#RUoS #TCRWP #SOL15: “We Are Readers”

Did you know there is a Twitter Festival this week and next?

twitter festival

#TCRWP #RUoS at 7:30 ET

Ten glorious days of twitter chata about the Reading Units of Study (#RUoS) from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (#TCRWP) meet Slice of Life 15 (#SOL15) amid a hashtag pileup!

The first two chats about kindergarten units are complete and I’ve learned a lot.

DISCLAIMER:  I have the first grade units and am just beginning my study of those.  I did have both the pleasure and privilege of beginning my first grade unit study with Liz Dunford Franco during the July TCRWP Reading Institute.  I’ve been reading in the units during the last month but I’m still a novice!

What have I learned?

“I used to think . . . but now I . . .”

I used to think that kindergarten teachers had to deal with management and teach the routines FIRST, but now I know that students engaged in powerful and interesting information texts and story books are capable of self-management and the students CAN actually learn more during workshop when the materials connect to their passions.

I used to think that sending home guided reading “D” books (Kindergarten end of year targets) was the best way of sharing goals with parents, but now I know that parents must first be grounded in “great stories” so they understand that reading is meaning-making and not “racing through the levels”.

I used to think that the same topic/genre for reading workshop and writing workshop simultaneously would be too great a cognitive load for students, but now I now that I can check for transfer from one time of day to another when students are working in the same genre and also build deeper connections with multiple teaching points across the day.

I used to think that formal assessments coupled with teacher observation data were a great balance, but now I know that the way we frame the “assessment task” contributes to either the fixed or growth mindset of the students and is actually more critical than the type of assessment used.

I used to think that focusing on the end of the year target kept us grounded in our goals, but now I know that the learning target is an important factor that must not be allowed to cause an “OVER” focus on the end goals to the extent that we forget / miss what is happening in front of our eyes.

I used to think that there were some basic things that students really needed to learn before literacy instruction began, but now I know that a growth mindset will have a greater impact on perseverance and stamina than any skills work!


Specific tweets that I want to remember from our chat!

natalie we are readers begin

natalie pitfalls

natalie two

natalie three

natalie four

natalie five

natalie six

natalie seven

Can you match the tweets to my “learning” above?

What is your understanding of the “Reading Units of Study” (RUoS)?

Which twitter festival nights match your grade level interests?  

How are you growing and learning?


Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

12 responses

  1. I have so enjoyed learning via your learning this summer! I am piloting the UoS this year and have really benefitted from your time at Teachers College! I look forward to reading what the 3rd grade teachers have to say next week. Thanks for sharing your thinking (and changed thinking).

    1. Erika,
      Some days I feel like my feet are sinking into the sand as my thoughts and beliefs change; but then I am grateful for the fact that “knowledge” shapes those changes – not just the wind!

      You are welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I admit that I am not part of the Twitter community. Never got brave enough to give it a try. I really like the “I used to think…but now I…” format of your post. I always find your posts to be extremely informative and filled with good practical ideas and examples.

    1. I “lurked” for years without ever tweeting so I understand that. It’s a whole world of PD that is amazing (though sometimes must be totally ignored).

      Thanks – I like the “used to , but now I” format. I often use it for closing PD when looking for change from participants.

      And double thanks for the “practical” as that is my GOAL! ❤ ❤

  3. This was such a great reminder, Fran, of making sure we are reflective about our practice and our growth. My own PLN has grown tremendously since finally taking advantage of Twitter in the last few months or so – makes me wonder what took me so long! I also like the “I used to think… but now I think…” prompt you followed because that type of reflection is what I’ve been doing a lot lately. I may have write a blog post similar to yours with my own learnings. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Tricia,
      Love your “What Matters” posts every day! So much learning available to everyone between Twitter, blogs, etc.

      Proof positive that we can all reflect in order to GROW!

  4. I was lucky to be in one of Natalie’s advanced sections last week. My brain is full to bursting! Will hopefully share some insights next week. Natalie’s tweet about getting to know our students through their nonfiction choices makes so much sense!

    1. Catherine,
      Right now, I feel so “behind” in reading. Liz Dunford Franco was amazing in July but I’ve just not worked enough with those lower grade levels and I obviously need more than a week’s worth! I’m looking forward to seeing what you write!

  5. Great post Fran! While this is kindergarten, all of the idea apply to upper grades. Love this — “meaning-making and not ‘racing through the levels’ ” So important. Thank you! Thank you!

    1. Julieanne,
      It sure all applies across the grades. I feel woefully “behind in reading” so the “festival” of chats is helpful. So much to do with being “back to school”!!!

  6. Thanks for keeping us in the loop & wrapping up the big ideas. I’m so bummed I missed tonight’s chat (was out). But will be following the rest of the week! Am passing this on to our kinder teachers. They just got the RUOS … Can’t wait to dig in.

    1. You are welcome, Mary! So much wisdom and TLC for Readers in the new RUOS! What great learning for the kiddos!

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