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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 26, 2012
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
 
  • How fanfiction can develop better student writers
    Teachers can use fanfiction -- fiction pieces written by the fans of a work from books, movies or video games -- to build their students' writing skills, college professor and author Christopher Shamburg writes in this guest blog post. Shamburg offers examples why teachers should allow students to write about their interests outside of the material they cover in class. "It validates where they are developmentally, but it demands that they take different perspectives on familiar situations and stories," Shamburg writes. School Library Journal/Connect the Pop blog (11/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Educators offer tips to develop students as writers
    Educators share their advice in Larry Ferlazzo's blog post for helping students become better writers. Aimee Buckner, a consultant and author, suggests starting a writing workshop, giving students time each day to write and showing students how to eliminate unnecessary words in their writing. Writer and teacher Carolyn Coman suggests that teachers focus on their own writing and help students make connections to their writing, while Tanya Baker, director of National Programs for the National Writing Project, agrees that teachers need to write, write, write. Education Week Teacher/Classroom Q&A blog (11/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
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  Literacy Everywhere 
  • Wis. elementary school offers free book exchange for children, adults
    Cormier School and Early Learning Center in Ashwaubenon, Wis., since September has been offering books in two small, wooden boxes located outside of the main school building and accessible even when the school is closed. Known as "little libraries," these boxes contain donated books for borrowing or keeping, available on the honor system. "We have families who maybe don't have books or can't afford books, and this gives them a convenient way to pick up a book," elementary-school music teacher Kim Carlson said. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (11/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education Policy 
  • L.A. school district revamps programs to help English learners
    The Los Angeles Unified School District last year rewrote its 150-page master plan for English learners after the U.S. Department of Education investigation found English learners and black students were denied a more rigorous curriculum. The new, more rigorous program mandates daily language-development instruction of 45 minutes to an hour for elementary students and one to three periods for secondary students, with accommodations for student proficiency and experience. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)(free registration) (11/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Wash. district creates data system to find at-risk students early
    Spokane Public Schools in Washington has developed its own data-analysis system. Called the Early Warning System, it uses students' attendance, discipline referrals and assessment scores to identify students, as early as elementary school, who are at risk for dropping out. Once students are flagged, teachers can use the data to offer appropriate interventions, such as extra assistance in reading or math, to help bring students' skills up to grade level. The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (11/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Quality of school libraries affects student achievement
    A recent study of students in Pennsylvania found that students perform better in reading and writing on state exams if they are enrolled in schools that have well-funded libraries with better resources and accessibility. "The most important thing a strong school library program can have is a full-time certified librarian with support staff," said Keith Curry Lance, lead member of the study. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Mentoring helps develop effective teachers
    Great teachers are not born, they are made, says Shira Loewenstein, associate director of New Teacher Support at Yeshiva University. In this blog post, she offers suggestions for teachers hoping to mentor new educators. She recommends becoming part of a formal mentoring program and opening up the classroom to novice teachers. Edutopia.org/Shira Loewenstein's blog (11/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  • How teachers' connections can support classroom learning
    Teacher Michele L. Haiken in this guest blog post suggests three steps that new teachers can take to make connections outside of the classroom to support teaching and learning. Among the steps are to develop a Personal Learning Network by making online connections and joining professional organizations. Haiken's other tips include exploring digital citizenship with students and developing projects that utilize teachers' networks. Edutopia.org/Lisa M. Dabbs' blog (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Education reform: How traditional and capacity-building approaches differ
    In this post, Michael Palmisano writes, "In a recent Perspective, 'Powerful Conversations About Education Reform,' Sharon Roth described a discussion of education reforms that she and others shared in a conference setting, and how adding the frame of capacity building brought the conversation to an 'Ah Hah' moment. Capacity-building approaches to change offer an alternative to traditional approaches to education reform. While the aim of improving student achievement is the same, the source of answers to achievement problems and the goals of [capacity-building] approaches are quite different." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A family literacy community of practice
    George Herrera of Rowland, Calif., Unified School District describes some of the challenges, activities, and outcomes of a family literacy community of practice that included both teachers and parents. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
The passion for setting people right is in itself an afflictive disease."
--Marianne Moore,
American poet and writer


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