ELAOK Elementary Newsletter December 2018

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ELAOK: Elementary

December 2018

In this issue:

Welcome To Winter

Winter Blues

How many of you have heard of the "Winter Blues?" How many of you know that it is a true medical diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder? In her blog, Elementary Matters, Sally DeCost offers six tips to help students (and teachers) combat the winter slump. Ms. DeCost is a 2nd grade seasoned teacher of 39 years in the state of New Hampshire and continues to develop creative ways to keep kids motivated, engaged, and learning. Read this section of Elementary Matters: Experience and Passion for Learning to see the ideas she uses to motivate students at this sometimes dreary time of year. She even includes some literature suggestions! 

Winter is here. Let's make the best of it!

Diverse Classroom Libraries

Classroom Libraries

During the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention in Houston last month, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie addressed the audience as one of the keynote speakers. Her TED Talk "The Danger of a Single Story" has been viewed more than 16 million times. In her talk she speaks about growing up in Nigeria, reading stories about people completely unrelated to her.

With that context in mind, how culturally responsive and diverse is your classroom library? Use this PDF as a guide to analyze your classroom library book collections and determine where there are strengths and where there are gaps in diversity.

Additionally, this article offers five steps to take to build a diverse classroom library.

OSDE Multi-Content Area Regionals

OSDE logo

The Curriculum and Instruction Office of the the State Department of Education has been conducting regional trainings around the state to extend the courses offered during Summer 2018 through the Engage OK on the Road sessions. The regional workshops include a variety of content areas and topics, including Gifted and Talented, Fine Arts, and Early Reading Intervention. Visit this link for information of dates, sites, and content areas. 

Upcoming ELA Regional Dates and Locations
February 6, 2019 -  Chickasha
February 19, 2019 -  Woodward

Oklahoma Writing Project


Writing Contest Open to Elementary Students and Teachers

Deadline for the 2019 Oklahoma Writing Project "Write To Win" contest for students and teachers is January 22, 2019. Oklahoma teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are encouraged to enter their students’ writing in the annual competition. Teachers may enter their own writing also.

Genres include descriptive paragraph, personal narrative, essay, short story, poetry, flash fiction, sentence, and writing across the curriculum. There is not an entry fee.

The contest, sponsored by the Oklahoma Writing Project of the University of Oklahoma, normally draws over 300 entries from approximately 60 teachers.  “We would like to spread the word across the state to involve more schools, more teachers, and more students,” said Janis Cramer, writing contest coordinator.

More details available on the official flyer

Writing Prompt

Our monthly writing prompt is intended for you, the teacher, but if you decide the prompt is appropriate for your students, feel free to use it. Even our youngest students enjoy the opportunity to have thought-provoking questions and discussions. 

Using the picture below, create an interesting story. Email me some of the work of your students or even the stories you create. I would love to share with our ELA community.


Picture Prompt

Quote of the Month

A Book is a Dream

ELA Framework Upgrades

ELA Framework

The ELA Framework has a new look! The Literacy Team has been working diligently to ensure that the ELA Framework site is user- and teacher-friendly. There are lots of resources, information, and guidance to assist you as you are implementing your instruction in relation to the Oklahoma Academic ELA standards. Go check it out today!

SDE Literacy Team

kids in tree

The Literacy Team at the Oklahoma State Department of Education in the Office of Curriculum and Instruction is here to support you as you navigate through the world of literacy instruction. Contact us at any time with questions, professional development opportunity inquiries, or instructional guidance requests.

Main Office: Kida Upshaw, 405. 521.4096

The Team:                                                                         

  • Melissa Ahlgrim, Director of RSA, melissa.ahlgrim@sde.ok.gov
  • Danielle Calvin, Director of Elementary ELA, danielle.calvin@sde.ok.gov
  • Brook Meiller, Striving Readers Grant Program Manager, brook.meiller@sde.ok.gov
  • Sharon Morgan, Striving Readers Grant Specialist , sharon.morgan@sde.ok.gov 
  • Michelle Seybolt, Striving Readers Grant Specialist, michelle.seybolt@sde.ok.gov
  • Timmie Spangler, Director of Instructructional Materials & Library, timmie.spangler@sde.ok.gov
  • Jason Stephenson, Director of Secondary ELA, jason.stephenson@sde.ok.gov


      Contact Information

      Danielle Calvin, Director of Elementary ELA

      Oklahoma State Department of Education




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