Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Wow! It’s been forever October 11, 2014


 

 

 

 

 

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The Literacy Connection

BEST and MOST REASONABLY PRICED PD available

teachers spending a beautiful Saturday on their own free time inside

Columbus, Ohio

Jennifer Serravallo

The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook

Formative Instructional and Reading Instruction

Independent Reading

 

 

I can’t actually believe I remember my password.

Sitting at a table with former colleagues (So happy to see Lisa and Lori) and current colleagues (so happy that 2 last year became 4 this year)

book bloggers on site

Literacy Hero! Carol Price

Teachers’ College connectionf

 

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Lucy Calkins NCTE Notes December 12, 2011

Filed under: Calkins,Common Core,NCTE — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:26 am
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Harnessing the Power of the Common Core Standards Alongside the Engine of Reading and Writing Workshop Across the Curriculum, Grades 3–9 Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth; authors, Pathways to the Common Core (Spring 2012)

Calkins’ mini-lessons for student readers: “What you get out of reading will be different if you approach it like curmudgeons vs. approaching it like the text is gold.”

Same applies for the Common Core.

Complaints about the Common Core (the curmudgeon):

• It will lead people to “beat teachers up” at a time when they are already suffering; accuse them of not teaching what students “need”

• There’s no money for anything already, where is the money coming from for PD and cost-per-child for testing?

• ELA students are unequipped to meet these standards as set out

• Informational text and literature standards for reading are mirrored, which is unrealistic

• Who wrote these, anyway? “Written by committee,” and they’re continuing to write additions that have not been ratified yet (personal opinion pieces) but they appear to be part of the CCSS.

• End points are clear, but the methods of reaching them are not, and these personally-authored pieces are all over the place (but again, treated like part of the CCSS).

However: We have to look at CCSS and see hope and opportunity rather than despair. (Newark, NJ example about young mayor)

Positive things about CCSS (the “gold):

• It’s a “wake-up call” in a system that is “really, really late” in terms of quality of education. The average college grad reads one book a year – this in an age of informational overload. • Will help us offer the “rich curriculum” to all kids at a time when 80% of jobs require “high literacy skills”

• The practices of comprehension are so much more complex than they used to be (definition-wise); so is the practice of writing, and the standards reflect that.

• Streamlined – not “thousands of pages” long

• Each grade’s standards hold other grades accountable; “it takes a village” to teach literacy

• Gives a starting place to help develop kids’ skills. • Asks for kids to do complex work with independence

• Puts an emphasis on reading complex texts • Asks for teachers and principals to make big decisions

Mary Ehrenworth: Looking at the Common Core Reading Standards The reading standards:

• Ask for a high level of reading (text complexity), which is refreshing.

• Build on each other – you can’t do the later ones without the earlier ones.

• Ask “what does the text say, and how does it work”? (Note: This aligns exactly with Junior Great Books activities. Seriously. It’s asking kids to stay within the text and supply details from it.)

Mary walked us through the reading standards by asking us to apply them (using an example from Charlotte’s Web):

• Restate the text (restructuring)

• Determine central idea(s) (and give examples)

• Connect your new ideas back to the earlier ideas and see how they’ve developed

• Determine important and metaphorical words/phrases/language

• Think about structure (time)

• Think about point of view Recommended doing some of this work with colleagues to practice. Looking at the Writing Standards

• Divided by types of writing o Narrative: Personal, realistic fiction, historical fiction, memoir o Argument: Personal essay, persuasive essay, literary essay, research essay o Informational: Nonfiction articles, nonfiction books

• Think about whether your students are getting the opportunity to become good at writing these types of text, and what that kind of writing should look like across K–12 and across curriculum.
• Writing standards are cumulative; they build on each other. Take a piece of writing and see how it would develop across the grades based on the standards. (I was unclear whether she meant a student’s writing or an extant text; I think she means student writing.)

Calkins: How to Make the Common Core Work in Schools

• CCSS asks for institutional buy-in: Everyone agrees on working toward certain levels of ability, and it only works if everyone does it (at all levels and across disciplines) Also, CCSS calls for cross-curricular integration.

• CCSS asks for us to “lift the level of teaching and learning” (which is not new in terms of large-scale efforts, and most of those haven’t worked – see NCLB). It’s not just about standards; it’s a call for school reform. So we have to learn from our reform mistakes and not repeat them. • Most people’s reaction will be to read the CCSS and then add new programs and policies and initiatives to meet the core. However, CCSS is not calling for curricular compliance; it’s calling for an acceleration of student achievement (however that is accomplished). The best way to lift the level of achievement is not to add, it’s to see what strong stuff you already have that “gestures toward the common core” and do it more often with more focus and rigor. • You also need school buy-in to the strongest initiatives: A lot of teachers equate professionalism with autonomy, but to the outside world, professionalism is the opposite (relying on a body of knowledge bigger than yourself, and working well with others).

• To work in schools, the core needs to be “socially supported” in the school. Motivation is the holy grail of school reform. “Most people, when faced with the choice between ‘change’ or ‘die,’ will choose ‘die.’” The only way to motivate serious change is through the creation of support groups.

• Locate the good work being done, create communities in which to share the work, and share it. Groundbreaking Research Lucy Calkins cited Visible Learning by John Hattie: The factor that promotes achievement more than anything else is effective feedback:

• The learner needs a clear goal to work toward that is realistic but challenging.

• The teacher watches and gives feedback that is supportive (informational, not just praise “This is what you’re doing well”) and critical. • The teacher watches to see if the learner improves; this is the teacher’s feedback.

• Kids and teachers both need a clear sense of what it means to “do the work better” and how/where the progress is being made. CCSS lays that out.

 

Up in the middle of the night… September 27, 2011

Filed under: ALAN,bloggers,Calkins,meme,Mo Willems,NCTE,TCRWP,Teachers College — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:02 am

Not sleeping can have it’s advantages. After all, if I was sleeping, who knows when I would have had time to blog surf? Who know when I would have found A Year of Reading’s nice Versatile Blogger mention. Thank you Franki and Mary Lee. You’ve snapped me out of my writing funk.

 
Thank you to A Year of Reading for recognizing me!After accepting this honor there are some things the blogger is requested to do:
1. Thank the person (people) who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
2. Share 7 things about you.
3. Pass this award along to 15 other blogs that you have discovered.
 
So, here are 7 things about me:
 
1. I sometimes can’t sleep so I try to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I still haven’t figured it out.
2. It’s hard to believe that I have 570 posts. If I could just learn to not over-analyze my own writing, I’d have lots more than that.
3. I was contemplating how to sell my husband the great idea of a weekend road trip to NYC to Teachers College in October for their reunion so I could see Mo Willems AND Lucy Calkins all in one day. Hmmm….
 4. I have a new dog, bringing us to three. He’s a rescue collie from Tri-State Collie rescue. Anything I know about collies is due to the reading I did when I was little. He is the best dog.
 5. I am so excited to attend NCTE/ALAN this November! It’s been too long!
6. My youngest child is in the grade that I taught for fifteen years.
7. I’m still always looking for the next best book!
 
Here is the first of 15 bloggers that I’m recognizing as Versatile Bloggers:
 
Others will be forth coming. I think I might be able to sleep!
 

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
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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.


 

Poetry Unit of Study grade five March 28, 2010

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