August 18, 2017  •  In This Issue:

1.  Seven steps to transforming your spelling instruction
2.  How making mistakes primes kids to learn better
3.  Returning the writing workshop to students
4.  PD Corner: Reflect forward

Stenhouse Publishers
1) Seven steps to transforming your spelling instruction
Super Spellers, by Mark Weakland No matter what you're currently doing (or not doing) to teach spelling, Super Spellers will give you solutions for creating a classroom of better spellers—and readers and writers too!
—Richard Gentry

Many teachers are frustrated with not only how spelling is traditionally taught, but also with finding time to support young spellers with explicit strategy instruction. So Mark Weakland has developed Super Spellers, an approach to teaching spelling in a way that is research-based, focused, developmentally appropriate, and tied to authentic reading and writing.

Super Spellers first helps teachers understand what their students need through frequent formative assessments. The book then focuses on the scope of spelling instruction and goes deeper into teaching more words and directly teaching spelling strategies to increase students' word-solving skills. Once kids are comfortable and competent spellers they become super readers and writers, too.

In addition to step-by-step guidance, each chapter features an "If you only have 10 minutes" segment with ideas you can implement immediately and a list of PD questions. The appendix contains word inventories, a sample scope and sequence, examples of spelling list transformation, and word ladder activities.

Super Spellers will ship in mid-September. Preview the entire book online now:

Super Spellers
Seven Steps to Transforming Your Spelling Instruction
Mark Weakland
Foreword by Richard Gentry
Grades K-5 • 192 pp • $24.00

Mark Weakland In addition to his professional books, Mark Weakland is an award-winning children's book author and provides literacy coaching and consulting to schools and districts. Inquire about his availability here:


2) How making mistakes primes kids to learn better
Contrary to what many of us might guess, making a mistake with high confidence and then being corrected is one of the most powerful ways to absorb something and retain it. Read this insightful article from MindShift about how mistakes help us learn and the research behind it:

What's Right About Wrong Answers, by Nancy Anderson In her recent book, What's Right About Wrong Answers, Nancy Anderson turns mistakes on their head and helps you cleverly use them to students' advantage. "You can't learn math without making mistakes," she writes. Preview her book in its entirety:


3) Returning the writing workshop to students
When Writers Drive the Workshop, by Brian Kissel Mary Howard recently gave a great overview of Brian Kissel's new book, When Writers Drive the Workshop, and recapped the #G2Great Twitter chat focused on how to return the writing workshop to students:

In our new video recorded at ILA in Orlando last month, Brian talks about the biggest fears teachers have about conferring and shares the essential elements for a welcoming writing environment:
(Scroll down the page to access the video.)


4) PD Corner: Reflect forward
Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.
—John Dewey

Justin Minkel reflects on "The Caterpillar" by Miller Williams and envisions teaching lives as lines and circles. Circle back to the end of the school year to reflect and circle forward to set new goals for the new year:

Instead of take-aways from professional development, middle school teacher and blogger Leigh Anne Eck reflects on take-forwards learned from Stenhouse author and teacher, Lee Ann Spillane. Find out more about a sentence completion activity for the first day of school and read how both teachers plan to connect with students:

Former principal Peggy Scott uses Anne Lamott's "Help me, thank you, wow!" framework to reflect on school culture. How could that frame set a strong course for the future in your PLC or building?

Classroom Routines for Real Learning, by Harper and O'Brien Flexible classroom routines allow time for differentiation and help create community and positive classroom cultures. Read how in Chapter 3 of Classroom Routines for Real Learning by Jennifer Harper and Kathryn O'Brien:
(Jump down to the Table of Contents to find the Chapter 3 link.)


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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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