March 2020 Vol. 24


March is such a busy month! We have just gotten out of the winter slump and are eagerly awaiting warmer weather. We are excited to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and we are doubling down on who our favorites are going to be in the March Madness tournament. All of this excitement will hopefully lead into a restful spring break. Because of how busy this month can be, we wanted to provide Hoosier Educators with a narrowed down list of where to focus when looking for instructional best practices. We know that you don't have a lot of time to weed out the good and the bad, so in this month's newsletter, we are doing it for you!

Literacy Updates from IDOE

The Writing Revolution Book Study

We are well underway in our disciplinary writing book study with The Writing Revolution. We have over 300 educators from across the state who are diving into this text with us! We wanted to take time to highlight some of the great work that has been done by Hoosier educators so far. Look at the examples provided below to see how you could use a similar strategy in your classroom!

Special shout-out to Yorktown Community Schools and Hanover Community School Corporation for having so many active participants!


Expanding Sentences Strategy

This strategy helps students learn how to provide more detail in their sentences. This is a great opportunity for students to practice taking their simple sentences and adding in information that will make their writing more engaging!

Liz Rentschler

Grade 5 social studies, River Forest Community School Corporation

Big picture


Because, But, So Strategy

This strategy helps students see how the conjunctions because, but, and so can each change the direction of a sentence in a different way. Teachers use the same sentence stem and substitute the conjunctions for students to adjust the end of the sentence.

Tamara Goller

middle school science, Yorktown Community Schools

Big picture


Brainstorming Appositives Strategy

This strategy asks students to brainstorm different appositives that could belong in a sentence. Allowing students to practice using appositives, will help students differentiate their syntax.

Marianne Muller

Grade 6 ELA, Hanover Community School Corporation

Big picture

Literacy Framework

The Literacy Framework is a tool you can use to curriculum map and plan throughout the school year. Does your school utilize a curriculum map, scope and sequence, or pacing guide? Use the Literacy Framework to dive into each standard through "I can" statements, question stems, practical examples, and digital resources!

Have special requests for support? Feel free to reach out to us at any time. That's what we are here for!

Ideas and Insight

Research Based Instruction

Every year International Literacy Association (ILA) collects data from educators located all over the world to determine the main issues facing literacy. After collecting the data, ILA puts out a report called the "What's Hot in Literacy Report." One of the major findings of the report for 2020 is that educators want to be more supported in research based literacy instruction; yet, they struggle to find the time to do such research.

We would like to provide you with some of the newest books and websites we use to help us stay up to date on research. We hope that this list will help you narrow down where to spend those very few spare moments you might have to buff up your research knowledge.

Chalkbeat is a not for profit organization that reports from seven different locations from around the country to provide a snapshot into education. They offer weekly articles that address common issues being faced around the country.


The National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) offers updated belief statements on what ELA instruction should look like. They have opportunities for educators to access high quality professional development.


Edutopia is an organization supported by the George Lucas Educational Foundation that is dedicated to the continuous learning of K-12 educators. They work to provide relevant, research based instructional practices to educators.


Ed Week is an independent news organization that is committed to providing news, research, and opinion pieces to America's teachers. Their goal is to empower and inspire teachers every day.


Book Suggestions

Educator Opportunities to Check Out!

Indiana Council of Teachers of English (ICTE)

The Indiana Council for Teachers of English is hosting their annual conference on March 21. Check out this link for more information!
Big picture

IDOE Website Created For Schools to Support Participation in the Upcoming Census

The upcoming U.S. Census will determine the federal funds schools receive. Click here to access IDOE's census resources for superintendents, principals, teachers, and families.

Indiana State Museum

The Indiana State Museum offers free field trips to schools! Come check out the exhibit that explores the opioid crisis in the United States. There are lots of interactive activities to help inform students on the brain chemistry that leads to addiction and personal stories to help end the stigma of addiction. The exhibit will run through February 7, 2021.
Big picture

Literacy and Tech: Thought of the Month!


Newsela is a web based instructional tool that allows for educators to find news articles covering all different subject matters. The articles have been adapted from their original publication and can be adjusted to meet varying lexile levels. This tool will allow educators to assign reading and response questions to students to evaluate comprehension, vocabulary, and inferences.

Connect on Twitter!

It's been reported that over 4 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

4. Follow your IDOE Literacy Team: @RoseTomishima, @KellyKWaller, & @JMRisch1

Literacy's Who To Follow:

Who: Indy Reads

Handle: @indyreads

What: Promoting and improving the literacy of adults and families in Central Indiana

Big picture