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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Students need to know what goals have been set for them in order to understand the instruction they are given and the purpose of the strategies they are learning. It is key for students who are developing meta-cognition. Here is a great article on how to set strong goals. Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief.

The Big Fresh Newsletter from Choice Literacy
December 27, 2014 - Issue #413

Happiness of Pursuit
When a great adventure is offered, you don't refuse it.
                                                 Amelia Earhart
I've been enjoying the book Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau, about the joy that comes in life from quests. Guillebeau set out to visit every country in the world, and he accomplished his goal while he was still in his mid-30s. He isn't a wealthy guy, and the book chronicles nights spent sleeping on airport floors in third-world countries and the deep anxiety of visiting unsafe countries where westerners weren't welcome. He also shares other stories of ordinary people with extraordinary quests.
The quests can often involve travel. My two sisters are on a quest to bike in each of the 50 states together. Guillebeau writes movingly of a woman with a terminal cancer diagnosis who set out to view more species of birds across the world than anyone had ever seen. But a quest doesn't have to take you far from home -- one of the questers in Guillebeau's book set out to cook an authentic meal from every cuisine in the world, all within the confines of her suburban Colorado home.
The book reminded me that kids aren't only natural-born questioners -- they also love quests. Childhood reading provides a kind of scaffold for the bigger quests children might face down the road. All around us there are children who are right now memorizing dozens of stats for their favorite baseball or hockey team. When I was nine, I fulfilled my quest of reading a whole wall of children's books about the presidents at the town library (just because it was there, I guess).
Maybe we shouldn't be too concerned when a child is on a quest to read every book in a series (even when there are 47 of them), or a book that is far over their reading level because it is a favorite of friends. A quest isn't just an item on a bucket list -- it's something that requires planning, sacrifice, and often a bit of risk.  And aren't those all elements of reading beyond your comfort zone, with goals or texts that are a little bit daunting?
I am not on a quest at the moment, but I want to find one. I'm using the questions Guillebeau provides as a starting point for finding one:
What excites you?
What bothers you?
If you could do anything at all without regard to time or money, what would it be?
I am taking my time finding a quest -- or maybe I'm letting one find me.
This week we look at goals. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
Brenda Power
Founder, Choice Literacy


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[For sneak peeks at our upcoming features, quotes and extra links,  follow Choice Literacy on Twitter: @ChoiceLiteracy or Facebook:
Here are two features from the archives on goals for teachers and students: 
Katie Doherty considers goals for book clubs in Assessing Learning During Student-Led Book Clubs:
Ruth Ayres writes about being kind to yourself and realistic in On Perfection and Goals:
Make goals in your classroom SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) by using this advice from Maurice Elias at Edutopia

Lead Literacy is our subscription site designed especially for literacy coaches and school leaders. You can sample content at this link:
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Deeper learning involves meta-cognition - understanding the thinking process and directing your own thinking. Enjoy! Courtesy of ASCD.

School districts explore deeper-learning model
Some experts call "deeper learning" an emerging concept in U.S. schools. The model often includes project-based learning, group work and long-term cumulative assessments. The article highlights recent data on the effectiveness of the model. District Administration magazine online (12/22)Bookmark and Share

Monday, December 15, 2014

This is encouraging to me. It means that students will learn higher level thinking and metacognitive strategies. Hurray! Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief.

Some districts increase class time for Common Core
Some school districts are altering their class schedules to allow more time to cover the Common Core State Standards. In some cases, districts are lengthening class periods to 90 minutes from 45 minutes. The Hechinger Report (11/28)Bookmark and Share

Monday, December 8, 2014

I am posting this information here today, becuase I believe it gives us an eye into the minds of teachers and how we learn and apply our understaandings. It is a lso a great resource. Enjoy Courtesy of Tch Teaching Channel

Director's Cut — Recorded Webinar: Research-Based Practices for Using Video
Watch the video
Teaching Channel Teams
Using Video for Professional Learning: Research-Based Strategies

Dear Darlene,

We recently held a webinar featuring Miriam Sherin, Professor of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University, and Jamie Lomax, Director of Title I for Tulsa Public Schools.

You can now view a beautifully edited version of the webinar recording on our website. In this version, you won't have to sit through unnecessary explanations of how to use a webinar platform. We take you right into the content you’re interested in seeing.

Click here to watch the video and download the presentation slides.

Jim Knight
Miriam’s presentation details research-based strategies for using video that have been shown to create lasting results in improving teacher practice. Our video-enabled platform, Teaching Channel Teams, provides interactive tools to support these strategies including a mobile app for easily capturing and sharing classroom video.

Michelle Rooks
Jamie’s presentation describes how Tulsa Public Schools is using Teams to put these strategies into action to provide equitable instruction for all students and scale the effectiveness of coaching and PLC programs.

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