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Saturday, April 19, 2014

How Teachers Use Twitter

Hi, all.  First day of vacation, and I'm at the airport.  I love my students more than anything in the world, but it's great to get away!

I wanted to use a post to extol the virtues of Twitter.  Twitter is a forum for 140 character messages.  Once you understand the conventions of how Twitter works, it's pretty addictive.

Every day, hundreds of educators use hashtags (#) to have conversations.  For example, if I have a link or an idea to share with English teachers, I'd use #engchat or #nctechat.  Everyone else who uses that hashtag will see my tweets and can connect with me (@abbeydick).  Even if you miss a chat, you can type in the hashtag and read about it later.

I also used Twitter with my students this past month as part of their independent reading projects.  They tweeted advertisements for their books using #t3reading.  It worked so well.  Teens seem to be off Facebook now and on Twitter (and Instagram and Snapchat).

Check out these cool pictures, courtesy of Sean Junkins (@sjunkins).

Sunday chats:

Monday chats:

Tuesday chats:

Wednesday chats:

Thursday chats:

If you haven't been on Twitter, you need to give it a try.  It's a great way to make friends and learn something new!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Materials from MRA #1

Hi, all.  I had a great time at the Massachusetts Reading Association conference this week.  Great to see friends and learn more about reading instruction.  I was thrilled to see Twitter playing such a big role.  See #mrac2014 for notes from the event. 

I will paste some materials from my presentation here.  Here's one segment of of thoughts on Close Reading:

I am a good reader, so as I read, I note little details that lead me to a conclusion.  The same is true backwards: you can tell me an idea, and I can find the quotes that led to that idea.

Students need help with BOTH these skills. 

The following activities require students to think with the text in mind.  They are "text-dependent questions" in the sense that they depend on the text.  Students have to reread not only to find the answers but to make a connection between those quotes. 

These activities could be change to accommodate any text or subject. 

1.  Idea:  Young Elie is very religious.  Provide three quotes that support that idea.

Page Number
Quote that Supports Assertion

2.  Idea: Elie’s family and community are complacent (laid back, unaware, naive, thinking they will be fine) and are not worried about the future/don’t believe anything bad could happen to them. Provide three quotes that support that idea.

Page Number
Quote that Supports Assertion

3.  Idea:  Once Elie and his family realize what is happening to them, they are filled with confusion and fear about the future. Provide three quotes that support that idea.

Page Number
Quote that Supports Assertion

 An example from another text, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  

NAME ______________________________________________________________________________

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, chapters 10-18

In the left-hand box, bullet some summary of the chapter.  In the right-hand box, cite quotes from the text (with page numbers) that would support an answer.

Chapter 10      Title: __________________________________

What does Skloot do to create a haunting mood in this chapter?  Why does she do it?

Chapter 11      Title: __________________________________

How does Skloot show how much Henrietta’s family loved her (and reveal her humanity) in this chapter?