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Leveraging the Lore of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ to Motivate Students to Read and Write

KQED News Mind/Shift – Paul Darvasi

“Some parents and teachers despair as they witness the erosion of sustained reading, particularly fiction, with today’s screen-obsessed youth. Whether this genuinely heralds an intellectual Armageddon, or merely marks a benign transition into a new phase of the life of the mind, remains to be seen. Whatever the future holds, those who wage a pitched battle under the standard of literacy may find a valuable ally in an old nemesis.” (more)

How To Crack The Toughest Nut In Education: High School

Forbes – Natalie Wexler

“There’s been a lot of handwringing lately about the lack of rigor in high school courses, and critics have blamed educators’ “low expectations.” But they’ve overlooked one powerful strategy that could boost both expectations and performance: teaching students to write about what they’re learning.” (more)

Women Are Superior Wordsmiths From an Early Age

The Pacific Standard – Tom Jacobs

“Much has been written about the fact boys tend to perform better than girls at math. But this focus has largely overshadowed a larger and more worrisome gender gap in an even more fundamental domain: reading and writing. A new study featuring data on more than three million American students reports girls outperform boys in reading and writing skills in fourth grade, and that gap increases over their next eight years of schooling.” (more)

Can You Teach Good Writing? We Ask One of the Greats

Ed Surge – Jeffrey R. Young

“John McPhee, a master of telling nonfiction stories, became a teacher by accident 43 years ago when Princeton University needed a last-minute replacement. He has steered the course ever since, each spring when he takes breaks from writing books or pieces for The New Yorker, and it has become legendary in journalism circles.” (more)

Getting Out of the Essay Rut

Edutopia – Rebecca Alber

“Think about all the forms of writing that exist—letters, news articles, video scripts, infographics, press releases, etc. Why are we so hung up on using essays as the primary structure for students to demonstrate writing prowess? There can be little doubt, it seems to me, that we overuse essay writing in schools.” (more)

Do Texting and “Cyber Slang” Harm Students’ Writing Skills?

Education World – Jason Tomaszewski

“While this communications boom has been praised for its educational benefits, some argue that a negative side effect is beginning to take hold in our classrooms. Cyber slang is suspected of damaging students’ writing acumen. Cyber slang is a term used to describe shortcuts, alternative words, or even symbols used to convey thoughts in an electronic document.” (more)