Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 2017

2017- A Year to Use Our Literacies to Make a Positive Difference!

  Our reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking skills are used to make sense of our everyday world.  How can we use them as thoughtful educators in today's classroom? How can we teach students to use them to care for themselves and for those around them?   
* Thanks to the National School Reform Faculty (NSRF), the creators of Critical Friends Groups (CFG), newsletter for featuring several resources on this topic and to nycore.org. 

Speaking and Listening to Make a Difference-

YES Magazine outlines 8 Strategies for Confronting Hate that teach us to utilize our speaking and listening skills to combat hate:
  • Educate yourself
  • Be the first to speak
  • Practice being conspicuous
  • Ask for help
  • Find a heroic role model
  • Make connections with people different from you
  • Ask people what they really need
  • Press the mental pause button

Critical Reading and Thinking to Make a Difference- 

Teaching Tolerance provides resources for teachers to help students use critical reading and thinking strategies to read Beyond Taglines and Headlines:

  1. Determine a topic of relevance to your current classroom objectives or a current event.
  2. Find two to three recent news sources (preferably from varying points of view) reporting on the topic. Do some fact-checking to make sure they’re real sources.
  3. Read the articles with students.
  4. Then, use the following questions to engage students in critical analysis of the articles.
  • To analyze sources and evidence
    How does the author’s position, attitude, beliefs or point of view affect the validity of this source in relation to the topic?
  • To make connections
    How do the attitudes, beliefs or points of view of the author or speaker connect to history and to other sources?
  • For chronological reasoning
    How might the author and their message have been influenced by what was happening at the time this source was created?
  • To create and support an argument
    How might the author’s or speaker’s attitudes, beliefs or points of view affect the argument or claim they made? How does my positioning relative to the author, topic or speaker affect my critique of this source?

Writing to Make a Difference-

On page 18 of WriteOn! Writing for Social Justice, the authors provide a collection of multi-grade level lesson plans, writing prompts, student writing, classroom activities, and other resources to encourage writing for social justice.   


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Upcoming Professional Learning






Additional Opportunities


Digital Discoveries for Black History Month with MeL. Find out where to locate material that can be used in the library and classroom during Black History Month.  This webinar is geared toward Media Specialists, teachers, and other K-12 staff.

There are two times for this hour-long webinar.  Please be sure to register and save your spot:




Disciplinary Literacies Showcase:
How to Really Prepare Students for College and Career Writing
February 11 (Saturday), 9 am – 2 pm

EMU Student Center

Join colleagues from across the disciplines and subject areas at both the secondary and college level to talk about writing—and about how we can help our students make smooth transitions across the grade levels and into the workplace

Please register for the event here.

*This workshop is free to all participants