Best Book I Have Not Read

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

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!

 

How Can I Move Up a Reading Level? June 9, 2010

Filed under: reading workshop,TCRWP — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:56 am
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I was just looking through some of my old photos from one of my school visits to Teachers College and New York City public schools when I came across this interesting factoid in the form of a chart:reading

Level Time to Complete One Book Time to Move Up a Level *
G, H, I 15-20 minutes 10 days
J, K, L 20-40 minutes 10 days
M, N 60 minutes 15 days
O, P, Q 2 hours 21 days
R, S, T 4 hours 45 days
* BUT, you must read an hour a day!

So, what’s the take-away messages?

You can improve your reading ability just by reading books.

You must read a lot for it have an impact.

The higher the books become/the more advanced a reader you become, the longer it takes to complete a book, as well as move up to a higher text difficulty band.

 

Reason to Click My Heels Together! April 29, 2010

What event could bring  Franki from A Year of ReadingKaren from Talkworthy, Karen from Literate LivesKatie from Creative Literacy , Stella from My World-Mi Mundo, myself and others under one room tomorrow?

Could it be a sale at Cover to Cover?

The announcement of the Newbery?

NCTE?

OCTELA?

Good Guesses but wrong.

We will all be in one room to hear and watch Samantha Bennett , author of That Workshop Book: New Systems and Structures for Classrooms That Read, Write and Think, work in Katie’s second grade class and Karen’s fifth grade class. I am very exciting to have colleagues from three different grade levels that will be attending tomorrow, as well as a student teacher from the building. What a great professional development opportunity that would not be possible without the hard work of the volunteers for The Literacy Connection, including my friend and guru, Carol.

While we won’t all fit in Karen’s and Katie’s classrooms, the rest of us get to watch over close-circuit television, with debriefing sessions in-between.


 

Student created Strategy Posters Reading and Writing April 16, 2010

Filed under: reading workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 1:09 pm
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Poetry Unit of Study Reading Lesson 5 Grade 5 April 3, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,reading workshop,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:32 am
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Reading Lesson 5: How to Read Poetry Aloud—Paying Attention to Line Breaks and White Space

Materials

• Poetry anthologies and copies of poems at a variety of reading levels for independent reading (see Reading Resources in Unit at a Glance)

• Student copies of three short poems they are not familiar with and one of the poems cut into word strips and arranged in pocket chart with wording in order, but different line breaks and white space

Intended Learning

Students hear and read poetry aloud to learn how line breaks and white space determine poems’ meanings, rhythms, and sounds.

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

Connection

Looking at the class chart “What Is Poetry?” point out how students already realize that white space and line breaks are essential poetry elements. Tell them line breaks and white spaces are as basic to poems as paragraphs are to prose. Discuss how many poems are arranged in lines and how poets decide on line lengths.

Today we look deeper at the power of line breaks and white space. Remind students what they learn today will help them become better poetry writers.

Teaching and Active Engagement

With the poem’s words in original order, direct students’ attention to the poem in the pocket chart. Ask volunteers to read the poem aloud, thinking of possible meaning and rhythms they hear. Then, with the poem’s words remaining in original order, ask for student input on rearranging the line breaks.

Ask volunteers to read the poem again with the new arrangement. Discuss how line breaks affect the poem’s meaning. Repeat the process with new line breaks, then read and discuss how the new line breaks affected the poem. Finally, show students the poet’s version of the poem and read aloud. Talk about how poets decide line lengths to influence meaning and sounds.

However, by using appropriate language-level poems and taking time learners to experience the effects of different poetry arrangements, this lesson can be very effective in developing the “ears” of budding poets and poetry readers.

Link

Students experiment with line breaks for at least one of the two other poems you chose. Direct them to first read the poem aloud, softly to themselves, to hear the poem’s sound and rhythm. Next, ask them to rewrite the poem with line breaks and white space that make sense to them.

Independent and Small Group Time

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

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

Sharing/Closure

• Group students who worked on the same poems in pairs or small groups.

• Ask them to show and read their poems and explain their thinking about the line breaks and white space.

 

Poetry UOS Grade 5 Day 4 Reading April 2, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,reading workshop,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:19 am
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Reading Lesson 4: Poetry Read-Aloud—Savoring Sound, Rhythm, and the Music of Words

Materials

• Poetry anthologies and copies of poems at a variety of reading levels for independent reading

• Chart paper, student copies, or overhead of several teacher-selected poems with exceptional word choice,         onomatopoeias, and rhythmic language (read beforehand to consider word choice, rhythm, and language to highlight)

• Students’ writing notebooks

• Class “What Is Poetry?” chart started in Lesson 3 (see end of lesson)

Intended Learning

Students hear and read poetry aloud to experience and appreciate poetic language.

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

For more tips on reading poetry aloud to students, see Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell, pages 418-419.

Connection

Explain to students that history tells us poetry was first a way to communicate orally. It is best enjoyed by hearing it read aloud. Today and every day during this study, we will savor poetic language by hearing poetry read aloud, which help us when we read poetry, as well as write poetry.

Teaching

Modeling reading poetry is the first step in helping students read it for themselves. Convey the poem’s rhythm and meaning with your voice and avoid a long explanation or presentation before or after the reading.

Read the first poem you chose without students seeing the words. Read it again and allow students to see the poem on chart paper, overhead, handout. Ask them to listen carefully, paying close attention to elements, such as the sound and music of the words. Briefly allow students to “Turn and Talk” about words or phrases they particularly enjoyed. Point out onomatopoeia and ask students to think about how the author wants those words to sound. Read them again along with any other interesting and powerful words or language.

Active Engagement

Read aloud other poems you chose, following the same steps as above. After the “Turn and Talk,” encourage students to add words they really enjoyed to their writing notebook lists. Ask a few students to share words they found particularly musical.

Link

Today students work in pairs or small groups, reading poems aloud to one another and enjoying poetic language. Ask them to choose one poem they feel has strong poetic language and musical words to read to another group during Sharing.

Independent and Small Group Time

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

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

• Circulate to support pairs and groups with their practice.

Sharing/Closure

• Pair groups of students to share selected poems. Add poems “are meant to be read alou • d” to the class “What Is Poetry?” chart (see end of this lesson).

Reading Workshop Lesson 4: Poetry Read-Aloud—Savoring Sound, Rhythm, and the Music of Words

What Is Poetry?

• Has line breaks

• Creates images in readers’ minds

• Creates emotion

• Is generally short pieces of writing

• Uses powerful language

• Uses figurative language such as similes and metaphors

• Uses random indentions

• Has different line lengths

• Songs are poems paired with music

• Are meant to be read aloud

 

Poetry UOS Grade 5 Reading Lesson 3 April 1, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,reading workshop,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:57 am
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Reading Lesson 3: Reflecting on What We Know About Poetry

Materials

• “What Is Poetry,” page 410, in Guiding Readers and Writers by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell (read beforehand)

• Chart paper titled “What Is Poetry?”

• Student copies of a few poetry examples of your choice

• Students’ “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers

• Students’ comparing and contrasting prose and poetry information from Lessons 1-2

Intended Learning

• Students recognize what they already know about poetry elements.

Big Ideas

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

Mini-Lesson

Connection

Tell students that during the past two days, through the “Poetry Pass” and comparing and contrasting prose and poetry, they exposed many important poetry elements. During this lesson, they create a class chart of all those elements and continue to add to it as we learn more throughout the unit.

Teaching

To understand what poetry is and appreciate it, students need to hear and experience a wide variety of poems.

Read aloud a poem you chose to students. The purpose is for pure enjoy-ment of poetic language. No introduction to the poem is necessary. Simply tell students the poem’s title and read it aloud twice.

After the reading, ask students to take a minute to look at their work from the last two days and think about what they know for sure about poetry. Give students another minute to “Turn and Talk” about it with partners.

Active Engagement

Using information gathered from graphic organizers in the past two lessons and conversations heard during “Turn and Talk,” begin a class “What Is Poetry?” chart (see sample at the end of this lesson). Remind students they will add to this chart for the rest of the unit.

Link

Tell students they now know what poetry is. During independent reading, students work in pairs to read poetry aloud to one another. Although the focus is to enjoy poems, encourage them to read to capture poems’ feelings and rhythms. Before students are released to work, read them the section “What is Poetry” p. 410 from Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell.

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

• Partners share poetry they enjoyed today with another pair of students.

What Is Poetry?

• Has line breaks

• Creates images in readers’ minds

• Creates emotion

• Is generally short pieces of writing

• Uses powerful language

• Uses figurative language such as similes and metaphors

• Uses random indentions

• Has different line lengths

• Songs are poems paired with music

 

Poetry UOS Fifth Grade Reading Day 2 March 31, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,reading workshop,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:52 am
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Reading Lesson 2: Immersing Ourselves in Poetry

Materials

• Chart paper to create “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer (see end of this lesson)

• Teacher-selected poem for read aloud (see Reading Resources in Unit at a Glance)

• Overhead of example of familiar prose

• Student copies of a few poetry and prose examples

• Students’ “Poetry Pass” graphic organizers from Lesson 1

Intended Learning

• Students learn to verbalize differences and similarities between poetry and prose to deepen their understanding of poetry.

Big Ideas

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

Mini-Lesson

Point out how both poetry and prose “create imagery” or “paint a picture in readers’ minds” and touch readers’ emotions. Point out poetry just accomplishes it with less, yet more powerful language and word choice.

Connection

Review yesterday’s discoveries from the “Poetry Pass” by allowing students to look over their graphic organizers and briefly review the “Scan, Snippet” column to recall what they noticed about poetry. Tell them they will use what they noticed yesterday and their prior knowledge of poetry to record similarities and differences between poetry and prose.

Teaching

Read aloud the poem you chose so students experience the words’ sound and rhythm. After the reading, ask them to think how this poem compares to prose. You may mention a particular piece of prose students are familiar with. Allow students to “Turn and Talk” to partners about their ideas.

Begin a “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer (see end of this lesson) on chart paper.

Distribute and take a minute or two to study poetry and prose samples with the class, using samples the class has seen and read before. Think aloud about similarities and/or differences you notice.

Fill in the “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer with ideas gathered from the poem and the overhead example of prose. For example, you might say “I noticed poetry has different line lengths, but in prose, the lines go until the end of the page.” Then write those ideas on the organizer.

Also model including ideas similar to both forms of writing, such as “I noticed the poem I read has figurative language such as a simile. We see figurative language in prose also.” Remind students a simile is when authors compare dissimilar two things using like or as. Then write this idea in the “Both” column.

Invite one or two students to share their ideas and add to the organizer. You will refer to the chart to elaborate on ideas presented throughout the lesson, so scaffold their responses to ensure all important ideas are reflected on the organizer, which include visual design of poetry, cadence, rhythm, author’s point

Active Engagement

Students “Turn and Talk” about other similarities and/or differences they notice in the two samples. Ask one or two student pairs to share their findings and record their information on the class organizer.

Link

During independent reading, students copy the “Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose” graphic organizer format into their reading notebooks. Pass out several poetry and prose selections to students to read and use their graphic organizers to chart and record other ideas that the group may not have highlighted.

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

•Invite students to share similarities and differences they noticed between prose and poetry that the group did not notice or record earlier.

Comparing and Contrasting Poetry and Prose

Poetry Both Prose
Has line breaks Have similes Lines go to the end of the page.
 

It’s That Time of Year February 20, 2010

It’s the time of year when teachers need to start planning their professional development for the summer. Applications for the Reading and Writing Institutes at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project are now open! I am drooling! I don’t know if the fates will line up for me to travel to New York for the “best professional development” ever, but I can dream! I would really like to attend an advanced section of the Reading Institute, especially with the highly anticipated, upcoming release of the Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grades 3-5 (At least highly anticipated by me-you can now pre-order it on Heinemann but it doesn’t list the ship date. Since she was still finishing the writing when I saw Lucy Calkins in Indianapolis in the end of January, the date is probably a little up in the air.)

If you can figure out a way to get yourself to New York for five days this summer, or have a nice friend who will let you crash, it will be the best pd experience you can have  and you’ll be wishing you did it for yourself years ago.

 

 
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