The Sound of Literacy

Decoding—The Sound of Literacy

Categories: Instruction, Literacy

Based on Literacy Reframed

Listen, and you will hear, the sounds of literacy ringing in your ears.

As human beings, we come pre-wired to learn language by hearing it spoken. The first sounds of language are even heard in the womb. Tiny ears recognize the sound of Mom’s voice, distinct from Dad’s. These first encounters are followed by the oral language of “baby sounds,” mimicking what they hear and reproducing their interpretation of the sounds that grow naturally into speaking. Read more

Planning for Your Youngest Learners in an Unprecedented School Year | Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP)

Planning for Your Youngest Learners in an Unprecedented School Year

Categories: Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, PLC, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Technology

This entry is the 12th in a blog series called Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP), which aims to highlight and further the important work educators are doing amid the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

Based on What About Us? The PLC at Work® Process for Grades PreK-2 Teams

Several years ago, Becky DuFour, expressing her passion for our youngest learners, helped us launch an idea that is now being released as our new book, What About Us? The PLC at Work Process for Grades PreK-2 Teams.

We four coauthors, from Mason Crest Elementary—the first DuFour Award–winning national Model PLC school—filled the book with resources, tools, action steps, and examples for early childhood educators striving to meet the needs of all students. With the publication of the book this month, coinciding with the launch of a school year full of uncertainty, we thought a sneak peek into a few chapters, while considering ideas for adapting to a remote learning environment, could add some welcome tools to early educators’ toolkits. Read more

Insufficiency of Google

Dr. Google’s Knowledge is Not Enough!

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Technology

Based on Literacy Reframed: How a Focus on Decoding, Vocabulary, and Background Knowledge Improves Reading Comprehension

“Dr. Google” is often considered “the background knowledge center” of the classroom, standing ready to accommodate student searches for words, concepts, ideas, and factual information.

This notion is well-deserved, as Dr. Google is the ever-ready battery that charges student work. However, Dr. Google’s knowledge is not enough! New knowledge builds on prior knowledge. The more one knows, the more one can connect one piece of knowledge with another. When prior knowledge is weak or missing, students are working with a huge deficit. Read more

Teaching for Transfer

Teaching for Transfer: Teaching Students How to Innovate

Categories: Instruction

Based on Teaching for Transfer

As NASA launched its space shuttles over the past 60 years, the multimillion-dollar boosters that transported those shuttles into the atmosphere were simply discarded after every space launch.

Lost in the ocean or superfluously tossed in a landfill, these giant pieces of metal have simply served as fossil evidence of our past. SpaceX, the private company that sent a shuttle into space this past June, developed a way to recapture and recycle the boosters. By doing this, they increased efficiencies in production costs, improved overall product development of the shuttle, and enhanced team collaboration and problem-solving. Read more