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Challenge Center Challenge Center School, (Sioux Falls, SD). The Challenge Center offers an accelerated, enriched curriculum to high ability students in grades two through five. In English language arts, the school focuses on three writing genres: personal/fictional narratives, opinion, and informative. Each day, students have multiple opportunities to write. For example, students share their rough drafts, poems,… Continue Reading Developing Great Writers!

Middle Academy students collaborate to analyze texts. Nikki Bowen and Meredith Anderson, the principals of Uncommon Schools Excellence Girls Charter School (Brooklyn, NY), are committed to changing history. Anderson, the middle school principal explains, “We know that all students can be successful, and that, in particular, girls can achieve.” In a nation that hasn’t traditionally held high expectations for girls, especially girls… Continue Reading Interview: Creating Tomorrow’s Fierce Females

Students at blackshear elementary Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy Austin Independent School District Austin, TX In 2011, Blackshear Elementary School (Austin, TX) was labeled in need of improvement. Today, under the inspired leadership of Principal Betty Jenkins, who arrived in 2012, Blackshear is a jewel of the Austin Independent School District, the state’s first elementary level fine arts academy… Continue Reading Books and Ballet: A Turnaround Success Becomes A Fine Arts Academy: Blackshear Elementary School

students at tibby elementary school Tibby Elementary School Compton Unified School District Compton, CA When Principal Ontrece Ellerbe arrived at Tibby, the data showed students were considerably more successful in math than ELA, leading Ellerbe and her team to conclude that the problem wasn’t with the students, but with the teaching. Through intensive professional development, coaching, and professional learning communities,… Continue Reading Evidence, Example, Elaboration: Developing Student Writers: Tibby Elementary School

walter graham students photo Austin Independent School District Austin, Texas In only five years, J. Walter Graham Elementary School, a Title I school on the east side of Austin, Texas, went from slipping toward academic unacceptability to “one of the best elementary schools in the state of Texas,” in the words of education researcher Ed Fuller of Penn State… Continue Reading Show Up, Work Hard, Read: J. Walter Graham Elementary School

rocky mount photo of students Rocky Mount, VA Instructional coach Teresa Sanders and colleagues describe how the adoption of a rigorous, intensive Word Study program to teach decoding and understanding words has propelled student achievement to high levels. An integral part of the core English Language Arts curriculum from Kindergarten through fifth grade, Word Study practices at Rocky Mount are… Continue Reading How Words Work: Word Study across the Grades: Rocky Mount Elementary School

piedmont middle thumbnail photo Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Charlotte, NC Students are chosen for Piedmont (and all CMS magnet schools) through an open lottery. Principal Dee Gardner, formerly Piedmont’s schoolwide Instructional Coach, describes how Piedmont students learn to apply Argumentative Literacy, an element of the Common Core curriculum, in all subjects, even music.  Teachers David Milligan and Megan Whiting illustrate a… Continue Reading An Argument for Learning: Piedmont Open Middle School

Hopewell literacy culture student Local educator Ruth Bradley developed an innovative phonics program for early readers that been used successfully at Hopewell for many years. Dr. Bradley recently donated all of her program materials to Hopewell with the hope that it will be made available to other schools. Hopewell teachers also use a Literacy Closet and Readers’ Theater in… Continue Reading Creating a Culture of Literacy: Hopewell Elementary School

st. mary's reading photo Administrators remain committed to keeping their two reading interventionists and K – 3 reading coach, despite funding challenges. The three-tiered reading program meets students where they are, adding as many as 30 minutes of reading a day. Students are comfortable being pulled out for small groups by the interventionists or for tutoring by a paraprofessional… Continue Reading Reading: St. Mary’s Charter School

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