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Cross Connections Literacy Network

June 21, 2012

The Arts and Literacy

The Maine Department of Education has sponsored two literacy networks during the past six years-the Literacy Leaders Network and the Maine Content Literacy Network. Both of these networks were developed as part of grant initiatives.  In an effort to consolidate the best practices from both networks and expand the network to serve educators statewide across the K-12 span, a new literacy network is being planned for the 2012-13 school year. This network will continue to serve as a professional learning network focused on literacy practices that support learning across content areas.  The purpose of the literacy network will be to provide K-12 educators with a professional learning community focused on content literacy strategies that will:

  • Build capacity for educators to engage in reflective study around literacy practices that benefit content area teaching and learning;
  • Promote ongoing literacy learning and sharing among professionals across content areas from across Maine; and
  • Increase achievement of all students through improved literacy instruction across content areas.

The network will be operated regionally across the state, utilizing both face-to-face networking sessions and online webinar sessions. Local sites will be organized to support educators from the K-5 or 6-12 grade spans. Participants will also select topics on which to focus their learning from a variety of literacy-related strands. The literacy strands will support the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Literacy Across the Disciplines, and will include both content area focused strands (e.g. science, social studies, math, etc.)  and general literacy strands (e.g. text complexity, writing instruction, and word study) that meet the needs of K-12 educators. Network participants will be able to select 2-4 literacy strands on which to focus their study throughout the year (1-2 in the first half of the year and 1-2 in the second half of the year).  Face-to-face sessions will alternate with webinar sessions, and use of an online networking platform, MaineLearning.net, is also planned.  The tentative schedule for the literacy network during 2012-13 is:

  • Oct.—Face to face Session 1—Introduction, Setting the Stage, Getting Organized
  • Early Nov—introduction to technology online session (optional)
  • Nov/Dec-Webinars—Literacy Strands Round 1—Session 1
  • January-Webinars—Literacy Strands Round 1—Session 2
  • February Face to Face Session 2—Sharing applications of Webinar Strands from Round 1
  • March Webinars—Literacy Strands Round 2—Session 1
  • April Webinars—Literacy Strands Round 2—Session 2
  • May Face to Face Session 3—Sharing applications of Webinar Strands from Round 2 and Closure

The Maine Department of Education is currently seeking educators who would be interested in serving as local site facilitators and/or as webinar developers/facilitators.  Facilitator for local level sites and webinar developers/facilitators will be provided with stipends for their work and their travel will be reimbursed. The job descriptions for these roles are listed below:

Onsite Local Facilitators

Traits of Facilitators

  • Strong facilitation skills
  • Strong organization and management skills
  • Preference for strong literacy and/or content area knowledge

Responsibilities

  • Attendance at MDOE training sessions for facilitators
  • Communication with site participants about meetings
  • Communication with site contacts about facility set up and AV needs
  • Preparation for 90 minute face-to-face networking sessions
  • Facilitation of 90 minute on-site face-to-face sessions
  • Record keeping for onsite contact hours

Webinar Content Developers and Webinar Facilitators

Traits of Developers/Facilitators

  • Strong knowledge of content area and/or literacy topics
  • Experience developing and delivering professional learning to educators
  • Strong facilitation skills
  • Strong organization and management skills
  • Leadership abilities
  • Preferred—experience using technology as a platform for delivering professional learning

Responsibilities

  • Attendance at MDOE training sessions for webinar developers/facilitators
  • Development of content for 60 minute literacy strand webinars (2 per webinars per strand)
  • Facilitation of 60 minute strand webinars (2 per strand)

For additional information, please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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