Thursday, May 30, 2013

Teaching Online Research Skills is Critical

This is a must-read article that is essential for student success in using the internet for reading and gaining reliable information.  The stunning graphic summarizes online research techniques for students such as smart searching, finding the right search engine, and evaluating websites.  A great deal of attention is given to teacher/student dialog which is very helpful.

Teaching Students Better Online Research Skills - Improving web research tctics is a priority . 5.20.13 Leslie Harris O'Hanlon.  Education Week - Premium Article.

What errors have you discovered with your students?  What can you do to remedy the situation?
Share your ideas.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tips for Deeper Reading

In this excellent article, author Rebecca Alber recommends structured opportunities to engage with text in deep and meaningful ways.  She presents 5 great strategies which are described in detail in the article.  You may be familiar with some already, but together, they are powerful!
  1. Previewing Text and Vocabulary
  2. Reading with a Purpose
  3. Marking Text - [ Use sticky notes or bookmarks with writing space on them for materials that cannot be marked.]
  4. Making Connections
  5. Summarizing
Be sure to read the whole article.  The list of 5 strategies is thoroughly described.  Share with your colleagues the strategy that has worked the best with your Title I studets.

Tools for Teaching:  Developing Active Readers. Rebecca Alber 5.13.13. Edutiopia

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teaching Nonfiction Reading Skills

The author Bill Ferriter is a science teacher working with teachers in Austraslia.  Regardless of his subject area, Ferriter presents nonfiction reading skills that he uses in his 6th grade classroom.  You will have to work a bit because all his behaviors and skills are downloadable through embedded links.  It is worth your time to do so.  They are excellent and are aligned to Common Core Literacy in History, Science, and Technical Subjects.  Our job as Title I teachers is to expose students to different nonfiction texts.  His downloadable handouts are used by the students during the reading process.

Teaching Nonfiction Reading Skills in the Science Classroom. Bill Ferriter. 5.20.13 Center for Teaching Quality CTQ

Essential Article for our Reading Teachers

Not only our teachers should be reading it but it would be an excellent idea to share it with classroom teachers in your building.  We've talked about online reading research skills before, and this article puts important skills in a nutshell.  I would be a good idea for students to have a copy of the article graphic in their folder or a larger copy posted in the room.  Improving student research skills is a priority these days and this article is a winner.  A must for all of us!

Teaching Students Better Online Research Skills - Improving web research tactics is a priority .  Leslie Haris O'Hanlon. 5.20.13 Education Week Digital Curricula Evolving.  Premium Article

Monday, May 13, 2013

Graphics - Are they helpful to students?

This is an interesting article that points out that graphics embedded in text or technology can interfere with student learning because of the "artistic" value of the graphic design.  "Pretty" doesn't enhance but can distract.  So when we encounter distracting graphics we need to point out the basic information the graphic is telling the student.  Please note the comments at the end of the article.  One in particular points out that a well designed graphic is to the point and "could be" pretty.

Study:  Prettier Charts Can be Harder for Students to Read.  Sarah D. Sparks.  5.9.13. Education Week - Inside School Research

Have you encountered this in your classes. Have graphics helped your students understand the content?  Share your thoughts below.

Scavenger readers? We have them.

Whatever comprehension skill we as teachers work on with our students, you can bet on the fact that some students are "scavenger" readers.  This article explains scavenger reading and helps teachers realize that sometimes their own strategies lead to this undesirable reading behavior.  What the article does teach us is that we can help students digest the information they are "reading."  The author explains 3 simple ideas:  1.  Keep it real; 2.  Question your questions; and 3.  Model.

Are we creating readers of scavengers?  Fred Ende. 5.9.13 Smart Blog on Education - Ideas that Work.

Make sure you read the many comments following the article and let's hear some of your own. Post them below.

Teach Attention Behaviors Before Using Technology

This article is important to educators and students as digital tools are incorporated in the learning process.  There are positives and negatives to these devices, i.e., tablets, but the key in maximizing their educational value is to teach students ways to focus their attention.  Digital tools of all kinds are here to stay with new ones not yet invented.  What becomes important is to define their educational purposes and teach students how to avoid negative distractions.  Students will be distract themselves anyway such as engaginbg in a more interesting ap, but that kind of behavior is predictable whether digital tools are a resource or not.  It's up to us to monitor that kind of behavior just as teachers did 50 years ago when only print materials and lectures were resources.

The Future of Tablets in Education:  Potential Vs. Reality of Consuming Media. 5.8.12 Mind/Shift

What do you do to focus student attention on the learning purpose of a particular medium, other than paper/print materials?  Share with us.