The Power of Voice

A Student teacher just trying to find her voice

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Researchers have shown that reading fiction promotes empathy. Children’s book author and illustrator, Anne Dewdney, echoes that finding when she argues that, “When we open a book, and share our voice and imagination with a child, that child learns to see the world through someone else’s eyes.” Sadly, studies reveal that parents in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain spend less time reading and telling stories to their sons than to their daughters. In fact, in as early as nine months, researchers found a gender gap in literary activities.
Why It’s Imperative to Teach Empathy to Boys | MindShift (via the-gwendolyn-reading-method)

(via teachingliteracy)

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sahlineelnagrom asked: I'm about to start my first year teaching and I was wondering what you would suggest as "must haves" for a middle school ELA classroom. Thank you :) love the blog!

girlwithalessonplan:

  • sorting trays if that’s your thing
  • Milk crate esque boxes if you plan on kids keeping journals in class
  • binders to organize hard copies of your units
  • index cards—lots.  Good for bell ringers and class closers (post it notes can do this too)
  • A good bulletin board if your room doesn’t have one so expectations/procedures can be posted clearly
  • craft stash: construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors, glue sticks
  • I go through a lot of manila folders.  You can staple them to walls for instant pockets, quickly sort stacks of paper, etc. etc.

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pre-serviceteacher asked: Do you have a classroom yourself? If so, I'm about to be a teacher next year and would LOVE any advice you can give me about encouraging reading inside and outside of the classroom? What sparked your love of literacy?

teachingliteracy:

congrats! you’re going to LOVE your work, for sure.  :)

i don’t have a classroom anymore. since i’m a reading specialist/coach, i work with teachers rather than small groups of students.  (i love my job.) my passion for literacy began when i was little.  my parents used to take me to the library all. the. time.  i just fell in love with the written word and its ability to transport me to different places.

to encourage reading inside and outside of the classroom, i’d suggest:

  • create a diverse and well-stocked classroom library, spanning all genres (including comics and magazines); you don’t have to spend a tone of money…scholastic reading club is great for building class libraries cheaply, as are trips to local book sales and garage sales.  
  • make your children read every night for their reading homework.  i don’t know the grade you’ll be teaching, but i’d say 5 minutes for K-1, 10 minutes for 2nd grade, 15 minutes for 3rd, and 20 minutes for 4th-8th grades.  find a reading log online or create your own requiring a parent/guardian to sign off on the reading homework. let them read whatever they choose for homework.  also, read alouds by parents/guardians count toward the time, too.  allow kids to pick books from your class library to take home.  (you’ll need a checkout system that works for you.)
  • require students to keep a (separate) log of books read in a notebook or on a blog page.  it’ll be great for students to recognize patterns in their reading choices and feel that they are accomplishing something. 
  • book talks or book trailers are awesome (i’m a huge fan of the latter).  once a week, show students a trailer or book talk (lots are online).  bonus points if the book is already in your library.  display the book in a prominent spot and let kids check it out.
  • READ A LOT yourself!  read books that are age appropriate for your students.  talk about what you’re reading.  tell them how much you loved book X and then display it for students to check out.
  • give them opportunities to talk about the books they’re reading at home.  maybe you make it part of a Fun Friday or have kids draw a picture/poster/movie trailer of a book they love once a month.  
  • allow them to abandon books, if they choose. (this applies more for 2-8th graders)  just monitor their book logs to make sure that they are not making it an avoidance technique. guide them toward books they may enjoy, if needed.

hope that helps!  good luck and give me an update next year as to how it all works out.  :)

lovely lovely.

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powells:

21 books you should finally finish reading this summer: http://powells.us/1stvQVD

This is a book I need to re-read this summer. I read it in my junior year of high school and it changed me completely as a person and as a reader that it has been, for a long time, my answer to the ‘what’s your favorite book’ question. However, many books have changed me since then and there have been contenders for favorite book. I need to read Dorian again and see where we stand now, but it will always have a special place in my heart.

powells:

21 books you should finally finish reading this summer: http://powells.us/1stvQVD

This is a book I need to re-read this summer. I read it in my junior year of high school and it changed me completely as a person and as a reader that it has been, for a long time, my answer to the ‘what’s your favorite book’ question. However, many books have changed me since then and there have been contenders for favorite book. I need to read Dorian again and see where we stand now, but it will always have a special place in my heart.

(via fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment)

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emperatrices asked: Hi! I was recently hired at a high school that had two open English positions. I noticed the other day that the remaining open position has AP English and theater, which I want to go into. What is a tactful way to ask my principal to be considered for training in those subjects in the future? I still have to clear my credential and this is my first real contract, so I don't think I can push it until that's done (2 yrs from now), but once I'm permanent, would it be better to ask then?

girlwithalessonplan:

Well, my gut instinct is to say….do it yourself?

In my experience you don’t need any training to teach AP.  You just have to have your course approved.  If there is already an AP class, this is done already.  There is nothing more for you, technically, to do. 

UNLESS you want to find some AP seminars to learn more about the test and how to prepare kids for the test.  Look on the College Board website for that information and go.  

If know your school regularly sends teachers to these things and you want them to pay for it, then just ask.  ”Hey!  Next time you send people to AP seminars, I’d like you to consider me.  I’d like to be able to take over those classes someday.”  Boom.  Done.   What’s the worst they can say? No.  And then you move on.

I was working on my MA on my own when the numbers for AP went up, so for a year I taught a section.  I haven’t since, but I’ve proven I’m qualified to do it if the need arises again.  The school sent me to an AP seminar the summer before I taught the class, but it wasn’t super necessary.  I could’ve gotten the gist myself but looking at some AP test prep books myself.  Knowing the content material for AP Lit, I think, it most important and time consuming.

As for theater?  I don’t know your story, and don’t think I’m being rude when I say theater isn’t something you just “train” in.  You have to have experience in studying it and doing it in order to teach it effectively.  So if you have a college nearby with classes you can enroll in the concentrations you need (acting, directing, history, etc.), I’d recommend that, because I can tell you there is no “training” for theater that a school can send you to to make you competent in teaching theater. I use every dripping ounce of my theater minor to teach theater technology and it’s barely enough.  I spend hours self teaching and researching to make up the gap.  

If you want two years to ask, the jobs will be filled by then.  If you let them know you’re interested in taking on more, you like the job, and you want to stay, why is it a bad thing showing that?

Useful information via GWALP.

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An unaccompanied child migrant was the first person in line on opening day of the new immigration station at Ellis Island. Her name was Annie Moore, and that day, January 1, 1892, happened to be her 15th birthday. She had traveled with her two little brothers from Cork County, Ireland, and when they walked off the gangplank, she was awarded a certificate and a $10 gold coin for being the first to register. Today, a statue of Annie stands on the island, a testament to the courage of millions of children who passed through those same doors, often traveling without an older family member to help them along.
Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island | Mother Jones (via positivelypersistentteach)

(via positivelypersistentteach)