Nutley Public Schools has engaged in an effort to increase student success with a readers' workshop language arts focus that enables young readers to read independently while acquiring crucial and enduring understandings of key reading concepts. Research shows that student engagement must be supported with opportunities and encouragement to persevere with learning in areas of high interest to encourage production of thought, goods and services to improve our world (Renzulli, 2012). This teacher leadership idea engages 5th and 6th grade teachers to link student interests with research skills and opportunities to create student anchor projects that extend reading and learning to the highest level of engagement by helping students to design personal and small group "impact projects." Impact projects will emerge from student developed research questions that will yield findings and projects that connect to the students' world. 5th and 6th grade teachers who are trained in using a readers' workshop program will link this training to support the development of students' ability to create research questions, engage in research and manage personal projects that will result in meaningful results for both the student and the community. This may mean that students read at their level within key areas of interest to discover the answers to their formulated questions. A process of discovery will be fostered by the teacher leadership team.
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