The Latest Issue of Word Up!

The Word Up newsletter is chock-full of great resources for parents and educators. Browse the current issue below, or dig into the newsletter archive.

Classroom Strategy: Seed Discussion

A Seed Discussion is a two-part strategy used to teach students how to actively engage in discussions about assigned readings. In the first part, students read selected text and identify "seeds" or key concepts of a passage which may need additional explanation. In the second part, students work in small groups to present their "seeds" to one another. Each "seed" should be thoroughly discussed before moving on to the next.
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Writing an Argument

In this English class, students hone their skills in writing an argument by working to refute or defend a complex prompt provided by their teacher: Democracy effectively enacted the will of the people during the Industrial Era. In order to develop their piece of writing, students must gather information from various sources (political cartoons, historical biographies, literary texts) and determine whether each one provides support for or detracts from their argument, and consider any counterarguments that can be made. [CCSS W.11-12.1, W.11-12.4, W.11-12.5, and W.11-12.8]
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Integrating Knowledge and Ideas Across Multiple Sources of Information

In this lesson, 11th grade history teacher Joanna Heppeler sets the stage for an ambitious multi-day unit examining four key documents from President Lincoln: his first inaugural address, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and the second inaugural address. She helps students draw inferences from Civil War-era photos, cartoons and maps as well as the primary texts. [CCSS RI.11-12 and RH.11-12]
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Newsela: Read Closely. Think Critically. Be Worldly.

Newsela is a new online service designed to build reading comprehension using nonfiction that's always relevant — the daily news. Each story is tailored to be understandable yet challenging to students at different reading levels. (Newsela offers a free and a pro subscription service)

Features include:

  • Multiple new articles every day — each at five reading levels
  • "Articles of the day" emails
  • Common Core-aligned quizzes and progress reports
  • Customizable writing prompts
  • An archive of more than 1000 articles, organized by category and reading standard

Visit Newsela website >

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Bullying: How to Protect Your Students

As a teacher, you want to create a safe environment for all children where they can learn and play without fear of being bullied. Yet nearly 60 percent of children with learning and attention issues experience bullying. offers resources to help parents address this all-too-common problem.

Know a parent who is worried about his or her child being bullied in school or participating in bullying? Encourage them to visit to learn how to identify and address the problem.

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