Monthly Archives: May 2016

New Essential Literacy Practice Documents for the State of Michigan

New from the Early Literacy Task Force of the General Education Leadership Network of the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators:

New Resources

Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy Prekindergarten
The purpose of this document is to increase Michigan’s capacity to improve children’s literacy by identifying a small set of research supported literacy instructional practices that could be a focus of professional development throughout the state.

Click here to view the full pdf.

Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy Grades K-3
GELN and its Early Literacy Task Force are pleased to share these Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy Grades K-3. The purpose of these essentials is to increase Michigan’s capacity to improve children’s literacy by identifying a small set of research-supported literacy instructional practices that could be a focus of professional development throughout the state. Stay tuned for more information on how we are using the documents to strengthen instruction.

Click here to view the full pdf.

Ideas for Implementing Collaboration and Peer Production with Writing

In our Understanding Digital Literacies session, participants were asked to share their ideas for ways teachers can implement collaboration and peer production with writing. Below are some of their responses to this question. As you think about incorporating digital literacy into your classroom, consider what is shared in this blog post.

“I am thinking that when students create a writing whether it be Narrative, Opinion, or even Research it would be really helpful to have peers comment on it and make suggestions for help.  The peer editing piece would be much more purposeful as each student’s comments would be logged and the teacher can see if all students are weighing in.  Also, each student gets much more assistance with their work than just 1 person commenting.”

“I read Teaching Quality Commenting Skills which explains how to teach students how to write comments when responding to blogs. The five main suggestions in the short video in the article are:

  1. Compliment the writer in a specific way.
  2. Add new information.
  3. Make a connection.
  4. End with a question.
  5. Proofread your comments.”

“I have used KidBlog and it was a great tool to get students to write. They loved responding to each other. I like the idea of modeling writing through blogging. It makes it more authentic to our digital generation of learners.

I also like the idea of using PodCasts to record students reading. What a great way for them to “hear” how they read. Do they use expression? Do they have great fluency? It is also a great way for parents to be informed on how well their child is doing in their oral reading.

The final idea I would like to try is using PodCasts to have students orally tell their stories. Too many times they lose their ideas because they are too bogged down with the physical writing portion. By recording it, they can listen to their ideas and ideas of others, before they start the writing portion. What a great way to collaborate with others to improve their writing!”

“I have used collaboration with writing in the following ways:

  • Students create a PSA (print, audio, or TV).  They used both google docs and to create print PSA’s.
  • I have used Google docs to comment and give feedback during the writing process.  I prefer sitting side by side, but this gives students immediate feedback and a conversation starter for the one-on-one conversation.
  • Teachers can use the collaboration for presentations and PD”

“We use both weebly and kidblog in our building. Both are easy to use for both teachers and students.”

Best Practice Reflection and Networking

This Thursday, May 12 we will reflect on our learning around The Seven Structures of Best Practice and have opportunities to share and grow our thinking.    Our new learning will be around Chapters 8 & 9.  We will be explore what’s possible in the schools/districts we can influence!!   Should we have time we will delve into the wonderful nuggets around some critical issues that live in many schools.

Looking forward to our learning and networking time.

See you soon!


Rethinking Classroom Talk to Enhance Comprehension

This Thursday, May 12th we will be reflecting on our learning from Ellin Keene’s book, Talk About Understanding.  The Conversation Cafe will be the protocol used to network and learn from each other.  With the remaining time we will explore “The Talk About Understanding Principles” from our reading of Chapters 6, 7 and 8.  Should we have time(I always over plan) we will view a video segment and extend our talking and learning from watching Ellin’s intentional talk moves.

This book has been inspirational to me in many ways!!  I’m looking forward to hearing your voices and learning and growing  together!

See you soon!

One to One Coaching to Impact Learning

Coaching is a great professional learning learning experience supporting growth for teachers and for students.  The positive impact of coaching over time is well-documented with  research (Jenny Edwards – Cognitive Coaching,  Cathy Tool, Diane Sweeney, Jim Knight).  At our upcoming LCN study session,  Coaching Conversations to Sustain Learning, Kathy Arlen of Kent City PS  and Marsha Turner of Ionia PS will share their stories of coaching.  Learn:   How  does a teacher connect with a coach for support?  What thinking guides the support a coach offers? How does a coach and coachee monitor success for the students and the teacher?  What are some tips, tools and processes the coach finds supports learning for the coachee?   See you on Thursday!  Laura and Char