Congratulations to 2012 National Book Award authors Katherine Boo (Nonfiction Winner), Robert Caro (Nonfiction Finalist), and Ben Fountain (Fiction Finalist), as well as three-time NBA Poetry Finalist Louise Glück, on their 2013 L.A. Times Book Prizes! Congratulations also to 1974 NBA Arts & Letters Finalist Kevin Starr on receiving the 2012 Kirsch Award.

For more about the prize and the winners, visit


“Not everything will be ok But some things will.” #quote #latergram (Taken with Instagram at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA))


“Not everything will be ok But some things will.” #quote #latergram (Taken with Instagram at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA))


“A lot of reading skills students can apply with a simple text, but can’t do so much with a challenging text.”
- Dr. Timothy Shanahan

Dr. Shanahan, a member of the CCSS development team, has some particularly interesting insights into the thinking behind the standards. In the video above, watch him speak about the emphasis on complex text in the Common Core State Standards.


Dr. Shanahan discusses a “real pivot” in approach to teaching challenging text. The CCSS is requiring students to read increasingly complex text at higher Lexile levels. What kind of supports must a teacher have in order to ensure students’ success?


High school science teacher Tyler DeWitt was ecstatic about a lesson plan on bacteria (how cool!) — and devastated when his students hated it. The problem was the textbook: it was impossible to understand. He delivers a rousing call for science teachers to ditch the jargon and extreme precision, and instead make science sing through stories and demonstrations. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

Tyler DeWitt recognizes that textbooks are not the way to get young people interested in science. Instead, he teaches science by making it fun and fantastical.

The Best of the Book Lists 2012



One of our favorite things about the holiday season is the recap of the year in books! Publications, websites, and readers everywhere begin pulling together what they think is the cream of the crop — the best books of the year. Take a look below through some of the lists we’ve pulled together, and keep an eye here for additions to the list as we approach the end of this stellar literary year.

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During the act of reading engaging fiction, we can lose all sense of time. By the final chapter of the right book, we feel changed in our own lives, even if what we’ve read is entirely made up.

Research says that’s because while you’re engaged in fiction—unlike nonfiction—you’re given a safe arena to experience emotions without the need for self-protection. Since the events you’re reading about do not follow you into your own life, you can feel strong emotions freely.


The key metric the researchers used is “emotionally transported,” or how deeply connected we are to the story. Previous research has shown that when we read stories about people experiencing specific emotions or events it triggers activity in our brains as if we were right there in the thick of the action.

New study by Dutch researchers confirms previous theories that reading fiction makes you a better person by expanding your capacity for empathy.

Also see how storytelling makes us human.

(via explore-blog)

(via explore-blog)

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