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Giving Students a Little Taste of a Book

Edutopia – Emma Tackett

“I learned about the book tasting—an opportunity for students to try out a variety of books—from an instructional coach at my school, who modeled it for the teachers, enabling us to learn firsthand what this activity can do. To start, I gather titles in a variety of genres from the school library, classroom library, and literacy library—it’s best to have a few copies of each book. I set up my tasting by putting my students in seven groups of four, with four titles in a different genre for each group. One group is generally realistic fiction, one literary nonfiction, one fantasy, and so forth. With groups of four, students get to experience different viewpoints without being overwhelmed—every student gets a chance to contribute when they discuss their books.”(more)

The biggest lessons librarians learned in 2017

E-School News – Robin Glugatch and Andy Plemmons

“For the sake of our students, we must embrace the changing role of the school librarian. 2017 was a year filled with makerspaces, student engagement, personalized learning, and more. Here, two seasoned librarians shed light on their biggest lessons learned in 2017 and look forward to the up-and-coming trends for the new year.”(more)

Encouraging a Love of Poetry

Edutopia – L.L. Barkat

“A poem is a lightweight thing, a beautiful construction that can, despite its lightness, carry remarkable burdens. Poet Mahmoud Darwish imagined this paradox as “the butterfly’s burden.” When you consider that meditation works similarly—that the tiniest of phrases, matched with the movement of our breath, can bring remarkable calmness and clarity to a burdened life—the power of poems begins to make sense. The best poems often work in the same way as these meditative phrases. They match speech. They match breath. They offer rhythms that are pleasing to the psyche. In this way, poems can function like little bits of magic or lullaby.”(more)

Analysis: Why Are All the Stories About Boys Falling Behind Girls at School Ignoring the Forces Keeping Them There?

The 74 Million – Richard Whitmire

“A recent flurry of articles on boys falling behind in school do a great job laying out the facts — but fall short when it comes to asking the right questions. Take the recent Atlantic piece as an example. Great facts, all accurate: As of 2015, 72.5 percent of females who recently graduated from high school were enrolled in college, versus 65.8 percent of men (compared to 1967 when 57 percent of the males were in college and 47.2 percent of the females.). This is important stuff. Today, at a time when college has become the new high school as many employers demand college degrees for jobs that don’t truly need those skills, there are 2.2 million more women than men in college.”(more)

Cultivating a Love of Reading in the Digital Age

Edutopia – Monica Burns

“Do your students turn the pages of a book or swipe the screen of a tablet as they read a new story? When children scroll through a blog post like the one you’re reading, how do they know when to pause, click, share, or talk about what they’ve read? Today’s readers are diving into text in ways we simply couldn’t imagine a decade or two ago. They navigate a new world of print and digital reading material, and our work as educators is to prepare them to grow and shine as readers.”(more)

How to Get Your Mind to Read

The New York Times – Daniel T. Willingham

“Current education practices show that reading comprehension is misunderstood. It’s treated like a general skill that can be applied with equal success to all texts. Rather, comprehension is intimately intertwined with knowledge. That suggests three significant changes in schooling.”(more)