Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

New Teachers College Reading and Writing Project website December 13, 2010

Filed under: TCRWP — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:38 am
Tags: ,

Check out the new Teachers College Reading and Writing Project website. I’m very excited about TC’s focus on the new Common Core ELA standards.

“Content Area Literacy and the Common Core Standards: Using Performance Assessments and Studies of Student Work to Reach Ambitious New Standards”

This brand new institute will help educators, at all levels, develop the curriculum and methods necessary to ensure that students reach the rigorous new standards for content area literacy embedded in the Common Core Standards. Participants will begin by learning a repertoire of skills for teaching young readers to think analytically about nonfiction texts; such as interpreting, synthesizing, and comparing and contrasting. Participants will draft action plans aimed at revising curriculum in social studies, science and language arts that best prepare students to read critically, wrestle with authors’ points of view, and talk in depth about authorial choices. The institute will focus not only on reading nonfiction critically, but also nonfiction writing, with an emphasis on informational and opinion writing. Participants will learn ways to help students write fluently across the curriculum, using writing as a tool for analytical thinking.

The entire institute will be angled to help participants develop and utilize performance assessments effectively—many that the TCRWP has already developed to track students’ progress in higher-level comprehension and composition skills inherent in the Common Core. Participants will delve into the implications on school leadership and classroom instruction; learning ways in which studying student work has helped teachers determine how this initiative relates to everything they are already doing. This institute will equip participants with classroom-tested, practical, powerful methods to ramp up the level of comprehension work that students do, while, still, instructing with concreteness and clarity to help students progress from what they can already do towards new, robust goals.

Throughout the week, participants will spend half of their time in a large group section and the other half of the day in small, interactive groups learning practical methods that will strengthen their teaching. Both small and large group sections will be organized by grade level.

 

 

 

Upcoming Teachers College Reading Institute June 30, 2010

I’m trying  to make my brain think of things I need to remember to pack /tidbits I’m glad I know for the upcoming TCRWP Reading Institute next week. I’m attending with two teachers-both of whom have not attended before. One is a second grade teacher and one is a fourth grade teacher.

Here are some tips I shared with them:

Pack a little umbrella-trying to find one in a store when it is raining is no fun
Plan on LOTS of walking. Columbia is spread out and it won’t be unusual for the keynote to be at one end of the campus and then the small group session to be six blocks away. Also lots of four+ story buildings with stairs.
They do give us a tote/bag with needed binder/books, etc. the first moring. It is a nice size and has a pocket for a water bottle-which we will want to carry with us.
Many times I would buy a bagel/sandwich or something like that when I bought my coffee in the morning before the keynote-then carry it with me to eat for “lunch”–Even though there is a lunch break, it isn’t terribly long to have bathroom break, get to next session site, and try to stop sweating –some days I would sit outside in the campus quad, eat whatever I’d picked up, call the kids, and watch the interesting things going on.
There is an AMAZING farmer’s market outside the keynote hall, but I dont’ remember which day.
 
Bring a notebook and pens for your own notes. I filled an entire five subject spiral last summer.
I’ve been told I might want to bring Amber Brown is not a Crayon, Because of Winn Dixie, and Tangerine along for one of my sessions which focuses on assessment. I was also encouraged to do an assessment using Skylark ahead of time.
In the advanced section, we will all be receiving Lucy’s new Guidebook from the newly published Reading Units of Study. I’m expecting my two colleagues to receive The Art of Teaching Reading.
 

Reading Units of Study June 21, 2010

I’ve been on the lookout since I got the e-mail from Heinemann saying Units of Study was published and that pre-orders were being mailed last week.

And here it is!

I was going to be cleaning the basement-now I’m planning on jumping right into the new Lucy Calkins, TCRWP, Units of Study for Teaching Reading Grades 3-5. Expect posts all week about this topic from me! Wheee!

 

TCRWP Reading Institute excitement May 30, 2010

Filed under: Calkins,professional learning community,reading workshop,TCRWP — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:38 am
Tags: , ,

I’m so excited that I am attending TC’s 17th annual Reading Institute, July 5th-July 9th. While traveling on the Fourth of July is not ideal, in my mind, it does open up some fun possibilities. Maybe we’ll see the Macy’s New York City fireworks. Maybe the Statue of Liberty?

I’m even more excited as my former teaching partner was just accepted off the wait list this past week to attend as well! She will be attending a fourth grade section, another colleague will be attending a second grade section, and I’ll be attending the advanced sections. We’ll have information galore to share!

The sections I will be attending are:

  • Help Readers Progress Along Trajectories of Comprehension Development: Using Formative Assessments to Make Our Teaching Data-Based and Powerful (3-8), Lucy Calkins and Cory Gillette.
  • Design Units of Study That Can Move More Readers from Levels K, L, M to P and Q: Humor and Series, Inference and Monitoring for Sense (2-4), Emily Smith.
I’m thrilled that I’ll be learning information relevant to grades two through eight! I also think both topics are ones that will really help me help teachers.

David Booth,  Lucy Calkins, Kathy Collins,Tim Rasinski, and Jon Scieszka are the scheduled opening presenters. Of the five, the only one I haven’t heard before is Kathy Collins. Tim Rasinski, a fellow Ohioan, is a great speaker on fluency; last time I heard David Booth he made me laugh and think; Lucy-you all know what I think; Jon Scieszka-love that guy-so funny, was a great first ambassador, love his Guys Read project.

Three colleagues are attending the Reading Institute in August, representing second, fifth, and sixth grade. I’m so excited that we will be able to share information with each other, our buildings, and our district.


 

Poetry Unit of Study grade five March 28, 2010

Filed under: Calkins,Poetry,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:47 pm
Tags: , ,

I raved about this unit last spring and have finally gotten around to putting it on a flash drive so I can bring it home from work to post on my blog.

Here is Reading Lesson 1 and Writing Lesson 1 from the fifth grade unit. Denver Public Schools curriculum uses Units of Study and have great resources.

Reading Lesson 1: Immersing Ourselves in Poetry

Materials

  • Student copies of two poems, such as “Packing,” page 43, and “The Photo-graph,” page 19, in My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina or other poems of your choice
  • Large variety of poetry books at different reading levels

Intended Learning

• Students are immersed in the language and visual design of poetry to deepen their understanding of the genre’s elements.

Big Ideas

• Understand poetry elements, including word choice, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, metaphor, and visual design.

• Create mental images to understand literary language and deepen comprehension.

Mini-Lesson

In Guiding Readers and Writers, Fountas and state, “When you immerse your students in rich, lively poetry, you introduce them to intense, concise, skillfully crafted language.” In this unit, you need large collections of poetry at a variety of reading levels that fit this description.

The intention of the first two lessons in this unit is to let students experience poetry before they begin to think about what makes poetry.

Connection

Begin by sharing with students that “In a way, everything they need to know about reading and writing is in a poem” (Fountas and Pinnell, Guiding Readers and Writers). Explain that for the next few weeks, we immerse ourselves in this genre and discover just what they mean. Similar to the way we began our study of nonfiction and fiction literature, today we explore what we notice about poetry through a “Poetry Pass.”

Teaching

Arrange students so they can easily pass poetry to each other, as well as write notes on their “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers (see template at the end of this lesson).

Ideally, in a “Poetry Pass,” each student should access one poem or poetry anthology. The purpose of this exercise is to allow students to conduct what is similar to a conventional interview, with a poem.

Distribute copies of the “Poetry Pass” graphic organizer and examples of two poems. Place the graphic organizer on the overhead and do a think-aloud to model what information goes in each column, using a copied poem as an example.

Explain a scan is a brief look at a piece of literature without actually reading all the way through it, and a snippet is a piece or sample. Therefore, the “Scan, Snippet” column is a place for writing poem-specific noticings, such as titles catching your attention, line lengths, poem shape, or interesting words. Write an appropriate snippet example in the column, based on the poem you chose for an example (see the chart at the end of this lesson for an example using “Packing” by Jane Medina).

The “Comments” column can include things, such as how the poem makes you think or feel, if you are interested in spending more time with the poem or book, or poems you did not like.

Active Engagement

Using the second poem, allow students to do try-its with partners. Invite students to “Turn and Talk” about the second poem and fill in their “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers. Invite a pair of students to share how they filled out their organizers.

Link

Tell students during their independent time today, they choose poems or poetry books to use to fill out their “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers. When they hear the bell ring (or another signal of your choice), they will hand their poems or poetry books to the next person. They have three minutes between each pass to record information on their organizers. Allow about 25-30 minutes for this exercise.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students read independently from poetry books and/or teacher-selected poems.

• Confer with individual students and/or provide small group instruction.

Sharing/Closure

• Give partners two to three minutes to “Turn and Talk” about information they recorded on their “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers.

• Invite one person from each group to briefly share some information recorded specifically in the “Scan and Snippet” category.

• Explain how their noticings in this column will help them in future lessons as they build on what they know about poetry.

Poetry Pass

Author Title Scan, Snippet Comment
Jane “Packing” Random indentations The title makes me wonder where they are going
 

Welcome Spring March 20, 2010

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know I’ve been silent for a while. Thanks to those who didn’t give up, but kept coming back to see if I was talking yet.

I moved in mid-January (which has been wonderful), had four ‘extra’ snow days to unpack, but the rest has been hard.It’s not even been “my” hardness that has been hard, but our small town has been suffering through immense sadness.

I’ve spent many days plotting a trip to TCRWP for their March Reunion weekend. I figured if a shot of Jerry Spinelli, Lucy Calkins, Katherine Bomer, Alfred Tatum, and Jim Trelease mixed with the TC energy couldn’t fix my funk, I might need to seek professional help! Unfortunately (or fortunately from my husband’s point of view), I could not find anyone who thought NYC was ‘just a road trip’ from Columbus.

If I was there I’d be getting ready to walk into Riverside Church to hear Jerry Spinelli’s ‘Failure, Fried Chicken, Fiction’ keynote. I would then be trying to decide if I was going to hear Mary Enrenworth’s talk on “Reading Historical Fiction: The Project’s Latest Thinking on the Intersection Between Deep Comprehension, Interpretation, and Book Clubs” or Jen Serravallo’s “Reading Conferring and Small Group Work in a Classroom of Accountability”. I would then skip off to see Jerry Maraia, who was my TC staff developer last summer, talk, “My Students Just Retell! Getting Readers to Think Deeply About Their Books by Supporting Inference and Synthesis”. After lunch I would have been hard pressed to pick between Tiffany Nealy’s “Unit of Study on Mystery Book Clubs”, “The Intersection of RtI and Reading Workshop” (not because it makes my heart go pitty-pat, but because I have to think, talk, and advocate about the topic endlessly, or “Grammar Instruction on the Go! Creating Demonstrations Sketchbooks to Support Small Group Instruction in Writing”. (I will admit that I just flipped over to Expedia to see if a magical plane ticket for cheap had just appeared. I know I am nutty, but I’m a good nut). I will now make myself stop looking at the Workshop Schedule.

I haven’t been able to make myself read and finish a book. I’ve started several, but after a chapter I’ve put them down. Today, I vow that I will pick one up and finish it. It’s not good for me not to read.

Here’s the positive I’m going to focus on-

  • It’s the first day of Spring!
  • My kids and hubby are healthy and happy!
  • Not only am I going to attend a week of the July Summer Reading Institute, but I will have a teacher from the elementary school there as well! The August Reading Institute has another elementary teacher and two intermediate teachers! We have two on wait list for July! This is huge for us!
  • I have a huge TBR pile!
  • Four days until spring break!
  • I love walking two blocks to get a coffee, an ice cream cone, or a drink!
 

I Should Have Known… January 3, 2010

Filed under: Calkins,TCRWP — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:00 am
Tags: , ,

I should have known my husband was teasing me. When my 6’7″ inch husband skipped up the driveway (sign one), waving something from the mailbox (sign two), saying, “Oh my gosh! It’s the best mail ever!” (sign three)

“What, what,” I demand to know, trying to imagine a source of so much delight from my husband.

“Oh my gosh! It’s a letter from…” waving it out of reach above my head.

“Who, who?? Tell me!” I demand.

“Your best friend! Lucy Calkins!”

Ha ha. Funny guy. It wasn’t really a letter to me, but a mass mailing from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.

Here’s the 2010 Course Schedule

February 16-19, 2010 Coaching Institute on Whole School Reform

February 16-19, 2010 February Institute on Content Area Literacy

Saturday Reunions! Mark your calendar!
Saturday, March 20, 2010 Keynote Speaker: Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee). Also featuring Lucy Calkins, Carl Anderson, Jim Trelease (author of The Read-Aloud Handbook), Kathy Collins, Katherine Bomer and Alfred Tatum. More than 140 workshops and keynotes!

I’m plotting with a friend how to take a group of teachers and pre-service teachers to the event. How bad could an overnight bus trip really be?

Saturday, October 23, 2010: Keynote Speaker Kate DiCamillo  (Tale of Despereaux)

So exciting! The best PD opportunity for FREE. If you can get there, it’s worth the effort!

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,317 other followers