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February 7, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
 
  • Detroit students work with reading tutors via teleconference
    Students at Bennett Elementary School in Detroit receive 30 minutes of one-on-one reading tutoring with volunteers who teleconference from General Motors Co. Using laptops, headphones and the TutorMate online literacy program, the GM volunteers lead reading sessions guided by the program and based on students' abilities and send feedback to classroom teachers. "They get special time with someone who cares about them. It makes them feel special," said teacher Cecilia Ly, who praised the twice-a-week program as also boosting students' self-esteem. The Detroit News (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Helping students to think critically about popular culture
    Students are surrounded by popular culture that is often inappropriate with violence, sex and vulgarity, writes Marc D. Hauser, an educational consultant. In this commentary, he writes that when students want to include such video games, music or other items in class projects, teacher should use those opportunities to help students develop their critical-thinking skills to be able to recognize inappropriate materials. "Needless to say, this is not a topic of discussion and education that ever ends. But it is a topic that should be part of teachers' responsibilities," he writes. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ga. teacher, class turn U.S. history into songs
    Advanced Placement U.S. history covers a time period from pre-colonial America to present day, and social studies teacher Thomas Wolff has found that one of the best ways to recall all that information is to put it to music. Wolff, who teaches at South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga., gets his students involved in the songwriting for research projects, grading them based on the amount of information they work into their lyrics. The class also stages a musical history performance for the school. WXIA-TV (Atlanta) (2/4) 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 
  • Common core gives librarians a chance to lead
    The Common Core State Standards are being embraced by many school and public librarians, who say they view the change as an opportunity to reach out to teachers and students. Much of what the common core emphasizes -- learning through inquiry and the use of primary-source documents -- are part of what librarians already do as information specialists. "A common phrase that has been circulating throughout the library world is, 'We are the Common Core.' And that is the truth," said Margaux DelGuidice, a school and public librarian in New York state. Publishers Weekly (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education Policy 
  • Third-grade literacy is targeted by lawmakers in 32 states
    Legislatures in 32 states have passed laws aimed at improving the literacy skills of third-graders, with 14 of those states including mandates to retain students not reading at grade level, according to the Education Commission of the States. Advocates of retention policies say the requirements drive schools to help struggling readers. However, opponents argue that retaining students increases their risk of dropping out, even when compared with students with similar academic skills who are promoted to the next grade. Concord Monitor (N.H.)/The Associated Press (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Should AP courses be open to all students?
    Advanced Placement courses are open to all students in more than 539 school districts in the U.S. and Canada -- regardless of past achievement, according to the College Board. The approach, which is encouraged by the organization, generally has resulted in higher average exam scores. While one New Jersey high school opened enrollment with successful results, another saw a decline in achievement when poorly prepared students tried and failed the exams. The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) (2/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • What it takes to be a teaching coach
    Coaching is not a place for teachers who want a "break from the classroom," transformational leadership coach Elena Aguilar writes in this blog post. Like teaching students, coaches must analyze what teachers need and then recommend the appropriate path, whether taking a different instructional approach, engaging in role play or reviewing student data. "Coaching is a complex form of teaching, of professional development, of guiding another person in a learning journey," writes Aguilar, who notes that the demanding job is worth the struggles that accompany it. Education Week Teacher/The Art of Coaching Teachers blog (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  • How school districts can reform professional development
    School districts can improve professional development if they have a clear vision and model professional learning, writes Tom Murray, director of technology and cybereducation for the Quakertown Community School District in Bucks County, Pa. Murray offers eight tips in this blog post, among them, that leaders also should focus on outcomes rather than time spent in training and think of professional development as a year-round activity, not just as a one-day event. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Basement new literacies: Dialogue with a first-year teacher
    How can we prepare and encourage new teachers to take on the challenge of changing traditional views of literacy education? Teacher educator William Kist shares a first-year teacher's story of incorporating new literacies within an eighth-grade alternative classroom. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How does working in a community of practice strengthen instruction?
    In this video, hear Maria Ott, former superintendent of the Rowland Unified School District in Rowland Heights, Calif., describe what communities of practice look like in her system and how that impacts both teacher and student learning. Watch the video. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
I am never bored anywhere: being bored is an insult to oneself."
--Jules Renard,
French author


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