Leveled reading systems=pigeon-holed students? #amreading

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not a parent, and I haven't frequented schools where reading systems were prevalent in over twenty years.So let me tell you a story.I was recently chatting with a friend who does have elementary-school-aged children, and we got to talking about the books we enjoyed when we were in school, required reading or otherwise. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain, etc. She--I'm not feeling creative today, so I'll call her Polly Parent--is active in volunteering in her kids' classrooms and around the school as well.I mention remembering the little numbers on the backs of children's books--not the ISBNs, but the reading level. Polly tells me that reading levels still exist, but they're broader now; more...encompassing. Restricting, even. I ask he what she means, and she says that, in her kids' school, they use a leveled reading system. I don't know whether it's this one from Scholastic, but there are...
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Ah, Facebook…

So, if you don't live under a rock, you know that Facebook went public.  And since they're publicly traded now, they've gone all "Oh shit, we need to get some revenue!" and started holding posts hostage for page owners. For those who aren't familiar with how this works, if you have a Facebook page (like my author page, https://www.facebook.com/sarahallanauthor) people can "like" your page and get access to your posts and updates.  This is free, and great promotion.  I also love it because I can interact on a one-on-one level with my "fans" (it feels so weird to call them that, but whatever), and it's a lot of fun.  Please keep in mind that not everyone will see your page's posts on their newsfeed for whatever reason, be it that they simply ignore it, or it gets lost among the other posts, but on good days I reach 100+ of my 190 people's newsfeeds according to my FB stats (whether they...
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Bonus post! This rant brought to you by the letter “E”

Okay, not to go all Ranty McRantypants on you, but one thing (okay, a few things, really) that sets me off is bullying.  This is for a variety of reasons that I'm not going into, but here's what's up. You all probably remember that my "E" entry was for "Erotica," right?  If you haven't read it, click here.  Okay, so you know writing smexy stories isn't anything to be ashamed of, but apparently, normal people aren't supposed to do that, or they get crucified in the media. Here's the article: http://snydercounty.wnep.com/news/news/parents-english-teacher-writes-racy-novels/58743In a nutshell, Judy Buranich has been a high school English teacher for 25 years in Pennsylvania.  She's also an author of erotic romance (again, read my "E" entry) with Ellora's Cave under the name Judy Mays.  One of her students' parents "somehow" came across her on the internet, and "outed" her to the community, calling what she does "disgusting."  This seasoned educator, who, by the way, is even called a...
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“H” is for Homonym

My "H" for the A-Z Blogging Challenge is the incredibly frightening and often abused homonym.Why are people afraid of them, and why are they abused?  Because a lot of people don't know what homonyms are.  So, I'll tell you.  Homonyms are words that sound the same but have different meanings, but they can be broken down even more into two categories: Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, and homophones are words that sound the same when you pronounce them but have different meanings. Why am I prepared to rant about homonyms?  Because Facebook is making me.  I'm totally serious.  You have no idea how many people's posts I come across who use these words incorrectly, among many, many others.  It makes me ragey. Anyway, homonyms cause a lot of confusion, even with basic writing.  Mistakes I see often, even with adults, involve the improper use of "they're" (contraction of "they are"), "there" (shows location),...
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