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March 4, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • Teacher: How the common core has improved the classroom
    The Common Core State Standards are not perfect, but they have changed high-school English teacher Lyn Cannaday's classroom for the better. In this commentary, Cannaday describes a curriculum in which nonfiction and fiction works are studied simultaneously and nonfiction is used to help students understand fiction. The result, she writes, is that her students have a better understanding of what they are reading and are able to simulate real-world experiences by conducting their own research. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Efforts ramp up to stop cyberbullying
    The cyberbullying epidemic increasingly is affecting students -- on social media and beyond -- with about one-quarter of teenagers reportedly having experienced cyberbullying at some point, according to one researcher. Experts and advocates recommend keeping a record of online bullying and showing evidence, such as an e-mail or Facebook communication, to a trusted adult. The organization also provides a place where victims of bullying can connect, find resources and share their stories. CNN (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Education Policy 
  • N.J. district plans to combine several AP, IB courses
    The Fort Lee School District in New Jersey will merge some Advance Placement and International Baccalaureate classes, such as English and history, to save money and to help students who want to take courses in both programs. After completion, the IB students will take the IB exams, and both AP and IB students can take the AP exams. "Many of our students who are in AP or desire taking an AP class also want to take an IB class and they have to make very difficult choices," assistant superintendent Sharon Amato said. (Hackensack, N.J.) (free registration)/Fort Lee Suburbanite (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Calif. district uses "teacher specialists" to implement common core
    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.) (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to hold a "connected" workshop for educators
    Principal Joe Mazza describes in this blog post an in-service workshop he organized at his school on using Twitter and other digital tools for professional development. The session featured four "connected" educators from Mazza's own professional learning community, who chatted with faculty at Knapp Elementary School in Lansdale, Pa., through Google Hangouts. Mazza offers excerpts from the session as panelists provided insights on what they've learned from their PLNs, tips on how to cultivate one, and examples of educators they like to follow on blogs and Twitter. Connected Principals blog (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  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
  • Survey: Teachers increasingly are comfortable with technology
    A recent survey of middle- and high-school Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers finds that educators are increasingly using technology in the classroom and in their personal lives. Of those surveyed, 92% said technology has had a "major impact" on their ability to access resources, and 73% say they or their students use cellphones for classroom work. However, 84% of teachers also report that technology is creating a greater divide between disadvantaged and more affluent schools. Education Week/Digital Education blog (2/28) , Mashable (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • From artisan teachers to learning teams
    In this blog post, Tom Carroll writes, "Teaching has been an artisan profession for generations. Individual teachers, working for the most part behind closed doors and in isolation from their colleagues, develop and refine a rich array of personal skills and resources to meet their students' needs. With decades of experience they become accomplished educators. But far too often their professional practice remains a personal practice. Because the job description for artisan teachers was written in the 19th century, educators' ability to share what they know about how children learn is hampered by yesterday's silos. In traditional 'egg crate' schools, teachers have limited opportunities to collaborate with colleagues or coach novice teachers who need sustained support to get a strong start." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What happens to literacy during those teen years
    This excerpt from "Reading & Writing & Teens: A Parent's Guide to Adolescent Literacy" by Cathy Fleischer (NCTE, 2010) gives a brief background on literacy, the challenges that adolescents face in reading and writing, and the ways in which teachers and parents can help teens become more literate. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret."
--Henri Frédéric Amiel,
Swiss philosopher, poet and critic

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