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.
In Focus: College and Career Prep
November is a month full of early application deadlines for college, and it's a great time to work on those applications that are due in January. Kids in middle school can also take time to be sure they are developing college-level reading skills. Learn how, and find many other timely resources in this month's Word Up!
Spend some time in our specialized Ready for College area to learn more about early college awareness, what the research says about improving college readiness, creating a college culture for ELLs and much, much more.
This four-part webcast examines the components of college readiness-both academic and non-academic skills-and explores ways that high schools, parents, and colleges themselves can work together to prepare students for post-secondary education. Panelists: Nevin Brown, Barbara Taveras, and Jennifer Glaser.
Positive peer support is an important strategy to raise expectations, increase academic persistence, and promote college-going for underserved students. For many, this means having a majority of friends who plan to attend college. Find out more about creating a network of support and engaging parents in the pursuit of higher education.
Identifying main ideas, extracting supporting details, recognizing relationships, and understanding the meanings of words are just a few of the skills ACT identifies as college-level reading skills. Use the information in this article to help ensure that your students are on target for college and career readiness.
Books & Authors
Behind today's top YA authors are some wonderful teachers who encouraged their writing. Listen as Judy Blume, Rick Riordan, Shannon Hale and others share stories about their most memorable teachers.
A committee of librarians selected these books to open doors on new worlds, exciting ideas, eccentric personalities, unfamiliar cultures, and distant time periods. Use it to broaden students' horizons as they prepare for college entrance exams and courses.
In the Classroom
Inferences are the conclusions we draw based on what one already knows and judgments we make based on given information. This strategy helps students make connections between their personal experiences and their comprehension of a text. Rather than stopping students during the reading process to comment on specific points, this strategy focuses on their thinking and how new information reshapes their prior knowledge.
Structured programs in which students participate in the civic and political life of their community, which enhances the students' academic success, social behaviors, leadership skills, and community awareness.
Research & News
A new study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute sought to understand what texts are being assigned in classrooms and whether those texts align with the demands of the Common Core State Standards. The results from the survey of over 1,100 teachers suggest a variety of texts being used, although many of the titles on the survey were not used at all. Reading skills and strategies remain in the forefront of instructional emphasis, which may not align with the Common Core standards which places a much greater emphasis on the importance of text and its ability to expose kids to various text features, characteristics, or content.
Getting to college may feel like quite a challenge, especially in light of statistics that suggest that a child is kicked out or drops out of high school every 26 seconds. The reasons for the "dropout epidemic" are many and complex but many are detailed within the infographic provided by the Huffington Post.
The Center on Instruction has just released 3 new online courses. Each course consists of four self-paced modules and is designed for state department of education staff, technical assistance providers, instructional specialists, and special education teachers. To access any of the courses, visit RMC Educator's Academy and create a free account. Topics include research-based guidance on academic literacy instruction in the content areas and guidance for intensifying instruction in reading and mathematics for students with significant learning difficulties or disabilities in kindergarten through grade 12.
Looking for a growth chart for academics? This parent toolkit helps parents understand course material covered in each grade. Organized by level, each grade offers information about Math and Language Arts along with Tips and Advice for fostering success. The site is produced by NBC News Education Nation and is sponsored by Pearson.