Teacher: Writers need support, encouragement for success | Tenn. teacher: Students like rigorous literacy curriculum | Teacher shares how 1st-graders learn to read on Zoom
August 11, 2020
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Learners and Literacy
Student-athletes read books to children online
High-school student-athletes in a Kentucky community are reading to children virtually as part of Indy's Book Club, organized through a partnership between an area bank and magazine. The books that were selected for the program reinforce messages of self-love, confidence and bravery.
Full Story: Owensboro Times (Ky.) (8/4) 
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Teacher: Writers need support, encouragement for success
Young writers will succeed when given the right environment to learn and practice, writes teacher Regie Routman. In this article, Routman stresses that the focus should be on the writer, instead of the writing, and offers 10 "attitudes and actions" to help create a safe place that honors students' learning, offers encouragement and builds confidence.
Full Story: MiddleWeb (8/5) 
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A veteran Tennessee elementary-school teacher says she was skeptical when the district adopted the Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum. Deloris Fowler is now a fan and shares how students' curiosity is piqued by the sophisticated topics and the rigor prompts them to want to read more about the subjects.
Full Story: The Atlantic (tiered subscription model) (8/10) 
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Teacher shares how 1st-graders learn to read on Zoom
(Philippe Francois/AFP/Getty Images)
First-grade teacher Susan Lavelle says teaching students to read through the Zoom videoconferencing platform has been challenging and rewarding. In this interview, Lavelle explains her approach to teaching reading in a remote environment and says she has been surprised by how engaged her young students are with learning from home.
Full Story: KGO-TV (San Francisco) (8/4) 
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teach@home: Free Math & Literacy Activities
Keep your students learning no matter what back to school looks like with teach@home. Each week includes an easy-to-follow schedule, by grade, for K-5 students. LMS links now available for Google Classroom, Seesaw or EdPuzzle. Free for a limited time. Learn more
Today's School Libraries
Kat Lowe, school librarian at a Texas elementary school, says she has some unique strategies to reach students, but the focus is always on reading. Strategies include engaging in "cosplay" to showcase characters from movies and books and a focus on technology.
Full Story: San Antonio Express-News (tiered subscription model) (8/10) 
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Getting to September, Part II: The First Four Weeks
As students and teachers prepare to begin the 2020-2021 school year, questions linger. What will instruction look like this year? Will learning be fully online, in person or a mix of both? Tune in August 18th to hear a panel of educators discuss strategies for navigating the first few weeks successfully. Register Now
Professional Leadership
Educators preparing for the uncertainty of the coming school year in this blog post share some do's and don'ts of teaching during the coronavirus pandemic. Teacher Amy Klein advises peers to keep it simple, promote routine work and make time for one-on-one learning, but avoid a 100% screen-based model or assigning more work than would be given in the classroom.
Full Story: Education Week Teacher (tiered subscription model) (8/4) 
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Policy Update
Districts consider learning pods in fall plans
Some school districts are considering how they can adapt learning pods -- used by wealthier families at times during spring's remote instruction -- to either provide support or instruction for small groups of students who need it most. A Denver district plans to have up to three pods established and staffed for each grade level and, in Indianapolis, officials plan to establish learning "hubs" for students who are homeless.
Full Story: Chalkbeat (8/10) 
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Building ventilation is a key topic as New York City schools prepare to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, with one analysis from 2019 showing many school buildings lacking upgraded heating ventilation and air conditioning systems. Educators at some schools also have expressed concerns about broken equipment and inoperable windows, but city education officials say they are working to upgrade equipment and make necessary repairs ahead of reopening, adding that "rooms without adequate ventilation will not be occupied."
Full Story: Gothamist (New York) (8/6),  Daily News (New York) (tiered subscription model) (8/9) 
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AASL is once again capturing data related to school and school library plans for the upcoming school year. As states, districts, and schools continue to plan what the 2020-2021 school year will look like for educators and learners, it is important for AASL to document what unfolds to capture the school librarian's vital role during these unprecedented times. The data collected in this series of back-to-school snapshot surveys will inform development of AASL resources and advocacy messages to support school librarians and address your evolving needs. Please complete the survey and share the link with your colleagues. The survey will close August 12 at 5 p.m. Central.
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AASL hosted its first town hall of the new school year Wednesday, Aug. 5. Learn how your fellow school library professionals are planning to support their colleagues and learners by viewing the recording and reading the chat. Recordings from the spring town halls are also available on the page. The next town hall is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. Central. Register today!
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