#ILA15: Day 1 Treasure Trove

Using Assessment to Understand, Instruct, and Engage Our Readers

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan

I was literally “Star Struck” with Jan Burkins, Jennifer Serravallo, Lynne Dorfman and Rose Capelli in the room.  It was packed with many folks sitting on the floor around the edges of the room.

What an absolute TREAT to spend two hours with the authors of this book!


Click on the book to go to Stenhouse to preview the text. Use the back arrow to return to the blog post.

Clare and Tammy began by sharing about their work with teachers in New England. They ask district folks to think together and not purchase anything besides REAL books. They agree with ILA that the most innovative tool out there is Teachers!

Think of the song, “It’s all about the bass”.  You’ve probably also heard it as, “It’s all about the books”.  I believe that Clare and Tammy would rewrite that as: “It’s all about the kids.”

  • “At the end of the day, it’s about teachers having time to live and think and look into the eyes of the kids.”

Three Things We Know for Sure

1. Assessment is more than a number.

2. Assessment and instruction are inseparable.

3. Our instruction can meet high standards and still be developmentally appropriate.

Clare and Tammy engaged us with a story about Timmy (data rich and information poor) that is included in their book.  At the lab school, anything and everything had been tried with Timmy but he was now in second grade and nothing was working.  He wasn’t a happy camper because he was quite frustrated.  After a blowup and then time to calm down, here’s what he said, in his own words, in this slide “Missing the Story”.

Screenshot 2015-07-19 07.03.27

See Timmy knew that he didn’t know how to read and in fact had overheard others say that he NEVER would learn to read. Simply by ASKING Timmy and including him in the work of “learning to read”, Timmy was already on his way!

Six months later, this is what Timmy wrote (captured on this slide titled “The Diagnosis is Often in the Story”).

Screenshot 2015-07-19 07.12.34

How do we involve students in assessments?

When do we ask them what’s happening? When do they matter?


Teachers matter!

Kids Count!

We watched videos, talked about what we saw, discussed assessments and thought about how data is really a four letter word and that sometimes we MUST focus on the qualitative data that tells so much more than JUST the numbers!

*    *    *    *    *

The theme of “Kids count!”  “It’s all about the kids” played out through all my Saturday sessions.  I will write more later. It’s time to get started on today’s new learning!

but just  a hint . . .before I go . .

Do you REALLY know how funny Lester Laminack is?  Steven Layne?  More treasures to be shared!

And then an hour with Jennifer Serravello . . . What a day!

How was your “Learning Saturday”?

3 responses

  1. It is moments like this that captures the essence of joy in being a teacher!

    1. Absolutely! Love seeing so many literacy professionals giving their time, energy, thought, and care to learning on a weekend!

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