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Customizing the Instructional Ladder With Students in Mind: Exemplary Modules from IU13 Educators

Literacy Design Collaborative
September 3, 2014

Please join us in congratulating these exemplary educators from Pennsylvania for their LDC modules, which have been reviewed by members of the national LDC jurying team and rated exemplary: 

Beth Ann E. Sahd Lindsay M. Sigman:
American Dream: Reality, Promise or Illusion?  

Meagan I. Brockway & Curtis E. Martin
Calculating the Costs: Atomic Bombs in 1945 

Their modules have been included in LDC CoreTools and are available across our national community of practice to help other teachers improve their practice and lead students across the country to academic success.

Valuing Teacher Expertise in Curriculum Design

Literacy Design Collaborative
August 27, 2014

When I meet students at the beginning of the school year I ask them to consider the opportunities they have for the next 10 months. What alliances will they form? How might they contribute to school culture? Which aspects of their personalities, which talents and skills, might be revealed for the first time? What frustrating nut of learning might they be able to crack?

Teachers also need to consider the possibilities that lie ahead. If we are lifelong learners, we are constantly evolving, growing, and adapting. The education profession is ever-changing, as evidenced by the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Teachers have an opportunity to revisit instruction through new lenses, with the purpose of better preparing students for the rigors of college and employment and the challenges of citizenship.

Curriculum design has always been one of my favorite aspects of teaching, one that I connect to the fashion world. I draw the ensemble, develop the pattern that will create it, and hand the pieces to my students, who are tasked to stitch them together and create a collection that is worthy of an educational runway. With the advent of CCSS, curriculum development now takes center stage.

New LDC CoreTools Feature: Aligning Your Module to the Jury Rubric

Rob Kasher
August 25, 2014

Since LDC and the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE) first introduced the Jurying Rubric for LDC Modules and the LDC Communit

How Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

Barb Smith
August 25, 2014

The summer months provide educators with an opportunity for renewal, reflection, and relaxation. Sunny days and a more relaxed pace give us the chance to catch our breath, take stock, and plan to begin anew.


Each fall is a fresh new start and I’m wildly optimistic about helping students achieve their aspirations.

Over the next few weeks, let us know about your LDC summer learning. How did you engage with LDC on your summer vacation and how will this school year be enhanced as a result? Tell us! 

Read on to find out how educators at the National Literacy Project (NLP) spent their summer vacation collaborating to produce 137 new LDC modules!

Special Back-to-School Offer at This Weekend

Literacy Design Collaborative
August 22, 2014

Spread the word! For three days, from August 22 to August 24, 2014, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will fund 50% of projects if the general public donates the remaining amount. The Gates Foundation is contributing $1,000,000 to support projects on, an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.

LDC Is Simple, but Not Easy: Takeaways From the Atlanta Training Institute

Mary Lynn Huie
August 21, 2014

Georgia coaches attending the Coaches' Training Institute left this very intense week of workshops even more committed to using LDC to improve education in their regions. The first full day of the institute focused on how lessons from Disciplinary Literacy can improve LDC work.

Coaches Enhance Their Expertise at LDC National Training

Literacy Design Collaborative
August 19, 2014

More than 56 educators hailing from multiple states converged in Atlanta August 4–7 to participate in the first LDC Coaches’ Training Institute hosted by LDC National. Intense yet invigorating, the institute consisted primarily of working group sessions that enabled participants to both learn with and from each other.  

SREB Nashville Conference Highlights

Jeannie Sharkey
July 29, 2014

A big thank-you to LDC community members who participated in sessions hosted by the LDC National Team during the SREB College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference and the High Schools That Work Conference in Nashville earlier this month. We hope that you found these sessions—which focused on a variety of topics, including LDC research, LDC CoreTools, jurying, mini-tasks, teaching tasks, LDC in the elementary school, and the national LDC organization—useful and informative.

Beta Elementary Rubrics Now in LDC CoreTools

Suzanne Simons
July 28, 2014

Have you been using LDC in K–5? Are you looking for common language to think about student work in your LDC implementation? Have you been using modules or mini-tasks as common assignments and want to have a way to calibrate across classrooms? If so, we have good news: Beta elementary rubrics are now available in LDC CoreTools!

Meet the Newest LDC Staff Member

Literacy Design Collaborative
July 28, 2014

Meet Barb Smith, the newest additon to the LDC National staff. The LDC Manager of Professional Development and Partners, Barb is passionate about improving teaching and learning. Equally comfortable debating the legacy of Aslan versus Dumbledore with students or engaging in task development with a virtual workgroup, she has led continuous improvement efforts from first grade to college. Prior to joining LDC, she led LDC projects through Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, a Pennsylvania education service agency. She was a member of the state technical assistance team and a data liaison for the Striving Reader’s Grant. Barb holds a B.A., an M.Ed., a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility, and certificates in Reading, Curriculum and Instruction. She is a doctoral candidate at Alvernia University, working towards a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies. Barb loves to cook, travel, read, spend time outdoors, and practice boxing and yoga.

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