My #OLW stood me in great steed this weekend at #ILA18.
So much to see . . .
So much to do . . .
So much to learn . . .
But What’s the Point?
Back in the Dark Ages,
In the late 2oth Century!
I remember the value placed on
Whole-Part-Whole in education.
The goal was always LEARNING!
The intent was for ALL to be LEARNING!
After #ILA18 I feel that many empowered teachers have been set free in the universe to “change the world” and continue learning. We haven’t learned it all. There is a real need to continue to grow and build our knowledge base.
And that brings me to one of my Sunday sessions. We were learning about the Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts (4th edition) under the leadership of Diane Lapp and Douglas Fisher. It has 18 chapters. Chapters that could be used in schools for professional development.
18 Must Reads.
18 Invitational Conversations.
Exploring the tight connections between research and best supported practice that promotes literacy for every learner.
This was not a book available to purchase in the Exhibit Hall.
But could it? Dare it be a lens to consider best practices? A lens to consider What? How? or even WHY we do what we do in instruction?
In its entirety this is one side of a handout from a round table at that session . . .
8 Essential Components of Comprehensive Language Arts Instruction.
Any surprises for you?
As I reviewed the list, I found it quite interesting that this list of components included nine, or exactly half of the chapters. Curiosity, of course, won out. What on earth could the other nine chapters be about if this is “the list of components for instruction” and if THIS is the book for teachers to study.
So I was off researching.
In a classroom, I would have been in major trouble because I was on my computer and might have appeared to NOT be on task. But I was in search of more information. What is the other half of this book about? This book we should study? This book we should use? This 499 page book!
This post is titled “Why?” not to just allow me to pose my own questions but also to perhaps begin to develop some of my own theories. Why these eight components? Why do two of the eight (25%) not have chapter resources supporting them?
What are the “Whys?” that are circling in your brain?
What format will the chapter take?
Will there be recommendations of “amounts of time” per component?
Will there be “recommendations of additional resources”?
Were any teachers involved in updating this handbook?
Is there any support for how to put these 8 components into action?
Or how to “know” when the components are all aligned?
Will this text continue to treat each component as a separate silo? What about the reciprocity of reading and writing? How will we grow readers and writers?
Why this text now?
What’s so compelling about this text, right now, that this book should be a part of a district’s professional development?
It was a pleasure to hear much rich conversation around real reading and writing at #ILA18. Real, rich, robust reading that is NOT about single standard instruction or assessment. It’s actually quite refreshing to go back to the “Whole” of language arts instruction in reading, writing, speaking and listening that moves stedents to take action in the real world.
Doing school must end. It’s time to capitalize on any instruction that promotes high learning and engagement that challenges students without mind-numbing page after page of annotation, Cornell notes, and skills-based minute particles that can easily be googled. Why do adults think these decisions can be made without broader input from our communities?
If the whole is our entire language arts program
and the part is the eight components,
what “WHY?s” will you need answered before you can implement these 8 components?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.