LDC Strategies Reflect Best Practices

Robin Gore

The Southern Regional Education Board has worked with thousands of teachers since 2010 to use Literacy Design Collaborative planning frameworks to develop literacy-based assignments in schools and districts in 38 states. These teachers have remarkable stories to tell about how the literacy and assignment strategies engage and motivate their students to learn.

Robin Gore is a national Board-certified high school English teacher with 22 years of experience. Along with her colleagues at Columbus Career and College Academy in Whiteville, North Carolina, she is training in a three-year Literacy Design Collaborative program, which she describes as “the perfect synthesis of the best practices that I have learned.”

Gore is no stranger to professional development experiences. But this one is different. This is her story:

Putting It All Together  

Now, I do realize that your organization didn’t just create [LDC] for me, but it almost feels like that is what happened. You see, I knew about backwards planning; the importance of authentic writing assignments with opportunities for multiple drafts, peer review and self-evaluation, scaffolding, collaboration, and the implementation of literacy strategies throughout units of study. I knew about all of these methods for years. I just never saw it all work together. That’s the beauty of LDC, which is why I feel it was designed with people like me in mind.

Since using LDC, I have had my students write public service announcements, appellate briefs, book and movie reviews, and English 111 (college-level) type essays along with mock mini-epics, stories, poetry, essays, research papers and responses to literary criticism. The writing in my class is more challenging; however, students are more successful with their writing than ever because of the purposeful scaffolding throughout each unit (or module) of study. 

Everything Matches and Has a Purpose

In my experience before LDC, Socratic seminars did not lead to a writing task that sets the focus for the unit. Group presentations were the end of the unit, not the anchor for purposeful writing. A trial of a character was simply that, a fun activity. Now these types of assignments fit into the structure of the class. Everything matches and has a purpose. LDC led to this improvement in my classroom instruction, and for that, I am grateful.

I plan to use LDC for the rest of my teaching career, and it is my sincere hope that other English teachers do, too, because I want your organization to flourish, and honestly, I want to continue to be able to benefit from being able to see other educators’ ideas. 
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