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Is your child hopeless at spelling? Don’t panic…

The Telegraph – Tom Payne

“There are many strategies for developing confidence with spelling. One is, start early. Do everything you can to encourage reading in the home – in this way, many children will develop an eye for what looks right and what looks wrong. However counter-intuitive it seems to pronounce “friend” the way we do, we become used to it. That’s something to try on everyone, but children do learn in a big range of ways. Plenty find that parts of the body other than the eyes are helpful.”(more)

Literature’s Emotional Lessons

The Atlantic – Andrew Simmons

“In my experience teaching and observing other teachers, students spend a lot of time learning academic skills and rarely even talk about the emotional reactions they may have to what they read—even when stories, as they often do, address dark themes. The Common Core Standards push students to become clinical crafters of arguments and masters of academic language. While these are essential skills to possess, the fact that my other students appear perfectly comfortable not acknowledging and discussing emotional responses to literature may be as revelatory as this one student’s teary dash from class. Inundated with video games, movies, and memes, teenagers often seem hard to shake up. Characters are fictitious abstractions, and, without actors to bring them to life and makeup and digital tricks to make the drama feel real, students may strictly do the analytical work teachers expect without the interference of a significant emotional response. That’s a bad thing. An emotional response should be part of the curriculum.”(more)

Lesson: Improve Your Students’ Conjunction Function

Education World – Scott Kalapos

“In this lesson we’ll be focusing on one of the real heavyweights in the parts of speech universe: conjunctions. With the help of text articles, an infographic, and a video series, we’ll discuss coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions. As a bonus, we’ll also go into conjunctive adverbs, which aren’t quite conjunctions, but are close. We’ll conclude with some reinforcement exercises for your class to engage in when their conjunction lesson has been completed.”(more)

Lesson: This Lesson is Our Preposition Proposition

Education World – Staff Writer

“In these modern times of smartphones and textspeak, many students are developing some bad habits when it comes to grammar. As teachers, we know you’re giving your all to undo this trend and we can’t commend you enough. We’d like to help you in your efforts by sharing with you some resources to help with teaching prepositions and their proper use. These resources include high quality web pages, an informative infographic, and two preposition-centric videos.”(more)

New federal law puts spotlight on English learners

Ed Source – John Fensterwald

“In passing the Every Student Succeeds Act, Congress rolled back the federal government’s overall reach into testing requirements for K-12 education. But there is a significant exception: English learners. The successor law to the No Child Left Behind Act significantly expands states’ obligations to measure the progress of students who don’t yet communicate fluently or learn effectively in English. The law also compels them to act when schools consistently fail to help those students become proficient.”(more)