Elementary ELA Newsletter March 2021

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ELAOK: Elementary

March 2021

In this issue:

National Reading Month

Read Across America

In February, we recognized the importance of read alouds and also how libraries play a critical role in both our schools and communities.  March provides us with a continuation of our love of reading through the recognition of National Reading Month throughout the entire month of March and National Read Across America Day on March 2.

Read Across America, which began in 1998, is the nation's largest celebration of reading.  It is actually a year-round program that focuses on encouraging children and teens to read. Visit the Read Across America site for resources on how to celebrate reading this month, or all year long!

Growing Readers

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is an excellent site for literacy-related resources, including its Growing Readers page. 

Growing Readers provides tips for raising strong readers and writers.  The page is broken into eight main topics, with numerous articles and links under each one.  For example, one main topic is Literacy Activities for the Family and it includes some of the following articles and resources:

  • Building Reading Stamina
  • Developing Writing and Spelling at Home
  • Fluency Matters
  • Grocery Store Literacy 
  • Making Reading Relevant:  Read, Learn, and Do!
  • Poems at Home
  • Riding and Reading

Each resource has the option to view online or download a PDF, and both options are available in either English or Spanish.  

Learning Opportunities

Free Webinar:  Sight Words-  Beyond Flashcards, Thursday, March 4

The Reading League Oklahoma Webinar

Click here to register for the March 4 event.  Get more information about The Reading League Oklahoma here.

Oklahoma Literacy Association Annual Conference, Saturday, March 6

Mark your calendars for a great learning opportunity!  On Saturday, March 6, the Oklahoma Literacy Association invites people to join their virtual conference: "The Power of a Literate Life:  What We Do to Create Empowered Readers". 

The keynote speakers are Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.  Beers and Probst have co-authored several books together, including their most recent book, Forged by Reading:  The Power of a Literate Life.  

Click here to register for this conference.

Oklahoma Literacy Association

Webinar:  The Science of Word Learning, Saturday, March 6

Dr. David Kilpatrick

The Science of Word Learning is a 90-minute presentation by Dr. David Kilpatrick.  This live webinar event will focus on how children learn to read words and why some children struggle.  The session also explains how children build their sight word vocabulary via orthographic mapping and provides specific techniques to help children become skilled readers.

There is a registration fee, which includes access to the webinar recording through September 30, 2021.  Click here to register for this event.

Oklahoma Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute

Oklahoma Writing Project

Teachers of all subject areas and levels, pre-kindergarten through university, who are interested in incorporating writing into their regular instructional routine should apply for the Oklahoma Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute.  

During the Summer Institute, participants will learn ready-to-use strategies and best classroom practices from group members, experience the writing process and writing groups first-hand, and develop a literacy presentation to share with their home schools and other Oklahoma educators.  

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 10.  Click on this link to submit your application or to see more information on dates, location, and other specifics.

Oklahoma State Writing Project Summer Institute

OSU Writing Project

Teachers of all subjects and grade levels are invited to collaborate and learn about the teaching of writing as well as develop their own skills as a writer.  This year's Summer Institute will be held in Tulsa during the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

The theme for this year is "Let It Be Written" and during the Institute the focus will be on how participants can use writing for themselves and their students that will "illuminate the past, amplify the voices of the present and bring justice in the future".  

Applications are due by April 1, 2021.  The application form, as well as more information on the Summer Institute, may be found at the Oklahoma State Writing Project site.

Oklahoma Excel Survey

Oklahoma Excel

Andrea Chrisman, the Excel ELA Specialist at the Oklahoma State Department of Education, works with teams of teachers across Oklahoma to advance student outcomes in reading and writing. Each year Andrea and her colleagues on the Oklahoma Excel team conduct research to identify student challenges, then work with teachers to implement changes in their classrooms to address those challenges.  

Her team is currently gathering data on STUDENT needs for the upcoming (2021-2022) school year.  If you could please take this survey to help provide data, it would be greatly appreciated.  

Monthly Features

Writing Prompt of the Month:  Pourquoi Tales

Porquoi, meaning "why" in French, is a legend told or written to explain why certain events happened.  A porquoi tale could be a fun way to celebrate the start of spring with your students.  Read several porquoi tales in this Scholastic lesson.  Then, using those stories or some of your favorites as examples, have your students write their own porquoi tales about animals or aspects of nature that interest them.

Reading Quote of the Month

Carol Jago quote