Wonders Issue 5                                         

McGraw-Hill Education | <em>Wonders</em> - Every Student is a Success Story

Educator Newsletter
Issue 5, Spring 2021
Wonders News!

Hello, Wonders Community—

Time is flying—we’ve reached spring! With summertime just around the corner, you’re probably thinking about everything that needs to happen to wrap up the school year – and possibly wondering about what this summer and fall will have in store for you and your students.

Before we look ahead, we encourage you to take a moment to reflect on everything you’ve accomplished this school year. You’ve modeled resilience and flexibility teaching during a global pandemic. You’ve expressed creativity and thoughtfulness connecting with your students in new ways. There’s a lot for you and your kids to be proud of, so make time to celebrate—and to relax.

In this issue, we are sharing some info on hot topics and ways to prepare for the end of this school year and back to school time, including some “hidden gems” in Wonders.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

- The Wonders Team.

Getting Ready for Summer
We reached out to our Wonders curriculum specialists to ask them for their pro tips and “hidden gems” that can increase student engagement as we wrap up the year, help prepare for the new year, and start the new school year with something fresh! Here are three of their suggestions:
  • Be a collector! As you create or find activities and resources over the summer (or anytime, really!), upload them into the “My Files” section in the Resource Library. From there, you can drag them right into your presentation and the files will stay there for you. You can even assign activities straight from the “My Files” section using the gear icon. My Files supports a variety of file types, including: .jpg, .gif, .png, .pdf, .txt., .ppt, .xls, .doc, .flv, .mp3, .wav, .m4v, and .swf.
    TIP: For best results, make sure the file name does NOT include spaces.
  • Start a digital class discussion board: One easy way to get students involved in the digital workspace is to use the Talk About It feature, under the Writing tab. In this virtual class discussion board, you can pose a question and students respond and can interact or piggy-back off each other’s answers. Take it to the next level by incorporating SEL topics; for example, pose a question sparking a chat around kindness, then attach a text that supports the topic or extend with a writing prompt
    TIP: Turn on the moderate button to ensure responsible digital citizenship, and check out the Character Lab SEL guidance document for your grade to identify related SEL competencies for discussion: Resources > Resource Library > Back to School Support Resources > Social Emotional Learning.
  • Put a new spin on spiral review. We often hear that Week 6 opportunities for reviewing and extending learning in the Reading/Writing Companion get overlooked. Check out Week 6 for Spiral Review (Show What You Learned and Extend Your Learning) and Connect to Content activities. The Workstation Activity Cards are also a great way to provide fun and meaningful practice as a spiral review at the end of the year.
Remote, Hybrid, In-Person?
Most schools are going back to in-person learning for Fall 2021, but many are offering a hybrid model to support teachers and students who aren’t comfortable going back into the building full-time. Remote learning is going to be with us for a while, and we’ve got some new Professional Development videos to help you make the most of your screen time for the rest of this year and as needed next year.

Go to Resources > Professional Development > Classroom Videos > Remote Lessons and you’ll find videos on how to plan instruction and facilitate student collaboration during remote instruction. As always, you’ll find Classroom Videos modeling Wonders lessons in the physical classroom addressing foundational skills, writing, small group instruction, and more!

The Back to School Support Resources in ConnectED will be here for you next year! We’re already working on updating these supports to help you in the 21-22 year, so stay tuned! If you haven’t seen them yet, you’ll find them under Resources > Resource Library > Back to School Support Resources.
What is the Science of Reading?
If you ask a dozen educators how they define the Science of Reading, you’ll probably get a dozen different answers. This concept is incredibly important and can be incredibly complex and overwhelming. The bottom line is that evidence for the Science of Reading is found in research-based practices that are proven to help kids learn to read—not in any single book or program.

Wonders lead author Dr. Tim Shanahan has written a short paper called “Straight Talk on the Science of Reading” to help us unpack what this term means, what science says about reading, and where evidence can be seen in Wonders.

Get some straight talk!

Don’t forget that Wonders includes several resources that provide you with the research behind the routines and practices in Wonders: the Instructional Routines Handbook, the Research Base Alignment, and author videos. Use your ConnectED search feature, or follow these click paths:
  • Resource Library > Professional Development > Instructional Routines
  • Resource Library > Professional Development > Research Base and Whitepapers
  • Resource Library > Professional Development > Author & Coach Videos
Inspired Ideas
Visit our blog, Inspired Ideas. You’ll discover stories from educators, strategies from experts in reading instruction, and news from learning scientists and edtech experts. Here are three highlights to explore:
  • Teaching Smarter with Learning Science Research: Check out part 1 of our Learning Science 101 series, where we break down concepts like “cognitive load theory” through quick animations to help you understand and bring those concepts into practice!
  • Character Lab Playbook for Social Intelligence: Our friends at Character Lab have shared their latest playbook to help you model, celebrate, and enable social intelligence in your classroom and in life.
  • Protecting Student Data from Cyberattacks: Many of us spent much more time online this past year than ever before, including students. Our Chief Information Security Officer provides guidance on protecting our students’ data and ours.
  • The Other Side of Social Emotional Learning: Culture, Identity, and Community Concepts of Teaching and Learning in K-12 Education. Dr. Fiona Vernal shares ideas for connecting SEL, ELA, and social studies for a truly cross-curricular learning opportunity.
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In Your Own Words
Do you have a success story, an "a-ha" moment, or advice for other teachers you’d like to share? We’d love to feature it! Email us at wondersnews@mheducation.com and it could be in our next newsletter.

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And remember to share how you use Wonders in your classroom and tag #ReadingWonders.

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