April 22, 2021
ELA SmartBrief
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Transforming Literacy Learning
La. literacy program seeks "reading revival"
(Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Louisiana this month launched a literacy program designed to help educators, families and community leaders improve students' English proficiency and reading comprehension, along with a "reading revival," says Cade Brumley, the Louisiana State Superintendent of Education. The program, which lacks any state funding, focuses on teaching plans, setting literacy goals and boosting the reading comprehension of students.
Full Story: The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate (4/20) 
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Take your new digital tools back to school
With vaccines offering hope for a return to brick-and-mortar schools later this year, you might wonder whether any of the digital tools you've learned could work in-person. In this blog two noted teachers get strategic about blending favorite practices and technology. The Heinemann Blog
Literacy Everywhere
NFL player touts financial literacy to youth of color
Jenkins (Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
National Football League player Malcolm Jenkins wants to help teach 300 Philadelphia-area students to become financially literate, starting with opening savings accounts with the free, student-focused app. Jenkins shares that he was already into his football career before he learned that saving money is just one part of financial freedom, which he says also includes investing, life insurance and estate planning.
Full Story: The Philadelphia Inquirer (tiered subscription model) (4/19) 
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The Boston festival created by Comics in Color -- a community seeking to amplify the voices, artists and storytellers of color in the white-, male-dominated genre of comics and comic books -- will feature artists gathered in an open-air space, co-founder Cagen Luse says. The headliner, Boston native Keith Knight, will take fans behind the scenes of how three of his popular comic strips morphed into "Woke," the partially animated Hulu series about a cartoonist.
Full Story: The Bay State Banner (Boston) (4/21) 
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Reading Strategies to Offset Learning Loss
This EdWeek webinar will explore high-impact strategies to re-engage readers. Presenters will share research-backed approaches to knowledge building, culturally responsive strategies to engage all learners, and best practices for scaffolding to support learner variability. Register Now
Research on Literacy Teaching and Learning
Study: Gifted programs not beneficial
A study of 1,300 elementary students across the US raises questions about whether gifted programs improve outcomes for students. The study, to be published next month in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, finds small gains in reading, smaller gains in math, no improvement in motivation and no gains at all among Black students and children from low-income families.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (4/19) 
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The coronavirus pandemic has caused setbacks for prekindergarten programs across the US, according to the State of Preschool Yearbook published by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The report finds some states have waived pre-K requirements during the pandemic, and many students who did enroll attended remotely.
Full Story: The 74 (4/19) 
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Professional Development and Leadership
The isolation of teaching can be addressed by building professional learning communities, say current and former educators in this blog post. Among them, Marci Harvey, a high-school science teacher in North Carolina, shares strategies to build effective PLCs, which she says can help increase classroom rigor and improve outcomes for students.
Full Story: Education Week Teacher (tiered subscription model) (4/21) 
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Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
Karle Wilson Baker,
poet, writer
April 22 is Earth Day
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