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Upcoming Events
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Welcome to Language Arts
Elementary Educators' Conference - August 26
The Office of Student Learning is sponsoring three conferences for elementary educators on August 26. These conferences are targeted toward teachers in the following grade level bands: K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 and are scheduled from 8 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Each conference features presentations across all four core content areas, instructional technology, and general interest sessions. Teachers will receive five recertification hours for attending. Due to limited space at all locations pre-registration is required at http://goo.gl/j5ihwx (Note: Registrants need to cut and paste link into Google Chrome window). Sessions will be selected during the registration process. Conference programs are available on this flyer.
New Directions' Family Literacy Program

The National Center for Family Literacy’s Mission Statement highlights that "literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed, and the family is at the heart." Acknowledging that our children face literacy demands that are shifting with times, it is imperative that they are afforded opportunities to manage discussions; engage socially, emotionally, and intellectually; and explore alternative perspectives. Participating as "knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities" (National Council of Teachers of English Standard) New Directions’ family literacy club participants play with language and art to create new paradigms of understanding.

New Directions Alternative Center’s Family Literacy Program, implemented in January of 2010, addresses the changing face of literacy and its inclusionary and creative approaches to literacy. Parents, students, and faculty from diverse cultures and ethnicity construct a collective curriculum of "shared consciousness" through creative productions including writing artifacts, performances, and presentations. It is a platform to share generational stories, to experiment with different writing genres, and to draft collaborative narratives. On a monthly basis, students and families, along with staff and families, work together to promote writing, thinking, and presentation skills through poetry, creative writing, and interactive activities. The program is facilitated by the English Department Chair, Arvinder Johri; Guidance Counselor, Lynn Morrow; and Economics & Personal Finance Teacher, Lynn Armstrong.

                                                       



Congratulations to Dann Miller


Congratulations to Dann Miller, Language Arts Teacher at Stonewall Middle School for publishing his book Tro’ Kel’s War.
 
“Being able to explore complex ideas and entertaining concepts has always been a passion of mine – whether it be in reading and analyzing classic literature with my classes, or if it grows from generating my own world through writing.”
 
I try to follow the same approaches I teach my students in my writing. I may grumble and procrastinate, but I know it is something that has to be done (at least in my mind I have to do it). When I banish all distractions and dive into it, the beauty of creation takes over and I just love where it takes me.
 
“In the end, just like we try to teach the students, it is the process that is important and exciting – not necessarily the end product. If you can like or love what you do while you do it, then there is no question that you made the right choice in the endeavor.”
 
In no way do I think I have written the next great American novel, but being able to say I have accomplished this challenge is worth the effort, even if only one other person enjoys it.
 
I am currently writing my second novel, a sequel to Tro’ Kel’s War that should be complete by the end of 2014. Whereas I know my career is teaching and always will be, this is a hobby and pastime that is infinitely more enjoyable than countless hours spent in front of the television.
 
Though I am no expert writer, I would be happy to sit and talk about how I approach the process, as well share all I can about the publishing side as well, not only for personal reasons, but also as an approach for teaching a writing unit in school.
 
If interested, you can find the book at Amazon.com here:
 
It is currently only available in Kindle format, but there are applications and programs to use Kindle on almost all computers and devices for free.

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