Another week has passed and 2015 is almost over. Do you have any resolutions yet for the next year? Perhaps to round up more links than usual? That's fair.
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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Katrina Schwartz at Mind/Shift asked, "Can a truly student-centered education be available to all?"
This model relies on small learning communities, about 150 kids per high school, although the model can be used in a larger high school that is broken down into smaller communities. Within that, each student gets an adviser who stays consistent for at least two years, but often as many as four years. The adviser’s job is a complex mix of getting to know the student and his family and setting learning plans quarterly that include academic and social goals, as well as independent learning and internships outside of school. Each adviser has between 15–20 students.
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A number of Heinemann authors and educators answered this week's question from Larry Ferlazzo: How would you define "teacher leadership" and what does it look like in practice?
From Kylene Beers: I've always thought that leadership is more a disposition than a position. It's less about a title and more about actions. And it's certainly about doing what's right even if that's not what's popular. Transformational leaders inspire, create, and envision. They are inveterate readers who read not only the texts pertinent to their field, but also seek the information from other areas, searching for smart ideas from any place.
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Allison Marchetti wrote about keeping the writing workshop on track even when you're out and there's a substitute:
As flu season progresses, it’s likely you’ll be out at least once over the next few months. Leaving plans for a substitute can be stressful and time-consuming. I used to feel like I had to abandon workshop for that day because it was too complicated to explain to a sub. But with a little advance prep, and some knowledge about screencasting tools and Google forms, leaving plans for a sub is now easier and faster, and workshop can continue running smoothly.
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At Two Writing Teachers, Kathleen Sokolowski discussed the process of publishing student writing:
Last year, I would have said, “No way- publish work as is.” I used to feel that polishing conventions and spelling was changing the student’s work and perhaps giving a false impression of where the writer stands proficiency-wise. This year, after reading Learning from Classmates by Lisa Eickholdt, I didn’t let conventions and spelling errors blind me to the brilliance and beauty that existed in many students’ pieces. I felt that errors with conventions and misspellings would take away from the message the students were writing. In the end, after students revised, edited, and typed their work, there were still “errors.”
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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 Sergei Akulich