To jump-start the beginning of the school year, the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) has released seven back-to-school mini-task collections that give teachers instructional items they can add to their arsenal of worthwhile resources.
For those of you unfamiliar with LDC, it’s a community of educators who are using a teacher-designed framework to create literacy-rich assignments. The collections in this new release include the works of contributors from across the nation who thrive on creating worthy learning experiences for students. So what’s in this back-to-school set of collections, you ask? Let’s dive in.
Collections for Elementary Students
A couple of years back, LDC, which was once targeted for secondary grades, opened up its templates to include elementary grades — a much needed action. A collection for grades K-3 and a collection for grades 4-6 include mini-tasks that address skills such as comparing and contrasting characters, engaging in discussions, developing text-based questions, and others that give elementary teachers access to vetted lessons for children in the early to middle grades.
Collections for Secondary Students
Big kids need support in developing and strengthening skills, too, so they can dive deeply into texts, speak and listen to each other effectively, and write responses to texts that meet or exceed expectations. The 6-12 Literature (ELA) collection is a gold mine of tasks that address skills targeted for secondary students. Need to support your young people in character studies or collaborative discussions? This collection contains mini-tasks for those needs, as well as literacy strategies that extend beyond the ELA classroom, such as annotating texts, taking notes, and identifying central ideas in texts.
Collections for Content Areas
Content teachers can breathe a sigh of gratitude when they see the mini-task collections for science and social studies classrooms. As a former science teacher, I can truthfully say that I feel excited when the content areas are brought to the table in discussions about disciplinary-specific literacy skills. Students need to learn skills in the content area classroom that put them in the mode of thinking like a scientist or historian if they are to be truly college and career ready.
Collections for Everyone
That’s not all, folks! Also included in this back-to-school release are collections that fit the needs of classrooms across grade-level bands and disciplines. The annotation and notetaking collection includes mini-tasks for all grade levels that help students make sense of texts and extract important ideas from the readings. The close reading min-task collection promotes the deep dives into texts that teachers crave; deep dives that allow students to generate their own claims and connect texts to the world around them.
Having access to these new collections is great and all, but I want to think about how teachers can customize and edit these tasks for use in their individual classrooms. A great feature of LDC Core Tools is the ability to save a mini-task to your own library, and once it’s in your library you can edit the task. Here’s how it’s done:
- Click the three dots on the right side of the banner and select “copy mini-task.”
- Click the button labeled “copy mini-task” when the dialog box pops up.
- Click the button labeled “go to my copy” and voila! A copy of the task is now in your library. Click on the pencil icons next to each section of the mini-task to edit.
Sharing collections is another practical way of ensuring that teachers have access to great lessons, in addition to everything else that LDC has to offer. How are you planning on using the new Back-to-School mini-task collection on LDC.org? Share your ideas in the comments section below, and let’s keep the sharing going!
Shelia D. Banks is an instructional coach and school support specialist in public schools in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.