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February 21, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
 
  • N.C. district's efforts yield results for English-language learners
    Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina this year have met all of its state targets for English-language learners, including proficiency goals on reading and math assessments. Improvements are the result of more than 10 years of efforts that include earlier identification of students who are "Limited English Proficient" and increased teacher training. "It empowers the students to have someone who can understand and communicate with you," said teacher Gabriela Camacho, who delivers most of her instructions in Spanish as her first-grade students transition to English proficiency. Winston-Salem Journal (N.C.) (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 10 writing alternatives to the typical book report
    There are alternatives to the book report that allow students to demonstrate what they have learned while encouraging a love of reading, writes Elena Aguilar, a transformational leadership coach in Oakland, Calif. Among her suggestions for students in this blog post are to allow them to create drawings resembling a graphic novel, come up with an alternate ending, help develop a sequel and write letters to the author. Edutopia.org/Elena Aguilar's blog (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
Teach Holocaust Literature with Echoes and Reflections
Echoes and Reflections is the leader in Holocaust education, providing teacher training programs across the U.S. Earn professional development credit and explore classroom-ready materials― lessons include artwork, photos, poetry, diaries, visual history testimony, and connections to standards. Find a program today!
  Literacy Everywhere 
  • N.J. district's schools teach black history across the curriculum
    Lessons on African-American history span schools' curriculum in Ocean City, N.J., where students are learning about jazz and blues in music class and consumer sciences class examines "The History of Soul Food." Seventh-grade language arts literacy students are studying the Jim Crowe era and participate in a daily black history trivia contest, while Ocean City High School students examine the Amistad trial. "It generates a lot of really good discussion, on how our legal system evolved through history and affected modern civil rights," Matt Purdue, a history teacher at Ocean City High School, said of the 1839 Amistad trial. Ocean City Gazette (Seaville, N.J.) (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How accommodations, modifications work in co-taught classes
    Special-education teacher Laurie Wasserman in this blog post offers strategies she and her co-teachers use to make modifications and accommodations that benefit all students in inclusive classrooms. For instance, teachers use quick assignments given at the beginning of class, such as working on a word problem or answering trivia questions, to help all students review. "I think it's important when we look at accommodations that we not feel locked in but consider them part of our 'teacher bag of tricks,'" Wasserman writes. MiddleWeb/Two Teachers in a Room blog (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education Policy 
  • N.C. to indicate college-, career-readiness on high-school diplomas
    North Carolina will add a seal of college- or career-readiness to the diplomas of high-school graduates, under a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Pat McCrory. Students will earn the seals based on completion of certain courses and a specific grade-point average. Officials have yet to determine the exact qualifications for either diploma seal, which are intended to help students who are bound for college or a vocational career. Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Shared leadership is at the heart of common core in Ky.
    Leadership teams in Kentucky are responsible for ensuring that school-based educators are prepared to implement the Common Core State Standards, writes Saundra Hamon, assistant director of the Division of Program Standards at the Kentucky Department of Education. She writes in this blog post that each of the state's 16 networks, which include teacher leaders, have formed "a community" with the goal of "shared leadership" -- considered essential as teachers transition to the common core. Education Week Teacher/Learning Forward's PD Watch blog (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teacher collaboration helps two Calif. elementary schools improve
    Two Richmond, Calif., elementary schools serving students from low-income families have credited teacher collaboration and grade-level meetings as major factors leading to a dramatic rise in student performance. Teachers identify individual students who are struggling and provide computer-based intervention programs or after-school tutoring. "We believe that you aren't born smart, but you have to work hard to get smart, putting an emphasis on effort," said Jawan Eldridge, principal of Peres Elementary School. Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  • Calif. district looks inside for professional development
    The Long Beach, Calif., school district has adopted a training system in which classroom teachers work collaboratively to improve teaching and learning, a shift from outsourcing professional development. "Our system is really invested in building internal capacity," said Jill Baker, the district's assistant superintendent for elementary and K-8, plus chief academic officer. "What that means is teachers become leaders and trainers. We're not bringing someone in from the outside. We're teaching teachers within to go back to their school sites to train others." The Hechinger Report (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Persuasion across time and space: An ELA unit to help ELLs meet new standards
    This unit from "Understanding Language" shows instructional approaches that are likely to help English-language learners meet new standards in English Language Arts. The lessons address potent literacy goals and build on students' background knowledge and linguistic resources. Built around a set of famous persuasive speeches, the unit supports students in reading a range of complex texts. It invites them to write and speak in a variety of ways and for different audiences and purposes. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nevada Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy practice exchange
    The Nevada Department of Education's Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant districts have begun implementing innovative and exciting programs and practices to address students' diverse literacy needs from birth through high school. In this collection of resources from their initial Practice Exchange (including videos and artifacts), you will see practitioners from each district sharing current practices. Participants openly discussed both successes and challenges and began important conversations that they will continue via the Learning in Literacy Exchange website. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about NCLE ->About NCLE  |  Literacy in Learning Exchange
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  SmartQuote 
Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed."
--Maria Montessori,
Italian physician and educator


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