Vol. 13


March Madness is upon us...St. Patrick's Day, spring break, basketball tournaments, engaging, differentiated instructional strategies...I believe those are all of the hot topics in March! We encourage you to capitalize on these fun events: encourage students to keep a journal with highlights from their spring break, then use these highlights as starting points in writing; or have a basketball-themed unit where students use basketballs to support learning.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if you need guidance, have questions, or would like support in any way. Your IDOE Literacy Team is dedicated to working for you and all Indiana students.

Literacy Framework Phase II

In phase I of the Literacy Framework, Hoosier educators created and developed I can statements, question stems, and academic vocabulary. In phase II, we are developing practical examples for each literacy standard. Thank you to all the dedicated educators who took time from their busy schedules and joined in this work. Stay tuned for this release in late spring!

Looking for summer professional development? IDOE's Literacy Team has you covered. Dates and locations will be released in the next edition!

We want to hear from you! Please follow this link to complete a brief survey about the Literacy Framework.

Ideas & Insight

Teaching Tools: When They Are Helpful and Not!

Teaching tools help achieve goals and solve problems when they are used appropriately. Anyone guilty of creating a beautiful anchor chart, presenting to students, then letting it hang collecting dust never to be referenced again? I know I am. Let's rethink and reinvigorate our teaching tools to be meaningful, useful, and powerful instructional supports.

Kate Roberts is a national literacy consultant, author, and keynote speaker. In a professional development presentation, Kate addresses teaching tools.

A teaching tool is:

1. Visual and tangible

2. Accessible to students (students can see and touch them)

3. Used over time (skills are built to sustain learning)

4. Used by both teachers and students

The Why Behind Using Teaching Tools:

1. Memory: Students are not remembering what is taught.

2. Rigor and motivation to work hard: The mindset to want to work and know how to work.

3. Differentiation: How do we meet the individual needs of each student and sustain it?

Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. What can a teaching tool cover instead of working individually with each student on the same skill?

2. How often are we referring to the teaching tool?

3. How is it going to help students? What is the purpose?

Steps to Create an Effective Chart:

1. What is the title?

2. Is there a funny or punny saying, phrase, or visual I can use? Think attention grabber.

3. Create a space for ideas (three ideas at most).

4. Fill in idea space with students.

Book Recommendations

March Book Recommendations

While students are off enjoying spring break, we encourage you to relax and grow in your education as well. We have recommended three educational resource books to re-energize and refresh your teaching. Take a look!

Dyslexia Update

Senate Enrolled Act 217, or the dyslexia law, does not name or endorse one specific intervention or product. Instead, the law gives recommended instructional approaches to use with our struggling readers. These approaches include explicit, systematic, sequential, cumulative, and multisensory instruction.

To support educators we have created two documents. The first document is the “Dyslexia Intervention Program Check”. This document may help schools investigate the fidelity of a dyslexia intervention program they are considering. The second document lists the recommended instructional approaches from SEA 217 and provides example intervention/instructional approaches that satisfy the recommended approaches from the law. This is not an exhaustive list and IDOE is NOT endorsing any of these products, but offering these examples as a starting point for schools. These documents can be found on IDOE's Dyslexia page here.

Please continue to check the IDOE Dyslexia page as we have several exciting updates coming soon!

Community Spotlight

Nominated Educator: Mr. Chris Tuberty, Western School Corporation

With the catchphrase of "Prepare yourself to be better!" how can you go wrong?

Mr. Tuberty has incorporated a Math Literacy class into our middle school. He even had our high ability administrators purchase a novel for the students to read in his math class, "The Number Devil". Mr. Tuberty is "all in" when it comes to integrating disciplines... especially reading and math."

-Kay Lazar, nominator

We are looking for amazing educators who inspire through their teaching, collaboration, and leadership. Want to nominate an awesome educator at your school?

Literacy & Tech: Thought of the Month!

The Barksdale Reading Institute created the Reading Universe, a web-based tool that dives into each component of reading. Amp up your tier one instruction with this interactive site.

Check out the Reading Universe here!

Want a tool to enhance vocabulary and writing? Wordnik is the world's biggest online English dictionary, by number of words. With search options for definitions, examples, related words, images, word of the day, and random words this tool makes learning new words fun!

Check out Wordnik here!

Connect on Twitter!

It's been reported that 4.2 million educators use Twitter for professional conversations. As educators, there is so much we can learn from each other. We invite you to connect with us and each other!

1. Tweet about all things LITERACY using #INspirEDlit

2. Follow the hashtag and connect with other coaches and educators

3. Follow @EducateIN for the latest updates from Indiana Department of Education

Big picture