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March 14, 2013
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Collaborating to advance literacy learning

  Transforming Literacy Learning 
  • Comic books take popular role in Minn. classroom reading lessons
    Graphic novels are being used in more classroom lessons because of the format's accessibility for learners of all abilities as well as their complexity in content and subject matter. In fact, graphic novels, which combine images and texts, are included as a form of "new media" in its new Minnesota Academic Standards. "You can have the AP students in class with the non-AP students. It's really like the great equalizer in education," said high-school literature teacher Mark Ferry. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why YA literature is a good fit for middle-grades students
    Well-selected books from the young-adult genre can help students build the skills they need to tackle more challenging, classical literature, middle-grades language arts teacher Ariel Sacks writes in this blog post. A majority of middle-school students might not be able to read and analyze most classic literature on their own, but assigning rigorous and developmentally accessible YA books when teaching whole-novel units allows them to have an "authentic" reading experience without the need for teachers to "dumb down" the material, Sacks writes. TransformED (3/10) 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 
  • R.I. city to use Bloomberg grant for early-literacy program
    The city of Providence, R.I., won first place in the Mayors Challenge, a contest of innovative ideas, to track how many words children younger than age 5 are exposed to each day. The $5 million award, from Bloomberg Philanthropies, will fund an early-literacy program in which word counts and conversational turns will be tracked with audio devices, and parents will be coached on ways to boost literacy. Proposals from the mayors of Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Santa Monica, Calif., also were chosen among more than 300 entries to receive $1 million each. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Using interactive games to teach students about money
    Games can be used to improve students' understanding of money, writes Andrew Miller, an educational consultant and online educator. In anticipation of Financial Literacy Month in April, Miller shares a list of games, compiled by Ohio educator Brian Page. In one game, students -- or players -- manage a "day club" for vampires, while another game, Financial Football, allows students to score points by correctly answering financial questions. Miller's blog (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Daily 5 library collections! Update your classroom library and go deeper with The Daily 5 and The CAFE Book with these exclusive collections of fiction and nonfiction books for your classroom. Each grade (K-5) includes 200 popular and recently published titles, carefully selected and organized in labeled bins. Get details here!
  Education Policy 
  • Ind. schools chief is no fan of state's third-grade reading test
    Indiana state superintendent Glenda Ritz said during a weekend event that she would like to replace the year-old, high-stakes reading test due to be administered next week to third-grade students. The exam -- put in place by Tony Bennett, whom Ritz ousted from office in November's election -- determines whether students can be promoted to the fourth grade. Ritz says the IREAD-3 test does not measure grade-level skills, while proponents say the test has improved literacy interventions and instruction in schools. StateImpact (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
SmartBrief’s 5th Annual STEM Pathways Summit
Join us Thursday, Oct. 18 in New York City for the 5th annual STEM Pathways Summit, a FREE high-powered one-day event for K-20 STEM leaders and decision-makers. Develop a STEM toolkit, build a learning network with peers and share success stories and lessons learned. Register to request your seat.
  Leadership and Capacity Building 
  • Gates: Why teachers should use technology to connect, collaborate
    Bill Gates used his recent keynote address at the SXSWedu Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas, to champion the use of social media and other technology to connect educators and allow them to learn from each other, SmartBrief's senior education editor, Melissa Greenwood, writes in this blog post. "The fact that these platforms let you categorize and talk about what your challenges are and sort of reach out to experts anywhere in the country who will be able to give you examples of what works with that type of student, it's really breaking down that isolation in a really strong way," Gates said. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Learning 
  • How should teachers be trained on education technology?
    There is an increasing focus on professional development for teachers related to education technology. With that focus, however, has come calls for the training to center more on the learning -- rather than on the specific devices. For example, Leslie Conery, interim chief education officer for the International Society for Technology in Education, says instead of training teachers to use iPads, the focus should be on the goal of the iPads, such as helping students read, write or hold classroom discussions. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCLE Spotlight 
  • Differentiated assessment and grading: Fair isn't always equal
    Teachers and administrators across disciplines are hungry for clear direction on how to handle the awkward "flashpoint" issues that arise when grading against standards. Being sensitive to students' readiness levels and learning preferences, while holding all accountable for the same standards can be a challenge -- what's fair and leads to real student learning? This Web seminar provides a candid look at the standards-based assessment and grading in a differentiated classroom. Topics include: formative versus summative assessments, zeroes versus 50s, grading late work, handling retakes and redoes, identifying acceptable evidence of standards in students' work, grading homework, incorporating effort or not, grading students in inclusion classes, setting up the grade books, report card design, 100 versus. 4.0 scales, and much more. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Educator team at a Colo. 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. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
--Bill Gates,
American businessman

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