Best Book I Have Not Read

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

I find a school visit to be one of the most powerful professional development tool October 17, 2009

We are taking the following books to Public School 41 when we go for our school visit next Friday. A small thank you token to the teachers, administrators, and staff…We are going to take 6 copies of each so teachers whose classrooms we visit feel appreciated.

Jackie robinsonTesting the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson & Kadir Nelson

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes only in dreams

Only in Dreams: A Bedtime Story by Paul Frank

old bear

We are also taking along copies of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Interesting Items About their school:

  • There is a School District Parent Coordinator whose job is to facilitate communication at the front-line between parents, teachers, and staff
  • There is an Extended Day option for students who need extra instructional support in a small group setting that can be mandated or voluntary from 8:00-8:50 Monday-Thursday
  • Reading Recovery is a reading intervention program used with First Graders
  • 2 times a month there are Family Mornings-families are then invited to stay after drop-off to observe literacy and math
  • Cluster classes are part of regular classroom instruction throughout the school year and include: Science, Physical Education, Art, Music, Computer, Theater and Movement.
  • Choice is an additional double period cluster class chosen by the students in 4th & 5th Grade. Past offerings have included Expression Art, Computer, Violin, Physical Education, Chess, Art, Science, Math Enrichment, Music and Chorus.
  • There are two part-time literacy staff developers  and one full-time math staff developer assigned to the building. In addition they have a TCRWP Staff Developer who comes in and leads classroom lab sites in reading and writing as well as study groups
  • Collaborative Team Teaching Class (CTT) -Their CTT class is a model for the entire New York City school system. At PS41 each grade has one CTT class, which has one full time general education teacher and one full time special education teacher.
    • In the CTT classes, the ratio is approximately 60% general education students and 40% special education students. Our inclusion classes provide the same curriculum as our other classes, with the added benefit of a higher staffing ratio and a great deal of support.
    • The Committee for Special Education (CSE) places the children who are on the special education side of the CTT class. The school administration places the children on the general education side of the CTT class. Children on the general education side are “model” students — they must model excellent behavioral and learning habits — and cannot be receiving any special services themselves to be in a CTT class.
 

It’s Hard Keeping Up… September 24, 2009

I don’t know why I am finding it more difficult to keep up with my blog lately. I guess it’s that school is at a full, rolling boil! I haven’t had much time to read either. I actually think it might be related to the ages (and phases) my children are currently.

Even though I haven’t been blogging about it, lots of good things continue to happen. The good news is:

I have gotten to experience and fall in love with so many different groups of students this fall as they get started with writing workshop.

I had a great PD day with a grade level that I didn’t have much of an opportunity to work with last year. The dedication to kids and learning in my colleagues is always so inspiring.

I was able to talk a small group of teachers into spending their own money to travel to the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Fall Reunion . You can’t beat Katherine Patterson and Lucy Calkins in one venue! Legal teacher crack!

 

Shared Curricular Calendar for Units of Study in Writing April 27, 2009

Shared Curricular Calendar for Units of Study in Writing (Assuming use of Calkins’ Units of Study for Primary Writing and Units of Study for Teaching Writing Grades 3-5  as backbone)

First

September

Launching
the Writing Workshop

October

Small
Moments

November

Writing
for Readers

December

Authors as
Mentors

January

How To
Books

February

All About
Books

March

 

Independent
Writing Projects

April

 

Poetry

May

Realisitc
Fiction

 

Second

September

Narrative
Writing-Revisiting and Re-energizing Small Moments

October

Raising
the Level of Narrative Writing with Authors as Mentors

November

Writing
and Revising Realisitc Fiction

December

Fairy Tale
Adaptations and Original Fantasy Stories

January

Writing to
Grow Ideas (Including Ideas about Books)

February

Writing to
Learn and to Teach About a Topic of Personal Expertise

March

 

Persusaive
Writing (Letters and Reviews)

April

 

Poetry

May

Expert
Projects in a Content Area:

 

Third

September

Launching
a Productive Writing Workshop

October

Raising
the Quality of Narrative Writing

November

Writing
Informational Books with Authority and Voice

December

Fiction

January

Fiction

February

Revision
and OAT Writing

March

 

Return to
Nonfiction

April

 

Poetry

May

Independent
Writing Projects

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth

September

Launching
the Writing Workshop

October

Raising
the Level of Narrative Writing

November

Persuasive
Letter

December

Essay or
Writing to Make a Difference

January/February

Fiction

March

 

Writing to
Learn and to Teach About a Topic of Personal Expertise

April

 

Poetry

May

Persusaive
Writing Letters and Reviews)

 

 

 

Fifth           

September

Launching
the Writing Workshop

October

Raising
the Level of Narrative Writing

November

Personal
Essay

December

 Writing to Make a Difference

January

Fiction

February

Independent
Writing Project

March

 

Literary
Essay

April

 

Poetry

May

Memoir

 

 

 

 

Sixth

September

Launching
the Writing Workshop: Writing with Intensity, Determination, and Independence

October

Raising
the Level of Narrative Writing : Improving Volume and Quality

November

The
Personal Essay or Essay Study

December/Early
January

Short
Fiction

Late January/February

Quick
Writing, Writing About Reading, Preparaing for the Writing Tasks of the OAT

March

 

Choice
Project

April

 

Poetry

May

Memoir

 

 

Countdown to Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project March 15, 2009

I’m sure I’m going to say this again, but I am so excited! The Literacy Coaching Institute at The Teachers College starts Thursday. I have been medium excited all day, but now that I just got an e-mail from another participant who is leaving tomorrow morning (from Ethiopia!!!) I have hit that excitement threshold where it will be difficult to sleep! I’ve included part of the description along with many of the presenters. 

home_reading-and-writing“The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project is pleased to offer the third annual Institute on Literacy Coaching and Whole-School Reform. This intimate and intensive institute will enable educators to learn the Project’s newest and most powerful methods of providing staff development by equipping literacy coaches, principals, lead teachers, and other literacy leaders with the tools, techniques, mentors, and intellectual community needed to provide state-of-the-art literacy leadership.”

 

Presenters including:

Carl Anderson

Janet Angelillo

Sharon Taberski

Shelley Harwayne

Georgia Heard

Ralph Fletcher

Katie Ray

Randy and Katherine Bomer

Donna Santman

 

This institute will include, at its center, the TCRWP’s Saturday Reunion, a conference that will offer major addresses by:

Richard Peck

Kylene Beers

Kathy Collins

Pam Munoz Ryan

Sarah Weeks

Avi

Lucy Calkins

as well as more than a hundred workshops.

“Participants will work in small groups led by one of the Project’s senior staff developers. Your small-group will work side-by-side in classrooms, observing, trying on, and receiving coaching in methods of staff development in writing. You’ll become adept at demonstration teaching, collaborative coaching, classroom-based lab-sites, using formative assessment to inform curriculum and teaching, and methods for supporting whole-school reform.”

 

 
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