Posted in Classroom Ideas

Classroom Libraries

I love Edutopia. I think it’s a great teacher resource. The articles are easy to read, informative, and have great ideas. I have so many of their articles bookmarked on my iPad so that I can use the ideas in the future.

One idea that I’m really interested in is classroom libraries. Personally I think that every English/Language Arts classroom should have a class library so that students have easy access to a variety of books. It’s just something I think is really important, and I know that I want to have my own classroom library someday.

I found a great article on the importance of classroom libraries on Edutopia. You can read it here. The author talks about the different types of readers, how to bring students into the classroom library, and how to incorporate the classroom library into lessons.

What I like about the article is that it’s broken into the three sections. I like the array of ideas that are connected to a single topic. I also like how the ideas are there and are detailed enough to work with but the article isn’t overwhelming. It’s just the right amount of information to be a springboard, which for me is all I need.

Read the article. Tell me what you think.

BB

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Posted in Regular Update

An Update

You may or may not have noticed that englishnook is slowly evolving. This blog began as a school project but has evolved into something that I truly and 100% love. I want this blog to be a success. As I move forward in my career I think it’s more and more important to have this resource to share what I’m learning, what I’m reading, what websites I’m using, and everything else.

I’ve taken out some of the pages that seemed irrelevant. I’ve worked hard to add more resources to the resources page and articles to the articles page. And I’ll keep adding. And I’ve been posting, and I’ll keep posting. Somewhere along the way I lost my mojo with this blog, but it’s back now, and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes this blog.

BB

Posted in Food for Thought

Annotating in Books

I’ve written about annotation already. I think it’s a really important skill to have and to teach regardless of what the subject matter is. I think it’s an especially important skill to teach if you’re teaching English, because so much of English revolves around analyzing and talking about texts. And at the end of the day I like to consider myself a pretty decent annotator. I’ve had a lot of practice, and I’ve come up with techniques that definitely work for me. But there’s one pretty massive thing I struggle with. I don’t like writing in books.

As an English major and a future English teacher, this is kind of a big deal. In these areas of life we annotate our books to remember what we felt and what we thought so we can share it with others. And I don’t like to do that.

I have no problem with putting sticky notes in my books. Nor do I have any problems with writing on articles and print outs. But I have a really hard time actually writing in a book.

I think it stems from growing up an absolute book lover. Writing in books has always kind of seemed like defacing them. It’s always made me cringe and squirm.

I’m working on it. I have certain books I allow myself to annotate in. Maybe one day I’ll be a full fledged annotator.

What’s your stance on annotating?

BB

Posted in Food for Thought, Teaching Techniques

More Thoughts on Close Reading

Lately I’ve written¬† about close reading. You can read my other post here. Since entering my internship close reading is something I’ve thought about a lot, and I have a lot of thoughts on the topic. That’s what happens when you really start to think about something – you realize just how many thoughts you have.

While my thoughts are varied and sometimes contradicting, I do believe that close reading is important. There’s a lot we can learn from close reading, and so long as we use close reading appropriately, it can be a valuable asset. But here’s my latest question on the topic.

Why do we call it close reading?

I ask because when I was thinking about it the other day, I realized that a better name might be active reading. We’re actively searching for information. We’re actively highlighting words and phrases that seem important to us. We’re actively asking questions. We’re actively thinking about what we’re reading and what it might mean.

So why not call it active reading?

I just think that if we did call it active reading, it might be a less intimidating concept, and a concept that’s more easily understood. Sometimes students get confused when we ask them to close read a passage because it’s a foreign concept and the name is a little abstract. I think that the title of active reading is more self explanatory for everyone involved.

Maybe it’s time to think about reconsidering what we call things. Maybe it’s OK to rename things if we think it might make more sense to our students. I think this is definitely something to really take some time and think about it.

Let me know what you think!

BB

Posted in About the Nook

Welcome to the EnglishNook!

Welcome to the EnglishNook! This blog contains a number of presentations that I’ve made, tidbits of wisdom that I’ve gathered over time, articles that I’ve found interesting, and other organized miscellanea. I hope that you like what you find here and find it useful. Feel free to share your resources and ideas with me also!

BB