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April 2, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

NCLE SmartBrief Special Issue:
Building better readers (Part I)
The ability to read opens doors. At all age levels, reading skills help connect the individual to a world populated with words. From books and documents to street signs and consumer goods, words are all around us.

This NCLE SmartBrief Special Issue explores how to build better readers, a topic inspired by the upcoming International Reading Association's 58th Annual Convention in San Antonio. This special issue includes news about what students are reading, how technology plays a role in reading and literacy training for educators.

You also will find a list of NCLE reading resources in this special issue.

Be sure to watch your inbox for Part II of this special issue, due out April 30.

If you don't receive NCLE SmartBrief daily, we urge you to sign up for our timely e-newsletter. NCLE SmartBrief delivers the stories making news in your profession directly to your inbox -- for free.
  Reading Materials 
  • How to help students understand complex works
    Students will be expected to read and analyze complex material -- besides nonverbal works -- under the Common Core State Standards, writes Todd Finley, an associate professor of English education. In this blog post, he offers suggestions and resources for helping students understand nonverbal works, including relationships among ideas or characters and style. Finley's blog (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why YA literature is a good fit for middle-grades students
    Well-selected books from the young-adult genre can help students build the skills they need to tackle more challenging, classical literature, middle-grades language arts teacher Ariel Sacks writes in this blog post. A majority of middle-school students might not be able to read and analyze most classic literature on their own, but assigning rigorous and developmentally accessible YA books when teaching whole-novel units allows them to have an "authentic" reading experience without the need for teachers to "dumb down" the material, Sacks writes. TransformED (3/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How nonfiction teaches scientific problem-solving
    Nonfiction works written by scientists can help illustrate the process of inquiry, problem-solving and discovery for students, and satisfy common core goals, educators Myra Zarnowski, Marc Aronson and Mary Ann Cappiello write. They offer examples of book titles and questions to pose when discussing books they consider "literature of inquiry." "Teachers have reported that when students closely follow an unfolding inquiry, they feel as if they are accompanying the scientists on their journey," they write. School Library Journal (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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Ready™ Common Core is 100% built from scratch to give students rigorous instruction and practice on every reading and math standard. Teachers get easy-to-understand lesson plans, online resources, and embedded professional development. Success is 100% guaranteed. Get FREE sample lessons
  Going Digital 
  • Are schools taking full advantage of technology?
    While educators nationwide are doing exciting things with technology, participants in a recent panel discussion said that many K-12 schools do not have the necessary infrastructure to take full advantage of available technology. Members of the panel at the Brookings Institution said that about one-third of schools have proper bandwidth and that improvement will rely on a shift in organizational culture -- such as granting teachers greater flexibility -- rather than a focus on changing the technology. Education Week/Digital Education blog (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Help gauge students' understanding with online quizzes
    Online quizzes are effective ways to assess students' understanding while not overwhelming them, Michael Adams writes in this blog post. Adams, who works for the website, suggests quizzing students on what happened during certain time periods, well-known quotes and town history, as well as helping students remember plot, characters and other details from literature lessons. Edudemic (3/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
We answer "why?" and deliver "what's next?"
Built for the Common Core, i-Ready® Diagnostic & Instruction combines a valid and reliable growth measure and individualized instruction in a single online product. i-Ready provides robust tools to help educators ensure that students perform well on tests and provides ongoing performance and growth data. Easy-to-use reports provide educators with an instructional road map to success! Learn more
  Educator Professional Learning 
  • Colo. educators receive PD for teaching literacy
    The Boulder Valley School District in Colorado is giving professional-development opportunities -- such as coaching, collaboration or learning laboratories -- to learn best practices for literacy instruction. The district, which has been teaching students to read through writing and the emergent publishing method, created a "primary teacher lab," in which kindergarten teachers received training on emerging readers and writers and then tried out new strategies with rising kindergartners attending half-day courses for three weeks before the start of school. Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Calif. district's teachers receive literacy coaching
    The Santa Ana Unified School District in California is using a team of 44 "teacher specialists" to craft lesson plans to align with Common Core State Standards and to coach other teachers on literacy instruction. Teacher specialists, for example, may suggest historical material to use in a language arts lesson. The district has piloted common core literacy instruction at some elementary schools, and 92% of 720 teachers have reported the standards as being "effective or very effective," said Michelle Rodriguez, the district's common core implementation director. The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Flipped teaching comes to PD for educators
    The flipped instructional model is being incorporated into professional development for teachers, said Nicole Tucker-Smith, a former assistant principal in Baltimore County, who described the system at the recent ASCD conference. Educators began creating LessonCasts, short voice recordings in which they explain a particular teaching strategy, education reporter Liana Heitin writes in this blog post. The recordings are typically accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation or a video, which teachers watch and listen to at home, Tucker-Smith said. Education Week Teacher/Teaching Now blog (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
 The How To’s of Blended Learning
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  NCLE Resources 
Built for the Common Core. Click for free sample lessons.

Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual NCLE endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of NCLE.
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