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February 11, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • How U.S.-born and foreign-born English-learners differ
    Foreign-born English-language learners at San Pedro High School in California are mastering the language faster than U.S.-born students who have been identified as "long-term English learners." While no overall statistics are available, one reason cited for the disparity is that foreign-born students may already have mastered their native tongue and can focus on learning English, while the U.S.-born students are learning English while also trying to learn the native language of their parents. "It delays their progress in Spanish and it delays their progress in English at the same time. It ends up almost like a created learning disability," Jill Aguilar, an associate professor of education at California State University, Dominguez Hills, said of some students. Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.) (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ways to help struggling readers understand more complex material
    Having a strong reader read aloud with a student who struggles with decoding can help the latter reader access the higher-level materials, literacy coach Marisa Kaplan writes in this blog post. "Raising our expectations is a good thing, and being in tune to what students need can help us pinpoint exactly where our expectations should be," writes Kaplan, who offers additional tips and online resources to help teachers give struggling readers access to works required by the Common Core State Standards. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Specialists help individualize math instruction in a N.H. school
    Students at Broad Street Elementary School in Nashua, N.H., who need extra assistance in math are receiving it in some unlikely places, such as the gym and library. This year, the school launched an initiative that uses specialists to supplement traditional lessons and ensure students are receiving the instruction they need. School officials say teachers have welcomed the program and that student achievement and engagement have improved. The Telegraph (Nashua, N.H.) (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Benchmarking leads to higher math scores in some Mo. schools
    Two Missouri school districts have posted higher scores in math on state standardized exams since adopting the benchmarking approach in which students must demonstrate proficiency in a skill or concept before moving on to the next one. While the change has prompted more confidence in some students, it hasn't made all students like math or inspired them to enroll in higher-level math classes. Still, educators emphasize the benefits, including higher ACT scores, better transitions to college math and workforce preparation. The Kansas City Star (Mo.) (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education Policy 
  • Duncan: $2.8B in funds made available due to NCLB waivers
    The decision to waive parts of the federal education law for 34 states and the District of Columbia allowed the federal government to provide about $2.8 billion in funding for schools, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday during a hearing in the U.S. Senate. The hearing comes as lawmakers are considering the future of No Child Left Behind, which has expired. Republicans on the committee criticized the conditions placed on the waivers as federal authority over schools, though Duncan characterized the measures as ensuring accountability. The Baltimore Sun/Reuters (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Nev. district uses Striving Readers grants to hire literacy coaches
    The Lyon County School District in Nevada has hired literacy coaches for each of its schools to help teachers learn the best ways to teach reading and use assessments to direct instruction for students. The coaches are funded through a $4.1 million Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant, which also allows the districts to pay for pre-kindergarten literacy programs. "Our goal is one hundred percent graduation, and the only way that will happen is if they can read and write," said Claudia Fadness, director of curriculum and accountability said. Reno Gazette-Journal (Nev.) (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The future requires "quantum leap" in digital leadership
    More administrators say they are leading by example by encouraging educators to use more digital technology in the classroom. They say this type of leadership will become increasingly important as districts work to implement the Common Core State Standards. "Modeling is crucial. If you want your kids and teachers to be users of 21st-century tools, ... you have to show that you can do it too," said Spike Cook, principal of an elementary school in Millville, N.J. "It shows that I'm still a teacher -- I can still instruct and still learn." Digital Directions (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  • How education will adjust to the common core
    Changes are in store for teachers at all levels in states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards, education consultant Erin Powers writes in this blog post. The standards emphasize the role of all teachers in the development of students' literacy skills, and in math, focus will shift to the application of real-world skills -- rather than passing a test, Powers writes. The common core also recognizes the growing importance of technology in education and the expectation that students can access information anytime, anywhere, she writes. Edutopia.org/Erin Powers' blog (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Responding to shifting literacies
    In this post, Kent Williamson writes, "On Digital Learning Day, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has issued an updated version of the NCTE Framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment, including its definition of 21st century literacies. This document not only celebrates the affordances of new digital tools and the contributions they make to literacy learning, it suggests that what it means to be literate has shifted -- again." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • STEM teachers in professional learning communities: From good teachers to great teaching
    This report from the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future warns that the current focus on individual effort over that of collaborative professional capacity building may be seriously undermining our efforts to develop our students into the innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders they need to be. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. ... The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them."
--George Bernard Shaw,
Irish playwright


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