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Literacy in the Content Areas

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Literacy in the Content Areas

Do your students struggle with comprehension or vocabulary development? Looking for ways to integrate literacy in your instruction? This group will explore issues related to literacy in middle school science and mathematics.

Members: 38
Latest Activity: May 14, 2013

Discussion Forum

Common Core ELA in Science & Technical Subjects 13 Replies

Started by Jessica Fries-Gaither. Last reply by Jessica Fries-Gaither May 31, 2012.

Reading in Math is Different

Started by Jessica Fries-Gaither Oct 24, 2011.

Reading 2.0

Started by Jessica Fries-Gaither Oct 10, 2011.

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Comment by Kim Lightle on November 26, 2012 at 1:45pm

From NSTA Newsletter: NSTA and the CBC have selected the annual list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12. This year's list includes books by well-known authors like Seymour Simon and Nic Bishop, focuses on some of the most primal concepts (what does an animal do on the first day of its life?), and even explains why the vampire myth persists in our society. The books on this list feature captivating stories of human achievement—like those of Rachel Carson or the diverse investigators in What Color Is My World? They combine science and engineering, like the story of the Mighty Mars Rovers. They feature outstanding art, lyric poetry, and plenty of ideas for hands-on activity. These great books have something to grab the minds and hearts of students at every level. So once again, we present a list of the year's Outstanding Science Trade Books with pride and optimism. They have the potential to enrich and inspire, as they convey the best science content. Please share!

Teachers, parents, librarians, and anyone else who loves reading with children will want to get their hands on these titles.

Comment by Kim Lightle on August 29, 2012 at 9:48am

A new video from Teacher's Domain - http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/midlit11.pd.ela.pdvideo/

In this professional development video from WGBH, teachers, students, and a literacy expert present their perspectives on the use of the self-paced lessons in the Walmart Middle School Literacy Initiative. Designed for struggling readers in grades 5–8, the lessons use videos, interactive activities, note taking, readings, and essay writing to engage students in science, social studies, English language arts, and mathematics topics. As they learn about a topic, they also build proficiency in reading, vocabulary, and writing skills.

Comment by Kim Lightle on January 5, 2012 at 5:43pm

The latest issue of Science Scope (National Science Teacher Association middle school journal) is all about integrating science and language arts. There are a couple of free articles - check it out!

http://www.nsta.org/publications/browse_journals.aspx?action=issue&...

Comment by Kim Lightle on September 14, 2009 at 9:47am
Here is an article from the NYT - Raiders of the Lost Earth - that describes a fantasy set in a future eco-dystopia by David Klass and books of stories of teen environmentalists by Blake Nelson and Jennifer Cowan. The titles of the books are Timelock, Destroy All Cars, and Earthgirl.

Is anyone familiar with these? I guess Timelock is the final volume of David Klass’s Caretaker Trilogy, a story of ecological crisis played out between the heedless present day and a barren 31st-century future.
Comment by Terese (Terry) Herrera on September 8, 2009 at 10:12am
This is a partial answer to Sydia Sterling's question below.
For one thing, the vocabulary of mathematics can be confusing, with some words meaning one thing in a mathematical context and another in everyday settings. Symbols can look alike, and different symbols can represent the same operation (for example, *, x, and • for multiplication). You might use a Math Dictionary in your classroom to help in this area. An article I really liked on teaching vocabulary, Unlocking the Mystery of Mathematics: Give Vocabulary Instruction a... comes from a classroom teacher and is well worth reading.

Writing is rarely valued as a way of learning math or of solving math problems. When I say "writing" I mean not only words but also drawings, tables, and graphs--all ways of setting out students' work logically and communicating their understandings. Another teacher explains her classroom work in A Case for Using Reading and Writing in a Mathematics Classroom.
Hope this partially answers your question, Sydia!
Comment by sydia sterling on September 6, 2009 at 12:47pm
I want to know, what problems children face in content area literacy?
Comment by Kim Lightle on August 20, 2009 at 11:46am
I heard Nancy Pearl talk about this book on NPR this morning - Mysteries You Might Have Missed. The main character is an 11-year old girl who loves chemistry. Sounds really fun. Kim

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, Hardcover, 384 pages, Delacorte Press, List Price: $23

From NPR story: It's been a long time since I've encountered a more delightful young sleuth than Flavia de Luce, the 11-year-old bicycle-riding chemistry whiz who narrates Alan Bradley's first novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Early one summer morning in 1950, Flavia discovers a man dying among the cucumbers in the garden of her family's estate in the British countryside. When her reclusive father is arrested for the man's murder, she takes it upon herself to discover the real perpetrator of the crime.

Here's how Flavia describes how she knows that her adversary is lying to her: "It was a lie and I detected it at once. As an accomplished fibber myself, I spotted the telltale signs of an untruth before they were halfway out of his mouth: the excessive detail, the offhand delivery, and the wrapping-up of it all in casual chitchat."

Flavia's detecting skills would be the envy of Sherlock Holmes (or at least Watson), and her bravery is amply demonstrated during a frightening encounter with a dastardly villain who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie makes perfect summer reading — it's gore-free, very funny in places, nicely written, not too sweet (despite the title) and narrated by a real charmer. I can't wait for Bradley to write the sequel.
 

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