These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!
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DownEast ("the magazine of Maine") profiled Nancie Atwell nearly a year after her Global Teacher Prize award:
Atwell was whisked into a pressroom, where she sat for three straight hours of interviews with reporters from around the globe. Then she and Merkel were shuttled to their hotel to pack for what they’d just learned would be a midnight flight to New York — where, among other engagements, Atwell would appear on CNN. In the elevator, she and her daughter had their first moment alone since the ceremony began.
“The doors closed, and we started screaming and jumping up and down,” Merkel remembers. “We were dancing to the music from the awards reception outside while we packed. We knew that this would ensure CTL’s future for at least another 10 years.”
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On her blog, Ilana Horn wrote, "Professional Development is broken, but be careful how we fix it."
Unequal access to expertise is only one of many reasons the optimistic premise of teacher community often does not pan out. There is a tendency to valorize practicing teachers’ knowledge, and, no doubt, there is something to be learned in the wisdom of practice. That being said, professions and professionals have blind spots, and with the large-scale patterns of unequal achievement we have in the United States, we can infer that students from historically marginalized groups frequently live in these professional blind spots. For reasons of equity alone, it is imperative to develop even our best practitioners beyond their current level by giving them access to more expert others.
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Here's a great write-up of one of the strategies featured in Reading Nonfiction by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst:
Kylene and Bob presented this strategy—read, mark the parts that are confusing. Now talk with a partner who has read the same thing you just read. Now go back to the text. Sketch what you’re seeing. Label the component parts. In this case, the pedestal, the tube, the 9 asymmetrically aligned blades. My partner and I discussed the meaning of asymmetrical. We disagreed on the meaning. He thought it meant symmetrical. I didn’t. I cheated. I looked it up on my phone. Still, his drawing was closer to the real deal. He had seen one in a Sharper Image store.
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Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts, whose new book DIY Literacy comes out this spring, want you to send them your problems:
We are creating a video series here at indent about our upcoming book: DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence. In this 8-part series, starting in early April, we are going to make a teaching tool (like this or this!) in real time to help address a persistent problem in teaching and learning.
We would love to feature one of you in each episode, tackling a real problem that you face in your classroom. Maybe your kids are (still) not using word solving strategies, or maybe their essay introductions are stagnating. Maybe you want your kids to be more independent, or perhaps you dream of your students calling forth information they’ve learned in the past and applying it as they learn now.
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That's it! Be sure to check back next week for another round of links. If you have a link or a blog, be sure to mention them in the comments below. You can also email them to us or tweet at us. We're pretty available over here. Cheers to your weekend!
*Photo by Jose Murillo