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Textbooks amplify student disinterest in reading

Upcoming travel and events December 3-5 – International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands February 3 – Virginia Is for Learners Innovation Network, TBD, VA February 25-26 – Missouri Educational Technology Leaders CTO Clinic, TBD, MO March 10-13 – Central & Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary June 8-9 – Roanoke County Public...

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In Iowa, our Department of Education brags about elementary schools that cut recess

In Iowa, our Department of Education brags about elementary schools that cut recess

Everyone wants children to be able to read. But unpacking that educational goal – and the political rhetoric that often surrounds it – may require a bit more digging and critical analysis. Here’s an example… In the 2004-2005 school year, 18 4th graders took the state reading test at Charter Oak-Ute Elementary. Only 14 were deemed...

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Text complexity in the early grades: Shooting ourselves in the foot?

Text complexity in the early grades: Shooting ourselves in the foot?

Here are some quotes from the most recent issue of Educational Researcher regarding text complexity in the early grades, one of the hallmark pushes of the Common Core State Standards: the CCSS text complexity standards for Grade 3 appear to be aspirational, much like the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress targets (Shepard, 2008)....

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Will an emphasis on ‘close reading’ kill the joy of reading?

Will an emphasis on ‘close reading’ kill the joy of reading?

As most educators know by now, the new Common Core standards emphasize ‘close reading.’ It’s hard to argue with that as a necessary skill for understanding complex writing. As a professor I spent lots of time dissecting research articles, book chapters, blog posts, and legal cases with my students. Close, careful reading and discussion also...

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Just read, you third grade slackers!

Just read, you third grade slackers!

Peter Greene said: Florida’s program is called “Just Read, Florida!” and that name really captures the cluelessness of the whole approach. Like many Reformster programs, this one starts with the assumption that these little eight-year-old slackers just aren’t being sufficiently threatened and browbeaten. They could read, dammit– they’re just holding out on us! Don’t tell...

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Reader interest trumps passage readability?

Reader interest trumps passage readability?

Upcoming travel and events December 3-5 – International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands February 3 – Virginia Is for Learners Innovation Network, TBD, VA February 25-26 – Missouri Educational Technology Leaders CTO Clinic, TBD, MO March 10-13 – Central & Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary June 8-9 – Roanoke County Public...

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Is this what we mean by ‘close reading?’

85 questions assigned by a high school teacher to start off To Kill A Mockingbird… Is this what we mean by ‘close reading?’ Who is this book dedicated to? How old was Jem when he broke his arm? What is Jem’s full name? Who does Scout believe caused the events to happen to lead to Jem’s...

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Forcing students to read certain books

Upcoming travel and events December 3-5 – International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands February 3 – Virginia Is for Learners Innovation Network, TBD, VA February 25-26 – Missouri Educational Technology Leaders CTO Clinic, TBD, MO March 10-13 – Central & Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary June 8-9 – Roanoke County Public...

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