literacyeverywhere

Saving the World Through Literacy!

The Question Formulation Technique @SCILearn

Today I read a great post on getting students to ask better questions from The Science of Learning Blog called The Question Formulation Technique: 6 Steps to Help Students Ask Better Questions.

I read the Harvard Education Letter article, Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions, in the fall and it really made sense to me! The Question Formulation technique is awesome!

This post pulls the best of the Harvard article and Habits of Mind together into a  concise 6 step method.

Try it out & let me know what you think!

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Flipping for the Flipped Classroom!

I’ve been reading a lot about Flipped Classrooms lately.

To be honest, I didn’t really understand what the hype was about until after reading this article by Greg Green.

Now that I get it, I want in on the success! Here’s an excerpt from the article that really helped it click for me:

“By reversing our instructional procedures so that students do their homework at school, we can appropriately align our learning support and resources for all of our students, and eliminate the inequality that currently plagues our schools. When students do homework at school, they can receive a meal and access to technology (during a declining economy), and an overwhelming amount of support and expertise. When students do their homework at school, we can ensure that they will be able to learn in a supportive environment that’s conducive to their education and well-being.  For the first time in history, we can provide a level playing field for students in all neighborhoods, no matter what their financial situation is.”

Are you ready to flip your classroom? I’d love to hear from you!

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Edutopia’s Resources for Understanding the Common Core State Standards

Here is a great list of Common Core Resourses from Edutopia!

http://www.edutopia.org/common-core-state-standards-resources

Check out the links at the bottom of the page, too. You’ll find great things like this:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-state-standards-1-virginia-goatley

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From Ed Week: Assessment Consortium Releases Final Content Frameworks

Catherine Gewertz, of Ed Week’s Curriculum Matters, shares new information from PARCC on the Common Core Content Frameworks.

Read about the frameworks and what she thinks here: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2011/11/assessment_consortium_releases_1.html

Check out PARCC’s frameworks for yourself here: www.parcconline.org/parcc-content-frameworks

While you are on the PARCC site, check out the Sample Instructional Units and Sample Assessment Tasks, too!

Keep fighting for what matters most–our students!

Have a great day!

~Mandee

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When to Fight for What: Common Core, Ted Talks, & Literacy

Warning-This post rambles a bit, but I think it is worth hanging in there!

I’m just going to say it–popular or not–Good teachers go with the flow. Great teachers embrace it.
We all need to fight for what is best for our students. That’s a given.
But sometimes we need to leave the hand-to-hand combat to those who are have the energy & time.

Hear me out on this one:

My number one job is to be the best teacher I can be in my classroom. I have to. It is sometimes all I can do to focus on the unique needs of my students in six classes. Sometimes I just need to put all of my thought and energy into that. When that happens, I do make sure to support those who are out there fighting the fight for all of us. Often the are fighting full time, work in a different kind of school, or have more energy that me! It is ok. I’m not hard on myself about it. I’m embracing it and doing what I do best–being there for my kids!

On that note…

The Common Core is coming. It is already in place for many of us. I’m not fighting it. I’m going with it. There are great things about it & there are things that need some work. But, it is happening either way. Personally, I’m encouraged by the great amount of resources out there to support the Common Core.

The bottom line is this: Good teachers do what is best for their kids. Great teachers always find a way to be what our kids need!

Here are a few great Common Core resources:

This article from edutopia by  Heather Wolpert-Gawron is awesome! Common Core + Ted Talks = My idea of a great lesson!

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-lesson-plans-speeches-heather-wolpert-gawron

The Kentucky DOE has been busy publishing tons of Common Core info. This list of Literacy Strategies (complete with many Word & pdf printouts, is great. Check out this link then explore the rest of the sight! So much of the work has already been done-why not use it!

http://www.education.ky.gov/KDE/Instructional+Resources/Literacy/Literacy+Strategies+Glossary.htm

So, are you a fighter or a supporter? Either way, we’ve got to make our kids the #1 priority!

If you are fighting, thank you!     If you are supporting those that fight, thank you!     If you are just an observer, jump in!

 

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Common Core Resources-Sharing Time!

I’m excited about all of the sharing that is happening right now in education. I’m thrilled by the amount of technology we can access. I’m proud of the positive attitudes of the amazing educators that are not giving in to the gripes, whines, and general negativity that is out there. I’ve opted out and I hope you have, too!

The Common Core is coming. Luckily, there are a ton of resources out there for us to use! No starting from scratch or flying without a net!

I’ll be posting resources here as I find them. If you have any to add, please let me know!

The Common Core Site has up-to-date information about the standards. http://www.corestandards.org/

PARC is creating the Common Core assessments. Check their site often for new framework and assessment information and be sure to sign up for their email newsletter! The IN THE CLASSROOM section of the PARC site has great teacher resources! http://www.parcconline.org/

 

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Straight Talk on Common Core: Sue Gendron

Check out this video from Scholastic Administrator!
Straight Talk on Common Core: Sue Gendron explains what’s coming and details how to prepare your district for the curricula changes.

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We Tried It and Here’s How: Newspaper Blackout from @AustinKleon

I posted to Twitter that I finally tried Austin Kleon’s Newspaper Blackout with my writing class.

Newspaper Blackout by @AustinKleon

They LOVED it!

An awesome teacher, Kathy in AL, wrote to ask me how I did the lesson with my class.  She also reminded me that I’ve been on Twitter a lot, but haven’t put anything here in forever. Thanks for that, too, Kathy! I’m going to get back to this blog!

Here’s what I emailed to Kathy:

Hi Kathy,
I showed my 8th graders several of his videos to start.
Here are the links (I showed them in this order):
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/july-dec10/kleon_09-14.html
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/module_byid.html?s=news01n42cbqf22
http://vimeo.com/4037584
Next, I read several of his poems and showed them to the class.
We then did a few together on the smartboard (I scanned in a few newspaper articles that I thought would work).
We talked about how Kleon searched, skimmed, and scanned the articles for good words. We practiced circling words with pencil first–using the marker first was tricky (I found this out the hard way!)
I did a few of my own to show them.
Some kids really got it and others just liked writing with the black markers on the newspaper! 🙂 Either way, I think it was a valuable writing activity.
It did take a lot longer than I thought it would. I planned it for one day, but they worked on it for several days.
I’m going to scan and post some of them soon (in my free time *smile*)
I hope you try it. My students loved it! =)
Let me know if you try it with your students! 
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Making the Case for Literacy Coaches

Great article from Choice Literacy on why schools need Literacy Coaches:

http://www.choiceliteracy.com/public/881.cfm
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Literacy Everywhere…Saving the World Through Literacy!

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