10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know by Jeff Anderson distills what makes writing work in any genre or form. You get a rich collection of mentor texts, tips, and launching points for a variety of writing. Filled with classroom dialogue. Click here to preview Chapter 1 online!
April 19, 2012
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Special Report:
Writing and English Language Arts (Part II)
We continue to look at writing and English language arts in Part II of this two-part, in-depth special report. Today, we examine the educational role of instructional coaches, the importance of teacher collaboration and the latest in teacher-training programs. We also look at how the creative arts can reignite the happiness found in learning, and how schools are shifting to nonfiction reading with the adoption of Common Core State Standards and more topics.

In case you missed it, Part I, which was published Tuesday, focused on the ways teachers are innovating in the classroom -- from using the popular book series "The Hunger Games" and music to the writing of novels and movie scripts -- to engage students in writing and English language arts.

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Make Me a Story demonstrates the power of digital storytelling as a tool for teaching writing and engaging students. It takes teachers step-by-step through all the elements of a project, from research through putting the story together on the computer. Includes a CD with 27 student examples. Read Chapter 1: Stories That Matter.
  Teacher Training 
  • Exploring the role of coaching beyond one-to-one scenarios
    Former teacher and instructional coach Elena Aguilar writes in this blog post about the role of instructional coaches in helping to turn around schools. She writes that coaches can help facilitate effective teams of educators, support emotional resilience and can play an important role in change throughout the school system. "Coaches often see the parts and the whole at the same time -- this is essential in systems change," she writes. Edutopia.org/Elena Aguilar's blog (4/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • La. nonprofit is focused on teacher training, development
    A nonprofit program is helping to provide professional development and training for educators in New Orleans to ensure effective educators are able to advance their careers and remain motivated to remain in the profession. The group is called Leading Educators, supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and offers two-year fellowships for educators. The group also is planning to expand into other states and regions across the country. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (4/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • More classroom experience is part of teacher-prep overhaul
    Teachers in training at the University of Indianapolis make weekly visits to local classrooms to teach lessons to students and gain valuable feedback on their instructional strategies. The effort is part of a national trend toward including more classroom experience in teacher education, which some critics say is in need of an overhaul. Many states, including Indiana, are now working to develop new systems for evaluating and rating their state's teacher-training programs to better ensure teacher effectiveness. The Indianapolis Star/The Hechinger Report (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why a top teacher-training program should be scaled up
    Middle-school English teacher Ariel Sacks in this blog post reflects on the training she received at Bank Street College of Education in New York City. The methods taught at the school have teachers introducing skills relevant to students' experiences and questions, rather than having them learn in isolation, and have led to success for many of the school's graduates, Sacks writes. She then asks why such programs are studied but not brought to scale as a model for training new educators. Teacher Leaders Network/On the Shoulders of Giants blog (3/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The secret to effective teacher collaboration
    There are six keys to effective teacher collaboration, says Braden Welborn, director of communications for the Center for Teaching Quality. He writes in this blog post that teachers need clarity and commitment to the task. Teachers also should receive support from administrators and be given time to collaborate, and those who do collaborate should have an understanding of how to listen and communicate. Educators should be given the freedom to explore -- perhaps led by a skilled facilitator. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Do you struggle to engage students with challenging texts? Doing Literary Criticism helps you expand students' reading and thinking skills with 11 critical approaches to reading literature, supported by a host of practical classroom activities. Includes an extensive bound-in CD with reproducibles, exam questions, and more. Click here for details!
  Research and Trends 
  • Can writing, creative arts reignite the joy of learning?
    Creative arts, such as writing, can help improve students' executive functions by associating learning with pleasurable experiences from early childhood, says Dr. Judy Willis, an expert on brain research. In this blog post, Willis explores how writing, arts and other creative activities can tap into memories of childhood joy and increase motivation, participation and effort in students across all academic subjects. Edutopia.org (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How is technology changing student writing?
    Educators at some Pennsylvania high schools say the use of informal language and spelling commonly seen in text-messaging and other online communication increasingly is affecting the quality of student writing. "They're writing as they're talking," said Melissa Tungate, English curriculum leader at Upper St. Clair High School. "The challenge has always been to get them to write in a more formal voice." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/Valley News Dispatch (3/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Kindergarten benefits students' writing, reading skills
    Students in Ontario, Canada, who attend full-day kindergarten perform better in reading, math and drawing, according to a recent study. The study compares students enrolled in full-day programs with those who attend half-day kindergarten. "Teachers have the time to let kids go a little more deeply and play around with concepts, play around with letters, with books and words and really get at it the way 3, 4 and 5 year olds do best," said Dan Reidy, an academic coordinator at the Dufferin-Peel Catholic board. The Toronto Star (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Day by Day elevates your writing instruction with 180 tips on a wide range of topics such as writer's notebooks, using technology in mini-lessons, choosing a writing topic, creating mentor texts, peer conferences, standardized tests, and much more. Browse the entire book online!
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