Best Book I Have Not Read

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

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.


 

TCRWP continued… July 7, 2009

Filed under: Calkins,reading,TCRWP — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:54 pm
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Two days and I have taken so many notes that my thumb is killing me from clutching my pen. 

A friend joked this morning about Lucy Calkins was going to take out a restraining order against me. HaHa. I arrived early to the first session, already having planned and scoped out where I was going to drink my latte and read my book the day before. Arrive happy to not have spilled latte on my white shirt, walk to comfy chair area, and notice that someone else is sitting there already-she looks up and who is it? 

I know you know.

 

But I’ll still tell you.

 

 

It was Lucy Calkins.

 

She was obviously going over her notes for the keynote address so I very casually pivoted past the comfy chair, left her to her privacy, and went and found a hard bench. 

I’m not stalking her-I just channel her energy and it pulls me magnetically to all things TC (just kidding!) . 

 

Homework tonight was to read The Art of Teaching Reading (ATR) Ch. 3, 5, & 6 as well as some handouts. I was glad to I only needed to read the handouts since I had read ATR in the past couple weeks.

Decided to reward/challenge myself to see if I could get myself from Columbia to Central Park and then to Times Square by public transportation (and not get lost!). Probably seems like nothing to many of you, but a BIG deal to me. Found the TKTS booth after a light rambling around and got a ticket to see 9 to 5 the musical. I LOVE musicals and it was a great one!

 

Day 1 Institute Homework

Filed under: reading workshop,TCRWP — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:23 am
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Read the September Unit of the Curricular Calendar
Read about the components of Balanced Literacy (from binder)
Read about classroom libraries (from binder)
Read ATR (Art of Teaching Reading by Calkins) Chapters 4 & 7

Bring back the title of book you love
Fill out your personal reading log. Think about your personal reading goals.

 

Day One… The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project 16th Annual July Institute on the Teaching of Reading: Teach Me in the Key of Life July 6, 2009

Whew! What a great day! I am now sitting in my very dorm-y dorm room. Two major differences from when I was last living in an dorm room: A-it’s much nicer with AC and my own bathroom (although the mattress had me wishing for a hotel last night), and B-I’m drinking a beer while doing my homework (or avoiding it I guess by typing this).  

This is the largest TC Institute with people from 24 countries including Sweden, China (Shanghai, specifically), Iceland, India, and Kuwait; 38 states; and includes 90 principals, 6 superintendents and a total of 1374 participants! Wow! 

The day started with a Keynote by Maurice Sykes (Executive Director of Early Childhood Leadership Institute titled “The Courage to Teach the Joy of Teaching”. He was a FANTASTIC speaker and started with a poem by Mimi Chenfeld (from Columbus, OH!)

Teach Me in the Key of Life
by Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld

I am waiting for you
I have been waiting all my life
to spend this time
with you.

I am full of questions, adventures, wonder, curiousity,
imagination.
I am full of fears, doubts, confusions, nightmares, dreams.
I am the Cowardly Lion. I need a badge for courage.
So do you.
I am the Tin Man. So tight. I forgot about my heart.
How’s your heart?
I am the Scarecrow. Hangin’ so loose my brain feels unhinged.
Does yours?
Sometimes I’m
GrumpySleepyDopeyBashfulDocSneezyHappy.
Sometimes I’m seven new dwarfs as yet unnamed.

I love to sing.
I know the words to 2,437 songs.
Teach me through songs.
Let me paint, doodle, scribble, draw, carve, fix, sketch – DO.
I can’t keep still.
I’m a spaced-out, far-out, Star Wars, Superman IV, rock ‘n’ roll, disco,
punk, psychedelic, tuned-out, right-on, cool age, 
electronic, stereo, video games, computerized, technicolor, ten-speed kid!
I need action!
Keep it moving!

I love to read baseball cards, album covers, TV schedules, movie ads,
license plates, T-shirts, buttons, posters, cartoons, cereal boxes,
recipes, highway signs, historical markers, magazines, picture books, 
sad stories, weird poems, animal histories, lost-and-found boards…

Let me ask my questions – even if you don’t know the answers.
Dumb questions, like who started numbers?
Do caterpillars know they’re going to turn into butterflies?
Where does the white go when the snow melts?
Why does time fly?
How do we see?
What do you see?

It’s not my birthday, but every day can’t we celebrate SOMETHING?
Colors, seasons, Tuesdays, Mexico, circles, houses, maps, our names, numbers, one seed, our journals, favorite books, inventions, rivers, peace!
Can we celebrate our country on the fourth of October or the twelfth of May?
We don’t have school on the fourth of July!
Every day let’s celebrate SOMETHING!
Life – the wonder and power and miracle of Life – of being here, learning together, with all our fantastic powers.

Surprise me.
Amaze me.
Startle me.
Challenge me.
Try me.
Laugh with me.
Love me.
Teach me
in “the key of life,”
and I promise I’ll
surprise, amaze, startle, challenge, try, enjoy and love YOU!

 

 

 

Is it possible for the day to get any better than that? It did-next up was a large group session for Grade 3-5 teachers, principals and school leaders. Lucy Calkins walks on water for me-need I say more-I know there are at LEAST 1300 other people who agree with me (and that is probably a low count just for this 10 block radius!).

I skipped lunch to attend a session by Joe Yukish entitled “Looking Closely at Levels A-G”. I will post more about this separately, but I think it’s the most clear view of early levels I’ve ever heard.

We then had a small group session (about 22 people) with Tifany Davis Nealy that was also fabulous (even the assigning homework part! My husband says I’m the only one who could ever get excited about receiving homework-I don’t think he is right). I will also post separately about what we learned in small group session.

The closing session was “Creating a Richly Literate Culture in a Classroom and a School: Ten Transformational Ideas” by Mary Enrenworth, Deputy Director for Middle Schools of the TC project. 

There was then a welcome reception for out-of-towners in an outdoor courtyard. Who did I get to sit next to and talk to?  You probably won’t be too surprised when I say, Lucy Calkins of course, but I did not stalk her! She was at a table by herself and everyone was too intimidated to sit down at her table of 10. Well, that wasn’t going to stop me! Her table’s theme was How Can a School or Person Connect to the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Especially if You’re Outside of NYC? The second or third person who sat down was someone Lucy greeted by name with a question-The woman was so flustered she got red and had to compose herself for a second-why? Because she also recognizes the greatness of Lucy and getting to have a conversation with her in person. It’s good to recognize yourself in someone else-it makes us all feel more connected.