Tag Archives: Celena Larkey

#TCRWP: Day 1 Writing Institute 2015


You might have seen my line up of events on Friday . . .

Keynote – Lucy Calkins

Advanced K-2 Session – Celena Larkey

Advanced 3-8 Session – Shana Frazin

Closing Workshop Choice  (toss -up as two were to be repeated Monday and Tuesday)  – Maggie B. Roberts

I was expecting

a LOT! 

And my expectations were exceeded!

This picture is how my head felt at 4:00 pm when I was thinking about my learning for the day.

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

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

The fire was fully ablaze by the time Lucy finished her keynote in the glorious Riverside Church.  Her stories, examples, and carefully chosen videos all told us that we must “have faith.  Faith that the student has something to say and faith that the student has the language to ‘say it'”.  (You can check the #TCRWP hashtag for additional “Lucy-isms” often identified as “LC”, “Lucy C” or “Lucy Calkins” .)

It continued to flame on all day long.  For this post, I am focusing on my upper grades Advanced Section

Using the Best, New Children’s Literature as Mentor Texts:

Support Sky High Writing (3-8)  with Shana Frazin to count as a very public “self-assignment”.

New Vocabulary and Processing: 

“ouevre” – collection of works Eve Bunting (tackling tough topics) and using Yard Sale as our demo!

(New processing angle:    Partner A – if name comes first in alphabet and Partner B – next alphabetically as it was possible to be in triads)

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 2.35.05 AM

Reading Mentor Texts as Readers (3 types)

1. Classic Interactive Read Aloud

The teacher chooses text, places, action and the kind of action we want the students to DO in the text.

2. Shared Interactive Read Aloud

“So you guys know how usually I choose the place we will stop and the work we will do. If you think we should stop – ‘stop in the name of reading’ (hold up hand) and we will stop and you will tell us what to DO with that text.”

 Advantages of Shared Interactive Read Aloud:

  • As a tool it reveals to you when the students think it is worth stopping and sets the stage to work with secondary characters and their relationships!
  • Students can use any prompt to “talk/discuss”.
  • Students are listening differently for the “shared interactive read aloud”. 

3. Read Aloud Roles

The teacher looks at data to determine what does particular reader, club, or partner need to work on (could be Turn and Talk) and the teacher assigns the role for multiple practices.

Process:  The student receives a card with the role.  Student focuses on the card as the teacher is reading.

(Data changes as do the needs of kids change, so read alouds should change across the year.)

Our group role card said:  “Change – characters and their feelings, traits, lessons learned or not learned, setting, and tone”  Our task was to talk about the part of change we could see in the text that had been read.

Delightful new learning . . . I was thinking about how and when to use these three types (and whether I would be able to explain the differences upon returning home) when the next sequence was introduced as

“Reading Mentor Texts Like a Writer”! 

1.  Classic interactive with mentor text

Our mentor texts was a teacher demonstration text, “Moving Thoughts”

and we were using ideas from a chart based on Ralph Fletcher’s thinking.

(Words are easier than subject so they are often a beginning level.)

2. Shared interactive with mentor text

“Stop in the name of reading like a writer” – Students choose places to stop and name writing craft.

(“You have read already read this once as reader. Now you are rereading as a writer, with a different lens.”)

3.  Shared Interactive Read Aloud roles with mentor text

Again, specific assigned roles on cards for partners/tables to respond to.

Example:  “Word or Phrase –  What words or phrases did the author

use that… Surprised you? Puzzled you? Inspired you?”

And finally,

Writing under the influence!

“For 5 min. – write under the influence of reading; What stories did ‘Reading Like an Author’ lead you to?”


After collecting my notes, discussing this at dinner, and then writing this blog post, I am wondering:

What data will I use to determine whether I am “Reading Like a Reader” or “Reading Like a Writer”?

Will I use the set of 3 “Reading Like a Reader” before the 3 “Reading Like a Writer” each time?

Will this be “Black and White”?

What other considerations should guide my thinking?

Obviously, I am still at the “new learning stage” but I love the whole concept of “Writing Under the Influence” as well as “Thank you for coming to class today!”  I feel totally blessed, as an educator to be at Teachers College learning from and with so many talented teachers!

slice of life

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL15: Traveling!


“My bags are packed, I’m ready to go . . .

I’m standing here outside my door . . .”


On Friday I will be off on another GRAND adventure!


My home for the next two weeks!

Writing Institute:  June 22- 26, 2015

Advanced AM Section – Develop Toolkits to Support Narrative Writing (K-2) Celena Larkey

Advanced PM Section – Using the Best New Children’s Literature as Mentor Texts: Support Sky High Writing (3-8) Shana Frazin

Reading Institute:  June 29 – July 3, 2015

Advanced AM Section – State of the Art Curriculum to Support First Grade Readers (1) Elizabeth Dunford Franco

Advanced PM Section – Embracing Complexity: Teaching Kids to Tackle and Love More Complex Nonfiction (3-6) Katie Clements

The week days will be packed with learning and collaborating with new and old friends.  The week nights and weekends will be filled with visiting with friends (including “Slicers”), continued learning, bookstores, museums and shows – “The Book of Mormon” and the Tony award-winning “Best Revival” – “The King and I”. That’s just a brief preview of my June!

Where will you go and what will you be learning this summer?


Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

Looking forward to “seeing” fellow slicers:  Tara, Julieanne and Catherine soon!

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