Archive for September, 2013

Marvelous Math: A Book of Poems

9780689806582_p0_v3_s260x420Marvelous Math by Lee Bennett Hopkins is a playful look at the sometimes surprising ways math is part of our daily’s life. The poems cover a vast range of topics from multiplication, division, and fractions to time, counting and measurement, but all relate math to our everyday world. The book is illustrated in full color by Karen Barbour.

“Hopkins pulls together poems on mathematics, providing insights from writers such as Karla Kuskin, Janet S. Wong, and Lillian M. Fisher,” according to School Library Journal. 

Several selections share the predictable theme of the significance of math and numbers. Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s title poem, for example, asks questions such as, “How fast does a New York taxi go?” and “How slow do feathers fall?” and suggests how to find the answers: “Mathematics knows it all!” Some take a unique point of view, as in Betsy Franco’s “Math Makes Me Feel Safe”: “Knowing that my brother will always be/three years younger than I am,/and every day of the year will have/twenty-four hours.” Rhymed and open verse styles are represented, as are a variety of tones. David McCord’s “Who Hasn’t Played Gazintas?” is a playful presentation of spoken language. Barbour’s lively illustrations dance and play around the poems. Her boldly outlined watercolor figures, often wearing ill-fitting hats, fill the pages with childlike whimsy. Children will enjoy studying the oddly colored animals, numbers, and stylized, arched-browed people. A delightful collection.

An amazon reviewer added that the book is  “a wonderful way to connect mathematics to communication arts. This book of math poetry shows children how math is readily used in one’s daily life. The colorful illustrations help keep the children intersted. It has given my students the enthusiasm for trying to write some poems about math also. This is great for home and also as a teaching tool.”

The EAI Education site said:
Hopkins pulls together poems on mathematics, providing insights from writers such as Karla Kuskin, Janet S. Wong, and Lillian M. Fisher. Several selections share the predictable theme of the significance of math and numbers. Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s title poem, for example, asks questions such as, “How fast does a New York taxi go?” and “How slow do feathers fall?” and suggests how to find the answers: “Mathematics knows it all!” Some take a unique point of view, as in Betsy Franco’s “Math Makes Me Feel Safe”: “Knowing that my brother will always be/three years younger than I am, / and every day of the year will have / twenty-four hours.” Rhymed and open verse styles are represented, as are a variety of tones. David McCord’s “Who Hasn’t Played Gazintas?” is a playful presentation of spoken language. Barbour’s lively illustrations dance and play around the poems. Her boldly outlined watercolor figures, often wearing ill-fitting hats, fill the pages with childlike whimsy. Children will enjoy studying the oddly colored animals, numbers, and stylized, arched-browed people. A delightful collection.

LEE BENNETT HOPKINS is a distinguished poet, writer, and anthologist whose poetry collections include the highly acclaimed Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry, illustrated by Peter Fiore, and My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, and America at War, both illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Mr. Hopkins’s numerous awards include the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “lasting contributions to children’s literature” and both the Christopher Award and a Golden Kite Honor for his verse novel Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life. He lives in Cape Coral, Florida.

Idaho’s students are ready for higher academic expectations

by Tom Luna

Source: College of Western Idaho Early Childhood Education program

The College of Western Idaho Early Childhood Education program prepares students and future educators

As students across Idaho are heading back to school, the results from last year are in — and it’s great news. Our schools continue to exceed expectations.

This is the second year of the Five-Star Rating System, a system of increased accountability that uses multiple measures to evaluate the hard work of our teachers and students across the state.

The most recent results not only show a majority of Idaho schools are high-performing but also that a vast majority of students are performing at or above grade level in reading and mathematics.

This past year, 90 percent of Idaho students performed at or above grade level in reading. More than 81 percent performed at that level in mathematics. Students have shown growth, especially in the number of advanced students, from just a few years ago.

RELATED READING: This essential resource, The Common Core: Teaching K-5 Students to Meet the Reading Standards, explains the key points of the CCSS reading standards, then aligns each Standard with appropriate research-based strategies, and shows you how to use those strategies to teach your students. Classroom applications and student examples will make this your go to CCSS resource.The International Reading Association is the world’s premier organization of literacy professionals. Our titles promote reading by providing professional development to continuously advance the quality of literacy instruction and research.

Click on the image to read more

Click on the image to read more

Research-based, classroom-tested, and peer-reviewed, IRA titles are among the highest quality tools that help literacy professionals do their jobs better.

FURTHER READING: Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades 6-8

While I praise these results, I also know the reality behind this data: While students are performing better than ever in K-12, they continue to struggle after high school.

Eighty percent of students are at or above grade level when they graduate, yet just a few months later, students show up at postsecondary education, and nearly half qualify for remedial courses.

This tells us our standards in K-12 education have been too low. Idaho’s kids are ready for higher expectations.

We are moving toward that this school year. In 2011, Idaho adopted the Common Core State Standards as Idaho’s Core Standards in mathematics and English language arts. They will first be implemented across grades K-12 this fall.

We know Idaho students will rise to the occasion. They’ve done it before.

Idaho first implemented academic standards in 2002. Back then, we didn’t see half of Idaho’s students advanced in reading right away.

It took us several years to get here. It will be the same with these higher standards.

In 2015, the first year we administer the new assessment aligned to Idaho Core Standards, we know not as many students will perform at grade level. In fact, we expect the number to drop by about one-third.

That’s not a bad thing. These standards are considerably higher. This new data will help teachers guide instruction in the classroom and get students to where they need to be before graduation.

What’s critical is that, by meeting these new standards, every child will graduate from high school prepared to go on to college, community college, professional-technical education or the workforce without the need for remediation. We may be far from this goal today, but we know it is within our reach.

MSDE logoany Idahoans — from parents and teachers to the business community — have already voiced their strong support for these new standards.

They want to challenge Idaho students today, through problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, so they are prepared for the world that awaits them after high school.

Transitioning to these higher standards will be hard work in the initial years, but we all recognize it is the best thing for Idaho’s students and the future of our great state.

* Tom Luna is Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction.


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Strategies for the ACT English Test

Recommended Reading:  Barron's ACT English, Reading, and Writing Workbook [Paperback] Linda Carnevale M.A. (Author)

Recommended Reading: Barron’s ACT English, Reading, and Writing Workbook [Paperback]
Linda Carnevale M.A. (Author)

 It’s that time of year again. College applications are flowing out of high school students and parents are getting nervous. testing is a huge part of the formula, so here are some suggestions and resources  to help keep nerves calm:

Barron’s ACT English, Reading, and Writing Workbook by Linda Carnevale gives college-bound students extensive practice and review that will help them excel on all three verbal sections and all four reading genres of the ACT. An introductory overview explains the formats for the English Test, the Reading Test, and the Writing Test. A full-length self-assessment test follows with an answer key and explanations to help students assess their strengths and weaknesses. Succeeding chapters review the subject matter of all three tests and present drills, strategies, practice questions, study advice, and test-taking tips. Students review English grammar, punctuation, and style. They sharpen their reading comprehension with practice passages in the Humanities, Natural Science, Prose Fiction, and Social Science. Finally, they hone their essay-writing skills, guided by the author’s instruction in organizing their ideas, writing a rough draft, and editing the finished essay. A final chapter presents a full-length practice test with answers and explanations.

The Grokit website says:

1. Think simple.  As far as the ACT is concerned, the best writing uses the fewest possible number of words to convey an idea.  This doesn’t always mean the shortest answer is the best answer–sometimes more words are needed in order for a phrase or sentence to be grammatically correct.  But in general avoid answer choices that seem wordy.  The best answers are concise and clear.

2. Take the whole sentence into account.  It’s easy to read just the underlined portion the question asks about, or maybe just the clause that the underlined portion is a part of.  However, many times the other clause or clauses in the sentence can affect your answer.  For example, if the other clause is an independent clause, you will need to make sure that the underlined portion does not create a comma splice with another independent clause.  Read the whole sentence to yourself and you will be less likely to overlook an error.

ACT English Scoring

Just like the other sections, the ACT English section can earn you between 1 and 36 points. This score will be averaged with the scores from the other multiple-choice sections (Math, Science Reasoning and Reading) to get you your Composite ACT score. You’ll also get a subscore for both the Usage/Mechanics and Rhetorical skills subcategories between 1 and 18. These subscores having nothing whatsoever to do with your overall score, and most colleges and universities will not care what your subscores are. Strange, but true. The average ACT English score is about a 21, but you’ll have to do much better than that if you’d like to hit up a top university for admissions acceptance – more like between a 30 and 34.  Source:


VIDEO: Proper use of pronouns

 10 Tips for the ACT English Test

  1. Skim an English passage before starting work on the questions
  2. On questions that ask you to judge a passage, lean toward selecting a choice that favors it
  3. Choose answers that match the level of formality of the entire passage
  4. The best way to write something is the shortest correct way of writing it
  5. If you speak a “nonstandard” dialect, be extra careful with questions that focus on idioms
  6. Watch for subject-verb and noun-pronoun agreement
  7. Make sure parenthetical phrases begin and end with the same punctuation mark
  8. Look out for sentence fragments and run-on sentences
  9. Make sure that nouns and pronouns are modified by adjectives, and that verbs and adjectives are modified by adverbs
  10. Learn the difference between it’s and its

Source: Kaplan Test Prep


VIDEO: English Grammar – Adjectives & Adverbs

VIDEO: How to Use Commas in English Writing

Mastering Basic Grammar and Usage for the ACT

51IMsRplD4L._SY300_As you’ve probably already gathered, the English Test will never explicitly ask you to name a grammatical error, reads SparkNotes.  “But in order to identify and fix errors, you should know what they are. While you’ll often be able to rely on your ear to detect errors, many of the questions will ask you to fix phrases that are fine for spoken English but not for formal written English.”


The ACT test description states:

Spelling, vocabulary, and rote recall of rules of grammar aren’t tested. See sample questions or read tips and strategies.The test consists of five prose passages, each one accompanied by multiple-choice test questions. Different passage types are included to provide variety.

Some questions refer to underlined portions of the passage and offer several alternatives to the underlined portion. You must decide which choice is most appropriate in the context of the passage.

Some questions ask about an underlined portion, a section of the passage, or the passage as a whole. You must decide which choice best answers the question posed.

Many questions include “NO CHANGE” to the underlined portion or the passage as one of the choices.

The questions are numbered consecutively. Each question number corresponds to an underlined portion in the passage or to a box located in the passage.

Several  grammar issues, appear on the ACT English Test, including:
  1. Subject-Verb Agreement
  2. Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
  3. Pronoun Cases
  4. Verb Tenses
  5. Adverbs and Adjectives
  6. Idioms
  7. Comparative and Superlative Modifiers

RECOMMENDED READING: Grammar Workbook for the SAT, ACT, and More, by George Ehrenhaft Ed.D.

A solid command of English grammar is a prerequisite for success when students take the SAT, ACT, and other college entrance tests. This workbook presents a detailed grammar review with dozens of practice quizzes and exercises to sharpen students’ skills. It begins with an explanation of grammatical terms and their functions. It then describes the 24 most common mistakes made by students and shows how to avoid them. Prominent among them are lack of agreement between subject and verb, misuse of pronouns, faulty parallel structure, and faulty punctuation. A final chapter focuses on advice and instruction for writing error-free SAT and ACT essays. This workbook is filled with sample questions exactly like those found on both the SAT and ACT, and comes with fully explained answers.


Pronoun Case Quiz (Guide to Cases of Nouns and Pronouns with two quizzes)

Verb Tense Quiz:

Books by Michael Strickland That Celebrate the African American Experience

Families: Poems Celebrating the African American Experience

511KF9CYyBL._SY346_Family relationships are explored and affirmed in this joyful anthology of poems celebrating the diversity of African American families. Michael Strickland, has collaborated with his mother, noted educator Dorothy Strickland, to bring us this warm collection. Rich and powerful poems by Eloise Greenfield, Lucille Clifton, and others are rooted in deeply felt values of belonging and mutual respect.

From Publishers Weekly

Using works by Lucille Clifton, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes and other African American poets, this determinedly upbeat collection focuses on happy childhood experiences-getting hugs and kisses, going on family outings and saying a tender good night. The poems selected are rarely representative of the poets’ best writing; moreover, they tend to stereotype pretty little girls and big strong boys. The larger problem, however, is that in “celebrating the African American experience,” the editors try to be both inclusive and exclusive at the same time. Little here suggests either the uniqueness or the variety of black culture; conversely, the Stricklands’ own initial poem extolling “all kinds of families” and poems that applaud children of “every color skin” seem at odds with the uniformly black faces Ward depicts in his acrylic paintings. But even though the focus is blurred, many teachers and parents will welcome the volume for its use of an African American cast in paying tribute to middle-class family values. Ages 5-8.

  • Age Range: 5 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: 2 – 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsong (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563975602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563975608
  • Product Dimensions: 0.1 x 7.8 x 10.8 inches

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-A fine collection of 23 poems that feature African-American families. Youngsters’ voices come through vibrantly in these traditional and contemporary works that express the joy, sorrow, and excitement of childhood. Gwendolyn Brooks’s “Andre” is about a boy who dreams of having to choose new parents; Eloise Greenfield’s “Missing Mama” poignantly expresses a child’s sorrow at the death of his mother; and Lindamichellebaron’s “Hugs and Kisses” is a delightful selection about a boy’s hidden approval of his mother’s affection for him. Other poems are by Arnold Adoff, Lucille Clifton, Nikki Grimes, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes, Naomi F. Faust, Julia Fields, and E. Alma Flagg. Black characters are depicted in the attractive acrylic illustrations, and some poems express themes directly related to African-American culture; however, the verses represent and impart universal feelings and moments, making this a book to be shared and enjoyed by all children.

Haircuts at Sleepy Sam’s

From Publishers Weekly

Three brothers take a Saturday morning trip to Sam’s barber shop in this affable if slim story, narrated by the youngest sibling. Though their mother sends them with a note instructing the barber not to trim her sons’ Afro cuts too short on top, the boysAand SamAhave a different style in mind. Strickland, who has compiled several poetry anthologies for children, shapes credible dialogue and gives his narrative a bouncy cadence: awaiting their turn in the barber’s chair, the brothers “watch the men cut hair and talk, cut hair and joke, cut hair and argue, cut hair and laugh, cut hair and boogie to51QCGZY852L._SX260_ the oldies on the radio.” Holliday’s (First by Secondhand) 1970s’ palette underscores Mom’s old-fashioned ideas and the barbers’ banter about boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Rendered with airbrush and pastel chalk, his pictures showcase the animated expressions of the characters with close-to-photographic clarity against faded backgrounds of chartreuse, mauve and beige. Ages 4-8.

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563975629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563975622
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-It’s Saturday morning and haircut time for three African-American brothers. While their mother insists on natural Afro cuts, the boys yearn for the contemporary shorter styles worn by their friends. Readers follow the children as they walk to Sam’s Barbershop where they give Sam the envelope from their mother that contains instructions and money for the haircuts. Three barbers work on the siblings and when they are finished, the boys have the haircuts they wanted. The pastel and airbrush illustrations lend a light, cheery tone and portray a lively community. The photographic quality of the facial expressions invites readers to join in the joking and horseplay at the barbershop. Both the first-person narrative and the illustrations reveal the close-knit relationships of the brothers and their surroundings. The text flows well and is a good choice for reading aloud. For similar books, see Margaree King Mitchell’s Uncle Jed’s Barbershop (S & S, 1993) and Natasha Tarpley’s I Love My Hair (Little, Brown, 1997).
Shawn Brommer, Southern Tier Library System, Painted Post, NY

African-American Writers: A Dictionary

A timely survey of an important sector of American letters, African American Writers, examines a multitude of black cultural leaders from the eighteenth century to the present as it focuses on novelists, essayists, scholars, activists, critics, teachers, poets, playwrights, and songwriters. Biographical information covers important events in a writer’s life, education, major works, honors and awards, family and important associates, and more. Includes illustrations, bibliography, and index.

From Library Journal

This unique title profiles several hundred African American fiction and nonfiction writers from Colonial times to the present. The table of contents lists the authors alphabetically and then divides them into 17 categories (novels, short stories, slave narratives, etc.) and nine themes (Folktales, the Harlem Renaissance, Trickster Tales, etc.); authors whose 415372WY1YL._SY300_work spans several categories are listed separately under each. The profiles themselves, presented alphabetically and ranging from a paragraph for less well known writers like Ai Ogawa to three pages for writers like Ralph Ellison or Terry McMillan, are both biographical and critical, although the amount of criticism varies. Included in each entry are the writer’s birth and death dates, the categories into which he or she fits, and any pseudonyms. Black-and-white illustrations, references, genre lists, a comprehensive index, and chronologies of the writer’s life dates and of African American literary firsts complete this impressive title. Hatch, a freelance writer, and Strickland (creative writing, Boise State University.) are to be commended; no other single work seeks to include all past and present African American writers of significance in such an affordable format.

  • Series: Literary Companions (ABC)
  • Library Binding: 484 pages
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio Inc (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874369592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874369595
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.7 inches

From Booklist

Finding information about African American writers has always entailed searching in a variety of resources. Children’s writers, political writers, poets, songwriters, novelists, and speechwriters are covered in different sources, some easy to find, others not. Information about some writers, such as Toni Morrison and Phillis Wheatley, is readily available. Information about other, more obscure writers, such as Abby Fisher, who authored the first published cookbook by an African American woman, is harder to locate. And unearthing facts about those who penned comic strips, compiled bibliographies, or wrote scripts or political columns is even more challenging.

This very complete and readable dictionary helps to meet that challenge. Spanning the entire history of African American expression, it covers more than 530 individuals, including writers of commercials, hymns, newspaper editorials, and rap songs along with screenplays, novels, autobiographies, essays, and poetry. Publishers, editors, and patrons of the arts are included as well. Entries vary from just a sentence for actor Laurence Fishburne to 10 pages for Richard Wright. A handful of important movements, publications, and genres (e.g., Harlem Renaissance, Negro Digest, Spirituals ) are also treated.

Each author entry begins with the author’s birth name, followed by pseudonyms or alternative names and birth and death dates if available, as well as the genres appropriate to the individual. In addition to biographical facts, the editors have included information about what inspired the authors to compose their works, in the hope that the volume would be a springboard for further investigation or even a source of ideas. Cross-references are in bold type, and each entry ends with abbreviated source references. The book is sprinkled with photographs and concludes with an appendix of writers by genre, a chronology of writers and a chronology of  firsts, full bibliographic references, and an index.

The Club 51V34KHK01L._SY346_

… And

Shells Gold

Reading levels are inviting to reluctant readers.
– Each series features a multicultural cast of characters with strong group friendships.
– Engaging plots deal with peer rivalry, mystery, virtual reality, and much more!

The Club:

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Summit Books
  • Paperback: 119 pages
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (August 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789155427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789155429
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 4.2 x 6.6 inches


If you have kids or teens who are reluctant readers because they read below grade level and can’t find books they can read that interest them, try some of these hi-lo books. The Hi-Lo reading lists focus on books at the reader’s interest level (“Hi” stands for “high interest”) but written at a lower reading level (“Lo” stands for “low readability,” “low vocabulary,” “lower reading level”) to encourage reading. Kids and teens reading below grade level are more apt to want to read a book if it is not only at their reading level but 51D47VDB53L._SY346_also at their interest level.

  • Shell’s Gold:
  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Summit Books
  • Hardcover: 117 pages
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (August 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756908558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756908553

A hi-lo book, broadly defined, is a title that offers highly interesting subject matter at a low reading level, according to Publisher’s Weekly. A number of publishers have focused on producing these books, though they often take slightly different approaches to creating the products that best fit a particular market. The abiding goal, says Arianne McHugh, president and co-owner of Saddleback Educational Publishing, “is to offer age-appropriate content—something that will grab [readers’] interest—at a readability level that is accessible.” As examples, McHugh notes that for a struggling reader in middle school or high school, although The Hunger Games would generate enormous interest, it would be a discouraging undertaking. On the other hand, “You can’t give them Clifford; we don’t want to embarrass them,” she says. Somewhere in the middle is the book that’s just right, she says.

African-American Poets (Collective Biographies)

51CtPUje71L._SY346_This book  profiles the lives and work of ten African American poets: Gwendolyn Brooks, Haki R. Madhubuti, Rita Dove, Eloise Greenfield, Langston Hughes, Imamu Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Phillis Wheatley and Nikki Giovanni.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 7-12. ‘Ten African Americans are highlighted in these essays. Each 7-to-10 page sketch contains basic biographical information about the poet, showing how the African-American experience affected their work, along with a portrait (usually a photograph) and one of their poems. The writers range from former slave Phillis Wheatley to contemporary authors such as Maya Angelou, Eloise Greenfield, and Rita Dove. Also included are Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Nikki Giovanni. The clear, focused writing makes this a solid choice for reports, especially in multicultural units.‘

A to Z of African American History

512QEKG4G7L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Illustrated throughout, here are more than 500 entries about people, places and events in African American History.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Maya Angelou, Tuskegee Airmen, Slavery, Blacks throughout U.S. wars, the March on Washington, Sojourner Truth, Carl Lewis, Jim Crow Segregation, Langston Hughes and other topics are explored.

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Gramercy (January 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517163004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517163009

 Further Reading: How I Published All of My Books

      Education, arts, culture, and entertainment are topics that drive most of my writing. My work often demonstrates a special emphasis on the incomparable quality of life in and around Boise, Idaho. See my

articles on Yahoo!


And on the international level, the Black diaspora, see my book, Black Snake and the Eggs: A Tale Told in Liberia illustrated by Siri Weber Feeney.

350 Fabulous Writing Prompts: Thought-Provoking Springboards For Creative, Expository, and Journal Writing

350 Fabulous Writing Prompts: Thought-Provoking Springboards For Creative, Expository, and Journal Writing Paperback by Jacqueline Sweeney highlights creative, engaging, thought-provoking prompts for every day of the school year! More than 300 ways to motivate even your most reluctant writers. Topics include feelingsindex, ethics, “imagineering,” quotations, humor, problem-solving, school situations, and so much more. For use with Grades 4-8.

Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes. Due to the looseness of the definition, it is possible for writing such as feature stories to be considered creative writing, even though they fall under journalism, because the content of features is specifically focused on narrative and character development. Both fictional and non-fictional works fall into this category, including such forms as novels, biographies, short stories, and poems. In the academic setting, creative writing is typically separated into fiction and poetry classes, with a focus on writing in an original style, as opposed to imitating pre-existing genres such as crime or horror. Writing for the screen and stage—screenwriting and playwriting—are taught separately, but fit under the creative writing category as well.

Also consider Coming to Know by Nancy Atwell. This  book is for teachers who are ready to put writing to work across the curriculum. It is written by teachers of grades 3 through 6 who, dissatisfied with encyclopedia-based approaches to content-area writing, asked their students to write as scientists, historians, mathematicians, and literary critics do – to use writing-as-process to discover meaning.

One of the subjects of this volume is report writing and ways to help children produce content-area writing that is as personal and meaningful as their stories of their own experiences. Students learn how to take notes in their own words, conduct interviews, record observations, design their first simple research project, select appropriate genres for their research, and apply the techniques of writing workshop in science, social studies, and reading classes.

In addition, Coming to Know explores the uses of academic journals, or learning logs. Children speculate, brainstorm, role play, correspond, predict, and ask questions about math, reading, science, and social studies – and demonstrate the power of informal writing to generate thinking. Coming to Know is also about the connections between reading and writing, the effects of using writing to learn on curriculum and planning, and the role of children’s literature in teaching science, social studies and math.

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