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Clay-Chalkville Middle's LDC Impact

Clay-Chalkville Middle's Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) Impact
Posted on 03/22/2016
This is the image for the news article titled Clay-Chalkville Middle's Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) ImpactLDC has completely revolutionized my lesson planning and the classroom experience for my students. I have stripped away the non-essential lessons and opted for more in-depth rigorous and meaningful lessons. My students are learning to communicate with one another via Socratic Seminar, debates and four corner strategies prior to writing. Gone are the days of five paragraph essays alone! Students are writing editorials, argumentative speeches and feature articles. Student apathy has decreased significantly and work ethic increases daily. 

Amanda K. McLaughlin
8th Grade English
Cohort I

My students are really buying in to what we are doing because they understand the point of it.  They know where we are going with each lesson, and are therefore driven to complete each assignment to the best of their ability.  I have really seen light bulbs go off with many of my students.  This creates success in the classroom, and then makes my students feel as though they can achieve more than they first believed.

A. K. Wood
8th Grade English Teacher
Cohort II


As an 8th Grade Physical Science teacher, LDC has been needed for such a long time in the World of Science. I have tried to teach them how to write in Science over the years, but it was not as effective as LDC. In the beginning, it was a lot of information to take, but I knew it would be beneficial. Once I had the chance to sit down and plan my first module, I became very excited! Of course, initially I had to hear a lot of griping and complaining from students. However, as we worked on the module each day, I enjoyed watching my students embrace the idea of writing in Science. I also explained how beneficial writing would be in college when they had to write a fifteen to twenty page paper. I have always tried to let the students become the facilitators, but often failed. I would always end up guiding the lessons unless it was an activity, in which they had to do their own work. LDC really helped me to see that students are capable of facilitating. I enjoyed listening to them discuss various topics as a group, and guide each other. One of my students told me that he enjoys my class now. I asked what’s different now? He said, we are able to do more talking as a group. His comment gave me goose bumps. Moving forward, I plan to structure my lessons so that the students are more of the facilitator than myself. LDC is a wonderful strategy that has been needed for a long time!

Latisha Lambert
CCMS 8th Grade Physical Science
Cohort III

The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) has been an exciting, fresh approach to integrating literacy into my science classroom. LDC has challenged me as a professional educator to incorporate reading and writing strategies directly related to my content area. Lessons are more structured and deliberate and provide a more meaningful and coherent approach to literacy. The principles of LDC are teacher friendly and provide students an opportunity for creativity and next-generation design. 

Mr. Dustin R. Hastings, M. A.
Grade 7 Life Science
Cohort II

LDC training has given me higher expectations of my sixth grade students. While many teachers might think sixth graders aren’t capable of writing in depth reports, essays, etc, my students have taken their learning and pushed themselves to form their own opinions and understandings of science. Students in my class can no longer rely on rote memorization but have to be able to fully understand and explain concepts like hurricanes, plate tectonics, and the effect of distance from the sun on each of the planets. Students are doing assignments that would regularly be seen in a high school if not college classroom in the sixth grade and blowing it out of the water. Instead of weekly quizzes, now we do weekly writing assignments where students take a DOK 2 or 3 level question and answer it using the Schaffer method format with at least one well-developed three chunk paragraph. 

I have been able to pull in ELA standards, writing standards, and math standards to teach cross-curricular lessons that bridge many gaps between classes. Students can take an essay they have written for me, edit and revise in language arts, and use their graphing skills from math to track hurricanes across the Atlantic and explain the importance of such skills.  My kids are excited about learning, and think they are getting to do something exciting that other sixth graders would not be capable of doing regularly. 

Kaitlin Bowman
6th Grade Science
Cohort I

The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) initiative has enhanced my writing lesson plans.  I have always incorporated the backward planning and close reading strategies in to my lessons; however, the LDC initiative has directed more of my attention to breaking down each step of the writing process daily and has increased the amount of non-fiction texts that I use in my classroom. The increased usage of non-fiction texts has allowed me the opportunity to teach across the curricular more often. The students are responding well and I forward to watching them experience academic success we continue working within the modules.  My ELA student teacher from UAB is benefiting from observing me implement the LDC modules as well.

Mrs. Kristin Cox, M.A., Ed.s.
Grade 7 English
Cohort II

The LDC has brought a greater collaboration amongst our disciplines.  By reading primary sources, discussing the issues, and then writing, my students were able to gain a greater understanding of their individual rights and responsibilities as an American citizen.  The student work has been successful, and demonstrating understanding of the objectives.  With the entire team of teachers on the same page, it gives the students a greater consistency.

Mr. Michael Rohr, M. A.
Grade 7 Social Studies
Cohort II