Friday, October 27, 2006

I Won’t Read “The Catcher in the Rye” Again… You Can’t Make Me

I remember the struggle, the confusion, and the sheer length of the novel “The Catcher in the Rye”. It could have been because I was newly in eighth grade and we were required to read all those words. Could it have actually taken an entire semester? Does that sound right to you? Well, if not, it seems that way, to put it simple… I wasn’t ready for it and I don’t think I will ever pick it up again.

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post says: “Although fluency had long been identified by experts as important, it then became a hot issue.” In two articles on reading fluency she shares opinions from experts in the field and ideas from successful practice.

In Quest for Speed, Books Are Lost on Children

Evans Middle School, in Ottumwa, Iowa, was declared a school in need of improvement in reading in 2004, and Principal Davis Eidahl said he adopted a program focused on reading fluency using a model constructed by Rasinski aimed at improving comprehension. The article includes a fluency chart from expert Tim Rasinski of Kent State University,

But, is it all about speed?

Assigned Books Often Are a Few Sizes Too Big

Many teachers exclude graphic novels and comics from reading lists, even though a graphic novel was nominated for the National Book Award this year. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said he learned to read through comics after his schoolmaster father disregarded others who said the comics would lead to no good.

What about visual learners?

What Do you Think?
Should kids read Shakespeare or the comics? Graphic novels or "The Catcher in the Rye"? Many reading experts say they should read everything – but only when they are ready to understand what they are reading.


Other Websites of Interest:

Reading in Content Areas for Teachers
School improvement network provides complete professional development solutions for public & private schools. Reading in content areas teacher development solutions.

Teaching Reading Program
Discover a research proven way to raise student literacy and test scores by building your students' academic vocabulary.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Get the “Big Picture” With Video in Education

eSchool News presents the new Video Resource Center

I took a look at the debut edition of the eSchool News Network's web-based video program (October 18, 2006) and found a painless way to keep current on educational technology.

eSN TechWatch, which is anchored by Managing Editor Dennis Pierce, brings you the latest news and information for K-12 decision makers. This first 21-minute video helps me to view a wealth of creative events, progressive ideas, and application of newest technology at elementary, secondary and university levels. It is a time saving way that is working to keep abreast of rapid technology change. Links include best practices, expert insights, student videos, and information on tech conferences.

Staying with the theme of “keeping in the know”, check out this same issues’ Ed-Tech Vanguard Report, a publication dedicated to documenting the ed-tech successes of America's school districts. These articles give extensive information about three creative districts: “Broward County Public Schools, Ed-Tech’s Place in the Sun”, “Fairfax County Public Schools, New take on Ed-Tech in the Old Dominion”, and “Clark County Public Schools Meet the High-tech High Rollers of CCSD”

Please share your latest “discovery” of a creative use of technology you may have found. Even better… tell us your own!!

Entire Oct 18, 2006 Issue