Tag Archives: Saturday Reunion

From Riverside to Riverside . . . the learning continues


Until four years ago, this was what I expected to see and hear IF and WHEN I visited New York.

Did you check it out?

That’s what I knew about New York!

My world has shifted on its axis in the last five years and I now trust my good friends to keep me grounded.

Dayna Wells  (@daywells) tweeted this out):

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Dayna’s hometown is about 10-15 miles from our family farm.  To me, the connections are obvious.  My family roots are in the town of Riverside, Iowa.  In fact, I feel that I can positively say that my family, the Schnoebelens, founded the town of Riverside, which is now infamous as the home of “Star Trek”.  St. Mary’s in  Riverside, is a majestic Catholic Church.

Saint_Mary's_Church_and_Rectory_-_Riverside,_Iowa

You can read about the church and the founding families here. In our family, one claim to fame is that all of my mom’s family attended the school at St. Mary’s.  My grandmother was a teacher in a one-room country school.   All ten of her children attended St. Mary’s School! That fact is celebrated in the pictures on the walls of the church hall. We have many fond memories of our local parish church, the school and the cemetary at St. Vincent’s  whch is the resting place for many, many, many family members. A small town church for a small town Iowa girl!

And tomorrow is the 7th time that my learning day (or week in the case of summer institutes) will begin at Riverside Church in NYC.  A majestic setting for a FREE day of learning.  There is no cost for participating in the learning at #SaturdayReunions at Teachers College.

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An eye-opening, mind-blowing learning extravaganza . . .  

Slow Learner, Fran?

There are folks who have attended for more than 25 years!

Before the end of the day, my eyeballs will be rolled back up into my brain – trying to absorb just one more ounce of inspiration, passion and true belief that ALL OUR kids can read and write.  AND read and write at high levels!  AND that all our kids deserve the BEST teachers of readers and writers – THOSE that read and write themselves.

The agenda is seven pages long. Difficult choices for attendees as all sessions will be led by those who have been immersed in the reading and writing units of study by Lucy Calkins and the amazing Teachers College Staff Developers.

How and when do you follow your passions?

What are you learning?

How will we know?

(Thanks for the inspiration, Dayna!)

Mentor Texts for Writing


How do you use mentor texts?

There are so many options for mentor texts in both reading and writing.  A search at Two Writing Teachers gives you all of these posts to consider.  You can also check out Rose and Lynne’s website here with many ideas from their two Mentor Text books.

At the 88th Saturday Reunion, Carl Anderson (@conferringcarl) began with a story about coaching his son’s baseball team for six years and yet still needing a mentor.  He went on to explain that mentors could be found in Greek mythology and as a friend of Odysseus and adviser of Telemachus actually in the “Odyssey”.  A mentor was a “wise and sage co-teacher” – who wouldn’t want one for life?

Ralph Fletcher explains that mentor texts are, “…any texts that you can learn from, and every writer, no matter how skilled you are or how beginning you are, encounters and reads something that can lift and inform and infuse their own writing. I’d say anything that you can learn from – not by talking about but just looking at the actual writing itself, being used in really skillful, powerful way.”

One role of a mentor text according to Carl Anderson is:

pull back curtain

How can a mentor text help you “pull back the curtain” and reveal the craft in the writing?

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 31 – Before That


(Following the example of Sally Donnelly, a colleague and friend that I met face to face Saturday .  .  .  you can read her “Before That” here.)

Before That

I arrived home last night just before dark, without having encountered any deer, in my blue Hyundai rental without cruise control, eternally grateful that I was able to monitor my speed while excited about my weekend of learning.

Before that, I was thankful that I did not need the picture that I snapped of the fire extinguishers on the wall of the parking ramp near my car in order to remember where I left it after my mad dash to the airport on Friday following all day PD!

Before that, my US Airways jet landed in Des Moines in the midst of a balmy yet windy 75 degree afternooon. (I didn’t believe the pilot, I had to text a friend for verification. 75? Really?)

Before that, my US Airways jet finally departed the Washington DC airport after two hours of delay due to undisclosed maintenance.

Before that, we deplaned after 30 minutes of sitting on the tarmac.

Before that, we began boarding at the time listed on tickets for our departure.

Before that, we were shuttled to our departure terminal after the bus idled in our rectangular-painted location until the corresponding bus left Terminal 23 – our destination.

Before that, our shuttle flight landed in DC . . . exactly one hour late.

Before that, I was using the internet at LGA to stay caught up with email, slices, and organizing pictures captured over the weekend.

Before that, I was clearing check in and security literally in seconds due to TSA pre-check status and at my departure terminal in minutes.

Before that, I was on my way to the airport in a yellow cab, relishing the fact that 50% of the folks at Central Park were wearing shorts and the other 50% were bundled up from head to toe in winter coats.

Before that, I finished packing and added a few last minute thoughts to a document as I contemplated topics for my last March Challenge slice as well as beginning curious thoughts about what “traditional Tuesday” slicers would find for imaginative topics.  My current list of all the modes of transportation from the weekend in NYC (in reverse order):  taxi, walk, subway (loud guy), walk (“reading glasses”), subway, subway, walk, subway, walk, subway, bus, walk, walk, walk, walk, taxi, plane, walk, plane, walk, and rental car.

Before that, I had a hearty American breakfast at the Nice Matin, adjacent to the Lucerne Hotel, on the upper-west side of Manhattan because with a full day of travel, a solid breakfast to begin the day beats any and all airport food.

Before that, I read and responded to daily “slices” as well as posting my own and linking it at Two Writing Teachers.

Before that, I woke at 6:00 on my last morning in New York City (this trip to Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) in the fabulous Lucerne Hotel.

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THANKS for reading my daily posts during March!

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This is the last day of the March Daily Challenge. 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 for us to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

slice

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 28 – “R Day”


It is officially Saturday, March 28th, the day of the Teacher’s College 88th Saturday Reunion.  What an honor to be able to follow in the footsteps of the many who have trod these hallowed halls!

Thousands of friends will be in Riverside Church for the opening by Patricia Palaccio and the closing by Kylene Beers.  Sandwiched in between are over 125 free sessions that also include the keynoters, Lucy Calkins and the many #TCRWP staff developers.  I have been fortunate to be accepted into the 2013 and 2014 June/July Writing and Reading Institutes.  Tomorrow will be my first Saturday Reunion!

tcrwp

See you there?

See you in the Twitterverse?

I am in New York City, too excited to sleep, and yet only a wake up away from the Saturday Reunion . . . .  visions of the new Reading Units dancing in my head!

I’ll be easy to spot on Saturday as I will be “wearing” my professional development t-shirt as evidence of my book chats on Twitter!

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Are these books a part of your professional library?

How do you learn and grow professionally?

slice

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 for us to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 27 – Tomorrow


This slice was inspired by a post by Erin yesterday here and will give you a preview of what my slices will probably look like for the remainder of March!  THANKS, Erin!

tomorrow

Tomorrow,

I will wake up in NYC.

Tomorrow,

I will enjoy breakfast at the Lucerne.

Tomorrow,

I will pack a lunch to take to TC for the Saturday reunion so I shan’t miss a single minute of learning or fellowship.

Tomorrow,

I will ride the subway to TC.

Tomorrow,

I will go early to pick up a flyer listing the sessions.

Tomorrow,

I will be at majestic Riverside Church for the opening keynote.

Tomorrow,

I will listen raptly to Lucy Calkins, Patricia Palaccio and Kylene Beers and many others.

Tomorrow,

I will join approximately 3,000+ friends both new and old for Saturday reunion.

Tomorrow,

I will be making choices about sessions – 125 free ones to choose from.

Tomorrow,

I will be wearing comfortable walking shoes for the miles I will travel.

Tomorrow,

I will be learning from some of the best in the field of literacy.

Tomorrow,

I will be tweeting and blogging back where I really began tweeting and blogging.

Tomorrow,

I will joining “Slicers” at the Kitchenette.

Tomorrow,

Will soon be here!

tcrwp

What will your tomorrow bring?

slice

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 for us to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

Slice of Life 24: Maximizing Instructional Time


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

How do teachers maximize time for student benefits?

Tip One:  Increase talk time of students in order for them to solidify their learning.  A very specific tip was shared by Lucy Calkins at the Spring Saturday Reunion at Teachers College.

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Five minutes.  Find five minutes for students to talk after they have been reading.  No cost.  No text dependent questions. No quiz.

“TALK!” – Lucy Calkins

Chapter 1 “Why Talk is Important in Classrooms” from Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey’s Content Area Conversations will give you additional ideas about the value of talk including “Reading and writing float on a sea of talk.”

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Tip Two:  Maximize your use of small groups across the day from Shanna B Schwartz.   “Weave small groups across the day, through reading workshop, writing workshop and word study periods.”  Use small groups to help students meet targets and accelerate learning!

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Another source of information about “small group” instruction is Debbie Diller’s Making the Most of Small Groups:  Differentiation for All.  In this book Diller also explains the difference between guided reading groups and small groups working on such skills as comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, etc.  The goals of the group are determined by the data upon which they are formed!

 

How do you use TALK after reading to improve comprehension?  How do you use small groups across the day?

Slice of Life 22: Saturday


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

It’s Saturday.  Today is also the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Saturday Spring Reunion. (link to the brochure)

That means that today I will be following the #tcrwp Twitter Stream closely and keynotes are underway by rockstars Diane Ravitch, Colleen Cruz and Shanna Schwarz.

The Setting:  FREE workshops by fabulous #tcrwp Staff Developers

Who:  Teachers and Administrators spending their time on a Saturday to learn and to celebrate learning about literacy

Agenda (link to the day’s agenda)

Learning via twitter is truly the next best thing to being in NYC at Columbia University’s Teachers College. All of the presentations will help teachers and administrators deepen their understanding of student responses to literacy instruction!

Summarizing Results

Earlier this week, I used a Google Form to collect reader data about favorites in the Hunger Games book series and in the movies to date.  Here are the results.

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Favorite Book

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Favorite Movie

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What will you read or write this weekend for your own personal learning?
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