Perspectives

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
  • With spring finally showing its true colors, many of us are planning for summer—making the to-do list for what will be accomplished around the house, watching the stack of books grow to where it’s dangerously close to toppling over, and scheduling the trips that we aren’t able to take during the school year.  

    In schools across the country, the transition to the Common Core ELA/Literacy standards is in full swing, and educators are deeply engaged in the work of deciding what these new standards mean for their students and their classroom practice.

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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Common Core Standards
  • Capacity Building: Using Evidence, Systemic Support
  • The Power of Collaboration

    As a middle child, some might say that I was born a collaborator. Certainly I was always the one trying to get everyone to share ideas, listen to one another, and “play nice.” However, I believe I fully recognized the value of collaboration when I became a teacher. In my first year, I worked with several veteran teachers when planning my lessons; their years of experience brought a level of expertise to the table that I could not match, but in return, I could offer a fresh perspective and new ideas.

    Most Recent: April 7, 2014
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  • Capacity Building: Collaborative Culture
  • The Work We Can Trust

    “Failing to give expert classroom craftspeople the opportunity to reflect, plan, and experiment together about how to help their students reach these ambitious goals is the equivalent of using prefab components and hoping they will look and function like custom-built.” (p. 15)
    Remodeling Literacy Learning Together: Paths to Standards Implementation (NCLE, 2014)

    Most Recent: March 28, 2014
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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Assessment , Common Core Standards
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  • Once again the Illinois Reading Council Spring Conference: Building Bridges to Literacy met all of our expectations and beyond.

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  • Selected Literacy Topics: Content Area Literacies
  • Capacity Building: Inquiry Stance
  • A new survey sheds light on keys to successful implementation of Common Core State Standards.

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  • "Ask any educator what the major challenge is in providing the effective professional learning needed to implement college and career readiness standards, and the answer is the same—TIME."

    Establishing Time for Professional Learning (Learning Forward, 2013)

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