#INspirEDlit

Vol. 14

April Showers

Rose are red,

Violets are blue,

We hope you enjoyed spring break,

and rejuvenated for the rest of the school year too!


Whether it be haiku, free verse, limerick, or epic, we encourage you to step out of the box and immerse students in poetry for National Poetry Month! In this edition, we dive into all things poetry with resources, activities, and more!


Earth Day is on April 22, 2019. National Education Association gives resources for each grade band: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. We Are Teachers writes about how passion projects can deepen students' relationship with reading. Earth Day could be a perfect fit for a passion project!


April 30, 2019 is Children's Day/Book Day! Share your favorites on Twitter using #ChildrensBookDay and #INspirEDlit. Looking forward to learning about new books!


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.

The 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 soon!


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

Ideas & Insight

No Fooling, April 1st Starts National Poetry Month!

Poem in Your Pocket Day - April 18, 2019: “Poetry is best when shared."

Select a poem, carry it with you, share it with others at school, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.


Check out these fun facts, activities, and resources to bring poetry alive in your classroom!

  • @Poetsorg tweets a Poem-A-Day.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest group reading of a poem is 173 (Clifton Park, New York) Beat the record!
  • What is a beat poet? Go to Poetry Foundation to find out.
  • Use Flipgrid to have a poetry slam.

  • Indiana Poet Fact: James Whitcomb Riley was known as the “Hoosier Poet” from Greenfield, Indiana.

  • Did you know that some students participate in an annual #haikudual tournament during #NationalPoetryMonth? 16 performers battle in 17 syllables until there is a winner. Organize a tournament at your school!

  • Did you know that Robert Frost was the first poet to speak at a presidential inauguration? He was 85 years old. The president was JFK.

  • Did you know that the Indianapolis Public Library has poets on audio?

  • A recent study proved that when students study poetry in their native language, academic achievement increases.


If your students participate in reading, creating, or presenting poetry, tag us at #INspirEDlit!

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.” https://www.poetryoutloud.org/about

Poetry Activities

Class Discussion: Discuss idioms, expressions, and meaning.

Anchor Chart: Create an idiom anchor chart to showcase favorite idioms.

Extension: Change one part of the expression and create an illustration.

Point of View: Ask each student to select a poem from It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles, rewrite the poem from a new point of view.

Zip Code: A poem that uses a zip code to inspire poetry about where you live. Write a 5-line poem (one line for each digit of the zip code) about the city in which you live. The digit from the zip code determines the number of words in each line. For the digit “zero,” students select the number of words for that line.

Blackout Poetry: Students select and print a page from any text, blackout words, leave uncovered words or phrases to create a poem and visual art. After creating the blackout poem, ask students to explain how the visual illustration relates to the message of the poem or explain the overall theme and how it is communicated through the words of the poem.

Book Recommendations

Community Spotlight

Nominated Educator: Staci Cooper, Anderson Community Schools

Staci is an amazing and inventive educator. She consistently engages her students in literacy and STEM learning activities, promotes parental involvement, maintains a positive, student-centered learning environment, and believes in the power of positive praise. One of her current student-centered, literacy projects is titled “Book Bracket Madness” to promote literacy and a love for reading aligned with the theme of March Madness. Staci is a natural leader amongst her colleagues and a valued educator who is making a difference in the lives of her students and the Valley Grove community.

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

Office of School Improvement

The Literacy team is part of the Office of School Improvement. We believe all schools can improve and that Literacy is the lever for school improvement.



School Improvement Unveils Its Redesigned Website

This week, the Office of School Improvement has launched a redesigned website to ease identifying and accessing the resources available for districts and schools. These resources include a series of trainings to help schools and districts conduct comprehensive needs assessments and develop high-quality school improvement plans. Visitors can view recordings of these trainings online. The trainings can be downloaded to incorporate in district or school-based presentations. These resources have been developed with the needs of Comprehensive Support and Improvement and Targeted Support and Improvement schools in mind. The resources are grounded in best practices for continuous school improvement applicable for all schools.

Dyslexia Update

Joe Risch, IDOE Reading Specialist with training in dyslexia, has been busy creating guidance to help the field prepare to implement Senate Enrolled Act 217 (dyslexia law) for the 2019-2020 school year.


First, a video was created to provide information on Senate Enrolled Act 217. This video outlines a school corporation or charter schools’ responsibilities as it relates to the new law. The full video and slide deck may be found under the “Professional Development” tab on the IDOE- Dyslexia website.


In addition, a crosswalk document was created to support schools as they plan for the implementation of Senate Enrolled Act 217. The full document may be found here. Please note that some schools may encounter additional steps to meet all the requirements.


Also, IDOE has released a revised list of universal, Level I, and Level II screeners. Please see the documents for additional information. All new additions are in red. These documents may be found under the “Dyslexia Screeners” tab on the IDOE-Dyslexia website.

Literacy & Tech: Thought of the Month!

Diigo allows users to collect online resources, annotate web pages and PDFs, organize links, references and personal research, and share research with classmates and teachers.


Diigo at a glance:

  • Bookmarks

  • Tags

  • Personal Library

  • Highlights

  • Sticky Notes

  • Outliner

  • Groups

  • Archived Web Pages

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

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