Perspectives

This blog is reprinted with permission from the Exchange group Downers Grove HS District 99 Literacy Coaches.  Visit their group page to follow their learning. 

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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Content Area Literacies
  • Content Areas: Science
  • Become the Storyteller-in-Chief

    The new school year has begun for many educators across the country with others soon to follow after Labor Day.  With the new year comes a renewed focus on a variety of initiatives that are aimed at enhancing learning and improving student achievement. Administrators and teachers alike will work to establish a shared vision and subsequent plan of action for meaningful change that will hopefully lead to cultural transformation.

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  • Capacity Building: Deprivatizing Practice
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  • The Best New Year Yet...

    Did you notice the back-to-school sales in the stores actually begin in early August?  Yes, it's amazing how big these sales are...I heard on the radio that it's actually the third largest retail season of the year.  Part of it is that stores want to get shoppers back into the stores to start buying for the holidays after a long summer of buying lots of food for parties.  However, the other part is that parents have to keep up with their kids who have grown so much because of the sunshine and the time for play over the summer!  Just last week, I overheard a young

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    We can all agree that there are often not enough positive stories about education in the media.

    Most Recent: September 2, 2014

    The italic notes are Lara's introduction to and reflections on this Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) blog by Barnett Berry (August 11, 2014), reposted here with permission.

    "Teaching is simultaneously one of the hardest and one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. We often say that students make it worth it, but there’s something else that can make or break your happiness as a teacher: your colleagues."

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  • New Beginnings on My Mind

    Has anyone else noticed how their social media feeds are beginning to fill with new pins, likes, and shares of tips and tricks for starting the new school year, decorating the classroom, building community, and engaging students? Of course, these trickle in throughout the year, but in this month leading up to the new academic year, the proportion of these posts increases exponentially. That’s what I love about social media—following like-minded educators who fill my inbox with great ideas to try out in the classroom.

  • Topics: Induction
  • This blog is reprinted with permission from the Exchange group Downers Grove HS District 99 Literacy Coaches.  Visit their group page to follow their learning. 

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  • I was, frankly, dreading the month of July because of the professional trips that were taking me away from very long to-do lists and away from family during the time of year when we should be heading to the pool or riding bikes in the park. But today, I’m giving thanks for these opportunities to hang out with really cool educators from across the country—to learn alongside them, and to grow as a result of their candor and thoughtful reflection.

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  • Literacy Coaches: On Three

    This blog is reprinted with permission from the Exchange group Downers Grove HS District 99 Literacy Coaches.  Visit their group page to follow their learning. 

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  • Capacity Building: Collaborative Culture
  • Brave New World

    The following article was published in the July 2014 edition of ISTE's entrsekt.
     

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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Common Core Standards
  • Remembering Walter Dean Myers

    Walter Dean MyersChildren’s book author Walter Dean Myers 

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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Literature
  • Innovation 101

    Defining innovation is no small task. For the past few years we as educators have been tossing this word around and observing how it sticks. As a middle school principal with a staff close to 100, I am doing the same. I, along with my teachers, am watching, listening, and learning what it is to be innovative in this era of education.

    Most Recent: July 7, 2014
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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Digital Literacies 
  • Speak Less and Listen More

    Educational consultant and former principal Lisa Dabbs says in this Edutopia blog that the true power of developing herself as an educational leader "came when [she] discovered that listening was the key. . . ."

    Her transformation required trial and error, but by learning to "speak less and listen more," she says, she changed her focus as a school administrator and was able to build meaningful relationships and better understand the needs of those she served.  

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  • Capacity Building: Collaborative Culture
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Listening, Speaking
  • This blog is reprinted with permission from the Exchange group HSD 152 Bryant Elementary School GAPS PLC.  Visit their group page to follow their learning. 

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  • Capacity Building: Collaborative Culture
  • Catherine: Since the release of the NCLE study on the role that teacher collaboration is playing in Common Core implementation, I’ve had the opportunity to talk about the findings with educators from a wide spectrum of locations, roles, and constituencies. One message that seems to resonate across contexts is the message that standards implementation is going better in places where teachers are given time and support to work together on building them into their curriculum.

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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Common Core Standards
  • Remembering Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou visits YCP! 2/4/13Poet and author Maya Angelou died Wednesday, May 28, in her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Angelou is considered one of the finest poets of her generation.

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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Literature
  • Topics: memoir, poetry
  • "How does a teacher help a colleague to articulate what student success would look like? How could a teacher support a colleague to unpack what she does and doesn’t understand about structuring powerful academic discussions in the classroom?  These are the questions that teacher scholar leaders asked themselves at a recent Mills Teacher Scholar Leaders Network meeting on a Saturday in early February."

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  • This past Friday (May 9, 2014) was one of the most enjoyable, open, honest, caring, warm, and productive professional development experiences of my career, and I want to start by thanking the District 99 Literacy Coaching Team (Dana Briggs, Jennifer Hernandez, Barb Mazzolini, Kathleen Skinner, Kathy Smith, Elaine Simos, Amy Stoops, and Marjorie Thomas) for allowing me to be a part of this special day.

    Catherine: I must have been wearing my mom hat that morning. Or maybe I just hadn’t had enough coffee. But when my sons told me it was another “minimum day” and that they would need to be picked up early, my gut reaction was to roll my eyes and question whether more time for “teacher meetings” was really necessary.

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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Family Literacy