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The Answer Sheet Archive: Writing

Why the National Writing Project should be saved

If Arne Duncan supports classroom teachers as he says he does, then why, a highly certified teacher asks, does he want to stop funding the National Writing Project, the best professional development program this teacher has experienced in nearly 30 years of teaching?

By Valerie Strauss  | August 26, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Guest Bloggers, Teachers, Writing  | Tags:  arne duncan, national board certified teachers, national writing project, professional development and teachers  
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Vocabulary twist: Teaching words OUT of context

New vocabulary words should be taught in literary context. That's the conventional wisdom. But a teacher writes about how she she was successful with her students by being unconventional with vocab lessons.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 27, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Learning, Reading, Writing  | Tags:  how to teach vocabulary, how to teach words, literary context, teaching vocabulary words, teaching words in literary context, vocabulary lessons  
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Literacy kudzu

Will Fitzhugh, editor of The Concord Review, questions, no, savages, the way students are taught to read in school.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 15, 2010; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Learning, Reading, Writing  | Tags:  best practices and reading instruction, how to teach reading, how to teach writing, learning, literacy, reading, reading instruction, reading wars, will fitzhugh, writing  
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How writing improves reading skills--study

It is often said that reading can improve a student’s writing. A new study says the reverse--that writing can improve reading skills as well as content learning--is equally true, and identifies three ways that teachers and even parents can help students make the connection.

By Valerie Strauss  | April 19, 2010; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Reading, Research, Writing  | Tags:  new study on reading, new study on writing, reading research, study in reading, study on writing, teaching reading skills, teaching writing skills, writing research  
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Should this man lead a school system?

The president of the Detroit Board of Education has great trouble with writing, and a newspaper columnist asks if he should be in charge of the 90,000-student system.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Writing  | Tags:  detroit public schools  
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Writing for knowledge

By Will Fitzhugh. One major literacy study and report recently pointed out, in an aside, that the idea that reading books will do a lot for the literacy of students is sadly misguided. What students need, it was felt, is lots more technique and process classes, K-12, on “finding the main idea,” “identifying the author’s audience,” and all like that there. I would argue to the contrary. Not only does reading books contribute powerfully to the knowledge that students need in order to read more and more difficult material (such as they should face in high school and will certainly face in college), but, also, the work of writing a serious research paper will lead students to do a lot more reading and to gather a lot of knowledge in the process.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 21, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, High School, Writing  | Tags:  Will Fitzhugh, writing for knowledge  
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