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January 14, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
 
  • Common core doesn't cut literature from English classes
    English class under the Common Core State Standards will not reduce students' reading of literature in favor of technical documents, but entice them to read more of all works -- from poetry to literary nonfiction, writes Carol Jago, associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project. For students to read independently and proficiently, they must read more often than just at school, Jago writes in this guest blog post. "To reverse this trend we need to make English classrooms vibrant places where compelling conversations about great works of literature take place every day," says Jago, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English. The Washington Post/The Answer Sheet blog (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Common core guide says students should read more of everything:   The Common Core State Standards demands a dramatic increase in overall reading, according to a new guide, but does not necessarily mean that nonfiction works will replace the fictional titles that traditionally have been part of the curriculum, education reporter Catherine Gewertz writes in this blog post. "Because literacy is now a shared responsibility among all teachers, reading should dramatically increase in all content areas," the guide states. "While English teachers may use more informational text, students may actually read more literature not less." Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pa. teachers adjust reading instruction with frequent assessments
    The North Penn School District in Lansdale, Pa., is using a $1.17 million federal Keystones to Opportunity grant to improve literacy education throughout the school district. Teachers at all grade levels have made changes, including increased assessments and adjusted literacy curriculum, all in an effort to ensure students are ready for college and careers when they graduate, said district Assistant Superintendent Diane Holben. "We're doing a lot of assessment and we use that data to look at each kid and see who they are as a learner," said fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Bruno. Montgomery News (Fort Washington, Pa.) (1/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

"I started reading Vocabularians and could not put it down!" (Janet Allen) Engage students in active learning experiences with words and see the results in student speech, writing, and assessments. This 7-point plan for intentional instruction includes 19 activities for meaningful vocabulary practice, a companion PD study guide, and more. Preview the entire book online!
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  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Texas students to learn how to fund their education
    A new Texas state law requires schools to teach students about the cost of higher education and how to pay for it. Students will learn about financial aid, including how to apply for scholarships and loans. In Lubbock, Texas, Independent School District, financial literacy has been taught for nearly 10 years, covering such topics as the differences in income that come with having a college degree, a high-school diploma or a vocational certificate. KJTV-TV (Lubbock, Texas) (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
Vote for SmartBrief's Session at SXSWedu 2016
We're putting together a panel for SXSWedu and we could use your help. LMS: Extreme Makeover will explore how the term "learning management system" is changing and so, too, is the way we define it. The session will seek to build consensus around oft-ambiguous terminology and the advantages and challenges of evolving digital learning platforms. Click here to learn more and vote now! Voting ends September 4.
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  Education Policy 
  • Miss. looks to Fla. as model of school reform
    Mississippi lawmakers are looking at reform efforts promoted in Florida by former Gov. Jeb Bush and his Foundation for Excellence in Education as a way to overhaul Mississippi schools. The five components of the "Florida model" are holding schools accountable for results, higher standards for students, rewarding schools success, more school choice and easier certifications for teachers. "One thing that is very clear and very definite is we cannot continue to do business the way we have been doing it the last few years," said state Rep. John Moore, Republican chairman of the Mississippi House Education Committee. Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.) (1/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Helping teachers implement common core
    Common Core State Standards may require teachers to make changes in how they teach, but coaches can help them get there by taking small steps, transformational leadership coach Elena Aguilar writes. She suggests school leaders help teachers identify their current skills and additional skills needed, then provide appropriate professional development. "It's daunting and scary and has potential for improving learning outcomes and experiences for children, as long as we map the journey that our teachers will need to take in order to fulfill this potential," Aguilar writes in this blog post. Education Week Teacher/The Art of Coaching Teachers blog (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Professional Learning 
  • Teachers record themselves as part of professional development
    Teachers in all Memphis, Tenn., City Schools soon will begin using a video capture program as part of professional development. Using the Teachscape program, educators will be able to record themselves teaching in order to reflect on their own practice. They also can upload their videos to a website where other educators can view their instructional practices and offer feedback. Plans also are in the works to create a video repository for teachers, showing best practices. T.H.E. Journal (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • The culture of introversion: A book review
    In this post, Jennifer Isgitt writes, "I just finished reading "Quiet, the Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking," by Susan Cain. In this book, Cain challenges the American preference for gregariousness and action. She presents a strong defense of the introverted personality (without discounting the strengths of extroverts) and the caution, wisdom, and reflectiveness introverts can offer to any culture. I have to admit that reading this book has been a healing experience for me." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Two different approaches to reform
    Linda Darling-Hammond discusses two different approaches to reform: capacity-building and incentive-based reform. She describes how countries noted for having high-achieving students use capacity-building models. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
--Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette,
French novelist and performer


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