June 30, 2017  •  In This Issue:

1.  Practical lessons for teaching grammar
2.  Why we still need poetry
3.  PD Corner: Summarizing

Stenhouse Publishers
1) Practical lessons for teaching grammar
The Your Turn lesson is a solid plan for instruction. Following the gradual release of responsibility model put forth by Lev Vygotsky, the sequence of instruction moves methodically and meaningfully from teacher control to student independence.
—Lynne Dorfman

Lynne Dorfman, coauthor (with Diane Dougherty) of Grammar Matters and the upcoming A Closer Look, talks about how the "I Do, We Do, You Do" structure of Your Turn lessons supports students on their road to independence. She also offers a lesson on using punctuation in this recent post on her blog:

Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty Lynne and Diane regularly share bonus Your Turn lessons for teaching grammar that you can put to use in your classroom right away. Here are two: one on using colons and another on transitions. Be sure to visit their website regularly for new lessons, anecdotes from the classroom, and other tips and ideas for your teaching practice.

Grammar Matters, by Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty And you can preview Grammar Matters—which has fifteen Your Turn lessons—and watch Lynne and Diane talk about embedding grammar into every writing workshop:

A Closer Look, by Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty Their new book, A Closer Look: Learning More About Our Writers with Formative Assessment, coming in September, provides the tools and strategies you need to use formative assessment in writing workshop. Preorder now:


2) Why we still need poetry
Poems remind us that someone is saying, "Come here. This has happened to me. This is how it made me feel. This is who I am in the wake of this thing."
—Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate

Tracy K. Smith Tracy K. Smith was recently named U.S. Poet Laureate, and in this interview on PBS NewsHour she talks about how language can be a tool of revelation. She also shares her reflections on race in America, her teaching philosophy, and why we still need poetry:

Bring poetry into your classroom with the help of these Stenhouse books:


3) PD Corner: Summarizing
The ability to write summaries is an often overlooked and underrated skill. They are hard to fake, and they give a quick, formative assessment of what students understand (and what they are missing in their initial reading).
—Kelly Gallagher, In the Best Interest of Students

Take summarizing to new heights with the YouTube hit "Somebody Wanted Something But So...Then What?" Upbeat and electric, Jake Scott's song capturing the powerful summary strategy will surely stick in students' minds:

Add to students' toolboxes by varying summary strategies. From 3-2-1 to last words and learning frames, find nine strategies from the team at US Digital Literacy:

What do student-written book recommendations say about students' summary skills or comprehension? Students in Lee Ann Spillane's classroom use Padlet to share and recommend titles and Lee Ann uses that information to assess her readers: Strategies That Work, Third Edition, by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis

Chapter 12 of the newly released third edition of Strategies That Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis delves into summarizing and synthesizing information. You can preview the entire book online:


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Please send comments and questions to Zsofia McMullin, Newslinks Editor, at or call (800) 988-9812. View archives of past issues.
Contributing writer: Lee Ann Spillane

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