#iareads: Adventure Awaits … Day 2

Friday started early with two session with Lucy Calkins. Great thanks to the BookSource/Capstone/Heinemann reps for the early bird breakfast video session with Lucy. We were able to ask questions and gather TCRWP thinking about fall 2021 student needs and plans to meet them.

And then there was the three hour session with Lucy Calkins, “Revisiting the Essentials of Writing Workshop”. The program said,

In this interactive session, Lucy Calkins, Founding Director of the renowned Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, will help you to revisit the essentials of writing workshop. The writing workshop can be the heart of your whole day—a time when you and your kids come together in a vulnerable, cohesive, beautiful learning community. Lucy will review the methods of writing workshop and discuss how to apply those methods as you teach the three kinds of writing—narrative, information, and argument. You’ll leave this session feeling inspired and ready to engage with your students in powerful, in-person writing workshops this fall.

#iareads program, June 18, 2021

Lucy began with a short keynote from the heart. `

And then with a panel of “workshoppers,” Lucy led a conference room through the essentials of writing as well as many opportunities to strengthen and polish our writing workshop practices.

Writing Non-negotiables:

The bottom line conditions for effective writing instruction are, then:
• Writing needs to be taught like any other basic skill, with explicit instruction and ample opportunity for practice.
• Children deserve to write for real purposes, to write the kinds of texts that they see in the world and to write for an audience of readers.
• Writers write to put meaning onto the page. Children invest themselves in their writing when they choose topics that are important to them.
• Children deserve to be explicitly taught how to write.
• Children deserve the opportunity and instruction to cycle through the writing process.
• To write well, children need opportunities to read and to hear texts read, and to read as writers.
• Children need clear goals and frequent feedback.

Calkins, L. A Guide to the Writing Workshop: Intermediate Grades. Heinemann (link)

So much to think about when reflecting on our writing instruction:

daily time to write,

writing on topics of student choice,

remembering that our compliments should last for THIRTY years,

how our expectations build on previous learning

and that We, the adults, also must be readers and writers.

Thank you, #iareads for this huge chunk of time supporting writing!

Sarah Brown Wessling also had two sessions on Friday.

The first was “Fighting Fake Reading with Empathy and Truth-Telling”.

Getting students to read may be one of the greatest challenges teachers have and one of the greatest gifts we can ultimately impart on our students. In cultures where assessment and accountability can be used to rank, sort and shame, there’s another approach to working with resistant and fake readers (which usually are very different students). Enter empathy and truth-telling. Together we’ll learn how to have honest conversations with our students about reading and how those interactions may be the pathway to creating readers.

#iareads, Friday, June 18, 2021

During Sarah’s session I was able to reflect on some of the ideas from Pernille Ripp on Thursday and apply them to HS students. How and when are WE REALLY reading? How do we know? How do we reduce the “stressors” that cause fake reading? How do we build the trust that allows students to be honest?

Time to talk with a partner really helped build community and that “we are not alone in silos” shared beliefs and values.

And our essential question was provocative: What does learning look like? For those ELA teachers using whole class novels, Sarah challenged the audience to consider:

If you’re teaching whole class text:


Why this one?

Why this time?

Does everyone really need to read this?

Sarah’s second session was “We’ve Taught Through COVID, Now What Did We Learn?”

Growing isn’t easy. By that measure we certainly all grew a lot in the last year, teaching through COVID. In this session, we’ll examine some teaching practices that got us through it and what we can learn from them as we prepare for the year ahead. Come ready to react, reflect and recharge.

#iareads, Friday, June 18, 2021

Survival . . . what are the “degrees” of survival? How does it manifest itself in life? This will make you stop and think. Aron Ralston (link here)

How does survival manifest in our teaching lives?

What were we quite happy to let go of?

What do we want to protect?

What did we learn?

Hats off to Sarah for two great learning experiences involving truth, trust and reflection (2010 National Teacher of the Year. link)

It was a fabulous adventure on Friday with Lucy Calkins and Sarah Brown-Wessling at #iareads!

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