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What happens when students, not planned teaching points, lead instructional decisions about writing? When Writers Drive the Workshop shows teachers how to empower students in every aspect of writing workshop—conferring, responding to writing, self-assessment, & mini-lessons. Includes ideas for using digital tools. Preview the entire book!
January 3, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • Ariz. educator uses movement, songs to teach math
    Students sing, dance and perform skits to learn math concepts in Alicia Behrens' fifth-grade class at Desert Willow Elementary School in Casa Grande, Ariz. During a recent class, students learned the order of operations to the tune of "We Will Rock You," and took on different personas, such as Albert Einstein, to demonstrate how to solve problems on the board. "When they can tie movement and actions or song to math operations, it not only motivates them to learn, but it helps them learn those standards in a more concrete way," principal Jennifer Murrieta said. Casa Grande Valley Newspapers (Ariz.)/Casa Grande Dispatch (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Establishing a needs-fulfilling classroom
    In a needs-fulfilling classroom, both the needs of the students and the teacher are met, writes teacher Chad Sansing. In this blog post, he writes that teachers in such classrooms give students more freedom and understand what the students consider fun, how they use power, how they relate to others and what they are scared of in order to better facilitate instruction. Needs-fulfilling classrooms also allow teachers and students to better work toward a common goal, Sansing writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Literacy program helped introduce kindergarteners to school, ABCs
    Kindergarten teacher Carren Cook this year used a free literacy curriculum offered by PBS in conjunction with its cartoon program, "Super Why," as part of a one-week summer reading program at Kenwood Elementary in Louisville, Ky. Many of the incoming kindergarteners are English learners, and the program introduced them to letters and books as well as the school and its teachers. "I can't imagine what a 5-year-old is thinking that first day of the school," Cook said. "It must be overwhelming. But they knew us, their teachers." The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Libraries are using iPads in preschool story time
    Many libraries are incorporating interactive storytelling tablet applications into their traditional reading programs for children younger than 5. Librarians at Watertown, Mass., Free Public Library pass around iPads with loaded apps during story time, and Darien Library in Connecticut lends tablets that include early-reading apps. Critics argue that using tablets dilutes an important ingredient for learning -- human interaction -- and express concerns about the data collection about children and potential harmful effects of screen time. School Library Journal (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • La. students to journey to Washington, D.C., for inauguration
    History teacher Shana Watson and civics teacher Brendan O'Kelly will accompany 19 of their students from Baton Rouge's Mentorship Academy to Washington, D.C., next month for President Barack Obama's second inauguration and a few busy days soaking up history in the nation's capital. The trip is part of the Smithsonian Institution's Student Travel program, but the funds needed for the experience were raised by the students. "It's civics in action," O'Kelly said. The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Education Policy 
  • 90,000 Ariz. students become eligible for vouchers
    Arizona students whose schools received a D or F rating from the state became eligible starting Tuesday to apply for vouchers of up to $3,500, which can be used for education expenses including private-school tuition. The state's voucher law originally offered scholarships to about 125,000 students with disabilities, but the expansion of the law allows application from about 90,000 additional students who attend low-performing schools. "I would not predict a mass exodus (from public schools)," said John Huppenthal, state superintendent of public instruction. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Principal shares key leadership qualities
    High-school principal Dwight Carter in this blog post shares his top leadership principles and how each is present at his school. Among the principles are vision, clear expectations and the development of positive relationships -- a goal at his high school, where the staff schedules social events and there is a focus on nurturing new students. Carter's other principles include communication, teamwork, accountability and learning. Connected Principals blog (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Professional Learning 
  • Purdue tests co-teaching as new student teaching model
    Purdue University is piloting a co-teaching model to help its student teachers gain practical knowledge in the classroom but keeping the mentor teacher in the classroom. The model was introduced, in part, as a response to veteran teachers' reluctance to turn their students over to inexperienced teachers now that students' test scores weigh heavily as part of their evaluations. "Teachers are much more concerned about turning their classroom over to someone for 16 weeks," said Cynthia Robinson, head of Purdue University Calumet's Department of Teacher Preparation. Post-Tribune (Merrillville, Ind.) (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Supporting communities of practice as a model for professional learning
    In this web seminar, panelists talk about how educators in a community of practice in Rowland Unified School District (RUSD) in southern California were supported by the system in developing skills and practices in collaboration, deprivatizing practice, using student data as the core of group conversations, and coming to shared agreements about action that emerged out of conversations. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Writing boosts learning in science, math and social studies
    This article from "The Council Chronicle" (September 2006) addresses benefits of writing across the disciplines. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Well done is better than well said."
--Benjamin Franklin,
American inventor and statesman

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