Tag Archives: Reading Institute

#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 . . .

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I will

survive

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

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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: Day 4 Reading Institute 2015


news flash

An auditorium full of teachers loves to be read to!  Not a sound was heard as James Howe read Houndsley and Catina in Cowin Auditorium yesterday. We heard that Charlotte’s Web was his favorite book (first edition) and that Bunnicula will be on the cartoon network in 2016.  But most of all, we heard the love that he has for books with his encouragement to reduce our screen time and lose ourselves in real books!  “I fear we are the last of the daydreamers.  We are in the state of continuous partial attention brought on by too much screen time.”

What will you remember about New York City?

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One of my highlights is reconnecting with Madeline. But she is a book character, so how does that happen?

Madeline

Each Madeline story begins: “In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines… the smallest one was Madeline.” What I didn’t know and learned last night is that Bemelman’s only artwork on public display is at Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle in New York City. Scenes of rabbits and elephants in Central Park and Madeline in Paris decorate the walls and lamps and can be seen here.  What a gorgeous literary atmosphere in a hotel that is famous for hosting Presidents and royal dignitaries!

The most interesting part of the story behind his artwork is that Bemelmans and his family lived at the hotel while he painted his murals so of course, the actual painting was quite a lengthy process!  Barter system?

Thursday, Day 4 at the Reading Institute

Liz Franco – Grade 1 State of the Art Reading Instruction

The five day plan for shared reading was new to me.  I wonder if that’s true for many primary teachers  I like the way that the design of the lesson points out all the possibilities for work across the literacy block including guided reading.

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Liz demonstrated this with Tumbleweed Stew (Green Light Reader).  Shared reading supports the skills in mini-lessons (all eyes on one text) and provides more guided and scaffold practice with text a notch above students’ reading level.  It does provide an opportunity for students to use their knowledge of letters and sounds to tackle words in continuous text.  During the week the teacher will read the same text several times across week with the teacher voice eventually falling out!  Teacher reading has to be smooth/expressive, the class will catch up after multiple readings. All reading is for comprehension. Liz also stressed that this is “one way” not “the way”!

Clarification of Day 2 – “mask same words/ different words” was very helpful.  I often see this as “Guess the covered word” when in reality it is an opprotunity for students to practice using multiple cueing systems (msv), “Wait, does that make sense?  Does that sound right?  Do all parts of the word look right?”  This is about helping students develop INNER VOICE as they read independently.

Day 4 Fluency  was also nice to have demonstrated more than one way!

“This week when we read, think about how the character is feeling across the scenes. Remember that when the feeling changes, our voices change.”

“This time when we read,  think about the punctuation; not just at the end of the sentence but in the middle.  Remember that punctuation helps us with our phrasing. That’s why we need to pay attention to all the punctuation in a sentence.”

“This time, pay attention to phrasing because the sentences are long. Where should we break them?”

Multiple ways to “frame” the purpose for the fluency practice was greatly appreciated!

How does your shared reading look?

How do you know students are working on “inner Voice”?

Session 2

Katie Clements – Loving Complex Nonfiction Texts

Our goal setting an problem solving was informative.  Were we able to discuss across goals?  Or across skills?  Did we end up talking about content?  Providing many student opportunities for talk as well as REALLY listening to the conversations is going to be important!

How do we support student if texts are slightly too difficult?

1. Start with topics the students love.

2. Teach students to build up background knowledge.

3. Teach studnts to preview, REALLY preview.

4. Teach students to chunk text and translate it into easier language.

5. Teach students to use their notebook as a tool for thinking.

6. Teach students to draw on others for support.

7. Teach students that mindset matters.  “I can do this!”

This video was perfect as it also took me back to last Thursday’s evening entertainment!     (The King and I at Lincoln Center – simply amazing!)

You truly can change your mindset!

And then we worked through Katie’s demonstration of a Read Aloud (with many opportunities for student engagement) and planned the beginning of our own read aloud as homework.

How do you work with complex nonfiction text?

How do you teach students to be more capable readers of complex nonfiction text?

#TCRWP: Day 3 Reading Institute 2015


Oh, Happy Day!

joyful

My #OLW (One Little Word) is Focus!

And Focus was my goal today!

So I’m cutting straight to the chase and starting with my second session!

I literally only have two pages of handwritten notes from this session because . . .

We were working every minute!

(That could mean that I have a whole ton of photos, but remember “Focus” – no time to get side-tracked!)

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Katie – Loving Complex Informational Texts

How can we accelerate students up through the levels of Nonfiction?

Today we studied the reading progressions in the new Units of Study in Reading that had their “birthday” on Tuesday of this week.  Katie modeled looking across two grade levels of the “Main Idea” study that has been our anchor this week, and then we were turned loose to choose our own progressions to review.  This was eye-opening, scary and yet, exhilarating work with collaborative opportunities to deepen our understanding as we read and discussed the content.

Our world of learning was then rocked by the three tools that Katie shared:

  1. Writing about Reading – Demonstration text written by the teacher
  2. Checklists for students constructed by the teacher
  3. Reading Toolkit pages

Then we could choose to create either Tool 1, 2, or 3.  My partner and I chose Tool 2. Checklist as we felt that would really be “beginning with the end in mind” if we constructed the checklist and then went back to write the demo text.  Here are our first drafts for our Analytical area:

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The chunk of “progressions” that this was based on is also included here:

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This is work for just one of the progressions for Informational Text with checklists drafted for students in grades 2-4.  The progressions include student expectations for 16 areas.  These grew out of ten years of work in classrooms where students were collecting post-its across a wide span of grade levels but the work did not increase in sophistication as it continued up through the grades.

Do teachers understand this work?  

Where does this fit into your current understanding of teaching reading?

Just a bit more about the Learning Progressions you see pictured above (3 strands = literal, interpretive, analytic)

  • Lays out growth over one year
  • Based on grade-level expectations
  • Written in first person, with student friendly language
  • Includes both external behaviors and outcomes and internal processes
  • Lays out 1 possible pathway for growth
  • Designed for student self-assessment (included in MWI and Shares)

Is this work that your students are already doing?

How would your propose to set up a course of study for your students to learn how to do this work with informational text?

And then we moved on to Performance Assessments. We completed the task as students where we were asked to respond in writing with multiple main ideas.  In our group, we seemed to either have a topic sentence that was a “series” or two distinctly different paragraphs dealing with separate main ideas.  “Real students” did neither so it is helpful to have our own ideas in mind but also be prepared for students to do something totally different.

Performance Assessments:

  • Eliminated skills already in Running Records
  • Included skills that are valued on state standardized tests
  • 4 main skills for each unit of study (Others are addressed but only four are assessed at the beginning and end of the unit)
  • Can be completed in one class period
  • Text used is designed for grade level readers
  • Not to assess reading level but skill level thinking so a teacher could read them to a group of students

How could these performance assessments inform the reader?

How could these performance assessments inform the teacher?

Switching gears from upper grades to FIRST grade!

Session 1

Liz Franco – UNIT 3:  Readers Have Big Jobs to Do:  Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension 

As you can tell by the title, this unit focuses on the foundational skills.  It is targeted for readers in H – I – J band and specifically designed to build the skills and practice for students that will help them be successful as they encounter more difficult text.  We explored books in this range and found that the texts are more complex.

  • Past tense  – many irregular words
  • Figurative language – comparisons
  • Multi-syllabic – 3 syllable words
  • More complex sentences
  • Multiple phrases in the same sentence
  • More often than not – sentences are getting longer so line breaks are sometimes a scaffold but this leaves at K, L, M
  • More dialogue
  • Dialogue tags are varying
  • Fluency – read with expression to match the tags

Then we looked at running records from students to determine what we should teach.  What were the miscues?  What strategies might we try?

  • Rereading to self – correct
  • Cross checking
  • Check to see if it’s a snap word
  • Try the vowel sound another way
  • Use tools in the room (vowel chart)

And then we talked about the “HOW” for providing instruction . . . Possibilities for working with vowels:

Strategy Lessons – sounds vowels make – Readers have to be flexible – try it 2 ways

Small group shared reading

Small group word study with the vowel charts (Making/)breaking words AND THEN may make into small group interactive writing – compose something) or a Vowel sound hunt from books in their baggie

Key Point:  We aren’t convening a guided reading group of “H” students because we are going to give them “i” books.  Instead we ask:

What kind of H reader?

What supports tap into next steps?

Possible Tools:

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So, each student is provided with the instruction they need, not just marching through the levels . . .

“PLEASE, SAY MORE!”

“A student is ready for “I”, but he/she tends to karate chop words and not think about whole of text.  I will have more previewing work in my introduction.” LF

“A student is ready for “I”, but he/she tended to struggle with multi-syllabic words and not look through the words, I will put more VISUAL supports into my introduction.”  LF

“I am strategically planning who is being grouped together.  It’s not about the ‘letter’.’  LF

What small group?

What do the students need?

And how you are teaching?

So after Day 3 of this Learning Journey at the Teachers College Reading Institute, what are you thinking?

#TCRWP: Day 2 Reading Institute 2015


AMAZING LEARNING continues at TCRWP!

Session 1

Liz Dunford Franco – State of the Art Curriculum to Support First Grade Readers

We began with a study of mini-lessons in the first grade Book 1 of the new Reading Units of Study. With a partner, we read a sample, role played it and then debriefed with table groups with these questions in mind:

How are students engaged across these lessons?

What does the teacher do?

What does the student do?

Liz shared some tips for reading the lessons with our group. They included:

Use a highlighter to mark the language so you are clear and consistent.

Teaching Point – echo the language in the plan

Connection- This is where you can add your own personal touch and make it relevant but keep it short and sweet.

Make notes to yourself – ( My thinking – Consider a different color of post it for what you as teacher need to do or say in advance so everyone has “materials” needed.)

What does kid watching look like at the beginning of the year in first grade?

The teacher might be looking for evidence that a student is able to

Self – start

Refocus with a teacher gesture

Work with table group

Work with partner

Generate question

We talked about keeping the mini-lesson short and staying under the 10 minute guideline length for a true “mini-lesson”. Liz pushed us to think beyond just the “10 minute time limit” in order to determine where the lessons broke down. By studying “where the trouble was” in the lessons, we could see where we were losing time and avoid those behaviors.

What patterns did we see?

In active engagement, was too much time spent going back over the strategy for an extra mini-mini-lesson?

Did the Link involve reteaching instead of just a nod to the chart?

Were students being kept in the group and not sent off for additional work?

How could the teacher check in with students later (without losing time)?

Hand student a post it and then after all students are off reading,, say, “1, 2, 3 eyes on me! If I gave you a post-it, come back to the table!”

“Taking a sneak peek could be taught as an Inquiry Lesson”

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We jigsawed sections from the 2nd book – Unit 3 Learning about World – Reading Nonfiction with the following bends:

Bend 1: Getting Smart on Nonfiction Topics

Bend 2: Tackling Super Hard Words in Order to Keep Learning

Bend 3: Reading Aloud Like Experts

A feature that I loved and tweeted out was that in grade 1, Book 2 Nonfiction, students are put in the role of teacher to do their own read alouds! (This was always the goal with Every Child Reads in Iowa: students would be able to do their own Read Alouds, Talk Alouds, Think Alouds, and Composing Think Alouds.) I also loved to hear that kids need 10-12 informational books in personal baskets or common group baskets. At this stage I am waiting to hear more about both the Read Aloud 5 day plan nd Shared Reading Plan .

Possible assessments for Grade 1 students include:

Running Records – (msv)

Letter sound ID

Sight words

Spelling inventories

Comprehension to be assessed through Read Alouds, talk, conference and the use of a pre-assessment to determine whether students need another bend to build up habits or a unit from If/Then before beginning the nonfiction unit?

What are you thinking right now?

What “AHAs” did you have?

Any specific connections/questions that came to mind for the non-first grade teachers?

Session 2:

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

How can we support students in tackling and loving more complex texts?

We began with four minutes to teach about our non-fiction book with a partner (after a few tips about how to do this well). This was a great energizer for the group, as well as validating our homework assignment.

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  1. DRAFTING main idea

We began with nontraditional texts: Main idea from text and pictures combined that Katie modeled and then main idea from a video that we practiced with a partner.

Tips:

Don’t just name a topic.

As you read on, hold the main idea loosely tosee if it STILL fits.

Revise main idea as more information is added.

We watched a very short PSA video clip. First viewing: “As you are listening and watching – watch for the chunks, we will see how the chunks fit together!” We discussed.  Katie posted the three big ideas she heard and then put bullets under them. Before we watched the video again we were told to sort and rank details for a mini-debate.

As we worked on this, I tweeted out:

“Use of non-traditional texts. . . do our students know how to process/understand text that they will live with all their lives?”

Key Takeaways

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1. Revision will be necessary in complex text.

2.  I believe we have a moral obligation to teach students how to do this complex work with the texts that they are using in their lives. This means students will need to learn how to do this work independently!

New Tool:

challenges

Katie shared some ways that this tool was used in a fifth grade classroom and we brainstormed some additional ways that it can be used. As I read my homework assignment, I watched to see if these areas were also “complexity issues” in my book.   Much potential here!

How do you teach main idea in nonfiction text?

What makes it complex for kids?

Does it get “messy”? 

Kathleen Tolan – Closing Workshop

Groups and Maximizing Student Growth

Key Takeaway:  Small groups for all – not just struggling readers!

How can we get a routine for ourselves so we “know how it is going to go?

 We need to take interventions to mastery instead of introduction so students get reading practice and their work can be lifted. Because growth takes time, we need realistic strategies. Anything that is hard takes practice. Name it for yourself. Put the work into your daily schedule so the students can do it again and again and grow.

Kathleen share some of the frustrations of planning for small groups.

  • Sometimes it takes 45 minutes to plan for one session.
  • And then the leesson doesn’t go the way we want it to.
  • The students aren’t doing well.
  • There is no magic fairy dust to sprinkle on the students!

What would it be like to plan for the increments along the way?

Small Group Session 1:  Small groups should NOT be using new material. You will need to go back to the exact space in lesson plans. RETEACH! Don’t do a big demo or Think Aloud!  Instead invite the small group to “co-create the original lesson!” This allows you to turn the work over to the students quickly and also see which parts of the original lesson stuck with the kids!  This way withi minute two of a small group, students are at the. “Open your book and now you do it!” stage.

Coach! Coach! Coach!   Coach!

All of us do it together quick and then to transference.

Link – add in when we will meet them again! Put on schedule to make sure it is included. Check in is short – 10 sec.

Small Group Session 2:  Reread from Read Aloud

Redo what you did last time or shared writing from last work. Take this into your own book. Read – your 5-7 min. are up. But they are still there “DOING” the work!

WALK AWAY!

Students don’t need us there for repeated practice. Leaning happens when you are not there! Set them up and give them tools!

Small Group Session 3:  We are working on envisionment. Go work.

Our goal is not to talk all the time. Use progression on enviosionment and write around the post it, naming the work.  When we use the progression, make sure you teach down all the way through that level and then teach one thing that leans into the next level.  Be realistic.  If a student is at level 2, don’t expect them to immediately jump to level 4.

Give one tip.

Students doing the work!!!

Repeat coaching one more time!

  • Small Groups – set 2 groups up. Move faster! Don’t get too comfortable. Don’t sit as Teacher! You will move faster! After 5 min. move on!
  • Need internal sense – Need to reset our clock!
  • Tangible tools. What can you leave behind?  What’s important?
  • If we introduce tools that go across content areas, look at the amount of practice students will have!

What is your routine for small group work?

Who do you work with in your small groups?

 

Mary Ehrenworth – Keynote

Remembering Grant Wiggins: Innovating “Teaching for Transference”

Mary shared that this session was the result of collaborative work from the TCRWP staff. Students in school need less drill and more scrimmage because feedback varies. Feedback in skills and strategies are “can you do them?”  In scrimmage feedback is likely to be, “How are you doing with them on your own?”

  1. book to book – Piggybook – Work you can do in any book

(characters in books are more than one way (strengths and flawa) Your opinion is more valuable when allow for nuance and acknowledge there are some troublesome parts!

  1. Book to book – (Characters with strengths and flaws)  Maddie and Tae – “Girl in a Country Son”

“What’s the most important thing?” Sorting and ranking made discussions stronger.

“What’s the next important thing?”

“What makes you say that?”  Don’t just nod your head.  Ask “Why is that important?”

3. Transference to another text – history text – Schoolhouse Rock – Elbow Room

(Stengths and flaws, Power and disempowerment)  Stems you might use are

“While it’s true…”  “Neverless…”

4.  Inside / outside school Transfer

Mary shared that she and Cornelius Minor will have a JAL article next week that included close reading of sports event that allowed students to “read their lives”.  Our goal should be to nurture transference form one book to another, from one reading experience to another, and from one reader to another.  How often do we feel like we are around the campfire having fun? Don’t want to leave the story?

How do you teach for transference?

#TCRWP: Reading Institute Day 4


 Accelerating Student Progress with Brooke Geller

Today we shared our tools with the admonition to consider these two questions:  “What is it?”  “How will I use it?”

1) Teaching Main Idea with examples for both explicit and implicit Main Idea  (for work with teachers first)

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2.  Post-it Thinking Continuum for Student Self- Assessment

Students can ask the question:  Where does my post-it fit on this continuum? and

How can I improve my post-it?

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3.  Strengthening our Post-its

Samples on top layer with suggestions underneath

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4. Strategies for Nonfiction Texts with Questions

Teaching strategies specific to NF texts

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5.  Strategies to Grow Readers

Specific sentence stems/frames to increase thinking

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6. Digital charts for analyzing point of view and what to do when I am confused

Sentence frames

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Then we explored Guided Reading Book Introduction in small groups with a teacher, a lifeline and three students.  Before the second round, Brooke did some coaching to encourage engagement (and quality instruction):

  • wait time
  • questioning – name the student last
  • showing text – particular parts
  • displaying vocabulary
  • display powerful images
  • turn and talk early on
 Social Studies Centers

In Social Studies Centers with Kathleen Tolan, we  began by discussing our Big Edeas within our group.  We posted them on the wall and then returned to our Drumroll (see Day 1 for the write around charts).  While circulating the room, and visiting the write arounds, we were trying to match up our “Big Ideas” with the actual pictures from the write arounds.

This meant constant reading and re-reading.  It also required trust and messiness.  There wasn’t a clear cut 1:1 match.  Kathleen reminded us that materials and intellect can challenge each other.

Important Teaching Notes
  • We didn’t have “lectures” on “big ideas” and maybe kids don’t need those either.
  • Revision of Big Ideas can come from the work.
  • Some resources lead to bigger ideas!
  • This is messy!

Big ideas included:

Access to knowledge is empowering.
Gender determines the future of a colonist.
Sanctions don’t necessarily work.
Slaves were traded as resources.
Colonial boundaries changed over time.

Not all Big Ideas matched up to the pictures but the more times that we, as students, revisit both the Drumroll and the Big Ideas, the more that we will revise our Big Ideas and increase both our personal and group learning.  Not matching a picture was not wrong.  However this “re-focusing” on Big Ideas gave us a bit more structure to think about as we began our second round of center work.

We had a page with four quotes for a whole class activity.  When working with quotes, Kathleen said people and dates matter so we googled dates for the  quotes that were missing dates so we could think about”time” implications as we worked on common themes between the quotes.  After discussing a quote in our group, we then did a quick write about what the quote meant.  Kathleen shared a fourth grade student response that was much better than mine due to the figurative language and the comparisons for freedom for slaves that was not a result of “liberty” from the British.  It was a great example that pushed our thinking about the possibilities for student learning.

Questions to ask as we plan social studies Read Alouds:

What reading skills do we want to emphasize?
What writing skills?
What note-taking skills (taught and/or used)?
What are the student learning targets?
What vocabulary should be in the word bank? (Does the order match the content order?)
What visuals should be included?
What partner materials need to be collected, organized, labeled and copied for students?

 

Closing Workshop:  Teaching Literary Elements Such as Mood, Symbolism, and Theme with Digital Bins  – Dana Johansen and Sonja Cherry -Paul

What are Digital Bins?  They are text sets that include:

        • Websites
        • YouTube.com videos
        • Photographs
        • Music
        • Primary source documents
        • Advertisements, etc

One example shared today was Theme:

“Theme is a thread that runs throughout a text.”

  • Pay attention to details:  characters, objects, colors, setting
  • Note patterns such as repeated images, phrases, emotions
  • Name the threads that tie this all together

 

Grade 6 Student Work Example for Symbolism

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Create Text Sets Around Common Themes for Advanced Readers:

(have students compare across text sets)

  • Growing Up
  • Change
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Equality

Their presentation was really informative and provided many practical ways to plan for instruction in “understanding the craft of writing embedded and discoverable through reading!  Check out their blog here  and their book as well for tons more information!

 

Keynote – David Booth

Our friend from Canada, David Booth, knows that there  is  a serious problem surrounding boys reading “girl books.”  He works with students, parents, and schools in order to have them understand that the digital age is here whether we like it or not.   Loved the pictures and stories about his granddaughter as well as the fact that he “poked fun” at himself and his technological capacities!  Great speaker!

What was on your learning list for today?  Did you attend the 7:30 pm #TCRWP Twitter Chat with @clemenkat?

#TCRWP: Reading Institute Day 2


I can’t say enough about how nice the weather has been the last ten days in New York City.  I am saying it quietly as I know it is going to change, but it has been such a contrast to last year’s triple digit, steaming hot days!  Why does the temperature outside matter?  Well sometimes, in buildings gently aging, the temperature really varies and boiling temperatures do make it more difficult to stay focused and continue learning.  But enough with the weather and on with the show, . . . er the review!

 

What is Social Studies?

Do you view social studies through this lens?

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Or does this lens match your view of Social Studies?

SS

 

Are you now thinking Social Studies is “kinda, sorta” both of those?

 

The minute I heard about the content area work done around centers last year at TCRWP (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project), I was interested.  The use of Social Studies content to increase reading and writing has always been intriguing to me.  I love social studies.  Stories in the past?  Who doesn’t like stories?  And what a fun way to learn about the past – from stories.  And I am not just talking about school-aged children here either.  Now that pediatricians are recommending parents read to infants, I will also be consciously connecting more early literature contexts when available like this NAEYC list of recommended social studies books for youngsters age three and above.

 

This week I have daily sessions with Kathleen Tolan (@KathleenMTolan) during the Advanced Reading sessions at the July Reading Institute.  Today was day two at the institute and we spent more than half our time working at centers.  We are the students.  We are doing the work.  We are not teaching (YET).  We are learning by being the students.

I am at the Compare and Contrast Center with 4 other adults.  Our task card says,

“Welcome to the compare and contrast center!

In this center you will be reading, talking, note taking, and comparing and contrasting the colonies.  Talk with your group about what you are learning: use text evidence.

After reading and taking notes, look back at your notes to develop idea.  You can go back and add on to your notes or start a new page of wonderings and ideas.”

 

If you were to restate that task, or turn and tell the gist to your partner, what would you say?

Does this task feel like an assignment?

Does it feel like there is only one answer?

How do we know what to do?

 

We have had some instruction in the form of lessons and demonstrations.  We have a page of thinking prompts for making comparisons and explaining differences that was included in the center packet. But we do not have  a suggested “product” for this “reading” task.

We know that we need evidence so we are jotting notes and using quotes as a part of our evidence.  We have five books about different colonies.  Not all books are from the same publisher so not all have the same exact Table of Contents.  The good news is that when we “perused” the books, one of our group members noted the similarity of four of the books and asked everyone else if the Table of Contents was similar.  We were happy to find that common ground to begin our compare/contrast work.

Do you have content area centers for reading (input of information)?  If yes, do the task cards sound open-ended like these?  If not, why don’t you have centers?  What are you waiting for?

Day 2 was Monday!

Advanced AM session with Brooke Geller

Show and Teach:  We walked around the room and played / shared our video, song, poem, or text.  These included:  Finding Nemo, Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchel and also by Counting Crows, Adidas ad for world soccer, McDonald’s ad for World Soccer, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go for starters!

Then we did a close reading of “Mr. Entwhistle” where there is a lot of envisioning to do because the characters actions and words are contradictory.  This was also part of a longer discussion explanation of how to use Read Aloud Jots to raise the level of jots for reading response about theories of characters.

We worked with strands of nonfiction in terms of:

  • size of text chunks
  • explicitness of main ideas
  • new vocabulary  and
  • scaffolding provided by the text features.

 

Closing Workshop

Stacey Fell   8th grade

Using Readers’ Notebooks to Drive Your Middle School Reading Instruction

This session repeats on Tuesday afternoon – consider attending!

Does your reader’s notebook need some serious attention.  Are you wondering what you should really be having the students “do” with their readers’ notebooks.  Then you should definitely attend Stacey’s session on Tuesday.  It will be packed full of ideas that you can use in your classroom and for your readers’ notebooks!

You will see examples of:

  • reading histories
  • publishable reading entries
  • signposts from ‘Notice and Note”
  • Best of Jots
  • long writes from book clubs
  • emotional time lines
  • pressure charts and above all,
  • the care taken with written pages by 8th grade students!

 

Closing Keynote with Mary Ehrenworth

There is this aura of effortless beauty that surrounds Mary Ehrenworth’s presentation style and today’s closing in Cowin Auditorium was not an exception.  She presented information about reading workshop efforts that have been transformative and have grown out of Think Tank work.

 

Goals for Evidence-based Argument and Reading Workshop:
  • Supporting ideas with evidence
  • Depening logic
  • Using the technical language of argument
  • Constructing and defending positions with fluency and grace
  • Acknowledge counterarguments

You really needed to be there to hear about possible implications, conscious decisions in schools, and to develop the skill and passion for both.  It boils down to, “Do you want students to be obedient or be capable of “holding their own in an argument?”  Eve Bunting’s “Fly Away Home” was the read aloud that we mined for evidence for three mini-flash debates with a neighbor that focused on:

character / setting – A. The airport is not a good place for this boy to live.
B. Actually, the airport is a good place to live

theme – A.  Overall the most important thing to remember, when times are tough, is that all you need is love!
B.  Overall the most important thing to remember, when times are rough, is that all you need is hope!

author’s craft –  A. Overall, in developing the airport setting in this story, images are more important.
B. Overall, in developing the airport  setting in this story, words are more important.

 

Could you defend either viewpoints in one minute, organizing your thoughts, AND including claim, evidence and reasons?  Which of those things do you want to do in your classroom

This keynote FLEW and yet we had come so far!  The point was/ is not about winning the argument.  Instead the point is to be able to think, sort and sift through information quickly.  More information about debate and Mary’s Closing Workshop during reading last week is here.

 

A second amazing day of learning . . .

What did you learn today?

 

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

#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.

Image

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.

Image

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

 

SOL: Prepping for TCRWP


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

 

plane NY

Songs to speed me on my way in just three days  . . .

“Leavin’ on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.  . . ”  (John Denver)

memories of family sing alongs (especially the chorus when everyone wants to sing bass) in airports, movie theaters, and on planes

“Fly Away, Fly Away”   (John Denver)

“New York, New York”

 

tc columbia

What will be the best thing about the 2014 Teachers College June Advanced Writing Institute?

Lucy Calkins’ opening keynote?

The large group sessions?

The small group sessions?

Daily choice keynotes?

The talented TCRWP staff?

Meeting fellow bloggers and tweeters face to face?

The Shows?

The Food?

The Weather?

Playing tourist in New York City?

Learning with friends:  old and new?

 

 Survival Questions:

How many books do I need on my iPad to cover a day of flying, 13 days in NYC, and a day flying home?

How many pieces of technology do I need for my 15 total days?

Estimated number of Tweets during the 15 days?

Estimated number of blog posts during the 15 days?

 

Your thoughts?  Any answers?  Advice? 
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