Stenhouse Newslinks
April 6, 2007


1) Travel with your students through time
2) PD Corner: Taking the fear out of teaching poetry
3) Sneak a peek at new DVDs from Debbie Diller & Jeff Anderson
4) The dark side of phonics readers
5) Rejuvenate your practice at an institute this summer

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1) Travel with your students through time
"In order for students to make an imaginative leap into the lives 
of generations long gone, they need to hear the voices of people 
as witnessed in their letters, diaries, newspapers, speeches, and 

You can make the study of history exciting by placing students in 
the shoes of ordinary people who lived in a state of suspense 
through tense times. In her new book Eyewitness to the Past, Joan 
Brodsky Schur presents strategies that help students imaginatively 
live through past events in U.S. history using six types of 
primary sources.

This practical book emphasizes using documents that represent 
multiple views and can serve as models for student writing and 
oral argument. Activities draw on critical thinking skills, demand 
that students formulate ideas and opinions and express them in 
writing, and encourage debate. Students begin to take on the 
excited voices of impassioned citizens who had tough choices to 
make rather than the monotone voices of students answering rote 

Eyewitness to the Past is shipping now. Browse the entire text 

Eyewitness to the Past: Strategies for Teaching American History 
in Grades 5-12 * Joan Brodsky Schur * Foreword by James A. Percoco
250 pp/paper * $20.00 * Available now

2) PD Corner: Taking the fear out of teaching poetry
"The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be 
one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail." 
--William Faulkner

Should poetry be reserved for one month out of the year? Hardly! 
If you would like to implement poetry across the curriculum and 
calendar explore these resources. aims to "take the fear out of teaching poetry." 
Developed by the London-based Poetry Society, this site delivers 
inspiration and practical ideas for infusing poetry in everyday 

Want to support students as they build background knowledge about 
poetry? Design an Internet scavenger hunt: ask students to find a 
poet or an interesting poem on a particular subject and then send 
them searching. Consider this "News Hour Extra" site from PBS as a 
jumping-off point:

Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins designed Poetry 180: A Poem a 
Day for American High Schools. Selections range from classic to 
contemporary, and are perfect for a three- to five-minute daily 
read aloud. Read a few for yourself:

You'll find 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, a library 
of over 100 audio clips and 2,000 poems, and more at the Academy 
of American Poets website:


And browse Stenhouse's collection of professional books on 
teaching and sharing poetry:

3) Sneak a peek at new DVDs from Debbie Diller & Jeff Anderson
We've just posted details and sample clips for two forthcoming 
DVDs slated for release in June. The Craft of Grammar by Jeff 
Anderson will help teachers of intermediate and adolescent writers 
find new and engaging ways to connect the writing process with 
grammar and mechanics:

And Stepping Up with Literacy Stations by Debbie Diller will guide 
teachers through the process of designing and implementing 
literacy work stations in grades three and higher:

4) The dark side of phonics readers
"I am an experienced elementary teacher and college professor, 
with a long-standing disdain for 'ability' grouping, dummied-down 
curriculum, and stupid, phonics-driven stories that make no sense. 
And yet here I was, seemingly unable to prevent my own child from 
being crushed by a scripted reading program of the type so beloved 
by No Child Left Behind."

Read the rest of Melanie Quinn's essay, "I Just Want to Read Frog 
and Toad," in the current issue of Rethinking Schools:

5) Rejuvenate your practice at an institute this summer
Looking for a way to recharge your batteries and take your 
teaching to the next level? Check out this wide-ranging collection 
of summer institutes and workshops, many featuring Stenhouse 

Choice Literacy Workshop Series for K-6 Literacy Leaders
June through October * 5 locations
This series is presented by Stenhouse authors Jennifer Allen, The 
Sisters (Gail Boushey & Joan Moser), Andie Cunningham, Brenda 
Power, Ruth Shagoury, Franki Sibberson, and Karen Szymusiak. 
Topics are: Becoming a Literacy Coach, Assessing Young Readers, 
Designing Reading & Writing Workshops for ELLs (Pre-K through 
Grade 2), and Supporting 3-6 Readers & Writers.

Georgia Conference on Writing and Reading
June 12 & 13 * Perry, Georgia
Speakers include Stenhouse authors Jeff Anderson, Harvey Daniels, 
Debbie Diller, Ralph Fletcher, Kelly Gallagher, and The Sisters 
(Gail Boushey & Joan Moser).

Mid-South Reading and Writing Institute
June 22 & 23 * Birmingham, Alabama
Speakers include Anne Goudvis, The Sisters, Jeff Anderson, and 
Debbie Diller.

Responsive Classroom Week-Long Institutes
June through August * 34 locations in 16 states
The Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching and learning 
that fosters safe, challenging, and joyful classrooms and schools 
(K-8). Practical strategies bring together social and academic 
learning throughout the school day. Week-long institutes provide 
an immersion experience in Responsive Classroom practices, with 
grade-specific groups of 20 to 30 teachers.

Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop
July 14-21 * Chautauqua, New York
This highly-acclaimed conference includes powerful whole-group 
seminars, small workshops, one-on-one sessions, and a host of 
informal activities to put writers in close touch with many 
mentors. This year's faculty includes authors Bruce Coville and 
Joy Cowley.

Please send comments and questions to Chuck Lerch, Newslinks 
Editor, at  or call (800) 988-9812.

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