Monday, July 1, 2013

Here is some information for teachers to prepare for next year. First is a letter from Corbett Harrison regarding a vocabulary program he is working on and second is a great course - offered by Choice Literacy - for primary teachers that align the common core with beginning writers. Enjoy!

Shhhh.  I know I'm supposed to be on vacation this week and not posting anything, but Dena is taking a well-deserved nap after her brutal session of physical therapy today, and I just completed the PowerPoint for what I think is the dullest writing task of the ten writing tasks that our new vocabulary project offers students: listing synonyms and antonyms.  And I think the Powerpoint actually turned out really interesting, so I am sneaking out a sneak peek to any of you who are interested.
Last year, I had a lot of students automatically choose the create an antonym/synonym list option each week as one of their vocabulary tasks because--I believe--they thought it would be an easy task.  I'm pleased at how I am "upping" the expectations this year, which the PowerPoint shows off nicely, I believe; I even included a vocabulary-seeking lesson at the end inspired by the great Willa Cather's writing.  Take that, Common Core!  You can see what I mean by perusing the PDF version of this next-to-last Powerpoint lesson for this latest project of ours!  Woo-hoo!  I'm almost finished!
If you're interested in seeing how I am now approaching the antonym/synonym requirements next year, take a gander:   Feedback?  Always appreciated...
And my apologies for the advertising...but the first slide at the link above is my final reminder that on July 1st, all our for-sale products will go up a tad-bit in price to affray rising costs of keeping our websites online.  I appreciate all of you who have supported us over the years, and I thank you in advance for your continued interest in the work Dena and I are doing to strengthen both the art and science of teaching writing well in this age of Common Core.
Oooh!  I think I hear Dena waking up in the next room.  Need to go.  Tomorrow is her birthday, and she has been promised that I won't even turn on my computer at all. is her e-mail, if you want to wish her a happy birthday tomorrow!  Or you can tell her at her profile page here at the Ning: Take care!  Enjoy summer!
--Corbett Harrrison

 Katie DiCesare is leading a online class for Choice Literacy next month. Katie's course, Designing Primary Writing Units with the Common Core in Mind, is offered July 8 - 15

Workshop full-size photo 235px wide

Workshop: Designing Primary Writing Units with the Common Core in Mind (July 8 - 15)

Format: Online Course
Grade(s): K, 1st, 2nd
Topic(s): Teaching Writing, Common Core

The Common Core is changing instruction in grades K-2 classrooms across the country, with teachers reconsidering both the content and the skills tackled in their writing units. Katie DiCesare will guide participants through the process of designing writing units linked to the Common Core. Through webcasts, readings, video viewing, and online discussions with Katie and classmates, participants will:
Explore how research-based classroom design and routines lay the groundwork for all learning in the class.
Consider how to build community in a way that promotes student collaboration and achievement.
Delve into planning tools and resources.
Learn how to integrate formative assessment through writing units.
Analyze student work within the framework of Common Core standards.
Browse literature and technology resources that enhance and support student learning during writing units.
View examples of Katie guiding students as they write their way through three Common Core based units focus on personal narratives, literary character development, and opinion writing.
Participants will receive access to three webcasts, the Two Workshops DVD (a $159 value) detailed personal response from Katie, and a one-month subscription to Choice Literacy.
Choice Literacy members receive a $50 discount off the $295 course fee. Just be sure to log into your membership account before checkout to receive the discount.
Katie DiCesare

Katie DiCesare has worked as an educator for 14 years in a number of roles including kindergarten, first, and second grade, primary literacy support and middle school math teacher. She enjoys contributing and presenting for Choice Literacy and is featured in the Two Workshops DVD. You can follow Katie at her blog Creative Literacy.
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