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March 11, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • Calif. high-school students critique younger students' work
    More than 100 seniors in Kip Glazer's English class at Independence High School in Bakersfield, Calif., are improving their writing by being virtual writing mentors to sixth-grade students in Chicago. Once a week, the 12th-graders read posted assignments and then send feedback about the material to the younger writers. As they have learned to make constructive critiques of the younger students' work, the older students have become more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their own writing, Glazer said. blog (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Three Miss. elementary schools find success with literacy focus
    As Mississippi lawmakers debate a bill requiring third-graders to read at grade level or face retention, three elementary schools in Gulfport and Water Valley, Miss., -- that serve some of the poorest students -- have improved their students' test scores by focusing on literacy. Some of the improvements include hiring literacy coaches and reading specialists and using assessments to guide reading interventions. "We're trying to get rid of the ineffective stuff that we've done for so long," reading specialist Patricia Treloar said. The Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss.)/The Hechinger Report (3/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Rubrics. Test questions. Tiering assessments. Grading effort. Redos. Report cards. In his thoroughly revised edition of Fair Isn't Always Equal, Rick Wormeli provides a thorough guide for teachers and administrators to tackle challenging and controversial assessment and grading practices in the differentiated classroom. Preview the entire book!
  Literacy Everywhere 
  • How to recognize, alleviate math anxiety in young students
    Research shows that math anxiety can start as early as first grade, but parents and teachers can help by being careful not to relay any of their own fears or insecurities about math to children, educators Rose K. Vukovic and Rachel R. Harari write in this blog post. When students show signs of math anxiety -- including sweaty palms or racing heart -- they should be taught relaxation techniques and other steps aimed to reduce their worries, they write. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/SchoolBook blog (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education Policy 
  • Dozens of Ohio districts, schools withdraw from Race to the Top
    Nearly 80 school districts and charter schools in Ohio have pulled out of the Race to the Top program since winning grants in 2010, in part, because the cost of implementing the mandates exceeds the federal award. Districts also cite having to switch a year early to the state's new teacher-evaluation system, which uses test scores to grade educators. "We were spending a disproportionate amount of time following all the requirements," said Mike Johnson, superintendent of Bexley schools, which has turned down a grant for this year. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (3/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mo. schools plan for end of School Improvement Grants
    Missouri school districts are facing the challenge of continuing progress at struggling schools after the federal School Improvement Grant program ends this year. Schools have used the extra funding to buy resources, provide teacher coaches and pay for state oversight. Now, some schools are looking for ways to keep moving forward when the funds run out. "I don't want to feel like it takes money to move students," superintendent Tiffany Anderson said. St. Louis Post-Dispatch (3/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • How one elementary school develops teacher leaders
    Teachers at each grade level at Memorial School in Newton, N.H., are grouped in teams, with one teacher serving as a team leader, principal Jonathan VanderEls writes in this blog post. The teacher leaders meet with the principal on setting overall school goals and then go back to their colleagues to make the grade-level goals that will drive the school forward, he writes. "The work was initially done as one unit, but as each member went back to their teams, a consistent message was shared," VanderEls writes. Connected Principals blog (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Is the role of the teacher changing?
    At the recent SXSWedu Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, the changing role of teachers as facilitators of classroom learning was a primary focus, SmartBrief senior education editor Melissa Greenwood writes in this blog post. Among the suggestions offered by speakers were to teach students to use technology to find answers on their own, put context before content and approach learning in a less formal way. Other ideas included educators acting as "spark igniters," who help students discover what drives their own passion for learning, and allowing students to help craft curriculum. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  • Calif. commission considers additional ELL training for teacher interns
    The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing plans to require that intern teachers who join the field via alternative methods are subject to additional credentialing regarding English-language learners. Potential options include providing training before teachers enter the classroom, offering waivers and administering a competency test to determine if teachers are knowledgeable about ELLs. Education Week/Teacher Beat blog (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Actions, reactions, interactions, and transactions
    In this post, Juan Araujo writes, "In my post 'Becoming a Writer,' I discussed the experiences which have contributed to the way I see the teaching and learning of writing. In my opinion, successful teaching and learning happens in an environment in which teachers allow students to take action for their own reasons, react to the students' needs in a positive, supportive matter that takes into account the students' resources, and provide opportunities for students to transact with other students, with the teacher, and with the curriculum they are studying in meaningful, productive ways." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Building relationships through conversation
    This article provides an in-depth look at how shared understandings and well designed conversations among educators and school leaders can foster meaningful relationships and contribute to improved teaching and learning. The authors describe how, with an agreed-upon set of norms and purpose to ongoing conversations, what began as interactions around academic content, curricular materials, and articles and research on best practice developed into a high-trust community environment among school leaders that allowed the conversations to focus on real situations and conflicts that required trust and relationships. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Greek philosopher

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