TEACHING THE CORE has a great series of blog posts on many aspects of close reading, writing argument and debate.
I also like this video on writing analytical paragraphs. I’ve always believed less is more, so writing tight, to the point paragraphs is a skill worth doing. We don’t have to write full essays to teach important skills of writing.
Today’s text-to-speech voices are excellent. Monotonic, robotic voices are history. But getting it to read something you want to listen to is not always easy.Voice Dream Reader can load and extract text from many sources and file formats. After extraction, Voice Dream performs additional processing to optimize the text for text-to-speech. Ads on web pages are stripped out, page numbers go away and strange characters are removed, so you can focus on what matters: the content. The text is stored on your device so you can listen to it anytime, even when you’re not connected. FIND OUT MORE
I’ll admit it. In my early years as a teacher, I thought that encouraging students to improve their writing invariably involved encouraging greater depth, adding more detail, crafting more complex sentences. In short, I implied to my students that the most valuable revisions involved adding to our work and that writing better equaled writing longer.
Enter the infographic, the twenty-first century text/structure/genre/design that blows my earlier beliefs about “better = longer” right out of the water.
As texts compete for attention with soundbites, scrolling headlines, tweets, and vines, writers and readers alike are seeing the value of text that uses visual design features to organize ideas, provide background, and emphasize key facts in ways that make it easier for readers to engage a topic thoughtfully. I have always encouraged my student writers to “swim deeply” when they read and write, moving beyond the basics, braving the imposing waters at the “deep end of the pool.” Reading and writing infographics is like cannonballing into ten feet of water — you splash in deeper and more quickly.
I knew that this year I wanted to have students experiment in creating their own infographics, so I made an early decision to build infographics into our Article of the Week routine (inspired by Kelly Gallagher). I occasionally substituted an infographic or two instead of the news articles or essays they were accustomed to reading. Of course, the reaction was positive. The first thing students noticed was the substantial time savings in reading an infographic or two versus a traditional article. It was like asking them to readAnimal Farm after completing Great Expectations — there was an immediate “can do” reaction. Continue reading →
It only took one year and an accordion player to redeem the rapiest song that ever became a massive worldwide hit. I never thought I’d be saying, “Thank you, Robin Thicke, for giving us ‘Blurred Lines,’” but now I do. Because were it not for “Blurred Lines,” we’d never have the Weird Al parody, “Word Crimes.”
“Weird Al” Yankovic has been releasing a new video for his latest album, “Mandatory Fun,” each day this week. But with more videos still to go, he may have hit the apex on Tuesday with his epic grammar rant. Frankly, the whole thing would have been worth it for the “Weird Al has a big dic…tionary” gag alone.
For a man who’s distinguished himself for spending the past 30 years in funny shirts and big hair, writing songs that involve doughnuts, Yankovic has also always made it clear he’s a really bright bulb. His videos are meticulous homages to their originals, and his commitment to honoring the distinction between “less” and “fewer” is already YouTube legend. But in “Word Crimes,” he takes on everything that makes being part of modern Internet culture such a goddamn ordeal for frustrated liberal arts grads and assorted pedants everywhere. Oh, Weird Al, you had me at “conjugate.” Continue reading →
“We’re here to create inspirational and innovative booklists for people who love to find new books to read, but who struggle to find the best books using conventional means.”
3 reasons why our booklists will inspire you:
1 – They will inspire you with the best books that you hadn’t heard of before
2 – They will introduce you to top books that you never realised were interesting,
3 – or by bringing a classic book to your attention that is simply essential reading.
There are 5 brand new lists published every week so ensure that you subscribe so we can send you them as soon as they are published. This way you can start enjoying your newly discovered book and finish it before we send you more.
Subscribing to and receiving the daily emails from WhytoRead.com is absolutely FREE. Your emails will not be shared with anyone outside of WhytoRead.com and we will not send you any other emails except for the booklists.
We did a close reading of the poem, Abandoned Farmhouse by Ted Kooser last week. I read the poem aloud, then had the students read it again individually and then hold their thinking and note their observations, thoughts, questions etc..
Then we brok the poem down and looked at the tone of the poem. We found words that stuck out to us that showed the tone (broken, something went wrong,money scarce, winters cold). I had the students wrote the mood down and then find specific lines that supported the mood. We noted how each stanza talked about a different person: a man, woman and child. I had the students go back to the poem and find out specific things we knew about the people in the poem, and list them (the man was tall, the woman liked lilacs, the child played with a tractor etc..). We looked at repetition, figurative language and we discussed specific word choices that the author made.
Although we did a close reading of this poem, the students really did a nice job. They noticed a lot of really interesting things. I liked this poem because we could discuss all of the things I mentioned above and the students were able to understand the poem. They didn’t feel like the content, topic or language was above their heads. It was a manageable length to close read, and It didn’t scare them.
After we read the poem I had my students write a journal prompt about a place where they live, or have things. What would their room, house, or objects say about them. I also showed them this image. I felt this image really went well with the poem. They shared their writing and we all enjoyed a close reading and a writing session.
Can art save lives? Not exactly, but our most prized professionals (doctors, nurses, police officers) can learn real world skills through art analysis. Studying art like René Magritte’s Time Transfixed can enhance communication and analytical skills, with an emphasis on both the seen and unseen. Amy E. Herman explains why art historical training can prepare you for real world investigation.