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March 18, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
 
  • How to help students form an academic vocabulary
    Helping students develop academic vocabulary knowledge is critical to their academic achievement, according to several experts who responded to a question posed by English and social studies teacher Larry Ferlazzo on his blog. Marilee Sprenger, author of a book due from ASCD this summer, suggests a "whole school" approach to integrating academic vocabulary, such as analyze and cite. Maria Gonzalez, a member of the ASCD professional development faculty, writes about the difference between academic and "domain-specific" vocabulary and how to teach with both to students. Education Week Teacher/Classroom Q&A blog (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What can teachers learn from science-fiction media?
    A cable television channel is developing a game and TV show concurrently and collaboratively in which game players can interact with the television characters, writes Fred Ende, director of SCIENCE 21 and regional science coordinator for Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. Ende writes in this blog post that he envisions the idea translating to the classroom lessons about storytelling, in which students could write persuasive essays that can then be used to develop computer games, or create card games with rules written as it is played. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
Teach Holocaust Literature with Echoes and Reflections
Echoes and Reflections is the leader in Holocaust education, providing teacher training programs across the U.S. Earn professional development credit and explore classroom-ready materials― lessons include artwork, photos, poetry, diaries, visual history testimony, and connections to standards. Find a program today!
  Literacy Everywhere 
 
  • Students read Holocaust survivor's bio for Twitter Book Club
    High-school students in schools across Canada are spending spring break reading "Survival Kit," written by Holocaust survivor Zuzana Sermer, and tweeting their observations and reactions to the historical book. The Twitter Book Club project involves students reading and reacting to the tweets of their peers. Scott Masters, head of social studies at North York's Crestwood Preparatory College in Ontario, said he described the Twitter Book Club to his students as doing a book report one tweet at a time. "I think it's an idea with great potential and the wave of the future. This (social media) is where these kids live so re-purpose it," Masters said. InsideToronto.com/North York Mirror (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ore. school devotes "teach-in" to energy, science
    Middle-school students at Sunnyside Environmental School in Portland, Ore., recently spent four days focused solely on the science of energy as part of a teach-in that included field trips and visits by industry professionals. Students studied energy forms, the physics of energy, fracking and coal transport and visited a nuclear reactor at Reed College. Teachers said they appreciated the administration support to plan for the event as well as time off from the standard curriculum for the teach-in, which in past years have focused on the Iraq war and climate change. The Portland Tribune (Ore.) (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

Teaching reading strategies isn't enough. Reading Wellness gives you specific ways to support your students' enjoyment, perseverance, risk-taking, and connection-making as readers. You'll see how to stay true to the goal of creating lifelong readers while addressing the requirements of standards and assessments. Preview the entire book online!

  Education Policy 
  • Some Ore. students used alternative reading exams to graduate
    Nearly 1,700 members of Oregon's high school Class of 2012 were allowed to graduate, even though they did not pass the state's standardized reading test as required for the first time. English-language learners and students with disabilities made up a large portion of the students who used an alternative assessment to graduate. The state will collect data for at least another year before examining the validity of alternative assessments that are used to show students can read, said Derek Brown, who oversees graduate assessments for the state. The Oregonian (Portland) (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • What School Improvement Grants did for one Calif. school
    After Everett Middle School in San Francisco was named one of the worst schools in the country, it received $4.5 million over three years in federal School Improvement Grants that has paid for 33 teachers in an overhaul of the staff, computers, interactive whiteboards, books and more. Since then, African-American and Latino students have shown gains in state standardized tests. When the money runs out in the fall, the school will lose some programs and about half the staff members, but the teacher training that was received, commitments made and changed policies will remain, one district official said. San Francisco Chronicle (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers at sister schools take training on the road
    Teachers at schools in Alabama and New York City are learning from each other through a sister-schools program, which has included visits to each school site. Already teachers say they have benefited from the visits, with teachers in Alabama able to reach students in New York City and their teachers observing high-performing teachers in Alabama. "Even though we are very different I think that's exactly what makes it a good partnership," said Chris Birkel, a New York City history teacher. GulfCoastNewsToday.com (Robertsdale, Ala.) (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • April showers bring... testing
    In this post, Lara Hebert writes, "As we 'spring forward' and daylight savings time causes my body to scream for one more hour of sleep, my musings follow a strange path this year. This tangible mark of spring typically brings thoughts of daffodils, of Spring Break, and of warmer weather right around the corner. Today, however, my mind seems drawn to a different indicator of spring found on many school calendars across the country -- the season of standardized testing." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Connections between professional learning and practices
    In this video, an inquiry group of Rowland Unified School District administrators in California use a plan, act, reflect cycle to help tighten the connections between their professional learning and changes in practices. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges."
--H.L. Mencken,
American journalist and essayist


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