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What happens when students, not planned teaching points, lead instructional decisions about writing? When Writers Drive the Workshop shows teachers how to empower students in every aspect of writing workshop—conferring, responding to writing, self-assessment, & mini-lessons. Includes ideas for using digital tools. Preview the entire book!
November 19, 2012
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • How to help students learn to write through practice
    Students must practice writing in short, daily exercises to develop the fluency needed to become better at writing formal, graded papers, says high-school English teacher Mary Tedrow, one of three educators who contributed to this blog post. One writing exercise Tedrow suggests is to lecture for five to nine minutes, have students write notes for that lecture and then have students read it to a class partner. Tedrow also says students will be less reluctant to write when the subjects are familiar. Education Week Teacher/Classroom Q&A blog (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ideas on using a thesaurus to teach word choice in writing
    To help students learn the advantages and pitfalls for students using a thesaurus when writing an assignment, educators Amanda Christy Brown and Katherine Schulten offer a lesson plan in this blog post. They suggest giving students a plain paragraph and having them rewrite it two ways: one "ridiculously" overwritten and one written with the help of a thesaurus and word substitutions. These papers are then used as launching points to discuss when to use more simple words and when to select more precise language that doesn't overpower the assignment. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Hands-on science in a digital world
Science education is no longer confined to the pages of a textbook. Students are interacting with science concepts through physical objects and digital platforms, and using this knowledge to solve real-world issues. Get insights for making this work in your classroom in this SmartFocus on Hands-on Science.
  Literacy Everywhere 
  Education Policy 
  • Federal director of educational technology to step down
    Karen Cator announced Wednesday that she will step down from her role as director of educational technology for the U.S. Department of Education. It is still unclear who will replace Cator, whose tenure with the department will end in 2013. During her tenure, Cator advocated for education technology and professional development to help teachers master classroom technology. Her office also released the first national education-technology plan. Education Week/Digital Education blog (11/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Teacher feedback, collaboration are part of school's turnaround
    Nancy Purcell and her team of teachers turned around a Sacramento, Calif., middle school by focusing on the development of teachers and administrators who believe all students can achieve. Purcell and her team observe teachers weekly and offer feedback to improve instruction. Teachers also meet as a department or grade levels at least one hour a week to collaborate and all are expected to share Purcell's mantra of "Kids can and will meet expectations." The Sacramento Bee (Calif.)(free registration) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Professional Learning 
  • Taking time for teacher collaboration improves student achievement
    Some schools are finding success when teachers take the time during the school day for "job-embedded professional learning" to collaborate and discuss how to improve student learning, Leaning Forward's Stephanie Hirsh writes in this blog post. Hirsh cites a National Center on Time and Learning report, which studied 30 schools with students from high-poverty backgrounds. "What stands out for me is that the teachers in these schools prioritized their learning and collaboration time to achieve significant results for their students," Hirsh writes. Education Week Teacher/Leaning Forward's PD Watch blog (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Becoming a writer
    In this post, Juan Araujo writes, "I am a long-term English language learner with a short, sporadic history of writing success. For the better part of my formative years, my writing focused on answering prompts, short answers, and the dreaded four-page essay. These activities did not make me feel like a writer." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Educator team at Skyline High School shares their collaborative work
    In this podcast collection, Anne DiPardo, author of "Teaching in Common" and "A Kind of Passport," talks with a collaborative team of educators working at Skyline High School in Longmont, Colo. The group discusses why and how they participate in collaborative inquiry around their professional practice; how their school culture has changed as a result of collaborative work; what this team's particular collaboration looks like and how that shifts over time; and the importance of finding support for inquiry even if your school doesn't support collaboration. Listen to the podcast. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about NCLE ->About NCLE  |  Literacy in Learning Exchange
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  Editor's Note 
  • NCLE SmartBrief will not publish Thursday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., NCLE SmartBrief will not be published Thursday, Nov. 22. Publication will resume Monday, Nov. 26. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Nothing is too small to know, and nothing is too big to attempt."
--William Cornelius Van Horne,
Canadian railway executive

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