Best Book I Have Not Read

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

In case you don’t have spring break plans February 20, 2012

Filed under: TCRWP,Teachers College — bestbookihavenotread @ 2:59 pm
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The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

presents the

The 82nd Saturday Reunion

March 24, 2012
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Join the entire TCRWP community as we open our doors to thousands of K-8 educators from around the world for more than 140 free workshops, keynotes and closings on state-of-the art methods in the teaching of reading, writing, performance assessments and the Common Core. The entire TCRWP staff will present on this day, including Lucy Calkins. Guest literacy leaders will present as well. Topics will include: argument writing, embedding historical fiction in nonfiction text sets, opinion writing for very young writers, managing workshop instruction, aligning instruction to the CCSS, using performance assessments and curriculum maps to ratchet up the level of teaching, state-of-the-art test prep, phonics, guided reading and more.

Major Speakers include:

Pam Muñoz Ryan, our opening keynote speaker, has written over thirty books for young people including the award-winning Esperanza Rising, as well as Riding Freedom, Paint the Wind, and The Dreamer. She is the recipient of the Civil and Human Rights Award from the NEA, of the Virginia Hamilton Award for Multicultural Literature, and of the Willa Cather Literacy Award for writing.

David Booth, an expert in children’s literature and drama, has keynoted TCRWP conferences and authored many of our favorite professional books including Reading Doesn’t Matter Anymore, The Literacy Principle, Guiding the Reading Process, and Even Hockey Players Read. He has been a literacy leader through his work as a classroom teacher, language arts consultant, keynote, speaker, and author, as well as a Scholar in Residence at the University of Toronto.

Sarah Weeks, our closing keynote speaker, is famous throughout the TCRWP community for her light-hearted speeches. She is the author of more than fifty picture books and novels including the bestselling novel, So B. It. Two of her most recent contributions are MAC AND CHEESE and PIE. Sarah is an adjunct faculty member at the New School and a founding member of ART, a traveling troupe of authors who perform readers’ theatre across the country.

Carl Anderson is the author of the acclaimed books: Assessing Writers and How’s it Going? A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student Writers. His latest project is a book series: Strategic Writing Conferences: Smart Conversations That Move Young Writers Forward.

Lucy Calkins is Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, as well as the Robinson Professor of Children’s Literature at Teachers College. She is the author or co-author of over a score of books, including the Units of Study books for K-2 and 3-5 writing and for 3-5 reading, The Art of Teaching Reading, The Art of Teaching Writing and the upcoming Pathways to the Common Core.

Kathy Collins, author of Growing Readers: Units of Study in the Primary Classroom, and Reading for Real, teaches large group and advanced sections of TCRWP institutes.

Colleen Cruz, a senior staff developer at the Project, is the author of Independent Writing, of Reaching Struggling Writers, K-5 and of the young adult novel, Border Crossing, as well as co-author of Writing Fiction: Big Dreams, Tall Ambitions.

Mary Ehrenworth is Deputy Director for Middle Schools at the Project. She is co-author of The Power of Grammar, of two books in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grades 3-5, and of the upcoming Pathways to the Common Core.

Amanda Hartman, Lead Coach at the Project, is co-author of Authors as Mentors, of The Conferring Handbook and of One-to-One: The Art of Conferring with Young Writers.

Laurie Pessah, Senior Deputy Director of the Project, is co-author of Nonfiction Writing: Procedures and Reports and of A Principal’s Guide to Leadership in the Teaching of Writing.

Jennifer Serravallo, a senior staff developer at the Project, is author of Independent Reading Assessment: Fiction, Teaching Reading in Small Groups, and co-author of Conferring with Readers.

Kathleen Tolan, Senior Deputy Director of the Project, is co-author of Building a Reading Life, Following Characters into Meaning, and Navigating Nonfiction in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grades 3-5.

The Morning Keynote will be held at Riverside Church at 9:00 a.m.
490 Riverside Drive (between 120th and 122nd Streets)
The ensuing workshops will be held at Teachers College, 525 W.120th Street, NY 10027
No registration required. For more information, visit our website at: www.readingandwritingproject.com

 

TCRWP Fall Saturday Reunion October 9, 2011

Filed under: TCRWP,Teachers College — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:36 am
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The Teachers College Reading & Writing Project

              presents the 

       

              9:00 am – 3:00 pm 

  

Join the entire Project Community as we open our doors to thousands of educators from New York City and

around the world for more than 140 free workshops, keynotes and closings throughout the day on state-of-the

art methods in the teaching of reading and writing for grades K-8. Special guest speakers and literacy leaders

from all over the country will join us to discuss such topics as: Aligning Instruction to the Common Core

Standards, Using Performance Assessments and Curriculum Maps to Ratchet up the Level of Our Teaching,

Helping Students Convey Ideas and Opinions Through Information/Argument Writing, Teaching Higher Level

Comprehension, Using Assessment to Inform Instruction, and dozens and dozens more…

 

The Morning Keynote will be held at Riverside Church at9:00 a.m. 

490 Riverside Drive (between 120th and 122nd Streets) , 525 W.120th Street, NY 10027

   The ensuing workshops will be held at Teachers College

No registration required.  For more information, visit our website at:

http://www.readingandwritingproject.com

Naomi Shihab Nye, our opening keynote speaker and a beloved, award-

winning poet and author, has written books of poetry for adults and young readers,

picture books, essays, short stories, and YA fiction. Her numerous books of poetry

include: You and Yours, 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, Fuel, 

This Same Sky, Red Suitcase, Hugging the Jukebox, and Honeybee. In 2010 she

was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Mo Willems, our closing keynote speaker is the well-known and much-loved

award-winning author and illustrator of a score of books including Knuffle Bunny, 

the Elephant and Piggie series, the Cat the Cat series, and the Pigeon series. Before

turning to write children’s books, he was a writer and animator for Sesame Street

where his work won six Emmy Awards.

Lucy Calkins is Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and

Writing Project, as well as the Robinson Professor of Children’s Literature at

Teachers College. She is the author of the Units of Study books supporting K-2 and

3-5 writing and 3-5 reading. Her foundational texts also include The Art of 

Teaching Reading and The Art of Teaching Writing.

Katherine Bomer is a national literacy consultant, a former member of

TCRWP, and the author of Hidden Gems and Writing a Life. Along with Randy

Bomer she is the co-author of For a Better World.  

Kathy Collins is a former TCRWP staff member and the author of Growing 

Readers: Units of Study in the Primary Classroom, and Reading for Real.  She is a

frequent guest lecturer at national conferences.

Mary Ehrenworth is Deputy Director for Middle School of the Project.  She

is co-author of Tackling Complex Texts: Historical Fiction Book Clubs and 

Constructing Curriculum in Units of Study for Teaching Reading, co-author with

Vicki Vinton of The Power of Grammar, and author of Looking to Write.

Laurie Pessah, Senior Deputy Director of the Project, is co-author of

Nonfiction Writing: Procedures and Reports and A Principal’s Guide to 

Leadership in the Teacher of Writing 

Kathleen Tolan, Senior Deputy Director of the Project, is co-author with Lucy

Calkins of Building a Reading Life, Following Characters into Meaning, and

Navigating Nonfiction in the recently published Units of Study for Teaching 

Reading. 

 

 

 

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

Filed under: TCRWP — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:38 am
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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!

 

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.

 

TCRWP Reading Institute excitement May 30, 2010

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


 

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!
 

Great new PD book… March 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:09 pm
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Well, Saturday is TC’s reunion weekend and since I can’t head to it (can’t convince my husband that NYC is “just a road trip”) I’m doing the next best thing and reading the new book by TC staff developer Jen Serravallo-Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Differentiated Instruction for Building Strategic, Independent Readers.
I’m only on chapter 3, but I’m very excited about it and highly recommend it!

 

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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