Literacy for All!

What's going on at McDougle?

Getting Kids Moving

Here's some food for thought about getting kids moving in the classroom. If you'd like to learn more about this, please let me know, or check out Deb Teitelbaum on Twitter; she's the amazing Lead Fellow at NCCAT, a personal friend of mine, AND she will totally come to our school FOR FREE if you want to have a chat, get some training, co-teach or have her model a lesson for you. I'm always happy to make that contact for you if you're interested.

Questioning Strategies

In case you missed it, Karen Herring shared an awesome resource for incorporating higher-order questions in your content areas. Check 'em out here!

Understanding By Design

Heather, Liz and Marie have been working on an amazing UbD unit on Injustice (if you got the opportunity to hear the Holocaust speakers, that was an incredible experience!). This unit will get edited and vetted by the district, and then other teachers will be able to access and use it.

If you're interested in Understanding By Design, or any of its component parts (like Essential Questions or authentic assessments), I would love to nerd-out with you. Just let me know and we can chat about how you can begin with the end in mind!

Student Six: Engaging Students' Cultures

One way teachers at McDougle are helping to connect to students' lives is in Jennifer, Lindsey and Kerry's unit on Change--they noticed that their Latino/a students wanted to read some culturally-relevant texts, so they incorporated a speech by Cesar Chavez into their unit, and have had amazing results! Way to go, guys!

Try to remember the Student Six when planning for your kiddos. Here's a quick reminder:

1. Visibility: Making every student feel acknowledged and included in the classroom

2. Proximity: Using physical space to engage students and reduce perceived threat

3. Connecting to students’ lives: Making linkages between classroom content and student experiences and perspectives

4.Engaging students’ culture: Incorporating positive elements of students’ culture into classroom learning and community building

5.Addressing race: Talking openly about racial dynamics and how they impact the student experience

6.Connecting to the larger world: Helping students identify their future paths and using classroom experiences to guide students toward their personal goals

Wrapping up with IFL!

As you may have heard, 6th grade ELA teachers Karen, Cat and Patti got the opportunity to demo a unit from the folks at the Institute for Learning. We had a blast working on this unit, and got some really excellent results from the kids.

Many thanks to Karen, Cat and Patti for being so awesome and enthusiastic while we navigated this unit for the first time. I'm really looking forward to working with the 7th grade ELA teachers next semester as we try it out with their kids!

To show the kinds of insights and skills students gained during this experience, take a look at this paragraph by one of our wonderful 6th graders:

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And last but not least...

Keep up the good work with vocabulary instruction! Don't forget about this awesome AVID vocab sheet if you want to help students identify vocabulary in context!
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