciting and motivational, but some content area teachers feel they are not up to the task of "teaching writing." The first step in assuaging this authentic concern is to let content area teachers off the hook. They are not writing teachers. Content area teachers can appreciate strongly supported arguments and easily spot a well-turned phrase, but they should not be held accountable for teaching the skills needed to accomplish these writing goals. Their field of expertise may be science or history or math, and because these teachers have done quite a bit of writing in their own academic careers, they are experts in the type of writing required in their respective disciplines. These rich backgrounds help content area teachers make indispensable contributions to the refinement of writing skills. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions that might encourage more content area teachers to infuse writing into their curriculum.  Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Young Writers

Teens: Itching to write? Check out these sites for support and inspiration! (And a ton of invaluable how-to.)

Miss Erin

Write On!

Young Writers Project

Merlyn's Pen

Teen Reads

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Our youngest generation is a scarce and precious resource facing a human wave of global competition. This reality is changing the way teachers think of literacy, and more importantly, it is changing their classroom practice. Teachers across the entire curriculum spectrum are beginning to realize that they are responsible for producing learners who possess the literacy skills needed for the 21st Century. They are realizing that literacy is the ability to comprehend all sorts of text, and helping students accomplish the goal of comprehension requires more than asking them to open a book and read the chapter.  Continue reading...
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Dog Eared

Books we love

2008 Newberry Winners

Since 1922, a division of the American Library Association awards the Newberry Medal each year to the top American literature for children. The 2008 winner and honor books were announced earlier this month. They are... drum roll, please...

Winner
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz

Honor Books
Elijah Of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmid

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

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Welcome to the January-February 2008 WordMasters Challenge, the second of this school year. Over four thousand school teams from every state participate each year in this popular national competition for Language Arts students in grades 3 to 12. Click on www.wordmasterschallenge.com to learn more about the Challenge and to participate using the word lists posted here.  Continue reading...
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Want to get your students (or children) excited about reading? We thought so. So we called up Georgia Scurletis, the amazing curriculum expert -- and veteran New York City high school English teacher -- who puts together our Visual Thesaurus lesson plans, for her advice. Georgia's picks:

A classic: Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
"A love story that even a feminist can love... This novel turns the Cinderella tale on its head and allows students to see the Victorian Age through the eyes of the young impish narrator Jane. It's chock full of challenging and rich vocabulary, but the kids are motivated to keep reading since the narration is so compelling."

 Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Summer Reading for Kids

Over the last few weeks we've featured summer reading recommendations from a terrific group of guest contributors. (Thanks to all!) But what about books for kids? Check out these lists for great picks for your favorite student on vacation...

Reading is Fundamental 2007 Summer Reading Guide

Summer Reading Buzz

Reading Rockets Summer Reading

Houston school district summer reading lists

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