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March 21, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
 
  • Colo. IB-candidate school teaches through inquiry
    Students at Range View Elementary School in Severance, Colo., learn through asking questions and making mistakes, a process that is part of the school's effort to become an official International Baccalaureate school. Reading and writing are emphasized across subjects, while social studies and science lessons are grouped together, said Range View's IB coordinator, Shauna Curtis. "Questions from students almost always direct instruction. Which leads to less off-task behavior because they're actually interested in what they're learning," third-grade teacher Lori Bluemel said. Windsor Beacon (Colo.) (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Common core requires students to read between the lines
    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. Edutopia.org/Todd Finley's blog (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Should teachers group students by ability?
    Grouping students by ability has been controversial for years, but the trend is growing in education, according to research released Monday by the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on American Education. Researchers found that the percentage of fourth-grade teachers grouping students by reading ability grew from 28% to 71% from 1998 to 2009, and the percentage of fourth-grade math teachers using grouping grew from 40% to 61% from 1996 to 2011. Critics say the practice, in which students are grouped by ability within a specific class, is a civil rights issue because it creates lower expectations, while supporters say it helps children improve their skills. USA Today (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
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  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Current events can spark classroom discussions, active citizenship
    News topics can make for interesting classroom discussions, but social studies teachers say controversial issues offer the chance to teach students about being active in society. Teacher Joe Furlan, from Hall High School in Spring Valley, Ill., said he uses current events as he teaches government and U.S. history, often connecting news of the present with events in the past. "The goal is to have them better informed so they can make better decisions later on. It shows them that they have a power of the vote and can change things," Furlan said. News-Tribune (La Salle, Ill.) (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Maine high school offers students chance to earn college credits
    Hermon High School in Maine has launched a pilot program in which students are eligible to earn as many as 29.5 college credits before graduating from high school. The Bridge Year Program -- a venture of Hermon High, United Technologies Center, Eastern Maine Community College and the University of Maine -- allows students to cut costs and accelerate their education so they can complete a two-year degree in the year following their high-school graduation. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Education Policy 
  • Dual-immersion popularity spreads to Wyoming
    A group of parents and educators in Wyoming's Natrona County School District are advocating for the addition of dual-immersion programs in some elementary schools. Group members recently observed other schools operating such programs in Utah and were impressed. "You just have to see it to believe it," said Randall Larson, a local principal. "It's not a barrier for the kids at all." Star-Tribune (Casper, Wyo.) (tiered subscription model) (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  Professional Learning 
  • Flipped teaching comes to professional development for educators
    The flipped instructional model is being incorporated into professional development for teachers, said Nicole Tucker-Smith, a former principal in Baltimore County, who described the system at the recent ASCD conference. Educators began creating LessonCasts, or teacher-created videos, with 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
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Why do we have to do math in science class?
    Using a project-based learning approach, this team of high school teachers from different disciplines collaborated to identify an area in which their students needed work, then developed a cross-curricular project to address it. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Coresearching and coreflecting: The power of teacher inquiry communities
    In this chapter from "On Teacher Inquiry," Diane Waff explores how her work as a teacher researcher was influenced by participation in three different teacher inquiry communities -- a K-12 community focused on multicultural education, a secondary school community focused on teacher leadership, and a K-college community focused on teacher research. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."
--Henrik Ibsen,
Norwegian playwright


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