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Saturday, March 18, 2017

A great article regarding the fake news debate. Courtesy of BBC.

Such analytical skills will be excellent for students to know, but Thai students -- and especially their teachers -- have very, very far to go.

Young people need the skills to navigate the digital world, says the OECD's…|By BBC News

Here are two resources you might like to explore.

Non-Profit Organization · 3,529 like this
How to know what to believe.
Media/News Company · 116 like this
GCMLP teaches digital media literacy and critical thinking skills to challenge corporate and state-engineered news media censorship around the world.



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Sunday, February 26, 2017

I enjoyed reading this article about teaching basics in writing - across content areas - at the high school level. It has good information and references a strong instructional program, Writing is Thinking through Strategic Inquiry. Schools that have used it, have found that it accelerates writing for all of their students. Below, I have provided links for those of you who would like further information on the writing program. Enjoy.Courtesy of Mind/Shift.

  Doing things the write way | United Federation of Teachers

WITsi Newsletter - Long Island City High School

Is It Time To Go Back To The Basics With Writing Instruction?
To the average high school teacher, spending a semester on sentence-level exercises that are heavily scaffolded seems easy and boring. But Nell Scharff Panero said that when teachers try taking instruction back to basics using what she calls "progressive mastery," they see big improvements in the quality of both thinking and writing. She finds that students can meet high school expectations when teachers slow down to show them how to write well.

Dan Scanlon, principal of John Adams High School in New York, said it was difficult for his staff to acknowledge that pointing fingers at students wasn't going to improve performance. Instead, the staff had to accept the reality of where their students were at and try something new and different for most of the high school teachers. Because John Adams has been a low-achieving school for a long time and has been designated a Renewal School, teachers ultimately had no choice. The whole staff got trained in the writing strategies, called Writing is Thinking through Strategic Inquiry (WITsi), and learned how to apply them to their content areas.

"We have better teacher practice because of their implementation of WIT and that has improved performance on Regents exams," said Joanna Cohen, a vice-principal at John Adams. School administrators chose to implement writing across the curriculum because they began to see that many of the gaps in writing knowledge also pointed to fundamental abilities to express relationships. Using "so" correctly in a sentence, for example, indicates causality, an idea that's just as important in math and science as it is in more writing-intensive disciplines like social studies and English.

NOTE: Learn more at:How Progressive Mastery Works 
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Saturday, February 4, 2017

This article is excellent. It applies to literacy as well. Well worth the read. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

When does optimal learning occur?
When does optimal learning occur?
Spending an additional 20 minutes practicing a newly mastered skill may have lasting benefits, according to a study in Nature Neuroscience. Researchers studied optimal conditions for learning, noting that "overlearning" yielded gains for skill retention.
Popular Science (1/31)  Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Here is a great resource for teaching vocabulary. It is updated - based on today's students. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

New book: 101 Strategies to Make Academic Vocabulary Stick
Veteran educator Marilee Sprenger explains how to teach the essential, high-frequency words that appear in academic contexts -- and reverse the disadvantages of what she calls "word poverty." Drawing on research and experience, Sprenger provides a rich array of engaging strategies to help educators across all content areas and grade levels not only teach students a large quantity of words but also ensure that they know these words well. Learn more.
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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Here are some great resources for starting off the New Year! Courtesy of Stenhouse.

January 6, 2017  •  In This Issue:

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Stenhouse Publishers
1) Preview 7 new books in their entirety
Kick off the new year with these new and recent titles from our Canadian publishing partner, Pembroke Publishers:

Powerful Readers
Powerful Readers, by Kyla Hadden and Adrienne Gear
Thinking Strategies to Guide Literacy Instruction in Secondary Classrooms
Kyla Hadden and Adrienne Gear
At any age or grade level, powerful readers are those who are aware of their thinking as they read. This book demonstrates that instruction in the key strategies of connecting, visualizing, questioning, inferring, determining importance, and transforming can help high school students develop their reading skills and get more out of their work with fiction and nonfiction.
Grades 8-12 • 128 pages • $24.00 • Available now

Literacy 101
Literacy 101, by David Booth
Questions and Answers That Meet the Needs of Real Teachers
David Booth
In his new book, David Booth answers questions from real teachers about building skills in literacy—from phonics to comprehension, from simple exercises to rich reading materials. Drawing on more than forty years of experience in education, David shares hard-learned lessons about what has—and hasn't—worked for him.
Grades K-12 • 128 pages • $24.00 • Available now

Student Diversity, Third Edition
Student Diversity, Third Edition, by Faye Brownlie, Catherine Feniak, and Leyton Schnellert
Teaching Strategies to Meet the Learning Needs of All Students in K-10 Classrooms
Faye Brownlie, Catherine Feniak, and Leyton Schnellert
Based on extensive classroom research, Student Diversity presents many examples of teachers working together in diverse classrooms to improve their teaching practice—from the primary and early years to middle school and high school.
Grades K-10 • 160 pages • $24.00 • Available now

Substitute Teaching?
Substitute Teaching?, by Amanda Yuill
Everything You Need to Get the Students on Your Side and Teach Them, Too
Amanda Yuill
This easy-to-read, humorous survival guide for substitute teachers presents strategies to get students on your side and make classroom management easier for the whole day. You'll get ready-to-use tools, tips, and lesson ideas for every grade from kindergarten through 8th.
Grades K-8 • 160 pages • $24.00 • Available now

The Four Roles of the Numerate Learner
The Four Roles of the Numerate Learner, by Mary Fiore and Maria Luisa Lebar
Effective Teaching and Assessment Strategies to Help Students Think Differently About Mathematics
Mary Fiore and Maria Luisa Lebar
This book introduces a framework (sense maker, skill user, thought communicator, and critical interpreter) that supports an integrated approach to effective mathematics instruction. It builds on educators' understanding of how to effectively teach mathematics and borrows from successful frameworks used to teach literacy.
Grades K-12 • 128 pages • $24.00 • Available now

Relationships Make the Difference
Relationships Make the Difference, by Pat Trottier
Connect with Your Students and Help Them Build Social, Emotional, and Academic Skills
Pat Trottier
This book provides the scaffolding that teachers need to establish strong relationships with their students and create caring classroom communities that build relationships with parents, school administration, staff, and support specialists.
Grades K-12 • 128 pages • $24.00 • Available now

Teaching with Humor, Compassion, and Conviction
Teaching with Humor, Compassion, and Conviction, by Heather Hollis
Helping Our Students Become Literate, Considerate, Passionate Human Beings
Heather Hollis
How can teachers make their literacy classrooms a place of joy? Full of simple strategies and activities for building community, this practical book is committed to promoting strong literacy skills and creating mindful classrooms where students are free to speak with compassion, write with conviction, and read with joy.
Grades K-6 • 128 pages • $24.00 • Available now


2) Talking about race in the classroom
Rick Wormeli
We can't truly create equal opportunities for all until our institutions take specific actions to end racist thinking and policies. And ground zero for an equitable, non-racist society is the K-12 classroom.

Read this thoughtful article from Rick Wormeli—one of the most-read articles of 2016 from ASCD's Educational Leadership:

Rick Wormeli

And watch our recent webinar with Matt Kay, author of the upcoming book Loaded Conversations. Follow along as Matt shares ideas and strategies for navigating conversations about race in your classroom:


3) PD Corner: Creating a learning culture
The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization's learning culture.
—Josh Bersin

Create your personal learning culture. Invest in your own development. Author and executive coach Tasha Eurich advises how: know yourself, pick one thing, and practice. Be inspired to reach for awesome with her image-rich TEDx talk:

The Digital Principal, by Janet Hughes and Anne Burke
Are educators in your building inquiry based, student focused and purposefully engaged in learning with technology? Read "Learning Culture for a Digital Age," Chapter 3 of The Digital Principal, by Janet Hughes and Anne Burke:

Are the learners around you agile? Review the five components of learning agility with this post from Concordia Online:

Take apart the learning agility components on pages three to five of this Center for Creative Leadership white paper and use them as manipulatives to spark and encourage conversations with teachers:
A Sense of Belonging, by Jennifer Allen

Use the first chapter of Jennifer Allen's A Sense of Belonging to recall the story of your teaching start. Help new teachers avoid learning culture shock:


Please send comments and questions to Zsofia McMullin, Newslinks Editor, at or call (800) 988-9812. Click here to view archives of past issues.
Contributing writer: Lee Ann Spillane

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Students write international children's books - What a great idea. Some of you who are international, are welcome to leave a post and connect up with other classrooms on this blog! Maybe you could get an exchange going! Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief!

Students in a Virginia school district who participated in the Journeys of My Life project created children's books in English and Spanish for schoolchildren in El Salvador. The project is a partnership with the public library and uses funding from a grant from the American Library Association.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/20)