Tag Archives: Amanda Hartman

#TCRWP Day One: Reading Institute


It was a Sunday and 5:03 am.

Just like a kid getting ready for an adventure, I couldn’t sleep any longer.  What to do?

The registration doors don’t open until 7:30.  That would be 147 minutes of “me” time. My choice. My decision.

How do I decide? These are my “turn the page choices” but I have others on my Kindle that I can also choose from.

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Here are just a few snapshots from Sunday, June 29, 2014.

New York City

Teachers College

The July 2014 Reading Institute began today with registration at 7:30 and then Lucy Calkins’ kickoff keynote.  Who are we?  The 1300 of us represent 41 countries and 46 states as Teachers, professors, editors, authors, superintendents, and coaches.  Lucy quickly had us reading two coming of age works, a poem and a song, before she began to talk about how to lift the level of our teaching.

According to Lucy, we need to:  1) work on our reading and our teaching in order to “outgrow” our reading selves, 2) own our content, and 3) teach within a community of practice.  The explanations, data, support, and stories were included in today’s #TCRWP twitter feed multiple times.  Check it our online.  Just know that Lucy’s final words were classic Lucy, “As you make your way back to the college, turn and talk and walk!”

 

Advanced Morning Section:  

Accelerating Students’ Progress Along Levels of Text Difficulty: Guided Reading, Assessment Based Teaching, and Scaffolds for Complex Texts (3-8) Brooke Geller (@Brooke_Geller)

I have followed Brooke for quite awhile; however, on Twitter I had missed how funny she is.  “Just add children” was one of the first quotes that I loved.  The learning from this section is going to be helpful for me in multiple buildings this year.  It was comforting to hear many of my beliefs affirmed, but it was also great to be working with song and video to “do close reading.” We worked as a group of three teachers to read through lenses, use lenses to find patterns, and used patterns to develop a new understanding of the text including authorial intent.

More details are available in the Twitter stream and note that my tweets from this session included both #tcrwp and @brooke_geller.  If you are not following Brooke on Twitter, please do so.    @brooke_geller

 

Twitter Meet Up Over Lunch

Over lunch Julieanne (@jarhartz) and I hung out in Everett Lounge for the Twitter Meet Up.  Thanks, new followers and previous followers as well.  It is always fun to meet Twitter friends in real life (f2f).  Today was the only day that K-8 attendees had the same lunch so Rebecca Cronin was working on signing up more Twitter peeps.

Do note that the Trail Guide  lists a session for Twitter newbies on Monday, June 30 in Millbank Chapel (1st floor, Zankel) entitled “Twitter is Your PD Friend:  Ways to Use Social Media to Enhance Your Learning” with Amanda Hartman and Rebecca Cronin.

Advanced PM Section:

Social Studies Centers Can Lift the Level of Content Knowledge and Reading Instruction (3-8) Kathleen Tolan (@KathleenMTolan)

Kathleen covered a great deal of information about why and how to use centers during social studies (or science) as another way for students to read more across the day and access text chosen carefully for its content AND the reading skills included.  My biggest “aha” was that reading workshop DURING social studies could provide a second time for reading workshop during the day.  Keeping it simple and manageable would be one goal so you as a teacher would begin only with the number of centers that matched the number of teachers teaching the content.

Math Alert:  So if only two teachers are working together, you would each be creating one center for two total.  (Tricky part)  But then you could have multiple copies of the same center so that ALL students are using those centers.  This might be a way to consider beginning your center work.

What would this look like?  My example:  24 students in the class.  Put students in groups of 4.  There are 6 groups total.  (Knowing that some center work is done independently, other as partners, and still other as a small group.)  The two centers are:  “Life in the Colonies” and “Where Did They Come From?”  Three groups would work on the “Life in the Colonies” centers and three groups would work on the “Where Did They Come From?” centers.  So if I made the “Life in the Colonies” center, I would need to have 3 different sets of the same center.  If Suzie made the 3 different “Where Did They Come From?” centers, Suzie would make 3 different copies of the exact same center.

What a great use of time!  Reading, learning content material, and completing tasks while talking and writing a wee bit as well!

 

Closing Workshop

It was truly a pleasure to hear Amanda Hartman on the topic of, “A Session for Literacy Coaches:  Staff Development Methods that Are As Essential to Professional Development as Mini-lessons and Conferring Are to Classroom Teachers.”   Amanda shared many tips that were also tweeted out earlier today about the value of “voice over” and lenses or inquiry that might be considered for study.  This is hard work but it is the right work and must be done by Teachers in order to set up a community of practice that will be successful. Not perfect.

Theme for today:  A community of practice will help you make the changes you need as a reader and as a teacher of readers; don’t delay, begin NOW!

 

What did you learn about reading today?  
Who will you share your learning with?  
What will you do differently as a result of your learning?

 

And circling back around, what did I read this morning?

My favorite quote:

This is what kindness does, Ms. Albert said.  Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.

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Check out Jacqueline Woodson’s site here for additional information about this book and others.

 

Lexile Level Is NOT Text Complexity CCSS.R.10


This Tweet  from #tcrwp (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) on August 15th caught my eye.  A quick glance at the twitter stream confirmed that it came from Stephanie Harvey’s keynote (sigh of envy across the miles).

@amandalah: Careful of lexile: Harry potter, old man & the sea &Alexander & the horrible no good very bad day. All similar lexile. #TCRWP

Hmmm. . .  Harry Potter, Old Man and the Sea, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day are three distinctly different texts that have similar lexile levels!

Was I interested?  Yes!

Did I independently check?  Yes!

Those three books are typically read by readers at these levels:

  • Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, Very Bad, No Good Day  –  primary grades
  • Harry Potter  –  upper elementary grades
  • Old Man and the Sea  –  high school

But yet they all three have similar lexile levels!  Would that still be where those texts would be read?  Or has that expectation changed with the adoption of the Common Core?

The initial connection to Stephanie Harvey was further confirmed in Twitterverse later:

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So what is a lexile?   And just how is a lexile determined?

The Lexile Framework® for Reading claims to measure a student’s reading ability based on actual assessment, rather than a generalized age or grade level.  It uses a common, developmental scale to match a reader with books, articles and other resources at the right level of difficulty. The Lexile Framework was developed by MetaMetrics®, an educational measurement and research organization that purports to use scientific measures of student achievement to link assessment with targeted instruction to improve learning.  To date, more than 115,000 books and 80 million articles have Lexile measures, and the number of resources with Lexile measures continues to grow.

HOWEVER, CCSS.R.10 does not use Lexiles alone as a single measure of Text Complexity.  ALL CCSS documents include a three-pronged approach to complexity as evidenced by this graphic and explanation:

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The Common Core specifically says that there are “three equally important parts.”  A lexile measure does not equal text complexity. There are many ways to determine which texts are appropriate for specific grade levels or bands.  Quantitative factors (#2 above) seem to be the easiest to measure.  An addendum to Appendix A suggests that two quantitative measures be used for comparison.  That would mean that Lexiles AND a grade level equivalent could both be considered for a more general “quantitative measure.”  Then qualitative facets would be explored like theme, structure and knowledge demands.  Finally the Reader and Task considerations would be reviewed.

Additional information about text complexity is easily located.  Sarah Brown Wessling’s,  “Teacher of the Year,” viewpoint of text complexity is available at Teaching Channel.

 So just how do these three books compare when looking at multiple data points?

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Which elements of text complexity are you considering when selecting text?
What examples of “Out of Whack Lexiles” have you found?

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Addition/ Update =  08.17.13:
  • Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway 610L.
  • Twilight garners a Lexile score of 720.
  • A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway 730L.
  • Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby, Age 8, has a Lexile score of 860.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid has 1000L.
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville has a Lexile of 1200.
  • The Wee Little Woman is a board book by Byron Barton and has a Lexile of 1300.

**According to Titlewave:
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid 950
Fahrenheit 451                   890
Gossip Girl                           820
The Great Gilly Hopkins    800

From @AliBuzzell  new resource on 08.21.13  tweentribune.com/readrank Thanks, Ali!
@doctordea   Brief white paper:  The Lexile Framework:   https://connect.ebsco.com/s/article/The-Lexile-Framework-A-MetaMetrics-White-Paper?language=en_US

Donalyn Miller, the Book Whisperer http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/book_whisperer/2012/07/guess_my_lexile.html?cmp=SOC-SHR-TW
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Updated March 25, 2018

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