Tag Archives: Nell Duke

The Arc of Motivation

NNTBT_NoMoreReading4Junk_1There will always be students who struggle with motivation to read. In No More Reading for Junk, Barbara Marinak and Linda Gambrell show that motivation is central to reading development. If students are not motivated to read, then they will not reach their full literacy potential. The authors provide research-based context for fostering reading motivation in children, and share strategies and techniques that are proven to transform students into passionate, lifelong readers.

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What Does the Research Say about Lecture-Only Teaching?

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Adapted from No More Telling as Teaching: Less Lecture, More Engaged Learning by Cris Tovani and Elizabeth Birr Moje.

Why should we care about whether teachers rely on lecture? People have lectured throughout history, and many teachers claim this is the most efficient way to cover content. And, in fact, in and of itself the lecture is not a bad method for sharing information, ideas, or perspectives. Many people share their thoughts with others through lectures.

Because learners can participate in well-framed and well-structured lectures for which they have a clear sense of purpose, it is not the lecture that we challenge but rather a conception of learning that makes the teacher the knowledge disseminator and the students receptacles waiting to be filled. Specifically, we challenge the steady diet of teachers and textbooks (or other media) telling, with students regurgitating what they have been told.

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The Discourse Against Homework: Concerns and Solutions

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Homework. The word alone evokes strong emotions from children, youth, parents, and teachers. For most teachers, this word sits right between rock and hard place. Assign too much homework, and teachers run the risk of complaints, if not outright misery, from parents, students, and—feeling the need to give feedback on all that homework—themselves. Assign too little homework, and teachers risk being seen as “soft” and lacking in rigor, and because homework can feel like it helps “cover” the curriculum, feeling further behind. And that just regards the issue of how much homework. Then there are all the complexities around what kinds of homework.

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Standing on Shoulders

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By Jennifer Serravallo

The Writing Strategies Book started shipping this week. I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the positive responses and enthusiasm from so many. Before you all get this book in your hands, though, I need to get something off my chest:

This book would not exist were it not for a community of friends, mentors, colleagues and teachers—giants—whom I’ve been lucky to know. I want you all to know them, too.

My most immediate teacher and mentor around the teaching of writing is Lucy Calkins. I first read her books in college, leaned on them heavily throughout my years in the classroom, and eventually was lucky enough to spend years with her at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Her contributions are deep-reaching—not only in writing curriculum and workshop methods of instruction but also as a mentor to so many who have gone on to inspire others. If you asked Lucy, though, she’d probably tell you she stands on the shoulders of her mentors, chief among them Don Graves. I came to Graves’ books, such as Writing: Teachers and Children at Work, many years after being introduced to Lucy’s books, but through Lucy, I was learning from this work years before going directly to the source.

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No More Mindless Homework, a Twitter Chat with Janine Bempechat

bulb-linkroundup Research shows that students who have positive home support for homework activities not only find the homework experience more rewarding but get more out of it. Parents, in most cases, are eager to help their children do the homework necessary to augment their classroom learning, but conflict can enter the picture when kids push back— which is often the case. Many students view homework negatively, but there are several simple practices parents can put in place to help mitigate the negativity and influence the homework experience for the better. 

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We Can’t Nurture Intrinsic Reading Motivation Using Rewards or Punishment

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Research tells us that when schools provide rewards as incentives for reading, despite their best intentions, the results lead to a decrease in long-term reading motivation for students. Authors Barbara A. Marinak and Linda Gambrell led the study on this topic and, combined with their classroom experience, have written No More Reading for Junk: Best Practices for Motivating Readers. Below is a section from the opening of chapter one, written by Barbara. This is followed by a video of Barbara talking about one reluctant reader who made it clear she wasn't interested in reading. Or was she?  

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