Friday, May 30, 2014


How to Teach Listening in the Digital Age

    Knowing that speaking and listening are important literacy skills, but often not incorporated into curriculum, Erik Palmer, consultant with ASCD, developed a media literacy unit entitled "Listening in the Digital Age."  Erik answers questions such as Who teaches students to evaluate sound? Who teaches students to evaluate images? Who teaches students to evaluate video?  Read Erik's whole article here.  He will be coming to WISD on October 1st for a workshop on his speaking and listening framework for the K-12 classroom! (more info. to come this fall).

Using Text Sets to Support Common Core Implementation

    Students need to be able to critically think about increasingly complex texts and to read across informational and literary texts. Building strong text sets can be one way of supporting teachers in providing the necessary reading experiences. A text set is a group of books used to build background knowledge and common vocabulary around a theme or topic. 
    In the text set an anchor book is used as the focus of a unit or lesson and a series of additional information at various reading levels is strategically chosen to support the anchor text. The materials available at the Library of Michigan MDE site explain how the sets can be created and used.   You will also find text sets listed here in this growing resource site. 

Upcoming Professional Development

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Apps to Assist in Everyday Literacy Tasks

These are useful for communicating, collaborating, note-taking and annotating.

Pocket  helps manage your readings.  If you get numerous online reading suggestions per day or week, this is a great tool to manage them and keep them all in one place. It has a "night" function that dims the screen.

GroupMe allows you set up a private group for text messaging.  A class could have its own GroupMe discussion space, and then students can send each other reminders, ask each other questions, etc.  This tool allows the class to communicate with each other inside and outside of classroom hours, and the students can go to each other for help. Works on phones, mobile devices like iPads or iPods, and computers, so students don't need a smart phone.

Remind101 allows you to send texts to students without seeing each other's phone numbers.  Several teachers use this one to send reminders like "First draft due tomorrow, and don't forget the Works Cited page."

Evernote is more of a "one-stop-shopping" app.  It lets you manage notes, images, readings, and more all in one place.  It has a free level and then for pay you get additional capabilities.  

Subtext  Subtext is a digital reading program built for K12 classrooms. Read and collaborate with your classroom for free  by creating private groups, embedding discussion, finding content, researching, annotating and more. 

*Thanks to RCWP teachers and Chelsea Writing Collaborative teachers for sharing! 

Literacy Professional Development Offerings this Summer

  • Inkstains- A summer writing camp for middle and high school students- located at EMU.

End-of-Year Writing and Summer Reading

     Read what literacy consultant Franki Sibberson suggests for some thoughtful literacy activities for the end of the school year and some non-fiction, picture books, YA novels and inspirational texts for all readers this summer. 

Ending the Year with Literacy Gifts

Football Field Writing