Don’t call a spade a spade.
Tax Day is right around the corner, and for many that three-letter word T-A-X triggers anxiety. For some it is the anti-holiday. Writer Matt Huston had four strategies to make the experience psychologically less taxing. He explains the fourth strategy, “Don’t Mention It,” this way:
Think of taxes as an “offset” or a “donation.” Taxpayers were much more amenable to a “carbon offset” than a “carbon tax” even when it cost them the same amount, reports a study in Psychological Science.
Not calling a spade a spade can be just as important in education as it is in finance. Once at the beginning of a professional development presentation, I used the word “data” and people recoiled. From that point on I used the term “student work,” and we had a highly successful collaboration. Lately the term “teacher accountability” gets a similar response. Rigor? Standards? Assessment? What is your school’s or district’s dirty word that has so much emotion tied to it that the word keeps people from doing good work? What is a surrogate term that both recognizes the legitimacy of the trigger and helps people move past it?
This week we’re featuring audio resources for literacy instruction. Plus more as always — enjoy!
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Shari Frost gives examples of how teachers use recorded texts to reach students in creative ways. More Than Listening Centers: Using Audiobooks in Literacy Instruction is from the Choice Literacy archives:
If you enjoy Mem Fox’s children’s books, hearing her read them aloud is a real treat. She has recorded many favorites at her website:
Storynory is a terrific source for recorded books online, geared to children ages 8-11:
You’ll see yourself in Sarah Brown Wessling’s poignant and funny Confessions of a Real Teacher. It’s a wonderful reminder that teachers aren’t superhuman — and we wouldn’t want to be:
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Jennifer Vincent explains how recorded texts were a potent tool for reaching a struggling fourth-grade reader in Embracing the Growth Mindset with Audiobooks:
Katherine Sokolowski uses audio recordings and other tech resources to build her fifth-grade reading community in Audioboo, QR Codes, and Authentic Reading Response:
This week’s video includes a print supplement. Max Brand describes how he uses images to build reading and writing skills among his kindergartners in Every Picture Tells a Story:
Sheiks, harems, and terrorists — the stereotypes of the Middle East from popular culture may not be realistic, but they sure are pervasive. Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham find authentic alternative views to present to children in their new booklist, Understanding the Middle East Through Children’s Literature:
Finally, Heather Rader shares the last installment in her primary research series, Research IS the Project:
That’s all for this week!