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The new Strategies That Work Classroom Library Collections give you high-quality fiction and nonfiction picture books for grades K-5 curated by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis, incorporating the reading comprehension strategies from their bestselling book. Includes great options for read-alouds and independent reading. Get details now!
February 18, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • Is International Baccalaureate worth the work?
    Students and teachers at St. Clare's School in Oxford, U.K., describe the International Baccalaureate Program as challenging, as they grow as students and develop relationships. Throughout the courses, students learn to take risks, work collaboratively in groups and communicate their ideas. "Being willing to voice your opinions and participate may be intimidating at first. The benefit is that you're forced to challenge what you think," teacher Sarah Jinks said. The Independent (London) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teaching the power of writing through persuasive essays
    Middle-school students can be asked to write persuasive essays about various complaints -- including school rules they believe are unfair -- retired educator Kathy King-Dickman suggests in this blog post. Letting students choose topics that matter to them can boost both their enthusiasm and motivation, King-Dickman writes. "Whether it comes from a second-grader pleading for a later bed time or a ninth-grader asking the world to not pollute, students feel the power in exercising their right to write," she notes. Education News Colorado/Voices blog (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to approach literary nonfiction with students
    It is important to engage students prior to the reading of literary nonfiction required by the Common Core State Standards, writes Todd Finley, associate professor of English education at East Carolina University. Finley gives the example of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and suggests letting students see copies of the speech, explore interactive resources and perhaps watch a clip from the film "Lincoln" to boost interest. Finley's blog (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Preschool students use senses in film literacy program
    Children ages 3 to 6 are learning film literacy by watching short films, making observations with all their senses and discussing the elements of filmmaking in classes offered by The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival at the public library in Oak Bluffs, Mass. "Instead of having film watching be a passive experience, we want kids to be really engaged in it and bring the same curiosity and critical eye to watching films as they do in reading books," Lindsey Scott, the festival's director of children's programs, said. The Martha's Vineyard Times (Mass.) (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How the common core can support student-driven learning
    A student-centered classroom culture will address and be supported by many goals of the Common Core State Standards, middle-grades educator Marsha Ratzel writes in this blog post. For instance, lessons that guide students to identify real-life problems and find solutions, are aligned with the common core's math standard of finding the meaning in a problem. "As teachers gain experience in the CCSS standards that apply to their grade level, they will identify places where there are opportunities to put student questions at the forefront of their lesson plans," Ratzel writes. Powerful Learning Practice/Voices from the Learning Revolution blog (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Education Policy 
  • Tucson may move its instructional coaches back to the classroom
    Officials in Arizona's Tucson Unified School District are considering a proposal to send some of its 85 instructional coaches, teacher mentors and other instructional-support staff back to the classroom to teach for half of the school day to save money. Teachers' response to the proposal is mixed, according to the Tucson Education Association teachers union. "This would help us to put more personnel who are highly skilled in front of students, while maintaining their assistance to teachers," deputy superintendent Maria Menconi said. Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Ill. high school plans weekly collaboration for teachers
    Officials at Geneva High School in Illinois studied professional learning communities for 18 months before seeking to start their own, which could be implemented during first period every Thursday beginning this spring. While teachers are collaborating, students would be able to pick from multiple educational activities, such as working in the computer lab or the tutoring center. "We have been focusing on what it can do for teachers, how their teaching could be enhanced, which ultimately will equate to success for all students," principal Thomas Rogers said. Kane County Chronicle (St. Charles, Ill.) (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  • What are the characteristics of great teachers?
    Great teachers love children, have mastered classroom management and are knowledgeable about their subject matter, suggests Annette Breaux, an internationally renowned author and speaker. In this blog post, Breaux writes that most great teachers are not born, but rather develop over time as a result of hard work. Always humble, top teachers also are patient, have a sense of humor, are problem-solvers and always work hard to ensure learning is fun. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Building on what you have to deepen professional learning
    In this post, Rex Babiera writes, "What if learning with your colleagues could be like having your friends and family over for a dinner party? A generous host sets a table and invites people to come, and people enjoy each other's company. Think about something, anything -- a subject, a set of skills, a vocation, a hobby -- that you know deeply. How did you come to know it so well? I wonder if, in the course of your learning, you felt the same spirit of generosity, invitation, companionship, and delight found in a dinner party?" Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Free Web seminar on Wednesday -- Sharing our practices: Family/school partnerships
    Many around the country are engaged in efforts to strengthen family-school partnerships -- teaming up for student success. Join this free Web event at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 20, to hear about three different school-based initiatives to increase family engagement and partnerships between school, home, and community. The discussion panel will be sharing both their successes and their challenges, engaging in a dialogue about the past, present, and future of their efforts. In this unique Web event hosted by NCLE, panelists and audience members will have the opportunity to learn with and from one another -- sharing lived experiences and discussing questions of practice. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration."
--James Allen,
British author

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