Literacy is Lorie Schaefer's number-one goal. To that end, Schaefer -- a reading specialist and confessed "idea hamster" -- is constantly looking for ways to put ideas in front of the teachers she works with. Among the tools she uses is a weekly literacy tip, published in her principal's school bulletin. Included: A dozen Schaefer "LitTips!"
"Somebody called me an 'idea hamster' yesterday," said Lorie Schaefer. The comment caused Schaefer to pause. Was that a compliment or not?she wondered.
We'll give Schaefer the benefit of the doubt. The comment must have been a compliment, because the ideas that Schaefer is "hamstering" are aimed at improving student literacy!
As literacy coordinator at Al Seeliger Elementary School in Carson City, Nevada, Schaefer is always searching for ways to incorporate literacy into her teachers' day-to-day school routines. Among the tools she uses to accomplish that are what she calls "LitTips."
You've heard of "60- second fairy tales"? Then you might think of LitTips as "16-second teacher in-services." Or, as Schaefer calls them, "painless professional development"!
LIT TIPS, FOR EXAMPLE
So how would you know a LitTip if you walked into one?
LitTips take many forms, but they are easily recognizable as lessons in literacy.
- A LitTip can be a pointer that students can use to improve their reading, writing, spelling, or listening skills.
- It can be an ever-so-brief summary of some recent research that might interest teachers.
- It can be a quick activity that busy teachers can work into their classroom lessons.
- It can be a little snippet of philosophy that can refresh weary teachers.
In short, LitTips are little hints served up to remind teachers that literacy is goal number one.
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