Read Alouds are to be savored and today was a day to be all in because after hearing the back story, we had the distinct pleasure of having Matt de la Pena read Love to us.
It won’t be the same. You won’t be in Cowin Auditorium with 600+ best friends. You won’t be in the front row. But here’s your opportunity to have the book read to you. Read by Matt de la Pena.
That came from one little poem
About seeing “love” in the mirror.
Need more? Interview with author Matt de la Pena and illustrator Loren Long here.
Tissue Alert! Tissues Needed!
Pure Delight for those of you that work with the precious “littles” in kindergarten. I attended Marie Mounteer’s Choice Session on the new kindergarten writing unit out in July – “Show and Tell: From Labels to Pattern Books”. The room was packed with teachers and the excitement bubbled within the room as Marie previewed some of the 17 sessions in the unit.
I am totally in love with this progression of spelling development.
Nerd out over spelling.
I see that eye roll!
But how do we explain this to colleagues? That first, yes, there is a progression and second, that not all students arrive at the same time on the same day. I believe that the explicitness in this chart makes it easier to describe ALL the things that a student can do on their journey as they develop as spellers.
The key is growth.
The key is celebrating growth along the progression so a child who enters kindergarten may be at a different stage than peers, but just look at the journey. It’s not about color coding whether a child is green, yellow, or red at any one stage. Instead it’s all about building on what the child can do . . . writing in kindergarten . . . so important to recognize that it is a journey. A journey students will love! A journey we will love!
And this unit gives students so many access points to be successful writers who can explore their passions. Thanks, Marie Mounteer and Lizzie Hetzler for authoring such an important unit and for all the wisdom from Natalie Louis and Lucy Calkins (and other staff developers and teachers) that helped bring this joyful unit to life.
What were your top 2 Highlights from Day 2 at the 2018 June Writing Institute at #TCRWP?
Did you know there is a Twitter Festival this week and next?
Ten glorious days of twitter chata about the Reading Units of Study (#RUoS) from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (#TCRWP) meet Slice of Life 15 (#SOL15) amid a hashtag pileup!
The first two chats about kindergarten units are complete and I’ve learned a lot.
DISCLAIMER: I have the first grade units and am just beginning my study of those. I did have both the pleasure and privilege of beginning my first grade unit study with Liz Dunford Franco during the July TCRWP Reading Institute. I’ve been reading in the units during the last month but I’m still a novice!
What have I learned?
“I used to think . . . but now I . . .”
I used to think that kindergarten teachers had to deal with management and teach the routines FIRST, but now I know that students engaged in powerful and interesting information texts and story books are capable of self-management and the students CAN actually learn more during workshop when the materials connect to their passions.
I used to think that sending home guided reading “D” books (Kindergarten end of year targets) was the best way of sharing goals with parents, but now I know that parents must first be grounded in “great stories” so they understand that reading is meaning-making and not “racing through the levels”.
I used to think that the same topic/genre for reading workshop and writing workshop simultaneously would be too great a cognitive load for students, but now I now that I can check for transfer from one time of day to another when students are working in the same genre and also build deeper connections with multiple teaching points across the day.
I used to think that formal assessments coupled with teacher observation data were a great balance, but now I know that the way we frame the “assessment task” contributes to either the fixed or growth mindset of the students and is actually more critical than the type of assessment used.
I used to think that focusing on the end of the year target kept us grounded in our goals, but now I know that the learning target is an important factor that must not be allowed to cause an “OVER” focus on the end goals to the extent that we forget / miss what is happening in front of our eyes.
I used to think that there were some basic things that students really needed to learn before literacy instruction began, but now I know that a growth mindset will have a greater impact on perseverance and stamina than any skills work!
Specific tweets that I want to remember from our chat!
Can you match the tweets to my “learning” above?
What is your understanding of the “Reading Units of Study” (RUoS)?
Which twitter festival nights match your grade level interests?
How are you growing and learning?
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.
“The CCSS are too hard.”
“The CCSS are not developmentally appropriate.”
“The CCSS have pushed many skills down into the primary grades before students are ready to tackle such difficult texts.”
“Close reading is when a reader independently stops at moments in a text (or media or life) to reread and observe the choices an author has made. He or she reflects on those observations to reach for new understandings that can color the way the rest of the book is read (or song heard or life lived) and thought about.”
Check out that link above the definition for the original blog post with foundational understandings of close reading built upon the work of Patricia Kain, Doug Fisher, Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. More information will also be available in Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts soon to be released text, Falling in Love with Close Reading. Some of those beliefs about the ultimate goal of close reading from a Teachers College presentation by Kate Roberts are also found in an earlier blog post of my own found here.
Thinking about misconceptions . . .
Is close reading appropriate for kindergarten and first grade students?
It would appear that #CCSS expert Tim Shanahan believes that close reading is not appropriate in the primary grades. In his blog post from Tuesday, July 16, 2013, Shanahan responds to a reader’s request as follows:
Close Reading for Beginning Readers? Probably Not.
“I am a first grade teacher. My principal has mandated that all classes K-5 do Close Reading. Is it appropriate for all ages? It seems to me that the texts at K/1 are not likely to be complex enough and that the students at this age are too concrete in their thinking.”
“Good question. I share your concerns. There are very few articles or stories appropriate for K/1 that would make any sense for close reading. The content usually just isn’t deep enough to bear such close study (and, frankly, if you look at the comprehension standards themselves, specifically standards #4-9 for those grades, it should be evident that CCSS doesn’t envision particularly close reading at these levels).”
But if we base our work on the definition above and in Chris’s post, I believe that “close reading” is possible for kindergarten and first grade students. Will it be easy? No! Will all students get it? Not, YET!
Teachers will have to carefully craft their instruction in order to allow students to “independently” have the opportunity to look for patterns. After reading Dorothy Barnhouse and Vickie Vinton’s What Readers Really Do, I continue to believe that beginning students can engage in the thinking necessary for “close reading.”
Common Core Grade Level Reference
|RL.K.(7-9) Integration of Knowledge and Ideas|
|RL.K.7 – With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).(Goal – Students will complete this goal without prompting and support after appropriate instruction and opportunities to practice tracing patterns.)|
What do you think? Is this close reading? Or is this another misconception?
Check out this link: Close Reading in Kindergarten – Advertisements (Added 02.23.14)