Friday, November 1, 2013


 Using Argument as a Tool for Integrating Science and Literacy

    Erin Washburn and Andy Cavagnetto share an instructional framework aimed at integrating best literacy practices for science learning. They argue that being scientifically literate is more than being able to “read” science texts and recognize scientific vocabulary, rather it is the ability to comprehend, interpret, and analyze. Through PONG cycles (Problem/Question, Observation, Negotiation, Goal), teachers can facilitate thinking: 

1. Teacher poses a problem or shares a focused           question.
2. Students make observations.
3. Students make evidence-based or reasoned             claim(s).
4. Students share and critique claim(s).
5. Students revise their evidence based claim(s).

Click HERE for the entire article from The Reading Teacher, a publication of the International Reading Association (IRA). 

Reading Like a Historian

Check out the Stanford History Education Group for Reading Like a Historian. This free resource was created for teachers to access material that engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents designed for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities. This curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues. They learn to make historical claims backed by documentary evidence. See research on Reading Like a Historian here.

*Thanks to Brandon Szwejkowski for sharing this valuable resource! 

Is there a Purpose for Teaching Cursive Today? 

    When an administrator posed this question to me a few weeks ago, I did some investigating on this topic with my colleagues at Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU.  It was a very lively discussion, and one teacher made a live binder for our collection of shared articles and conversation on the topic. 
     It's a little difficult to find an article that is 100% against cursive.  They are either completely for cursive or share equal (or less) time to an opposing side.  While most agree that students need to know how to read cursive writing, most also agree that we cannot justify spending loads of time on it in an already pressed- for- time school day. What do you think? 

PD Opportunities Nearby

MSU College of Ed Technology Conference

    The 30th Annual MSU College of Education Technology conference will be held on Saturday, November 16th, 2013 at Michigan State University in Erickson Hall from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm. The theme of this year's conference is online and mobile education. Through a continued collaboration between the College of Education, the MSU College of Education Alumni Association and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology Program, this year's conference will be FREE OF CHARGE to all attendees.  Light breakfast items will be available as well as coffee, tea, and juice.

 Literacy PD at WISD:

Writing Collaborative teacher workshops (secondary)

Winter 2014: Feb. 6, 7 and March 7
Spring 2014: April 29, 30 and May 16
Reading Apprenticeship teacher workshops (secondary):
Winter 2014:  Jan. 28, 29 and Feb. 12
Spring 2014:   April 22, 23 and May 14
 *See flyer here

Early Literacy: 
Tim Shanahan on Early Literacy:  March 11, 2014

*All details, costs, and registrations can be found on WISDGoSignMeUP!