January 24, 2022
ELA SmartBrief
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Transforming Literacy Learning
How students can become website sleuths
(Unsplash)
Teachers can help middle- and high-school students think critically to determine whether websites have credible information, writes Amie Weinberg, teacher-mentor program director. In this article, Weinberg shares questions to help students evaluate a website, determine its qualifications and identify its purpose.
Full Story: Edutopia (1/21) 
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Novice middle-school teachers will find that building relationships with and learning about students can make teaching more fulfilling, says Jeremy Hyler, an author and former middle-school English and science teacher. In this blog post by teacher Larry Ferlazzo, Hyler and other veteran educators offer advice for teaching middle-schoolers, including eighth-grade US history teacher Sarah Cooper, who recommends finding ways to love students as they explore their own identities.
Full Story: Education Week (1/23) 
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How to use Wordle in classroom lessons
A person plays Wordle in New York City. (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
The word game that has become popular on social media -- Wordle -- has classroom applications, according to Esther Keller, a school librarian in New York City. Keller says the free game can help with lessons in vocabulary and spelling, as well as strategy and logical thinking.
Full Story: Tech & Learning (1/20) 
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Literacy Everywhere
Information specialists with the Kansas City Public Library system in Missouri are using News Literacy Week -- marked the week of Jan. 24 -- to highlight the breadth of resources available to patrons, says Jenny Garmon, the library's legal and government information specialist. The libraries offer tools for verifying information with multiple sources as well as host events, such as lunch-and-learn sessions with local journalists.
Full Story: KSHB-TV (Kansas City, Mo.) (1/24) 
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Stories of Teaching and Learning
Having a collaborative teaching style works better than lectures for Ciara Lyles, who teaches middle- and high-school students who are learning English in Alabama. Lyles says she enjoys working with students, some of them attending school for the first time in five or more years.
Full Story: The Valley Times-News (Lanett, Ala.) (1/24) 
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Combating Digital Fatigue & Maximizing Focus
Is your school technology set up with student comfort, stamina, and mental wellness in mind? As schools prepare for students return to classrooms Read the SmartFocus to learn best practices on student workplaces and focus while using tech.
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Professional Development and Leadership
A veteran teacher in New York City has helped launch a teaching and learning academy class to prepare high-school students for careers as teachers. The career and technical education program is seeking to help build a pipeline of teachers.
Full Story: Chalkbeat/New York (1/23) 
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You invite things to happen. You open the door. You inhale.
Dave Eggers,
writer, editor, publisher
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About the Editor
Trigie Ealey
Greetings!

Literacy opens up the world to learners. Learning to read wasn't easy for me as I had some personal challenges, but once I got it -- I got it! I was off to the races to read, read, read. My obsession went to another level when my fifth-grade teacher, Dr. Boyd Cox, introduced journalism with an assignment to read the newspaper. I've been hooked on news and current events ever since. I was fascinated by what I read about events and people all around the world. Reading could take me anywhere and everywhere.

With degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Arizona -- Bear Down, Arizona! Go Wildcats! -- my entire professional life has been spent working with words. After many years as a reporter and editor for local and military newspapers, I came to SmartBrief. I've been here for nearly 10 years. During that time, I've worked exclusively on the Education Team, a group of dedicated writers and editors who are committed to identifying and sharing the most important and relevant stories going on in education. I want to provide readers with news you can use. As a parent, I'm personally familiar with the pandemic-related struggles facing teachers, students and school communities.

As editor of ELA SmartBrief, I hope you'll reach out to me with your comments, thoughts, suggestions and original article ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.
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