Recently in Literacy Category


September 28, 2014

Academic Vocabulary: Discover First, Define Second

Students learn best when given opportunities to discover or experience concepts before teachers define them.

August 03, 2013

Relief for Reluctant Writers

Who says you need a computer or paper to begin the writing process?

March 12, 2012

There Are No Stupid Questions, But...

It's fine to encourage students to speak up by telling them there are no stupid questions. Yet students' willingness to ask questions has less to do with us encouraging them to do so than how we respond when they actually do ask questions. Unfortunately, teachers often respond to questions in w...

May 28, 2011

Prevent Confusing Language From Confusing Students

In Academic Fluency: A Key to Academic Proficiency, I wrote that proficiency in an academic subject depends in part on fluency in that subject's language. Now, here's a key to helping students achieve such fluency: anticipating and alleviating confusion when words have different meanings in academi...

March 06, 2011

Taking More Time to Write Less

I've never seen a more challenging writing assignment for students than English teacher Brent Bice's journal prompt during my recent visit to his classroom at Esperanza Academy Charter High School in Philadelphia. Actually it wasn't the prompt but rather Mr. Bice's requirement that students respon...

December 04, 2010

Bring Back the Third R

David Ginsburg says NCLB's focus on math and reading has led schools to neglect writing. Ironically, he says, this hasn't just hurt students' writing but their reading too.

October 27, 2010

Talking to Kids Like You Talk to Adults

David Ginsburg cites a six-year-old's use of the word "penultimate" as evidence of the ultimate vocabulary-building strategy.



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