Links to Literacy


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Week #4

Problem of the Week – Laura’s 8th graders are having trouble showing in their writing…instead they are just telling what happened. For example, when describing a character in a narrative scene, kids are telling all about the character, and not showing him or her in action. Like this: Mark was an average kid, decent grades, good friends, but Mark always knew he was different, and hated it. Laura wants to help her kids move from just describing their characters to showing them in action.

Teaching Tool of the Week – The Demonstration Notebook

You can find a download of the teaching tool here.

DIY Literacy Episode 4

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

New Feature -New Feature-New Feature

TECH Connect

This new feature in Links to Literacy will focus on the integration of technology into literacy instruction. This first installment provides suggestions for using digital text bins when personalizing reading and writing.

Digital Text Bins

Digital text bins are similar to text sets or book bins that we store on shelves, but are stored virtually. They move beyond just the simple substitution (S on SAMR) of uploading print material. Instead they utilize all types of multimedia materials (i.e. videos, websites, audio files, artwork) to build background and deliver content increasing student motivation and engagement. Students at all levels, "digital natives" or not, need to be taught how to interact with each type of digital text.

Some suggestions on using digital bins:

  • Explicitly instruct how to use the bin and "read" each media type
  • Use gradual release of responsibility to demonstrate the reading strategies necessary to deeply comprehend each type
  • Be intentional on not only providing a variety of forms, including print, but also a variety of text level complexities within the bins (digital text and symbolism and digital text and inferring)
  • Curate digital text sets to serve as mentor texts in writing (See examples here.)
  • Use digital text bins to differentiate access to content material in all disciplines (Check out Discovery Education's Board Builder here.)
  • Move toward students adding to or creating some relevant text bins around the topic/theme
  • Find more ways to use nonfiction digital text within the bin.
  • Work smarter, not harder. Share your creations with colleagues.

See your building TIS or peer coach for additional information on using QR codes, Tackk, Smore, Padlet, Symbaloo and other similar platforms to store the "bins" and to provide student access to them.

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Q: Can you suggest a way to get all my running records completed before the score entry deadline?

A: As you administer the end of the year running records, start now with your higher performing students and finish strong in May with your striving readers.

Deadline for score entry: June 1st

Contact Your Literacy Coaches

Have a question related to literacy?

Email your district literacy team:


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