Most Clicked NCLE SmartBrief Stories


1. Ideas to make novels the anchor texts of ELA units

NCLE SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

Novels should serve as the anchoring texts for Common Core State Standards-based language-arts units, writes Ryan McCarty, a coach with the Achievement Network. In this blog post, he shares online resources and sample lessons and explains close-reading techniques for novels. Teaching Channel (05/15)


2. N.Y. district gives students more choice in summer reading

NCLE SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Students' reading skills may improve when they are given some choice over their summer-reading lists, according to the results of a small study of students in a New York district. The district has used the findings to tweak its summer-reading framework and give students more voice in the process. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (05/20)


3. Educator: Digital tools boost students' poetry

NCLE SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

Students are writing and sharing more now that their poetry projects have transitioned to Google Drive, educator Kevin Hodgson writes. In this blog post, he shares mentor texts and student examples, plus the successes and pitfalls of writing poetry with digital tools, such as needing to teach design and proper use of images found online. MiddleWeb (05/19)


4. A skeptic's guide to coding in the classroom

NCLE SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

Advocates for teaching computer coding in school regularly face skeptics who question its value, suggests Chad Sansing, a middle-school language arts teacher in Virginia. In this commentary, he highlights what coding is and why he believes it is so important to learning in the classroom and beyond. School Library Journal (05/11)


5. How the "senior slump" can affect future plans

NCLE SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

NBC News (05/17)


6. How to make literacy pop with bubble wrap

NCLE SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Bubble wrap is a useful instructional tool for guided reading and literacy lessons, writes kindergarten teacher Brian Smith. In this blog post, he shares several game-based lessons, including "pop goes the letter," in which the teacher says a letter sound and students pop "the bubble with the corresponding letter or letters that makes that sound." Scholastic.com (05/18)


7. Is "complex trauma" a disability under federal law?

NCLE SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

A group of students and educators in a California district recently filed a federal lawsuit alleging the district is not doing enough to ensure students with "complex trauma" have access to an appropriate education. The lawsuit is being billed as the first of its kind and could set a precedent about the role schools play in students' mental health. The Atlantic (5/19)


8. Va. 5th-graders learn history with video game

NCLE SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

A Virginia elementary school's fifth-graders are learning about Civil War history with A Nation Divided, a video game developed by students and a professor at the University of Virginia. The students take a test before and after playing the game, which also reinforces the state's Standards of Learning. Officials said the game is helping students learn more about history. Charlottesville Tomorrow (Va.) (05/17)


9. Ark. students Skype with Holocaust survivor for project

NCLE SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

A group of Arkansas seventh-graders recently talked via Skype with a Holocaust survivor in Illinois. The students have been studying the Holocaust by conducting research online and through books and film as well as creating a quilt and book projects. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) (free registration) (05/18)


10. Literacy program in Colo. creates individual plans for struggling readers

NCLE SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

KUNC-FM (Greeley, Colo.) (05/20)




Sign up for NCLE SmartBrief



Designed specifically for educators and advocates of literacy teaching and learning, NCLE SmartBrief is a FREE, twice-weekly e-mail newsletter. By providing the latest need-to-know industry news and information, NCLE SmartBrief saves you time and keeps you smart. Learn more