About St. Louis Suburban Council of IRA

a professional organization of educators and individuals actively engaged
in the development of literacy throughout the Greater St. Louis Area.

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Summary of December 2012 Presentation by Dr. Ernest Morrell



Marcie Burkemper

 Ernest Morrell, Ph.D., Language, Literacy, and Culture, presented “Rigorous and Relevant Literacy Instruction in the Era of Common Core Standards (CCSS)” at the December St. Louis Suburban International Reading Association’s general meeting on Thursday, December 6th.  Dr. Morrell is the Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and was elected Vice President/President of the National Council of Teachers of English in 2011.

Dr. Morrell has authored five books, over fifty articles and chapters, and made more than one hundred professional paper presentations of his work. His keynotes have reached collectively thousands of educators across the country.

 Dr. Morrell’s presentation was very inspirational and informative.  Those in attendance had the opportunity to explore with Dr. Morrell, his insights into literacy instruction in this “Era of Common Core Standards”.  A delicious dinner and the opportunity to network with fellow educators was an added bonus to a most enjoyable evening.

A special thanks goes to Zaner Bloser and sales representative Linda Carron who sponsored Dr. Morrell.


News from the MSC-IRA



Mitzi Brammer, PhD

State Coordinator, MSC-IRA

 I hope many of you were able to attend the Missouri Early Learning Conference in early November (check out Sarah Valter’s article about this event) at Tan-Tar-A. As you may or may not know, this event is co-sponsored by the Missouri State Council of the IRA. We take pride in helping to bring in nationally known speakers who can speak to the ever changing world of literacy.

 Have you “liked” MSC-IRA’s Facebook page yet? If not, please go to our page and “like” us in order to get updates about MSC-IRA, IRA (at the national level), information, tips, and resources for literacy. We also have links to other great literacy websites in which you might also be interested.

 The Write to Learn Conference at Tan-Tar-A (also co-sponsored by MSC-IRA) is coming SOON! Mark your calendars for February 28-March 2, 2013. Featured speakers you will not want to miss are:  Cris Tovani, Jeff Anderson, Donalyn Miller, Michael Salinger and many more!  To register for this conference, go to the MU

Conference website: 


The deadline for a room block at Tan-Tar-A is Wednesday, January 30th. Have you made your room reservations yet?  If so, great!  If not, the number for reservations at Tan-Tar-A is 800-826-8272 or 573-348-3131.  The hotel will still honor the conference special room rate after this date if you tell them you’re with Write to Learn, but after the 30th, they will release any unsold rooms from our block to the general public.  So, don’t take a chance by waiting until the last minute.  Call and make your room reservations today.  Also, MSC-IRA is planning a drop-in reception during the weekend. We hope you’ll come by for a visit! See you at the conference.


News About Membership



Jody Rozbicki Membership Chair


St. Louis Suburban Council of International Reading Association is a true Professional Learning Community with 309 members and 29 literacy teams in 2011-2012.  We are off to a great start this year with 46 members and counting.  Congratulations to each of you who sent your renewal membership forms this summer, recognizing the professional benefits of our collegial and professional organization. 

Remember that if you join as part of a team of five or more from your school, you will be considered a Literacy Team and pay only $12.00 per person.  Single membership is $18.00.  If you are a full time student or retired, you may join for $8.00.  In addition, your local council membership gives you automatic membership in the Missouri State Council of International Reading Association.  You will receive their benefits of website newsletters and state journal, The Missouri Reader.  The advantage of professional networking will allow you to meet and share ideas with educators from all over the St. Louis Suburban area, while developing lasting and valued friendships.  

Membership forms for 2012-2013 are in the September 2012 newsletter. Please consider mailing your form in today.   Our new membership year begins August 2012.   Also, membership forms may be printed from the council’s website, (www.STLSuburbanReading.org) or contact Jody at: (jrozbicki@ladueschools.net).

If you are interested in being on St. Louis Suburban Council Executive Board‘s Committees in 2012-2013, please contact Sandy Kettelkamp, Community Service Chairperson, through email (skettelkamp@afton.k12.mo.us) or Jody Rozbicki, Membership Chair.  Your email will need to list your committee interest and brief description of your experience. As the 2012-2013 year begins, the Board of Directors will be looking for members interested in being active in the Board‘s Committees. See you at our September 27 meeting!

Membership Chairs: Jody Rozbicki and Marjy Schneider

Service Projects: International and Local





St. Louis Suburban Council of IRA donated 600 books and two new bookcases to Habitat for Humanity on Thursday, May 31, 2012.   In 2010-2011, our council donated 225 books.  This is a 375 increase for 2011-2012.  The books and bookcases will be given to families receiving new homes in the summer of 2012. Thanks to our St. Louis Suburban Council members for donating the gift of literacy.

Our council gives a special thanks to Beth Knoedelseder, Communication Arts teacher, from Ladue Middle School in Ladue School District, and Katherine Hankins, Reading Interventionist, from Crestwood School in Lindbergh School District.  Beth sponsored a sixth grade book drive, and Katherine sponsored a book drive during the week of her school’s book fair for St. Louis Suburban Council’s Community Service Project.  Altogether, their schools donated 400 books.



Supporting worldwide literacy efforts continues to be an area of interest for our council, and we are excited to bring updates on each of our international projects.  We are pleased to announce our new international outreach project to Haiti.  We are working with the American Library Association (ALA) to dedicate funds for use in rebuilding libraries destroyed by the 2010 earthquake.  We will be collecting donations at the council meetings.

We are also very proud to participate in the Philippines Project, an outreach project that provides professional development to members of the Philippines Council of the IRA.  The funds raised through collections at our general meetings are donated to this project to help teachers on many Philippine Islands have access to high quality PD opportunities. 



Our Community and Family Literacy Projects are the public face of St. Louis Suburban IRA, and it is only through the efforts of our many members that we are able to have such a positive impact!  Here are some of the many ways that you can get involved:

1.    Bring your aluminum can tabs to donate to Ronald McDonald House

2.    IMPORTANT!  Donate new and/or gently used books to benefit Habitat for Humanity.  We present our St. Louis Suburban Council book donation to the family receiving the new home in January 2012.

3.   Make a monetary contribution to our collections that benefit our international  projects (Haiti libraries and the  Philippines Project.




Bonnie Davis: Keynote Speaker for Fall Conference at Harris-Stowe




Mark your calendar for our “2012 Literacy for All Conference: Literacy for the Future” on Saturday, October 6.  St. Louis Suburban IRA is excited to once again join Harris-Stowe State University in sponsoring this all-day, 7:30am-3:00pm, professional development experience for pre-school thru grade 12 educators.  Join us for informative research-based literacy/language arts sessions presented by experienced educators including keynote speaker Dr. Bonnie M. Davis.  Topics to be addressed during the conference include brain compatible learning, Common Core State Standards, writing workshop, power strategies in non-fiction, pre-school literacy activities, vocabulary and comprehension, help for struggling learners, and more.  For an affordable $25.00 registration fee you’ll receive entry to conference sessions and activities, a comprehensive resource book with handouts from all speakers, continental breakfast and lunch, door prizes, authors’ book signing, and visits with publishers and vendors.   You’ll also receive a certificate of participation.  The conference will be held at the Clay Center on the Harris-Stowe campus in mid-town St. Louis. (Full conference brochure is available in our online newsletter.) For information contact Dr. Betty Porter Walls at drbpwalls@earthlink.net.


Service Opportunity to Bring Books to Low-Income Children



Betty Porter Walls, Ph.D.

 During the 2012-2013 academic year, St. Louis Suburban IRA will continue its support of Penny-A-Page, a First-Book St. Louis project to encourage reading and help raise funds for new books for low-income children.  We are supportive of these efforts because research has shown that by the time children from low-income families enter kindergarten they are 12 to 14 months below national norms in language and pre-reading skills.  Children in middle-class homes own an average of 13 books; while in low-income families, there is only one book for every 300 children.  Funds from the Penny-A-Page project help address this critical issue by providing access to books, one of the most important factors affecting literacy.

Our effort will be two-fold.  First, our council has donated $500.00 to First Book-St. Louis.  Our name will be included as a sponsor organization on their printed materials and it will appear on t-shirts awarded to participating students in a Penny-A-Page week activity. 

Second, our council will share Penny-A-Page information and encourage our members and other educators to actively participate in fund raising during Penny-A-Page weeks.  Teachers and their students can participate in two Penny-A-Page weeks this year, October 29-November 4, 2012 and February 25-March 3, 2013.  Information and guidelines, flyers, and participant sign-up forms are available on our website.  Penny-A-Page sign-up information will also be available at our September council meeting.  Please consider having your class, any grade level, participate in the Penny-A-Page project.

Board member Betty Porter Walls will serve as our liaison with First Book-St. Louis.   Contact her, drbpwalls@earthlink.net, for Penny-A-Page information and forms.


President’s Message-September 2012



Message from the President

On behalf of the St. Louis Suburban Council of the IRA, it is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the start of another school year.  Our theme for this year is “Literacy – The Power for Change.”  As educators, we all strive to help our students realize the power of literacy and education.  Literacy is the vehicle in which our students can literally power the change in their lives. As educators, it is exciting to know that we help our students realize the power of literacy and the great rewards it can provide.

Please encourage your colleagues to become members and to join our mission for improving literacy. Our program this year will showcase the many facets of literacy and our first meeting on September 27 will focus on many new and exciting books, courtesy of Booksource. And, don’t miss the October 6, “Literacy for All” Conference at Harris Stowe State University, where many national and local experts will present. Our December 6 meeting will focus on making literacy rigorous in the era of Common Core State Standards, courtesy of Zaner-Bloser.  Our February meeting will focus on media literacy – a growing and important facet to literacy today. Don’t forget about the Write to Learn Conference as noted in our brochure. Our spring banquet speaker will be announced later. 

I believe that we have a program this year that will meet many of your needs. Remember, our website is www.stlsuburbanreading.org. Be sure and visit the website if you have not lately. We thank all of our sponsors for their generous support of speakers for our programs. Again, welcome to a new school year and let us help you realize the power for change in literacy by renewing or becoming a member today.   


Thomas Cornell, Ed.D.



How to Use the Internet to Enhnace Your Teaching


Web Wonders

Mary-Eileen Rufkahr

Hard to believe (well maybe not), but for most of us, we’ve already put in a full month of school . . . preparing our rooms, attending meetings, and actual classroom time.  Our minds are filled with fresh ideas to incorporate along with our tried and true methods.  Following are some quick and easy classroom helpers you can put to use right now!  

What did we ever do before the invention of Post-It notes?  It seems they are wonderful memory-joggers, temporary labels and make-shift bookmarks.  Now these colorful paper pieces can create a great looking story map!  Teachers of younger children can display a Post-It story map in the front of the classroom; older children can easily make their own.  Click onto http://mrsrojasteaches.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-pinterest-inspired-project-freebie.html for details.

One of the oldest “jokes” around this time of the year is to show a classroom of children sitting in their desks on the first day of school writing about what they did on their summer vacation.  As teachers, we know we want to inspire our students to write with enthusiasm and eagerness.  Graphic organizers can guide them in their thought processes while they create their rough draft.  The blog What the Teacher Wants has some downloadable templates to use with your students as you work on writing projects throughout the year.  This blog can be found at: 


A clever way to have your students respond to literature is through reader response bookmarks which are available for free download at:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Readers-Response-Bookmarks-Freebie.

While at the site, Teachers Pay Teachers, check out their main page to learn more about their mission and purpose.  You are able to join for free to browse material available at little to no cost.  If you have an original lesson or material to share, you can put it on the site.  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/About-Us.

A similar site is called Share My Lesson, which has over 230,000 resources available: http://www.sharemylesson.com/.  This free platform gives access to high-quality teaching resources and provides an online community where teachers can collaborate with, encourage and inspire each other.   Share My Lesson has a significant resource bank for Common Core Standards, covering all aspects of the standards, with advice and guides to help with dedicated resources that support the standards.

Looking for some ideas for Readers’ Workshop?  The site http://www.wrsd.net/literacy/launch.cfm has a large number of lessons and ideas all sorted by grade level, K – 5.

Common Core are two words on most teachers’ lips and minds.  A comprehensive suggested book list for Common Core is at:  http://elementarytests.com/common-core-standards/common-core-suggested-reading-list/.  Read-alouds, poetry and informational texts are featured.

Finally, at the end of a long day, when maybe things didn’t exactly go as well as you had planned, and you may be feeling discouraged, click onto this video by poet/teacher Taylor Mali.  His powerful words, coupled with an enthusiastic delivery, will reaffirm what you already know . . . teachers do make a difference!  (And we already knew that, but some days need a little reminder!)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuBmSbiVXo0.


Professional Article September 2012-CCSS-ELA: Practical Strategies for Districts, Schools, and Teachers





By Dan Rocchio, Ed. D., Professor Emeritus

Adjunct Faculty, Maryville University


Where Should a School District or School Begin?

When deciding where to begin your implementation of the CCSS-ELA, Calkins, Ehrenworth, and Lehman (2012) suggest that each school or district begin by identifying its strengths and then build upon those strengths systemically throughout the school or district.  For example, if a district has done a good job of implementing the narrative writing process, and the data indicate that most students are writing at a proficient level, then the district might want to focus initial literacy goals upon the gap between the district writing curriculum and the writing standards of the CCSS (e.g., the focus on opinion/argument and or informative/explanatory writing).  There are six key instructional shifts embedded within the CCSS-ELA at the elementary level that districts should consider as they develop an action plan.

  • increase the student’s ability to read and write about informational text ( i.e., 50 % literature and 50 % informational) along with an increase in the types of informational texts, including digital texts
  • increase student’s ability to read and write about content area texts in science and social studies; the emphasis is twofold; learning how to read history and science, but also learning new content information
  • all students ( i.e., including struggling readers) should be given the opportunity and the instruction necessary to critically read texts at the high end of the respective grade level band with appropriate teacher scaffolding; this includes the idea of “close reading” of complex texts
  • increase students’ ability to answer-text based questions with evidence from the text 
  • increase students’ ability to write opinion pieces supported by logical reasoning, facts and details; an increase in this type of writing will produce a greater balance among the three types of writing:  narrative, informational, and opinion-oriented
  • increase the direct teaching of general academic vocabulary and the technical vocabulary necessary to understand texts in literature, social studies and science

What Literacy Framework Will Help Children of All Reading Levels to Achieve the CCSS-ELA at the Elementary Level?

There are several research-based principles of literacy achievement that each district, school and teacher should consider as they make decisions about a literacy framework that will optimize each student’s achievement of CCSS-ELA.

1.  Students learn to read well and write well by having lots of guided opportunities to read and write in school and outside of school.      Teachers need lots of authentic texts at a wide range of reading levels and genres, and they need access to them in all content areas. The texts should be related to essential questions and content within units of study (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005).  These multi-genre and multi-leveled materials can then be used by teachers for read-alouds, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading.  Allington (2012) suggests that each district set a volume reading standard of 90 minutes of in-school reading daily, and a volume writing standard of 30-45 minutes of in-school writing daily.  These time standards do not include reading or writing activities such as mini-lessons, pre-reading, pre-writing, or conferences. Pearson and Heibert (2012) recommend that teachers help students set and achieve stamina goals in addition to these volume standards.

2.  Students need to have the opportunity to make informed choices related to reading and writing.  Fisher, Frey, & Lapp (2012) have identified six teaching practices that impact motivation positively.  Five of these teaching practices are supported by Guthrie and Humenick (2004) and Guthrie et al. (2009) as noted in Fisher, Frey, and Lapp ( 2012):

· choice in reading materials and activities

· using reading materials that are interesting and relevant to students’ real world problems

· providing texts at the students’ instructional reading level

· collaboration among students in a variety of social interactions including partnerships and small group discussions of readings

· thematic units that teach children key content and strategies

· goal setting and monitoring by students with appropriate modeling and scaffolding by teachers

3.  Explicit instruction in reading comprehension, that is modeled and scaffolded appropriately by expert teachers, leads to the improved comprehension of text and to a student’s independent ability to comprehend narrative and informational text.  Shanahan et. al (2010) have summarized the research and best practice on this principle in a user-friendly guide published by the Department of Education.

The reading workshop, writing workshop and content area workshop are three instructional frameworks that are consistent with these three basic principles, and thus provide an opportunity for students of all ability levels to achieve the CCSS-ELA.  There are several teacher-friendly resources that can help districts and teachers develop and or revise units of study that incorporate these workshop models: 

  • Calkins, Ehrenworth, and Lehman (2012) have written an excellent source for a book study related to CCSS-ELA at the elementary level
  • Units of Study for reading and writing (Calkins, 2010) are available from Heinemann 
  • Many of the resources in the Units of Study (Calkins) are available free of charge at http://readingandwritingproject.com

What is the Most Challenging and Contentious Instructional Shift that Districts and Teachers Face?

· The close reading of complex texts has engendered controversy among literacy experts writing about CCSS-ELA.  The question remains: how do we teach all children to read complex grade-level texts (i.e. literature, science, and social studies) with critical understanding that leads to an increase in a student’s content knowledge and an ability to read grade level texts independently and with proficiency? There are at least two models in the current literature.

o David Coleman (2011), one of the authors of the CCSS, has proposed one model of instruction with his demonstration video using Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail. “  This whole class lesson includes the following steps:

  • a cold read by students of the first section of the text without a teacher-developed purpose for reading or pre-reading strategies; the rationale for this lack of pre-reading scaffolding is to determine what students can understand without scaffolding and to develop a culture of students who can tackle close reading without lots of teacher-provided information
  • an oral rereading of the first section of the text by the teacher with an emphasis on fluency
  • a second reading of the first section by the students and teacher with a teacher-developed set of text dependent questions so that students must use text evidence 
  • the reading and rereading of each section of the text to determine the major arguments proposed by M.L. King and finally a critique of the content and craft embedded in the letter.
  • Coleman finishes the video by noting that this kind of close and slow reading might take 6-8 days of instruction.

o Additional written/and video lessons on close reading that follow this model include

o Most of these sample lessons do not include pre-reading strategies, the teacher modeling of reading strategies, or the gradual release of responsibility framework that would eventually help students to read these complex texts independently and proficiently. 

o Coleman and the sources noted above provide no quasi-experimental, classroom-based research studies to support this lesson model 

o An alternative model is presented by Fisher, Frey, and Lapp (2012) in their new book, related articles and videos (Principal Leadership, 2012a and 2012 b). This model is consistent with the research on the explicit teaching of comprehension strategies (Fisher and Frey 2012a) and the prudent use of pre-reading strategies as discussed by Fisher and Frey (2012b) and Shanahan (2012).  We need to develop more sample lessons and videos like those published by Fisher and Frey–especially lessons for struggling readers.  

o The model proposed by Fisher, Frey, and Lapp (2012) includes the following steps and is accompanied by the suggestion that teachers use short passages for the teaching of close reading:

  • the teacher establishes a brief purpose for reading the text but does not provide a summary of the text nor background information that might take away from the student’s struggle to make sense of the text; in some cases brief background information may be necessary for students to be successful with the an initial reading of the text
  • students read the text independently and note words they figured out on their own and ideas that confused them; the teacher carefully observes the difficulties students encounter
  • first discussion led by the teacher might include the students sharing what amazed and/or confused them
  • using what was learned from the initial discussion, the teacher leads a read aloud and think aloud of the text that models how the teacher figured out main ideas or key vocabulary
  • teacher leads another discussion using text dependent questions that focus on the literal, inferential and critical understanding of the text
  • teacher asks each student to write about the understandings garnered in the prior discussion
  • similar to the Coleman model this lesson involves a lot of rereading and may take several days

o Shanahan (personal communication, June 16, 2012) indicated that Coleman has changed his opinion regarding the lack of pre-reading during the teaching of the close reading lessons with complex text.  In his original video-recorded lesson, Coleman does mention that his model lesson is only one way to teach close reading.  But given the videos at other sources noted in the references below, it appears that some “experts” have offered Coleman’s lesson as the “preferred model.”  

What Practical Steps Can Districts and Teachers Take to Help with Close Reading?

· The teaching of close reading is dependent upon finding text selections (i.e., literature and informational) that teachers can use in developing lessons.  Included below is one recommendation for districts, literacy coaches, and teachers : 

  • Experiment with complex texts using the rubrics in Text Complexity; Raising Rigor in Reading by Fisher, Frey, and Lapp (2012). Teams of teachers need time to read and discuss these texts.  As teachers prepare the close reading of these texts, they must consider the quantitative and qualitative factors related to text difficulty in addition to the match between the reader, the task and the text.  So teachers need to ask questions such as:
    • Do the readers have the background information necessary to makes sense of the text?
    • Is the text of interest to the readers so that students will stay engaged and remember the key information?
    • What reading strategies can be modeled given the purpose of the reading task and the students’ prior cognitive strategies?   

The teaching of these lessons along with appropriate feedback by literacy coaches, and the data analysis of student work samples can eventually lead to the development of model video-recorded lessons that can be shared among teaches in a district.  As these lessons are developed and refined, it is crucial that teachers identify the context for these lessons. Model lessons can only be used effectively when the developers carefully explain the conditions surrounding the lesson; these would include the key characteristics of the students, the purpose of the lesson in the context of the unit of study, and the social dynamics of the group.

· Districts and teachers can use the resources of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to inform their work on the close reading of complex texts or other action plans.  Missouri is a member of this organization that is developing the assessment package that will be used to assess CCSS.

o Item/task specifications for ELA at all grade levels can be found on this website; these specifications include 

  • sample items for each standard
  • sample passages, the designated grade level band of passages, and how this grade band was determined 
  • rubrics for writing related standards

As we work together to tackle the challenges presented by the CCSS-ELA, it is important that we keep a sharp focus on the end goal: to help children read, write and talk critically so that they can take part in civil discourse related to key issues (e.g., the development of mental and physical health, a peaceful school, the sustainability of our environment, friendship, equity, preparing oneself for work).  Along with parents, it is also our responsibility to help children develop the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to work and play as responsible citizens in our democracy.  I welcome responses on this blog, or please contact me at drocchio@maryville.edu if you wish further information related to this article.


Allington, R. L. (2012).  What really matters for struggling readers: Designing research-based programs.  Boston, MA: Pearson.

Calkins,  L. , Ehrenworth M., & Lehman C. (2012).  Pathways to the common core: Accelerating achievement.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 

Coleman, D. (2011).  Middle school ELA curriculum video: Close reading of a text: MLK “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Retrieved July 27 from engageny.org/resource/common-core-video-series Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (2012a).  Text complexity. Principal Leadership. Retrieved July 27, 2012 from http://www.nassp.org/tabid/3788/default.aspx?topic=Instructional_Leader_0112

Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (2012b).  The perils of preteaching. Retrieved July 27, 2012 from http://www.nassp.org/tabid/3788/default.aspx?topic=Instructional_Leader_0512

Fisher, D, Frey, N. & Lapp, D. (2012).  Text complexity: Raising rigor in reading. Newark, Delaware: International Reading Association.

Fisher, D., Frey, N. & Nelson, J. (2012).  Literacy development through sustained professional development.  The Reading Teacher. 65. 551-563.

Guthrie, J.T., & Humenick, N.M. (2004). Motivating students to read: Evidence for classroom practices that increase motivation and achievement. In P. McCardle &V. Chhabra (Eds.), The voice of evidence in reading research (pp. 329–354). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Guthrie, J. T., McRae, A., Coddington, C. S., Klauda, S. L., Wigfield, A., & Barbosa, P. (2009). Impacts of comprehensive reading instruction on diverse outcomes of low-achieving and high-achieving readers. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 195-214.

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010a). Common core state standards for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Washington, DC: Authors. Retrieved May 26, 2012, from www.corestandards.org/assets/ CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf.

Pearson, P. D. & Heibert, E. (2012).   Understanding the common core state standards. In L. Morrow, T. Shanahan, & K. Wixson (Eds).  Teaching for the common core standards in the English language arts.  Article to be published in this book by Guilford Press.

Shanahan, T. (2012).  Practical guidance on pre-reading lessons. Retrieved July 27, 2012 From http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/2012/03/part-2-practical-guidance-on-pre.html.

Shanahan, T., Callison, K., Carriere, C., Duke, N. K., Pearson, P. D., Schatschneider, C., & Torgesen, J. (2010).  Improving reading comprehension in kindergarten through 3rd grade: A practice guide (NCEE 2010-4038). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from whatworks.ed.gov/publications/practice guides.

Item/Task specifications. Retrieved July 27, 2012 at http://www.smarterbalanced.org/smarter-balanced-assessments/

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005).  Understanding by design. Expanded second edition. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.



2012 Fall Leadership and Literacy Institute at Lake of the Ozarks



Save the date! The fall leadership and literacy institute is coming. This event is being hosted by the Missouri State Council of the International Reading Association (MSC-IRA) on August 2-3 at Port Arrowhead Resort at the Lake.

August 2 is geared toward local council officers with information on strengthing the local council and planning for positive change.

August 3 is aimed for ALL local council members. You will get information on digging more deeply into the Common Core State Standards, getting your students ready to become deeper thinkers, and engaging students in conversation to build reading comprehension.

As always, there will be fun door prizes and OF COURSE, shopping at the Outlet Mall! 

MSC-IRA has invited each council to send a team of 4 from its Executive Board. One complimentary room for Thursday night will be provided which will sleep up to four people. Also, meals are included. If you as a local Suburban Council of the IRA member wishes to attend on August 3 only, a nominal fee of $20 per person will be charged. 


Please RSVP to Mitzi Brammer by July 26, 2012 by emailing mbrammer@ssdmo.org.


See you at the Lake!