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January 31, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • Readers' theaters develop literacy skills, positive school culture
    Having students, and even teachers and principals, perform in "readers' theaters" improves students' reading and fosters a positive school climate, elementary-school principal Peter DeWitt writes in this blog post. In the classroom, students read directly from scripts to improve fluency, inflection and intonation. Schoolwide, faculty and staff performances serve to model a love of reading. "Students who see their teachers and principal take risks up on the stage feel more comfortable taking risks in the classrooms," DeWitt writes. Education Week/Finding Common Ground blog (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

New from Regie Routman! Literacy Essentials inspires K-12 teachers and leaders to build a school culture of engagement, excellence, and equity. You'll get practical, easy-to-implement tools to help all students develop as self-determining readers, writers, and learners. Includes a free study guide and rich online resources. Preview the entire book!
  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Classroom lessons centered on the Super Bowl
    With Super Bowl fever taking over ahead of Sunday's big game, Matt Davis, editorial assistant at Edutopia, shares seven resources in this blog post to help teachers include the game in classroom lessons. Resources include a video explaining the science behind football; ideas for using the game in math, statistics, history and writing lessons; plus a website that offers 12 Super Bowl-related activities for students. Davis' blog (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Texas students to try legal careers during mock-trial contest
    Playing the role of attorneys and witnesses, high-school students in the Corpus Christi, Texas, area will be getting insight into the court system while competing for scholarship dollars. The upcoming mock-trial competition demands that students not only study the facts of the case they are participating in, but courtroom procedures and the strategies used by lawyers arguing a case. "It's a nice reminder of how exciting the practice of law is," said State District Judge Missy Medary, who will help judge the competition. Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Texas) (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education Policy 
  • Schools need multiple strategies to meet reading mandates
    Facing the prospect of mandatory retention of third-grade students who aren't reading at grade level, schools need to do more than hire a reading specialist to work with its most struggling readers, writes Robert Slavin, director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University. In this commentary, Slavin argues for strong instruction for all students, small-group reading interventions for students who are just below grade-level, and one-on-one tutoring for those who are most behind. "If schools use the reading-by-third-grade movement as an opportunity to use proven practices throughout the primary grades, they can reap substantial savings by avoiding unnecessary retentions, and most importantly, they can make a life-changing difference for all of their students," he writes. The Huffington Post (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Twitter chats allow ELL teachers to exchange ideas
    Former educators Judie Haynes and Karen Nemeth host a weekly Twitter chat for teachers of English-language learners -- #ELLCHAT -- that draws dozens of participants. Topics range from the implementation of the Common Core State Standards to advocating for ELLs. Educators say that Twitter increasingly is becoming a venue for ELL teachers and other educators to collaborate and exchange ideas. Among other things, they are drawn by the immediacy of the exchange and the reliability of the information shared, the two co-hosts say. Education Week/Learning the Language blog (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  • Fla. college to offer low-cost degree for prospective STEM teachers
    Indian River State College in Florida plans to offer prospective students the chance to earn a degree in science, technology, engineering and math that they can use to become math or science teachers in the state. The college plans to provide the degree program for less than $10,000 tuition, a response to Gov. Rick Scott's $10K challenge to create affordable degree programs in high-demand fields. "These (programs) ... prepare people to teach math and science in middle school and high school. There is a critical shortage of math and science teachers in the districts that we serve," college President Ed Massey said. (Fort Pierce, Fla.) (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Supporting ourselves as learners
    In this post, Sharon Roth writes, "When a colleague recently forwarded me an email with the subject line 'Wow!' and I saw a video labeled 'When a Lesson Goes Wrong,' admittedly I was more than a little bit pessimistic. I've never been a fan of reality TV, nor have I seen Hollywood successfully portray the realities of the classroom. However, in this video of Sarah Wessling's lesson gone wrong, we face the reality of what it means to be a teacher on a day-to-day basis. As much as we want to talk about what it means to be a reflective practitioner or what it means to have an administrator support such practices, the reality is we often have 3-5 minutes to revise and do it all over again." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Using formative reading assessment to enhance content area learning
    Watch this archived Web seminar and learn more about formative assessment strategies for guiding literacy instruction in all content areas. The presenters include Scott Filkins, author of "Beyond Standardized Truth: Improving Teaching and Learning through Inquiry-Based Reading Assessment" and current Secondary English and Social Studies Coordinator for the Champaign Unit 4 School District in Illinois, and Cara Gutzmer, an instructional coach at Jefferson Middle School in the Champaign School District. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Any workout which does not involve a certain minimum of danger or responsibility does not improve the body -- it just wears it out."
--Norman Mailer,
American writer

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