Ohio district introduces robotics to 6th-graders | Teacher examines diversity of books read by students | Mich. middle-schoolers take advanced STEM classes
January 16, 2020
ELA SmartBrief
The smarter way to stay on top of news for English and literacy educators
Transforming Literacy Learning
Ohio district introduces robotics to 6th-graders
Ohio district introduces robotics to 6th-graders
An Ohio district's robotics program has expanded this year to include sixth-grade students, a group left out of previous efforts to teach the subject. A grant is funding equipment, which is being used by older students from another school's robotics team to teach their younger peers how to program robots.
The Suburbanite (Akron, Ohio) (1/15) 
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Student writing: See the strong not the wrong
Do teachers' own experiences affect how they view student writing? A simple exercise reveals what lenses a teacher reads students' writing through. Completed alone or with peers, it helps teachers switch from seeing what's wrong in students' writing to what's strong. The Heinemann Blog
Literacy Everywhere
T-Mobile, district provide computers, internet
T-Mobile, district provide computers, internet
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
T-Mobile is providing 400 hotspots for students without home internet access in Staunton, Va., as well as donating $26,000 to Staunton City Schools Equity First Fund. In addition, the school district is providing 300 Chromebooks to families without home computers.
WVIR-TV (Charlottesville, Va.) (1/14) 
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Fla. Girl Scouts practice STEM skills
A Girl Scouts in Florida recently participated in a model race car competition to learn about aerodynamics and technology -- and have fun. As part of the group's STEM program, the scouts also learn about robotics, mobile app development and inventions.
WCJB-TV (Gainesville, Fla.) (1/15) 
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Let’s uncomplicate phonics
Educators are feeling the heat about phonics. But one national expert is bringing light to the phonics conversation by sharing details and implementation ideas for a crucial principle that hasn't been discussed so far: developmentally responsive instruction. The Heinemann Blog
Research on Literacy Teaching and Learning
Can literacy instruction gain from brain data?
Can literacy instruction gain from brain data?
Teachers at one school in New York state and at another in Pennsylvania are learning to monitor and understand students' brain activity to inform literacy instruction as part of a program through the Haskins Global Literacy Hub, which is associated with Yale University. Teachers use technology to see how the brain changes as students respond to reading instruction, and the long-term hope is that the findings will help determine which students will respond to particular interventions.
Education Week (tiered subscription model) (1/15) 
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STEM, education trends to monitor in 2020
The US is still struggling to attract educators from diverse backgrounds, according to Talia Milgrom-Elcott, leader of 100Kin10. In this article, Milgrom-Elcott writes that more schools are embracing the T (for technology) in STEM, but the US still needs more computer science teachers as well as resources to effectively teach about climate change.
Forbes (1/13) 
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Webinar series: The science of reading
What does the science of reading look like in a classroom? Join us for a series of free webinars to learn about what it is, what it says about core instruction, and how the principles apply at your school. Register now!
Professional Development and Leadership
How one district reduced turnover by 33%
Denver Public Schools is reporting a 33% decrease in turnover following an increase in pay averaging 15.7% for returning teachers. The district's educators won the raises in a contract that ended a strike last year that focused on teacher retention and pay increases.
Chalkbeat/Colorado (1/10) 
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Mixing math and debate to make magic.
High school math teacher and debate coach, Chris Luzniak, longed to see his math students as empowered and engaged as the students on his debate team, so he wrote Up for Debate!. Now you, too, can create a classroom culture where students do the talking.
Editor's Note
ELA SmartBrief will not publish Jan. 20
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, ELA SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Jan. 20. Publication will resume Wednesday, Jan. 22.
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You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.
Billy Wilder,
filmmaker, screenwriter, producer
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