A rainbow peeked out between clouds. “Has it been raining?”
“Not here. Not yet.”
“Wow! And yet you still have a rainbow!”
Such a joyful and auspicious beginning to 24 hours filled with joy.
Three months since our last gathering and a full day of professional learning.
And more precious time with dinner and continued conversation.
A prelude . . .
During our opening hour keynote with Jan Millers Burkin on Monday morning in Cedar Falls, Iowa at the Jacobsen Center for Comprehensive Literacy at UNI:
we practiced the four intentions, alignment, balance, sustainability, and joy, with actual movements from Reading Wellness: Lessons in Independence and Proficiency,
and we lifted weights: 3 pounds, 5 pounds, 8 pounds, and 10 pounds from Who’s Doing the Work? How to Say Less so Readers Can Do More,
and we thought about what we should continue to do MORE OF from past literacy education in order to “refocus” and “reframe” our work.
Are the keynotes you attend always this joyful?
Make a note to NOT miss out on a keynote by either Jan Burkins or Kim Yaris. It will be memorable!
It was also my pleasure to sit in on Jan’s session about “Who’s Doing the Work?” When our students have plateaued, we need to rethink our instruction. One apparent cause is often “over-scaffoldization” in a rush to put “hard text” in front of students. Jan and Kim provide some incredible thinking points for you to consider as you think about the gradual release of responsibility and Read Alouds, Shared Reading, Guided Reading and Independent Reading.
There is much to consider in this rich text and 90 minutes was a great “teaser”. How do you absorb information? Do you like to hear it first? Read it first? Combinations?
I’ve read the book three times now and I’m set to reread it again. Some parts I may skim as I look for specifics about which students at which time as well as marking up some of the bullets. I am not doing this to “get ready to present this information” to others, but in order to better understand the processing of reading. That invisible work that happens in a student’s head. That invisible work that is often “magical” for some students and so elusive for other students.
Teaching reading is complex. There’s no “ONE way” (methodology, purchased program, or philosophy) that works for all students which is why “thinking teachers” are necessary in every classroom to meet this goal.
Students need to read (write and talk) a lot in order to meet this goal. And Shared Reading is one of the most overlooked possibilities for student growth. But beyond that, thoughtful BALANCE is also required! Balance in literacy instruction, balance across the day and in “real life” – not just a schedule that portions out bits of labeled reading without careful attention to the interaction of the student work.
Professional growth is one of my passions. I have absorbed a lot of trivia from a lot of meetings during my decades of work. I read; I read a lot. I talk about my reading. I write this blog in order to check my understanding. I participate in books studies, Twitter chats, and Voxer conversations in order to grow and learn. I cannot and have not ever relied on professional development to appear on my doorstep. As a professional I have to continue to grow my understanding. I know when I need to learn more That means continued conversations. That means continued work on my part. Every day. Read. Write. Talk. Reflect. Intentionally. Purposefully.
It’s NOT a google search, hunting through Pinterest, or buying stuff from TpT.
It’s above and beyond scheduled work hours.
It’s a commitment to personal learning.
What are you reading?
What are you talking about? And with whom?
What are you learning? How are you growing? How do you know?
How are you seeking out professional development?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
The books referenced:
Are you following Jan and Kim on Twitter?
Their blog? https://www.burkinsandyaris.com/
Shared Reading – #G2Great chat and subsequent blog post