Archive for May, 2017

Lucky Girl: A Thought-provoking Look at the Good-girl/Bad-girl Dichotomy

Lucky GirlLucky Girl is an unflinching exploration of beauty, self-worth, and sexual assault.

Rosie is a beautiful girl—and it’s always been enough. Boys crush on her, men stare at her, girls (begrudgingly) admire her. She’s lucky and she knows it.

But it’s the start of a new school year and she begins to realize that she wants to be more. Namely, she’s determined to be better to her best friend, Maddie, who’s just back from a summer program abroad having totally blossomed into her own looks. Rosie isn’t thrilled when Maddie connects with a football player who Rosie was hooking up with—but if it makes her friend happy, she’s prepared to get over it. Plus, someone even more interesting has moved to town: Alex, who became semifamous after he stopped a classmate from carrying out a shooting rampage at his old high school. Rosie is drawn to Alex in a way she’s never experienced before—and she is surprised to discover that, unlike every other guy, he seems to see more to her than her beauty.

Then at a party one night, in the midst of a devastating storm, something happens that tears apart Rosie’s life and sets her on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to face uncomfortable truths about reputation, identity, and what it means to be a true friend.

“Through Rosie’s present-tense narration, Amanda Maciel examines societal pressures on girls to equate self-worth and looks,” says a Krikus review of this work by the author of the acclaimed Tease. The book is “a thought-provoking look at the good-girl/bad-girl dichotomy.”

This important young adult novel touches upon self esteem and how far some young people may go in order to be popular. Lucky girl is a well written and eye-opening narrative that will not only appeal to young adults, but older readers as well.

The author takes you on a trip down memory lane to your high school days. We all know how cruel teenagers can be and how many will do just about anything for a little attention. If you like a touch bit of romance with your story,  you will get this, also.  And although this book deals with serious issues, there were some brilliantly funny moments.

“Maciel offers a nuanced take on her characters’ individual situations (Rosie isn’t the only character to suffer trauma) and approaches their stories with empathy and respect.” (Publishers Weekly)

Strategies for Teaching Reading

How can you prepare every student for reading success?Reading strategies are explicit, planned actions that help translate the printed word into sounds and meaning. Reading skills benefit every kind of student, but they are essential for emerging readers, struggling readers, English Language Learners, and students with learning challenges, according to Reading Horizons.

Here are some of the widely used practices:

Guided reading is an instructional approach that involves a teacher working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviors and can all read similar levels of texts. The text is easy enough for students to read with your skillful support.

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Direct instruction (DI) is a general term for the explicit teaching of a skill-set using lectures or demonstrations of the material to students. … DI teaches by passive learning, in contrast to exploratory models such as inquiry-based learning, discovery learning or active learning.

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Mastery-Based Learning: In any situation where you’re given a set of labs, problems, or activities where your progression is dependent on successful completion of various tasks rather than seat time, you’re engaging in mastery-based learning–a teaching method premised on the idea that student progression through a course should be dependent on proficiency as opposed to amount of time spent on academic work.

As every teacher knows, classroom management is a consummate juggling act. To remain attentive to the needs of all students, teachers must engage the more advanced students while helping the struggling ones catch up. At any given point in a lesson, a teacher must decide whether to move through the material aggressively and add more challenges and twists to the problems presented, or build in more of cushion for those who are confused. Any one of these strategies is bound to leave some students feeling bored or confused. Mastery-based learning aims to help teachers in this respect by allowing students to move through coursework at their own pace.

Key features of mastery-based learning (MBL):

1. Curriculum design hinges on assessments
2. Assessments may take any form as long as they determine proficiency
3. Graduation to the next grade/level/topic is contingent upon successful completion of prerequisite assessment.
4. Curriculum is committed to the success of all students; students are not “allowed” to give up.

SOURCE: 5 Myths about Mastery-Based Learning The Knewton Blog

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Recommended: The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers, by Jennifer Serravallo  

With hit books that support strategic reading through conferring, small groups, and assessment, Jen Serravallo gets emails almost daily asking, “Isn’t there a book of the strategies themselves?” Now there is.

“Strategies make the often invisible work of reading actionable and visible,” Jen writes. In The Reading Strategies Book, she collects 300 strategies to share with readers in support of thirteen goals-everything from fluency to literary analysis. Each strategy is cross-linked to skills, genres, and Fountas & Pinnell reading levels to give you just-right teaching, just in time. With Jen’s help you’ll:

  • develop goals for every reader
  • give students step-by-step strategies for skilled reading
  • guide readers with prompts aligned to the strategies
  • adjust instruction to meet individual needs with Jen’s Teaching Tips
  • craft demonstrations and explanations with her Lesson Language
  • learn more with Hat Tips to the work of influential teacher-authors.

Whether you use readers workshop, Daily 5/CAFE, guided reading, balanced reading, a core reading program, whole-class novels, or any other approach, The Reading Strategies Book will complement and extend your teaching. Rely on it to plan and implement goal-directed, differentiated instruction for individuals, small groups, and whole classes.

“We offer strategies to readers to put the work in doable terms for those who are still practicing,” writes Jen Serravallo. “The goal is not that they can do the steps of the strategy but that they become more comfortable and competent with a new skill.” With The Reading Strategies Book, you’ll have ways to help your readers make progress every day.

 

 

 

 

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