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Using Humor to Teach Shakespeare

Edutopia – Nicholas Provenzano

“I’m an English teacher, and one of the hardest units for me to cover with my freshman students used to be Romeo and Juliet. There’s nothing more awkward than having students stand and read from a giant book. They’re not familiar with the language and have no idea about the meaning of what they’re saying, so they lack emphasis and emotion.” (more)

The Benefits of Narrow Reading Units

Language Magazine – Kate Kinsella

“I provide consultancy and professional development for districts across the nation that are striving to support English learners and under-resourced students in making viable academic language and literacy advances. I am observing with increasing concern as well-intended English language arts educators in grades 4-12 cobble together units of study in hopes of addressing the complex demands of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) in time for the impending doom of the proverbial “cart before the horse” assessment debacle. Their legacy curriculum was not created to mentor English acolytes in systematic analysis of content-rich nonfiction, a range of rigorous text-reliant discussions using academic register, and argumentative writing drawing from multiple sources, all major emphases in the CCSS shifts.” (more)

Reading for Number One

Language Magazine – Bruce B. Brown

“According to many studies, the establishment of independent reading programs in schools, such as allotting free, uninterrupted, independent reading time, can improve various reading skills. Some of these skills include increasing students’ fluency and comprehension, as well as increasing vocabulary. Research also indicates a strong relationship between independent and recreational reading and school achievement (Allington, 2006; Hughes-Hassel, & Ludtz, 2006; Krashen, 2004).” (more)

Multilingual Students Succeeding in the U.S.

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“Students who speak a language other than English at home have improved in reading and math much more substantially since 2003 than previously reported, according to a study published this month in Educational Researcher. Hidden Progress of Multilingual Students on NAEP by Michael J. Kieffer, associate professor of literacy education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, debunks a common myth that multilingual students and English Learners have made little progress in academic achievement in recent years, and that U.S. schools continue to fail these students.” (more)

New Stanford education study shows where boys and girls do better in math, English

Stanford University – Krysten Crawford

“When Stanford Professor Sean Reardon and his research team set out to take an unprecedented look at how elementary school girls and boys compare in academic achievement, they expected to find similar stereotype-driven patterns across all 10,000 U.S. school districts: boys consistently outperforming girls in math and girls steadily surpassing boys in reading and writing by a wide margin.” (more)

How A Culture of Improvement Goes Hand in Hand With Coaching Teachers

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Helping high school students with only basic English improve their speaking, writing and listening skills requires that language be a focus of every content area. The ENLACE Academy at Lawrence High School in Massachusetts serves students who have been in the country only a few years and are just beginning to learn the language. English and content are the twin goals of every lesson. “Coaching is a big part of what we do here because our mission and our model is really about building language through content,” said Allison Balter, principal of ENLACE Academy.” (more)