RSI Corporate - Licensing

How to teach … Shakespeare

The Guardian – Zofia Niemtus

“Studying one of the world’s most famous playwrights needn’t only mean looking at texts, as these resources from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust demonstrate. This cut-out activity looks at the Bard’s beloved tactic of using twins to cause confusion – as in The Comedy of Errors, where two sets of identical siblings wreak the havoc and hilarity. The activity shows pupils how to create paper twins holding hands and asks them decorate the two identically, building collaboration skills.”(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)

How To Create Accountability Systems that Build Knowledge and Increase Reading Ability

Education Next – Robert Pondiscio and Lisa Hansel

“In an earlier blog entry, we encouraged state policy makers and educators to rethink what it takes to develop strong readers and the signals sent to schools by accountability measures. The bottom line: reading comprehension is a slow-growing plant, and the demand for rapid results on annual tests may be encouraging poor classroom practice—giving kids a sugar rush of test preparation, skills, and strategies when a well-rounded diet of knowledge and vocabulary is what’s really needed to grow good readers. Assessment and evaluation policy must ensure that these long-term investments in the building blocks of language growth are rewarded, not punished. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have the opportunity to do exactly that.”(more)

Why Background Knowledge is Crucial for Literacy

Education Next – Doug Lemov, Colleen Driggs and Erica Woolway

“Reading nonfiction poses a double challenge for most students. Comprehension of nonfiction often demands a strong base of prior knowledge, but reading nonfiction is also one of the primary ways such a base of knowledge is built. Nonfiction, in other words, both relies on and develops knowledge, and the significance of this paradox is far reaching. We can start with the practical. One of the most forceful arguments in the Common Core is that students should read significantly more nonfiction than most currently do. This argument is intended to address a gap in preparation. Much of what many students must read in college is nonfiction—often complex and dense nonfiction—but their reading during their middle and high school years is usually heavily weighted toward fiction, often, as we discussed in chapter 1, insufficiently complex fiction. Thus students arrive on campus unprepared to read what is required of them.”(more)

Early literacy starts before young children can talk

The Eastern Arizona Courier – Staff Writer

“As elementary schools statewide celebrated the birthday of famed children’s author Dr. Seuss on March 2 by hosting reading events, First Things First and Read On Arizona remind families that literacy starts way before a child reaches kindergarten. “Early language abilities are directly related to later reading abilities. Studies have linked the number of words children know at ages 3 and 4 to their reading comprehension levels at ages 9 and 10,” FTF Chief Executive Officer Sam Leyvas said. “And gaps in children’s vocabulary can start to develop between 9 and 18 months of age; those gaps only widen as babies get older. So if we want to make our children good readers, we need to start when learning begins: at birth.” State Literacy Director Terri Clark emphasized that while many link literacy to reading books, it really starts with language.”(more)

Choosing the Right Books for Your Child

The Huffington Post – Byron Garrett

“The path to your child’s successful future involves a lot of work for both you and them. Children have to apply themselves at school, keep their minds focused on goals and work to make them a reality. The adults in every child’s life have to model good behavior, enable good study and life habits and offer motivational tools to keep the young ones in their lives on the path to greatness. I’ve spent countless hours in front of parents, teachers and education leaders trying to instill some important lessons of empowerment and encouragement and I’ve already written the book about how to show children that there is greatness on the inside of us all. Reading and reading comprehension are among the most important skills we can instill in our children so I thought I would offer my tips on how to make sure you’re giving your young people the right reading material.”(more)