Elementary ELA Newsletter February 2020

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ELAOK: Elementary

February 2020

In this issue:

Standards Feedback Survey

OSDE logo

Based on the updated timeline for textbook adoption, the Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts will go under review this year. The first step for this process is to determine what stakeholders think of the standards in their current form.

We invite you to complete this short survey by Friday, February 28. You will get to rank how well the OAS for ELA meet their original guidelines of clarity, coherence, and purpose. You can also propose additions of new objectives or revisions or deletions of specific existing objectives. You can choose to remain anonymous.

A Month of Literacy

In November, I shared many different events and observances that focused on reading and a passion for books.  February is another month that provides some wonderful opportunities to celebrate a love of literacy.  Here are just a few:

February is Library Lovers' Month.  Visit the American Library Association (ALA) site for multiple ways to love your library this month.  One way could be to go to the Metropolitan Library System's Friends of the Library Book Sale; see the article later in the newsletter for more info.

February 5th is World Read Aloud DayScholastic.com has provided a one-page PDF for how to participate.  

February 28th is Digital Learning Day.  I have a compiled a brief list of free ELA sites that I use, including:

getepic.com - A digital library for educators.  It allows you to browse by grade level, subject, topic, or Lexile level.

newsela.com - This site gives you access to a wealth of articles.  You may choose to use them individually or pair them with a related passage to create a text set.

readworks.org - ReadWorks is a great resource.  It has a library that you can search and/or modify a number of different ways to meet the needs of your students. 

readwritethink.org - This is a clearinghouse of lessons and resources for both teachers and students, including numerous ways for students to create digital texts.

kids.scholastic.com - A starting point for kids to explore the books and series they love.  

Bridges to Hope: Teaching in the Shadow of Trauma, Monday, February 17, 2020

bridges to hop

This incredible event is sold out! 

For those who have registered, here are some reminders you may find helpful:

  1. The event times are from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.
  2. It will be held at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City.
  3. Parking options include the Convention Center, nearby lots, and metered parking spaces. (Metered spaces will be free that day due to the observance of Presidents' Day.)

If you were unable to register, there are still some options for you to participate:

  1. You may add your name to the waitlist on Eventbrite and see if any seats open up.
  2. There will be a standby line at the Cox Center on the day of the event; any vacant seats will be filled just before the event starts.
  3. The event will be streamed live on our website.

Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) Updates

RSA Allocations Are Now Available

Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) allocations are now available on Single Sign-On within the Allocations application. Districts received a 100% payment on January 16. Please note that it has been determined that technology hardware, such as Chromebooks, iPads, display monitors, etc., does not meet the requirements defined in Oklahoma statute or RSA rules. Therefore, technology hardware cannot be purchased with RSA funds. To view a checklist of allowable expenditures for RSA funds, please go here: https://sde.ok.gov/sites/ok.gov.sde/files/documents/files/RSA-FundingChecklist.pdf

Administrative Rules for the RSA Are Open for Public Comment

The Administrative Rules for the Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) are now open for public comment. The comment period will close at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. Written comments may be submitted by email to rules@sde.ok.gov, and by fax to (405) 522-6256. If you wish to make an oral comment, you must appear at the public comment hearing for this rule. A public hearing is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, in Room 1-20 (State Board Room) at the Oliver Hodge Building, 2500 North Lincoln Boulevard, in Oklahoma City.

The text of proposed rules can be found here: https://sde.ok.gov/sites/default/files/PROPOSED%20DRAFT%20210.15-27%20-%20RSA%20rule%20update%20%28Lori%20Murphy%29%20%28Lori%20Murphy%29.pdf

The rule impact statement can be found here: https://sde.ok.gov/sites/default/files/RIS%20210.15-27_1.pdf

Metropolitan Library System's Friends of the Library Book Sale, February 21-23

friends of the library

Another fun option for celebrating Library Lovers' Month would be to attend the Metropolitan Library System's Friends of the Library Book Sale.  Whether you are looking to bulk up your classroom library, or just browse for yourself, you will almost certainly find some treasures.  The book sale will be at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, in the Oklahoma Expo Hall, and the dates are:

Friday, February 21st, 2020- Members Only Pre-Sale Event - 1 pm - 9 pm - Not a member? Not a problem, click here to join today.

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 - Open to General Public - FREE - 9 am - 5:30 pm

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020 - Open to General Public - FREE - 9 am - 5:30 pm

NCTE 2019 Convention Recap: Making It Visual

art of comprehension

When I attended this session, it reminded me that exposing students to visual texts such as photos, illustrations, and sketchnotes can make them stronger in reading comprehension, writing, notetaking, and conversation.  

Trevor Bryan presented ideas from his book The Art of Comprehension.  During the session, Bryan shared his Access Lenses graphic that shows how moods, access lenses, and symbols help us make strong connections to a text.  If you want to learn more about Trevor, or download the graphic for free, click here.

access lenses

Try using some of these access lenses with this photo from the New York Times Picture Prompts.  Which ones would help you better understand and explain this visual text?

ny times

Monthly Features

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds is a fabulous book.  As reflected in both of the monthly features, Reynolds uses the story and illustrations to encourage creativity, individuality, and kindness.

Writing Prompt of the Month:  Word Collage

Scholastic.com has some outstanding resources to accompany Reynolds' book The Word Collector.  One of them is a word collage.  It provides a list of supplies and easy steps for students to create a "mini-memoir of who they are right now".  It is a parent resource, but teachers could also use it in their classrooms.  For this free resource and other ways to use this book, click here.

word collector cover

Reading Quote of the Month

Peter Reynolds