Tag Archives: Amanda Hartman

#TCRWP Reading: Takeaways Day 5


Amanda Hartman

Rev Up Your Teaching Muscles to Make Your Whole Group Instruction as Potent as Possible (Mini-lessons, Shared Reading, Read Aloud) (K-2)

Practice, practice, practice was the focus of our small group work.  Sometimes it was the role of the teacher. Other times it was the role of students.  Our workshop model provided multiple opportunities for practice in our groups with quick tips from Amanda. We always referred back to these criteria.

Powerful Whole Class Instruction for K-2 Students

  1. Clarity and Concise Language
  2. Engaging and Engaged
  3. Assess and Give Feedback
  4. Links and Skills (Strategies) to Independent and Partner/Club Work
  5. Opportunities for Oral Language Development “

 

Takeaways:

  1. “If Reading Workshop was the Olympics, I would have a gold medal in Read Alouds.”  AH
  2. “As you are reading aloud make sure that you have transferable skills for the unit that will TRANSFER to any book.  REPLICABLE!” AH
  3. “Try out a whole class conversation at the mid-point of the Read Aloud book. You do not have to wait for the end of the book!” AH
  4. I think “Think Alouds” are weird because lean and meaningful is hard! Getting students to think with you as well as help them know how and where to think is just not easy!!!
  5. Reading Workshop will follow the lead of the teacher.  There is room for engaging, fun, joyful, active, learning side by side with students!

 

Kathleen Tolan

Beyond Guided Reading: Expanding Your Repertoire of Small Group Work in Nonfiction (3-8)

Today we looked at more tools and saw a simple goal sheet for a first grader that listed 3 goals for Fiction and 3 goals for Informational texts.  Six goals for a first grader.  Six goals chosen by a first grader. Six goals written by a first grader.  Six goals. Attainable goals. Clear goals. Skills a first grader DOES need to work on.

Students at other grade levels CAN set their own goals.  Teacher expectations are critical.  Goals based on self-assessment of the progressions or some work with tools that lift the level of student writing is the right work.  The work could go more than one way.  Choices for students.  Choices for teachers. Choices!

Takeaways:

  1. Magic is coming back together – planned, taught, revised so it goes better – Now ready to go when need it again!
  2. Who is doing the work?  It needs to be the students!
  3. The job of the tool is to provide reminders so the student can do the work without an adult.
  4. A lean, clear Teaching Point makes the small group most effective.
  5. Have realistic expectations, consistent practice, and work towards multiple goals to maximize small group work.

 

Closing:

Singing

Reading

Sharing

Thanking,

The staff developers with a standing ovation

All the support staff

Special thanks to Tim and the tech support staff

Shanna, Brooke and Audra for their lead work

Kathleen Tolan for the oversight of all institutes

and then – the finale

A speech with one-liners, audience participation, singing, pictures . . . and all that jazz!

On Getting Good at Goodbye

(a found poem from Natalie Louis’s speech)

It all begins with a Hello

There is so much advice about how to begin

Goodbye is another thing.

Everything is a process

Meaning-making, problem-solving and in that order

Do note that I got to the title  – That’s a  craft move

Productive process

Everything begins with a goodbye . . . real powerful change

Need someone to “git-er” done and hold your heart

A partner can be the difference between crying alone in the corner or beginning that small group

When something is big and truly new, it is okay to approximate!

“Ish it!”

A moment of goodbye

Ready, Fire, Aim

Doing new teaching is the learning!

It takes a lot of slow to grow – I know!

We all come from places of the heart!

Getting good at goodbye . …

What are you getting good at?  

What life progressions have you studied?  

passion

Dear friends,

Any errors in reporting from #TCRWP are mine

This blog represents what I thought I heard . . .

It’s only one view of the learning

Filtered through my eyes and ears,

A fun-filled week of writing and a week of reading!

 

 

#TCRWP Reading: Takeaways Day 4


Writing about Day 4,

Anticipating how Day 5 will go,

Downloaded Nine, Ten.

Opened Nine, Ten.

Everyone will mention the same thing, and if they don’t, when you ask them, they will remember. It was a perfect day.”

Rush, Rush, Rush.

Pack, Toss, Go.

Downloaded Raymie Nightingale.

Opened Raymie Nightingale.

“There were three of them, three girls.”

Revise, Plan, Revise – Finish that homework.

Worry just a bit about the weight of the carry on suitcase.

Tweet about need for book 3 for flight.

Boarding pass screenshot saved in gallery.

Repack day/work bag.

What do I REALLY need for today?

Checking to see if there’s a long-lost “un-read” book on my kindle.

Procrastinating

Something about writing Day 4 post that seems too rushed . . .

Not ready for Day 5

It’s too soon . . .

The beginning of the end!

Enough!  What about Day 4?

Amanda Hartman

Rev Up Your Teaching Muscles to Make Your Whole Group Instruction as Potent as Possible (Mini-lessons, Shared Reading, Read Aloud) (K-2)

We brainstormed a list of all the things that could go wrong in shared reading and then came up with some solutions.  What fabulous work for a grade level PLC or vertical PLC?  How many different ways can we solve those recurring issues?   If we don’t have the solution, we can reach out and pose the question on Twitter or check into the topics of the weekly #TCRWP Twitter Chats!

Pace . . . speeding up our instruction, and adding a bit more enthusiasm and excitement did help meet the “Engaging and Engaged” criteria.  It’s not about being a “mini-Amanda”(which would be amazing!),  but it is about considering exactly which behaviors contribute to the success of a lesson.  So many ways to check in on students – thumbs up, turn and talk, act out, share outs – without slowing down to wait for 100% of the students!

Takeaways:

  1. Teaching students how to self-evaluate  is so important ~ Even on Day One in kindergarten!
  2. Lean teaching – less teacher talk and more student talk and work is critical – I already know it!
  3. Shared Reading – Use a story telling voice; not a point to every word boring voice!
  4. Not every Read Aloud book has a book introduction.  Don’t kill your Read Alouds. Know your purpose!
  5. Do you know Houndsley and Catina?  Such great characters with so many problems!

 

Kathleen Tolan

Beyond Guided Reading: Expanding Your Repertoire of Small Group Work in Nonfiction (3-8)

Today we saw some different options for note taking for small groups.  The key is to record the information that is vital for continuing on.  Did you check in on Joey? Ok? Not?  Quick notes – no complete sentences needed – that will keep the groups and you moving forward.

We also presented our series of three lessons and had some superb coaching that led to our revision assignment for tomorrow!  YAY, Revision!  Fixing and making stronger YET leaner! What a challenge. Not more words  . . . but more precise words! Clarity in the Teaching Point and Link!

But the amazing part was watching Kathleen, quite masterfully, run three different groups in the room at the same time in 12 minutes.  Simply amazing.  All three groups were working on different goals.  All three groups had some group and individual time with the teacher.  It did NOT seem rushed.  But yet there was a sense of urgency and a need to get busy and accomplish the work!

Takeaways:

  1. Written Teaching Points keep you focused!
  2. Try 2 simultaneous groups.  Assign locations and then get all students working on reading first!
  3. Know what your end goal is!
  4. Have your tools and texts organized with extras handy!
  5. Give it a go!  Nothing ventured; nothing gained!

Choice Session

Katie Clements

The Intersection of Guided Reading, Strategy Lessons and Book Clubs

Key Principles of Small Group Work:

  1. Kids do the heavy lifting.
  2. Small group work is flexible.
  3. Small group work is assessment – based. 
  4. Small group work is for EVERYONE. (so is independent work)
  5. Small group work empowers kids.  (set goals, work with partners, or lead own group)
  6. Small group work builds skills over time. (cannot master in 10 min.  – or expect transfer)

I loved creating this chart  (putting Katie’s info into the boxes) to compare the three types of small group instruction that we typically see in classrooms.  How are they alike?  How are they different?

Guided Reading Strategy Lessons Book Clubs
Who? Kids reading at or close to same reading level Kids who need help with the same skill, goal, or reading habit

Not level dependent

Kids who read at or near the same reading level
What? Teacher – selected texts

Slightly above independent reading level

Usually kids’ independent reading books Kids have limited choice over the books

Multiple copies of the same title

Why? Move kids up levels Help kids strengthen reading skills, goals, habits

Support transference

Deepen engagement

Deepen reading, writing, talk about books

Provide authentic reading experiences

How it goes? Book introduction

Kids read/teacher coaches responsively

Ends with conversation and a teaching point

Begins with a teaching point and brief teach

Kids try to do the work with teacher coaching

Ends with a link

Kids develop agendas for reading, thinking, jotting

Teachers coach in to support skill work and talk

Takeaways:

  1. Book clubs provide so much student choice and need to be used more frequently.
  2. Book introductions can definitely go more than one way – so helpful to SEE two different ones for the same book.
  3. Scaffold student work – figurative language can be found on this page that I have pre-posted for you. (Student finds word -Teacher has narrowed down to this page, and this one, and this one! – So smart!)
  4. All students reading before teacher starts coaching tends to lead to lean coaching. (Not answering task questions)
  5.  Think as you read.  When do you wish for a tool? Something to help you through a tricky part?  That’s what students need!

How important is community to adult readers?  To our novice readers?  

How do teachers practice enough to be “skilled” at their teaching/coaching craft?

 

 

#TCRWP Reading: Takeaways Day 3


And today’s theme across the day was:

fired up

Teachers,

Do what it takes to BUILD a community of Readers!

. . .

Amanda Hartman

Rev Up Your Teaching Muscles to Make Your Whole Group Instruction as Potent as Possible (Mini-lessons, Shared Reading, Read Aloud) (K-2)

Spending more time studying shared reading is definitely NOW on my “To Do” list for this summer as we heard (and experienced) the benefits of shared reading where the teacher has a large text (big book, chart, smart board, doc camera) that the teacher and students read chorally. The three basic purposes that we explored for shared reading were:  introduce a new text, reread a text, or as a warm-up text.  As with many reading components, the amount of time spent on shared reading can vary as long as students are ENGAGED!  And to learn that the time could be just five minutes here or there makes the plan to include shared reading so much easier!

The benefits for students are many.  The most obvious is that accuracy, fluency, and comprehension all improve with rereading so beginning approximations are celebrated.  Students are rereading with their friends so they have built in support from the teacher and fellow students. And shared reading helps build that sense of a community of readers in the classroom.

We participated in demonstrations and we demonstrated.  Just a few of the skills we considered:

  • guess the covered word
  • 1:1 correspondence
  • slide the word
  • the word begins with
  • the word ends with
  • rhyming word
  • clues from the picture
  • cross-checking print
  • retelling – comprehension
  • rereading for fluency – “let’s reread that together”
  • what do you predict next
  • look for patterns
  • build vocabulary

One book we used was Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  This shared reading could end with writing our own book.

______, _____ what do you see?

I see ______ looking at me.

 

If student names are on post its and the class practices reading this with their own names, they are also beginning to get in the repetitions needed for some sight words.  Will some be memorizing?  Of course!  It’s so important that auditory memory gets involved, but the teacher can, by pointing to the words, have students match her pacing!

Takeaways:

  1. Shared reading is a valuable use of readers’ time when students are reading!
  2. Interactions can include gestures and movements during shared reading.
  3. Text variety is important:  listening centers, You tube video with text or Raz kids.  You don’t have to wait until you have little copies of the text!
  4. Shared reading is a safe way for students to “join in” reading.  Not everyone’s voice will be heard the first time but the goal is to encourage student voices to become the voice heard in shared reading.
  5. Shared reading is fun, exciting, and joyful.  What a great way to sneak in a bit of content/holiday/fun that just doesn’t fit elsewhere!

 

Kathleen Tolan

Beyond Guided Reading: Expanding Your Repertoire of Small Group Work in Nonfiction (3-8)

I love that Kathleen starts a bit each day with the WHY we need to be doing this work.  And it’s all about “Just DO it”!  If instruction is responsive we need to have “way more conversations with our colleagues” in order to be more cohesive. “Responding to the needs of your students requires content knowledge and planning! (not showing off tools)”

For this reason, supervisors need to understand workshop and reading processes!  When they are in classrooms, they need to KNOW what they are seeing.  In repertoire teaching, the teachers also need to be specific.  You would hear the teacher say something like “I expect to see some of you doing . . . . and some of you will be doing the work of the lesson.”  Teachers need to be educating supervisors by setting up lessons for “repertoire” in connection and link.  “What’s one old way?  What’s one new way?  What are the two things you will do as a student?  (BRILLIANT!)

Two teaching methods that we worked with today were inquiry (fluency demo) and reminder – definitely coaching light!  We have to continue to know how to help students meet their goals and build the habits of readers.  Again this requires deep content knowledge.

Takeaways:

  1. Organize your small group materials. Have extra copies of all tools out for students with a student as “Tool Monitor”.
  2. Study the progressions with colleagues.  Develop the “cheat sheets” – four levels on a page to be cut apart.
  3. Reading notebooks have the evidence of work towards student goals.  That can be an index in the back.
  4. Make sure that a student does the work during small group time.  They have to be practicing and doing the work for it to transfer. And group time does mean LESS reading time!
  5. Celebrate what students CAN do!  Focus on the CANS! Celebrate all the things the readers CAN DO!  (They already know what they can’t do!)

Choice Session
Falling in Love with Close Reading in Nonfiction – Kate Roberts

Kate began with a bit of background about close reading. What it is. What it isn’t. How long we have been close reading – “since the monks were in caves with candle lights flickering trying to determine the meaning of the divine”.

Witty,

Articulate,

Planned,

Engaging,

Engaged . . .

Learning and

Laughing Together!

If you need background on Falling In Love with Close Reading, do go to Kate or Chris’s blog here.  It’s so NOT boring to do some close reading with Kate.

Process:

Lyrics for:  “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake  

Step 1. Listen to the song twice. What would my kids say the message or meaning is?            Listen again and make a vertical list of all the words or phrases in the song that speak to you and go with your current message.

Step 2. Sync up your list with a partner and look for patterns.  What words or phrases are the same?  Use this list of evidence to find patterns (This is the HARD work of close reading.)  Which words or phrases go together?  Color code!

Step 3. Think some more  – what is the message in this song?

Step 4. Transfer to written text.  Practice with nonfiction text.

falling in love

Takeaways:

  1. We do “close read” the things we love – pay attention and even “hyper attention” to those things we love. Let’s build upon that awareness/attention/attraction.
  2. Close reading should be fun and joyful.
  3. Close reading with a song or poem is a wonderful entry point.  It can’t be drudgery!
  4. Close reading is about beginning with the text for evidence.  Don’t leap to interpretation or “guessing” what someone / test writer wants!
  5. An act of close reading is taking the rough draft idea to a more interesting idea for  you!

Keynote  

Voice and Choice: Fostering Reading Ownership

Donalyn Miller

donalyn

This slide sums up much of what Donalyn Miller said to us.  I have so many responses to Donalyn’s presentation:  as a teacher, coach, mother, grandmother, and most of all, as a reader.

I listened to the heartbreak in her description of her daughter – an avid early reader – whose reading life diminished in middle school because “that’s just not so important here” to the joy of being at a Montana reading meeting when Sarah called her, “I just finished The Great Gatsby and I need to talk about it but Dad doesn’t remember it.”  

What harm is being done to students in the name of inappropriate actions, beliefs and practices?  Well-intentioned? Yes.  Mis-guided?  Yes.

To support you, go to Donalyn’s most popular posts.

“Guess My Lexile”

“No More Language Arts and Crafts”

 

“I’ve got research. Yes, I do. I’ve got research.  How about you?”

or to hear about books – The Nerdy Book Club!

Takeaways:

  1. To be better readers, kids need to read every day.
  2. Provide access to books that kids CAN and WANT to read.
  3. Access to books should not depend on teacher’s ability to fund his/her own library. “NO ONE asks the basketball coach to provide his own basketballs.”
  4. Books need to be mirror, windows, and doors to lead readers to connections.
  5. “We are in the hope business. Now more than ever there is a need for critical reading.  For a better world, send more readers out in the world.  It is never to be late to be a reader.”

How are you building communities of readers?  

What actions support your beliefs?  

What is your plan to build even stronger communities that love to read and choose to read?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#TCRWP Reading: Takeaways Day 2


The joy of Advanced Sessions is that you choose the topics you are interested in and then hope and pray that you get your first choice. I’m in my first choice sessions and they are exactly what I need for myself and for the teachers/buildings I work with.

However, my learning curve has been straight up this week.  And that intensity and upward knowledge increase has caused some mental confusion and had me thinking deeply about what I know, what I think I know and what I actually can DO myself!  Perfect learning . . . sometimes painful learning.

Amanda Hartman

What are the methods that we can use to teach our mini-lessons?

  • Demonstration
  • Guided Practice
  • Inquiry

And what details are most important?  It depends upon the purpose!  Inquiry can be the most engaging for the Teacher and also provide high engagement for students.  Guided practice works best when students need the practice and aren’t learning a “new – new” skill.

 

In two days, we have been reading, writing and teaching mini-lessons.  Some lessons we have read four times under Amanda’s directions.  We have, more than have half of us, taught our own mini-lesson to another table group in the room.  Our prep time has been minimal.  That’s been a good thing – we can’t obsess over perfection.

But we can quickly review our work through the lenses of Powerful Whole Group Instruction:

  1. Clarity and Concise Language
  2. Engaging and Engaged
  3. Assess and Give Feedback
  4. Links and Skills (Strategies) to Independent and Partner/Club Work
  5.  Opportunities for Oral Language Development

In two days, our teaching points are more explicit.  Our coaching is more specific.  On the spot feedback keeps us on track. Our mini-lessons are improving because of our partner work and our large group work!

Takeaways:

  1. A mini-lesson does not need to be fully scripted but it is helpful to have a plan that includes anticipating approximations.
  2. Why do my students need this lesson?  When I can list multiple reasons both the connections and the links are stronger.
  3. ONE, ONE, ONE teaching point.  Keep it simple silly!  ONE!
  4. What coaching can you plan for?
  5. Practice, practice, practice.  I loved that Molly’s lesson was like 5,000 times better than mine – such a great demonstration!   I need to see, hear, and teach MORE lessons!

 

 

Kathleen Tolan 

Kathleen began today with a story about playing cards in her family and then compared it to our small group work.

“Down and dirty”

Serious.

Take a risk.

Get in the game.

Do it!

Great words of advice for me!

We spent time on pacing.  Small groups often become bogged down when it’s about the teacher (which it isn’t)!  Teachers feel compelled to impart great wisdom and sometimes forget to listen and follow the lead of the students.  Again in this session, I had the privilege of coaching a demonstration lesson in a small group after four minutes of planning with a wonderful partner.  More than 4 minutes wouldn’t have made it better; I needed to teach it!  I envy friends who do teach more than one class in a day because, with practice, the lesson/coaching improves each time.  But sometimes you do just have to jump in and do it!

Kathleen challenged us to work smarter. If we meet in a grade level group or vertical groups with all the Units and a copier, we can create resources that will help us be prepared for small groups.

Example:

Perspective  – Where and what does this look like in first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade?  Copy the charts, any prompts onto resource pages.  Add a text to practice – Voila!

Practice turning a chart into a cheat sheet for students.  How would this look?

Study a mini-lesson on vocabulary.  How does this go in all the other grades?  Copy those charts – shrink them down so charts from three or four grades can be on the same page.

Practice, practice, practice.  You will be better at “responding to students” by responding to students.

Takeaways:

  1. Practice teaching in a small group is like going to weekly Toastmasters meetings.  Frequent practice will increase your confidence.
  2.  There is no ONE right method for small group instruction. Focus on what your students need.  Follow up with partner work and a second or third group meeting on the same content to ensure more practice.
  3. Sometimes we notice something else and go off a tangent.  Use the cheat sheet / resources to stay focused.
  4. Check your prompts. Are they transferable?  Or are they too specific?  (borrow them from the progressions)
  5. Practice time means the students are doing the work. Set the conditions. Let them work!  They, too, must do the work in order to become better, stronger, and more confident readers.

Mary Ehrenworth – What Readers Need

May began by asking us several questions to have us think about what defines our strongest readers. Then she said to consider that, “Potential avid readers are EVERYWHERE.  Think of those who could become AVID readers. Not just the readers who are already reading at the highest levels in our classrooms.  It’s all about expectations.  Some kids are just waiting to be recognized.  What if we don’t see them?

Alligton’s “What Readers Need” supports this work by providing the conditions:

  1. Access to books they find fascinating 
  1. Protected time to read
  1. Expert instruction.

 

And then thinking about the structures that will help more readers be extraordinary readers:

  • Choose books more purposefully
  • Series, series, series
  • Strong reader partnerships and club
  • Start informal social clubs around reading

Takeaways:

  1. 400 million kids read 4,000 pages in the Harry Potter series. Those students may have worked on their synthesis skills – How did Harry Potter change?  How did others’ perceptions of him change? Have you studied a series?
  2. We need to study our classroom libraries.  If my 5th grade library looks almost identical to the fourth grade collections there may not be many choices for students.
  3. We need MUST teach students how to find books everywhere so that they can always be reading because extraordinary readers DON’T just read for 30 minutes each day in class.
  4. Our classrooms need to be where our students flourish!  They can’t flourish in spite of us – after our assigned readings, after a book that takes 3-4 weeks to read as a whole class novel . . .
  5. Of the three conditions, which one do you need to work on?   Access to books they find fascinating? Protected time to read?  Expert instruction?   When will you start?

Matt de La Pena – Keynote

To have an autographed and stickered book;  yes, it is worth having more than one copy of this book.  Especially now.  Matt closed his speech Tuesday to the rapt attention of hundreds of teachers, administrators and even authors in Cowan Auditorium, by reading this book to us.

last stop

Matt inspired us with his story and his humility. He talked about his beginnings in National City (even asking who was from that area) and sharing that his Mexican-American heritage is not reflected in books.  Matt connected his growing up with two completely different sets of families was like “code switching” and also the impetus for this book.

mexican whiteboy

His ticket out of his neighborhood was basketball.  His message of needing more books that reflect our students’ culture is critical.  But his story of hope and aspiration is also important.  I, too, know what it was like to be the first graduate from a four year university in my family.  Education is powerful and sometimes we get there through totally unexpected paths.

What book did Matt read 12 times during his public school career? (If it’s good, why not reread rather than starting a new book?)

The House on Mango Street

What book did he read in two days while on a basketball out of town trip,  upon invitation by a college instructor, before he graduated?

The Color Purple

More on his books and his background can be found on his website here. While autographing my copy of Market Street, Matt mentioned that he was headed to Iowa for appearances in Ames and Cedar Rapids so I was especially pleased to read about a previous trip (2014) to Cedar Falls, Iowa here.  If you have not yet read his Newbery acceptance speech, it is here.

Takeaways:

  1. “Teachers and authors don’t often immediately see the results of their work.  Patience  . . . you will!”
  2. “Books do not include the diversity that reflects our kids!” Help kids find themselves in books!
  3. “You need to consider the possibilities in your self-definition.”  Don’t let your background limit you.
  4. “Some of the best books you will read will start out uncomfortable!”  Readers need to know this!
  5. “Books make me feel emotional.”  Books need to connect.  Books can be a lifesaver.  Find the books that connect.

What book(s) have been the inspiration or possibilities for you?  

How do you help students find those books/stories?  

How do you continue to “outgrow yourself” as a reader, thinker, or writer?

 

 

 

 

#TCRWP Reading: Takeaways Day 1


And so it begins  . . . this week I am attending the #TCRWP June Reading Institute and it’s off to an amazing start! This is what my brain felt like about 2 pm on Monday . . . with an hour and a half YET to go.

Exploding head

08 May 2001 — Exploding head — Image by © John Lund/CORBIS

WHY?

Information Overload!

Just plug that CAT 6 cable directly into my brain and let me power on all the assistance I can.  It’s going to be an exhilarating experience!

Lucy Calkins Keynote

Why do we read?  How does reading benefit us as a community?  How does the community benefit when we are readers?  These questions weren’t posed by Lucy but so many questions ran through my mind today during her “Call to Action.”

“We come from 38 countries and 41 states . . . 1300 of you to learn about teaching reading . . . to learn about yourselves . . . to learn from each other . . . From places in the heart . . .To say no . . . To say yes”

TCRWP isn’t just an event. It’s not about attending for a week, soaking up knowledge, returning home, and regurgitating that knowledge to a welcome (or unwelcome) audience.  TCRWP is about the community – face to face this week –  on Facebook and Twitter in the future and even on blogs like this between institutes and Saturday reunions.  If you take risks, are vulnerable this week, you will never be the same reader or teacher of reading in the future.  You will grow. You will stretch. You will fly. Empathy is built day by day.  We can and we must learn and understand by thinking ourselves into other’s places.

Takeaway Questions:

  1. How will you support your reading community?
  2. Maybe we need a new educational story.  To reach, to dream, to grow strong . . What do you need in order to grow yourself?
  3. How can you grow your own version of #TCRWP?  Your own nest?
  4. There’s important work to be done.  It will be hard work.  We as educators are asked to outgrow our own work.  How will you outgrow your own work?
  5. It’s not just about naming the strategies, but inducting kids into the identities and values of READERS! How will you create a safe community for your readers?

 

Amanda Hartman

Rev Up Your Teaching Muscles to Make Your Whole Group Instruction as Potent as Possible (Mini lessons, Shared Reading, Read Aloud) (K-2)

Funny.

Fast-paced.

Articulate.

Explanation and Demonstration.

Powerful Whole Class Instruction for K-2 Students

  1. Clarity and Concise Language
  2. Engaging and Engaged
  3. Assess and Give Feedback
  4. Links and Skills (Strategies) to Independent and Partner/Club Work
  5.  Opportunities for Oral Language Development “

 

Read and Study Mini-lesson individually. (1st grade, lesson 10 – Readers learn new words as they read.) Mini-lesson Practice with Partners.  Mini-lesson planning table group. Mini-lesson Delivery. Debrief. Discuss Goals. Video of Mini-lesson. Discussion of how that was the same and how that was different. Mini-lesson Delivery. Discussion of Goals.

. . . and in all that “What were we studying in the Mini-lesson?

Teaching Point

Pacing – Vitality, Having students think alongside us, Student talk/listen/feedback

Assessment

Feedback

Takeaways:

  1. Whole class teaching – staying focused is critical! Don’t let student responses lead you down the rabbit hole!
  2. Knowing the Teaching Point is critical. Forward, backward, what comes next? What came before? What it looks and sounds like when a reader REALLY does this.
  3. Focus on one Teaching Point. Not a “Never ending Teaching Point”
  4. Growing students means lots of practice.  That lesson won’t have teacher demonstration but will instead have tons of student practice – PLAN.FOR.IT.
  5. Study lessons together. Discuss the work together.  Build your own community to support your learning about the teaching of reading!

Kathleen Tolan

Beyond Guided Reading: Expanding Your Repertoire of Small Group Work in Nonfiction (3-8)

“Small group work is hard.  Our goal this week is to open up our repertoire about different methodologies to deliver small group instruction.”

What is your vision of small group work?  I’m most familiar with guided reading groups but also like literature circles and book club work.

What’s preventing small group work?

Management – What are the rest of the kids doing?

Fear – I’m not good at it! (not enough practice)

Results – It doesn’t really work for my kids. Or took 40 minutes to “drag that group through the lesson.” There’s no time to do that every day!

Today, I saw, heard and was a part of . . .

  1.  Demonstration Small Group
  2. Read Aloud Small Group

We watched Kathleen in action and then “copycatted that exact same lesson” into our small groups with two different members as the teacher (not me, not me!)

Remember that brain on fire at the top of this blog . . . this was the first time I’d ever seen a Read Aloud Small Group. So new. So much to absorb and process.  My mind was swirling. . . Where would this happen?  When?  With which students?  Why?

I had to take a deep breath.  And then another one. The engagement of the students in the Read Aloud Small Group was intense.  No student could hide.  Everyone had to do the work – in order to contribute to the learning. What a way to know exactly what kids are thinking and to “get them unstuck” and moving!

Takeaways:

  1.  On any given skill I could be the top, middle, or bottom. The goal of small groups is to grow and move ALL readers – not just the “struggling readers”.
  2. TC – Kathleen – said that they have been studying small group work for the last year and a half.  It’s okay that I don’t know this!
  3. Increase your accountability for small groups with a public, visible schedule.  That will push you as the teacher as well as the students.
  4. Teachers over plan small group work.  The small group work should be a continuation of the mini-lesson.  It’s not about going out and finding new, wonderful text to use. It’s about more practice – more student practice and way less “teacher talk”.
  5. Feedback is hard.  It is about tone.  It is about the length of the message.  It’s also about giving and receiving feedback.  So very complicated!

 

What new skill/strategy are you practicing?  

Have you found / created a safe community to practice?  

How does what you are learning from your own learning impact your planning for instruction for your students?

slice of life 2016

This is my story of learning.

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Writing makes us all more human!

 

 

#TCRWP Reading Begins Today


On the schedule for today:

Registration

Keynote

Lucy Calkins @ Riverside Church

A Call to Action

AM  Advanced

Amanda Hartman

Rev Up Your Teaching Muscles to Make Your Whole Group Instruction as Potent as Possible (Mini-lessons, Shared Reading, Read Aloud) (K-2)

PM Advanced

Kathleen Tolan

Beyond Guided Reading: Expanding Your Repertoire of Small Group Work in Nonfiction (3-8)

Choice Session

???

So many great sessions to choose from with staff developers:

Kathleen Tolan

Cheryl Tyler

Kathy Collins

Jen DeSutter

Shanna Schwartz

Lindsay Barton

Brooke Geller

Jennifer Kean-Thompson

Natalie Louis

Pablo Wolfe

Audra Robb

Lucy Calkins

Shana Frazin

Katie Wears

Molly Picardi

Keynotes for the remainder of the week:

Matt De la Pena, Donalyn Miller, Freddy Hiebert, and Natalie Louis!

It’s Monday, June 27th!

So blessed to be learning for a second week at #tcrwp.

However, it’s 2:00 in the morning!

First-day excitement!

I can still sleep for hours and hours!

Anticipation!

Way toooooo early!

Post a blog!

Back to sleep!

Dreaming of life and learning in NYC!

NYC two

What will you be learning today?  

Will you be following the Booth Bay tweets?  #bblit16  

Or #ISTE16?  Or #NOTatISTE16?

What’s on your learning plan?

 

#TCRWP Writing: Takeaways Day 1


It’s majestic even when under construction (yes, still) when the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project keynote begins at  Riverside Church.

There was a “comfortable-ness” in the air in both the words and in Lucy’s delivery as she spoke of TCRWP days past, present and future.

lucy

We’ve come from 48 countries and 43 states.  Leaders of state-wide reform, scores of principals and literacy coaches. And teachers by the hundreds.”

We heard that the teaching of writing matters.   Lucy said she was blown away by the sheer miracle of our presence.  The teacher’s job is not to teach information but to teach how to access – writing is the best tool that we have for that work –  doing something with that information at our fingertips!  Writing comes from within us.

On day one of registration for this institute, 8,000 applied.

Writing Matters!

We, the 1600 seated in Riverside Church, heard stories of Donald Murray, Donald Graves, riding on the Patagonia interspersed with quotes and excerpts of writing.

Lucy 2

And then, “Artistry in the Teaching of Writing”.  Lucy spoke of teachers who know the Writing Units of Study forward and backwards and who can quote the bends  – and the work therein.  These same teachers, however, aren’t all writers and therefore don’t have the deep understanding of “the heart of writing”.

 

Lucy 3

Writing has been written about, talked about and studied at great length!  More time needs to be spent on the envisioning because our students will only be able to meet our expectations.  Our expectations will truly be their ceiling of learning.

Lucy spent time talking about these three stages of the writing process:

” * Rehearse

   * Draft

    * Revise and Edit”

The stories were many.  Sometimes Lucy raced through quotes and parts.  And yet at other times she lingered.

Takeaways:

  1. Revision is not just prettying up the page, adding detail, a new beginning or ending. It’s all about growing insights or realizations! LC
  2. Units of Study:  “I don’t know if they really highlight the depth that I know is necessary for rehearsal and revision.  After you write a draft (in a WHOOSH), cycle back to rehearsal.  That’s the cycle of life in the process.  Is that the push in the UoS?” LC
  3. “If you need to rethink your teaching, how does that make you feel? To embrace the writing life and outgrow yourself over time – there’s more I could have done, you want to have a glad feeling of possibility of a place to outgrow yourself to.” LC
  4. “How can we see beyond our best work?  If you embrace revision, if you embrace writerly life, you will need to learn from your writing!  Grow an image of what is essential!” LC
  5. “If you want to support a person’s growth, treat them as if they are already the person you want them to be.” LC

Which idea do you want to consider to ponder?

Session 1. “Ratchet Up the Level of Your Students’ Writing by Teaching Them Revision: Tapping into the Power of Mentor Texts and Checklists (K-2)”  

Celena Larkey

Revision needs to happen A LOT across the day.  One place to add revision and allow practice at the primary grades is during Shared Writing.  With the teacher holding the pen and children dictating the possibilities, students can have A LOT of practice that increases their understanding!

literacy components

How do we revise?  Revision comes after every step of the writing process.  It may look different as in “Revise in the air – rehearsal all the time!!! EVERY part of workshop even in K, 1, 2. Get idea, revise, plan, revise. . . Revision is NOT one special day on the unit plan calendar! It’s every day!” CL

revision Celena

We had adult writer’s workshop in this session.  More to come on that in later days.  So nice to see and hear writing conferences as well.  Second time to write on the first morning of #TCRWP June 2016 Writing Institute!

Celena talked about turning points in memoirs.  “One little event, one little action that sets you up for change. Sketch those moments.   Rehearse. Revise in the air. Tell the story in the air! Talk to and/with a partner about those moments. Iron out that turning point.  It won’t sound like a story YET!  It won’t sound like writing YET!  It won’t sound like a memoir yet!”

Takeaways: 

  1. Revision is not a checklist. CL
  2. Revision occurs during and after each and every step of the writing process. CL
  3. As a writer, it is important to know HOW you define revision.  How do you revise?  Is it easy?  Is it difficult? CL
  4. If your story is “my kids don’t like to revise or my kids don’t want to revise”, you have to change that story line as Don Graves said, “If writing is 100%, revision is 85%.” Your expectations as Lucy said do matter!  CL
  5. In the beginning, you will want to see evidence of physical re-writing (flaps, post-its, revision pen), because those first revisions will develop volume, stamina, and risk-taking. Habits and behaviors will come from your philosophy of writing! CL

How have these takeaways and notes added to your K-2 writing knowledge base?  

What do you want to remember?

Session 2:  “Power Tools, Methods and Strategies:  Access and Support for English Language Learners and Kids with IEPs in the Writing Workshop (4-8)”

Colleen Cruz

When working with “Striving readers”, Colleen had us consider:  personality, expertise, strengths, needs – not just problem areas!  This positive, asset-building approach reminded us of the many things that a target student (one with an IEP, labeled EL, or both) could be viewed “as more than one way.”  In order to teach students who are struggling, we must know them!

Colleen challenged us to observe students in many ways (and this is in her wonderful book, The Unstoppable Writing Teacher).  Storytelling circles on the first day of school.  Ask students to bring an object that the student can tell a story off of!   English learning students can tell story in dominant language and then tell in English or with a partner as a scaffold.  And then consider collecting knowledge in these areas:

  • Social conversations
  • Whole-class conversation
  • Small-froup conversation
  • Pen grip
  • Feet placement
  • Closeness of face to paper (vision)
  • Legibility and size of writing
  • Pressure on pen
  • Eyes during workshop (on charts, on own work, on classmates’ work, wndering)
  • Posture
  • Patterns of geting started in writing
  • Patterns in topics
  • Patterns in strategies
  • Subject area of strength
  • Subject areas of struggle
  • When experiencing success . . .
  • When experiencing frustration . . .
  • Areas of expertise
  • Spelling
  • Grammar

Take Aways:

  1. Telling stories about students changes us from thinking about them as case studies to more personalized humans. CC
  2. Observation data is important so take at least once a month to truly observe – “First Friday of the month – take time to watch your class.What is it that this child does?” CC
  3. Only give feedback on one thing!!!  Make it be a BIG Ticket Thought where other things can be “tucked underneath!” CC
  4. When reviewing a student on demand piece, name what students are doing – helps with teaching purpose – without jargon and buzz words.  Keep your language simple. CC
  5. Go to understood.org – Look up a disability.  How can this add to your repertoire? CC

What themes are you beginning to see emerge from across the day?

Closing session:  “The TCRWP’s Latest and Best Thinking about Efficient, Powerful Small Group Work that Accelerates Students’ Progress in Dramatic Ways”

Amanda Hartman

Small groups might be for:

Demonstration

Explain/Example

Inquiry

Shared Writing & / or Interactive

Word Study

Don’t wait.

Use small groups NOW!

PLAN for three small group sessions in a row – And not the same sequence/type each time.  Not all students will need all three sessions! But some will when your goal is building independence and seeing evidence of transfer.  Students will be sitting there.  You need to have that specific learning target (AND YES, only one) that will move the writing across all kinds, all pieces.

What matters?

  • Crystal clear goals
  • MOSTLY the kids (Pacing)
  • NOT brand-new
  • Practice – Repetitive – Transfer
  • Scaffolding
  • Feedback
  • Create a series – use a mini-chart

What tools are you giving students?

 

  • Writing in the air
  • Lead in phrases or sentence starters
  • Refer back to a tool (shouldn’t be a NEW one when working on practice)

Take Aways:

  1. Use of Strategies to attain goals 80-85% of small group is practice. NOT NEW GOALS! AH
  2. A small group session of 10 minutes will have two minutes of teacher talk and eight minutes of student practice so that the teacher can check in with each student three times! AH
  3. If Ss struggle, how long do you wait? Who do you help? Help students who need quick nudge so that you then have 3 of 4 students working and can really spend more time with the one stuck student. AH
  4. Be prepared. What are my coaching moves? What are my scaffolds?   Demonstration, lean directions, teaching tool?  AH
  5. “How do I set up for two or three small group sessions in a row? How do I help Ss incorporate and use the strategies with more automaticity and independence?” AH

For me  . . .

I have homework tasks yet to do, but writing this post helped me think about what I HEARD today.

Where/ how/ when will I use this information?  

How is my learning helping me revise my thinking?  

Which comes first – the learning, the revision of thinking, or the openness to new thinking?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Writing makes us all more human!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#SOL16: Anticipation


“My bags are packed,

I’m ready to go.

I’m standing here outside my door”;

SCREEEECH! (needle on record player scratches the vinyl record)

BECAUSE my phone says, “3 days until my trip to New York City”.

What a bummer!

Does this look like a summer rerun?

On Friday, I’m off to my fourth #TCRWP June Writing Institute and the #June Reading Institute and I am ready to go.

I’ve checked my list at least three times . . .

1 trip to the bank

2 packed carry on bags

3 pairs of black shoes

4 notebooks to separate the week long sessions

5 colors of Pilot erasable highlighters

6 colors of Flair markers

7 th series of flights to #TCRWP ( 4 Institutes and 3 Saturday Reunions)

8 the midpoint day of this round of travel

9 th trip to NYC in my lifetime

10 google docs already created and labeled for each day of note-taking

11 electrical devices and power cords

12 hours to grade graduate work

13 chapters to read and I can finish three professional books before I go

14 days of learner – ready apparel to plan for

15 days of fun, learning, and hanging out with some Twitter, Voxer, blogging, reading and writing friends!!!

Priceless ~

Necessary learning in order to grow as a professional . . .

countdown.jpg

I will

survive

In fact, I will flourish because this is my FIRST agenda for learning!

writing sections.JPG

reading sections.JPG

Rock Star Facilitators Celena, Colleen, Amanda, and Kathleen!

And also . . .

“Fun Home” on Broadway,

Dinner with friends,

Twitter Book Club Chats,

Google Book Club Chats,

Conversations on Voxer

because Iowans in NYC are always on the go . . .

and Iowans at #TCRWP soak up every minute of learning!

Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Thinking . . .

and oh, so JOYFUL (#OLW) to have this opportunity to grow, learn, live and laugh!

How will you grow this summer?

How will you increase your knowledge and skills in order to be a “better you” next year?

 

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Thank you for this weekly forum!

 

 

#TCRWP 89th Saturday Reunion: Laughter and Learning Session #1


Session # I Make the Most Powerful Use of the New K-2 Units of Study in Reading with Amanda Hartman

What are you loving most about the new units of study in reading?

The concise mini-lessons?

The charts?

The post-its?

The books?

The authors worked together and thought very carefully about the language so the teaching and language is consistent, concise and precise.  Another consideration in the development was how does the mini-lesson bring together the theme of unit?  Not just solving words?  The new units were designed to relieve some of the teacher planning. The goal was to allow teachers to transfer their energy to study student work and or plan rest of the lesson.

Lucy said. . .  let the teachers hold the books during the lesson . . .having the book there, marked up is a great tool. The mini-lesson is not a script to be read word for word but a resource to support what is most important in the lesson and to keep the teacher focused.

In the units teachers will find a level of ambitiousness.  They will feel fast-paced.  The goal is to provide multiple opportunities to develop stamina, skills, volume, and a love of reading at all grade levels.  In order to be readers, students have to read a lot!

What did the TC staff and the authors do?  Amanda shared that they did a lot of videotaping of mini-lessons and then studied those lessons.  As they watched the mini-lessons, they looked for:

  • What was the same?
  • What was different?
  • Not memorizing?
  • What held true to the written mini-lesson?
  • What was truly important?

Amanda shared that there were so many differences even when the author delivers the lesson. (And she knows that as one of the authors.)

What can teachers do?  Lesson Study

  • Video tape your mini-lessons
  • Compare and contrast your lesson and the written mini-lesson
  • Look at your follow-up to the lesson – did you hold true to the theme/purpose of the lesson?
  • Check for the big idea of the lesson

Routines

Routines do not have to be taught in isolation.  Routines do not always have to be taught FIRST. Consider teaching a routine inside the lesson so the purpose is set for students.  You would see this in first grade with volume, reading mats, and logs. Always think about those routines (and purpose) across lessons, bends, units, and the year!

Demonstrations

Amanda’s demonstrations were quick, succinct, and so helpful.

Examples:  Grade 2 – Lesson 1 –  Jack and the Bean Stalk

The reader is In charge of what you want to read and HOW you want to read.

So tragic, the old woman who swallowed a fly.  How do you think she felt? (Elicit ideas from students.) Possible ideas include:  Scary, silly, worried, frustrated

  • Let’s all try to read it in the “worried” voice (still under 10 min.)
  • Do it with your partner (Time for practice now inside the ML.)
  • Do it with your partner now!

This work allows the teacher to be responsive to the readers in the class.  It’s not about anguishing over the fact that “my students didn’t come up with those ideas”.  Instead it’s about bringing the students into the world of readers in a “playful” way but also giving them some language and ways to start thinking about reading.

Another Example – Grade 2 bend 3

Jot while they read, to make sure they are thinking. Add the post it examples and name how you get that thought. When students go off to stop and jot, they TELL the story – not big idea – WHAT’s the idea? The goal is to move the students beyond retelling.

So let’s pretend you’d like to pull a small group to help them think as they read. (studying book baggies and post its for 3 hours – All retelling)

How would that group go?

structure Compliment – “You are growing like a beanstalk and are reading chapter books. AND TELL WHY I brought them together – So many post its and I wanted to know what you were thinking.”

“I have read your books so I know what the book says.

  • “Remind you of this chart and “Katie Woo” (same one) What were those things that we thought of inside Katie Woo.
  • Try that right now in your book – rereading
  • Push yourself to have an idea
  • Ready
  • Open up your book
  • Start to read it
  • Read it.
  • When get to post- it
  • Stop and think…. “(And have chart in front of kids while watching them “DO IT” – like a feeling. Katie Woo is really sick and feels terrible !)

Cautions – Remember what it means to be six years old – they forget a lot.  Remind students quietly.  Begin with the least intrusive scaffold. Then provide more support for students who need it. “Tell me what you are thinking.” Have that one student practice it orally. Point to the big chart or a smaller version of the chart for a picture clue.  Then you can say, “Great, now write that down.” or have them practice some more if still struggling. Only provide the help that is needed. “If I never provide the least support, I will never know when kids can’t get it and why!”

Charts

Study your unit pages closely so you know where you will build the charts.  Use the charts to know what questions to ask or even to name the work the students are doing.

USE THE CHARTS!

Bring the charts down. Put  them on the bulletin board. Move them around for use with small groups or conferences. If students are not USING the charts, do a bit of reflection.  How are you, the teacher, using the charts across the session?

  • Only in your mini-lesson?
  • With small groups?
  • In conferences?
  • In sharing?

The more YOU use the charts across the session, the more students will also use the charts!

Shared Reading

Goals:

“Having Fun, not everyone will read on 1st read, students chime in when works, not slowing down for students”

How can you involve all students is reading a book like “Brown Bear”?

Get a beat going. Have a rhythm.

Remember in shared reading the teacher does the comprehension work.

  • May do a “guess the covered word”
  • Choose a noun to cover up
  • “incredible, you are so smart that you know the word horse!”
  • This creates a lot of print awareness by end of unit 1 in kindergarten
  • will have high frequency words in unit 2
  • Need skills embedded in shared reading
  • Can make up song that parallels the structure – using their names
  • Can make little books with their names

Use Songs and Chants for Reading Warm Ups / Transitions

One goal of reading is that it will be FUN and enjoyable for all students.  This doesn’t happen if students are continually being pushed and feel like they are slogging through the mud instead of joyously reading.  Readers that know they are progressing build up their own capacity to persevere when they develop a growth mindset.  Songs and chants can help with this.  Here were two ideas.  Recognize the sources?  Not fancy-schmancy!  Not glitzy!  Yes, engaged!  Yes, FUN!

Happy Birthday Song

I like to play with you.

I like to play with you.

I like to play with ____.

I like to play with you.

2015-10-17 10.32.26

2015-10-17 10.42.46

Take Away:  Volume of Reading Matters Especially with Beginning Readers

If your readers are stuck, look to see what’s available in the grades below.  Remember that levels are only guides and that sometimes we will have to look behind us or in front of us (grades before and above) to find the resources that will help our students be successful and have FUN! (Laughter is a great indicator!)

For Additional Information about the K-5 Units of Study in Reading

Resources:  Facebook page for Units of Study in Reading

Videos:  Video Orientation for K, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, and Reading Pathways

slice

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. 

Top Ten Quotes I have used from #NCTE14!


I can’t really believe that I’ve been back from #NCTE14 for two WHOLE weeks!  Wow!  Turkey Day and back to work with a vengeance.  What to do before the holidays hit?

I found some time to work on another view of my first time attendance at NCTE.   It involved a new use of Zoom.  Still in draft/learning mode, but I wanted to share what this could look like!

So what have I used? My Top 10 Quotes in the order of frequency of use! This video should give you an idea about the topics I have been working on / using during the last two weeks! (It was also in response to a challenge from @davestuartjr – another virtual and now face to face friend!)

 

What are you doing differently since #NCTE14?  

How are you sharing your learning?

 

 

 

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