Literacy Connections

A Weekly Round Up of Literacy Links & Resources

March 15, 2015

Such exciting news for Maine today, as Nancie Atwell was named the 2015 Global Teacher Prize winner! I've included a link to her acceptance speech. You'll also find links to topics that cover using your own writing as a teaching tool, increasing the effectiveness of anchor charts, and the Whole Book Assessment session from Friday's Professional Learning Day. An explanation of ThingLink and book recommendations round out this week's resources.

Happy Reading!



Thinglink is an interactive image tool that provides users with the ability to turn any image into a multimedia launcher. Teachers can create media rich visual resources packed with content to engage students in deep learning experiences. Students can create a ThingLink to present knowledge and ideas or to document learning.

Here are two examples of how I've used this platform:

Standing Up by Sitting Down ~ to build background knowledge before reading aloud The Watson's Go to Birmingham, I added links to news articles, videos, timelines, Wonderopolis, etc. Students explored the ThingLink, jotting down information and questions. We re-visited this ThingLink often as we read this book.

Boy + Bot ~ create Book Advertisements that you can share with students and families. On this one I include a link to the author's website, a book trailer, and a link to IndieBound.

Need more ideas for how you (and students) might use this platform? Visit these links:

5+ Ways to Use ThingLink for Teaching and Learning

What is ThingLink?

27+ Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom

Congratulations to Maine's Teacher of Teachers: Nancie Atwell

Today in Dubai, Maine's own Nancie Atwell was awarded the inaugural Global Teacher Prize from the Varkey Foundation. By recognizing Nancie's huge influence in the teaching world, this award also honors the ideas of allowing students choice in reading and writing, in authentic purposeful ways that are grounded in student centered classrooms. So fantastic to see her work and dedication recognized! Click here to view her acceptance speech.

Using Your Own Writing as a Teaching Tool

As K-2 teachers have seen during Rebecca Cronin's (TC Staff Developer) visits earlier this school year, using our own writing can be powerful "mentor texts" to use with students. Elizabeth Moore supported this idea with a post that highlighted 4 ways you might use your own writing as a teaching tool on the Two Writing Teacher's Blog this past week. These tips are for any grade level. Click here to read Elizabeth's post

Whole Book Assessment & Instruction 2-8

As promised, here is the link to the Jennifer Serravallo's session on whole book assessment that grades 3-5 teachers viewed during Friday's PL Day. I hope you'll re-visit this session often as we continue working on writing about reading with students. As indicated in the title, the ideas Jennifer presented span grades 2-8, so teachers in those grades will definitely find the session well worth their time in viewing.
Session Three - Jennifer Serravallo

Increasing the Life Span of Charts

This post from November 2014 on the ChartChums blog is a good reminder about how to get the most out of the anchor charts. Just as posting about reading helps students track their thinking, anchor charts that are made with students, also serve as tracks of learning and thinking within the classroom community. This is a good point in the school year to step back and re-assess how your charts are functioning, keeping the "3 Rs" of charting in mind: "reposition, revise, or retire".

Click here to read their post.

The Book Buzz

All book summaries are from