Monday, June 30, 2014

2014 July TCRWP Reading Institute - Day 2

BOOK CLUBS with Mary E.
We got into our NF Book Clubs where my group is reading The Rainforest (so we named ourselves The Understory!) and Mary gave us a few tips:
1. always think before you start
2. gather your materials so you are prepared to share
3. may need to recall work done prior (previously...)
4. briefly set protocols (timekeeper?)
5. make adjustments as you go
6. keep track of ideas and questions shared
7. allow each to share favorite part

"Remember, we are not sharing our first thought. We are sharing our best thought."

As groups finish book and prepare to move to another book club book, they can decide what to leave behind with the text set for the next group to have. We decided as a group to add pictures of rainforest plants, video of the Amazon flooding, and Smithsonian articles about the reainforest.

SS CENTERS with Kathleen
My group grabbed the Cause and Effect Center. It was a green folder with 7 articles and a task sheet that said to talk and take notes about the Intolerable Acts. Kathleen pointed out that the Task Card is NOT an assignment. It is a jumping off point for the group. Our group of 6 each took one article and then admitted that we weren't sure what the Intolerable Act was. One in group said, "I can read my article - it defines it." As she read, she mentioned the date of the Act and then all began to chime in as to how their article fit. "The Boston Tea Party is explained in my article and it happened before in 1773." Kathleen gave our group just 15 minutes. During that time we realized:

  • we were involved in rigorous reading, thinking and notetaking
  • it was an inquiry approach; we did NOT know all about our topic so we had to talk it out.
  • all were engaged and motivated
  • we ended with questions we wanted to find the answer to when we return to our center tomorrow
  • THEN we get to change to another center after 3-4 days!!
Then Kathleen showed how we can closely read a SS Video.
First, she shared a map of the 13 Colonies - what do you notice? 

Then we watched a Video about the forming of the 13 Colonies for the first time and talked about how the colonies were formed using the map as a reference.
Then we watched the same video again, this time taking notes on either the people, the groups, the events or the pros/cons of the land. Afterwards, we shared our notes in our group of four.
Then we watched the video a third time, taking notes about a different topic, adding to notes shared by the group member.  
By watching closely (and having a different lens each time) I actively learned SO much. This is a brilliant way to learn SS content material!!

Kathleen said a final task could be to assign a section of the 13 Colonies (New England, Middle, Southern) to a group and they can use all that they know to make a chart to hang in the classroom.

Tips to use to get kids to talk well during a conference:
1. teach the student what their role is during a conference
2. encourage the use of charts while talking about their work
3. show kids one of the conference videos and ask them to notice what the student is doing and what the teacher is doing (she suggested using this one:
and then chart what is noticed

Tips when you, the teacher, are not sure what the conference strategy should be:
1. spy on yourself as a reader and then turn own reading struggles into strategies to teach students
2. get to know the bands of text difficulty (KLM, NOP, QRST, UVW) and teach into skills needed at this level or at next level
3. read a text from each band so you "see" the characteristics

TOOLKIT can have the text band info, cut and laminated and placed on a ring or added into an index flip book, or added to a larger sketchbook reading kit. Also add the text band sentence starters. (Both can be found in the materials we received at the institute!)

Think about WHAT reading levels you have in your class. READ one book from each level and get good at understanding the conceptual work the kids will be doing who read at this level. 

Tips when you are not sure who to confer with:
1. make a conference sign-up
2. Ask kids to place their best post-it on their desk. Quickly read and sort these based on skill level being shown through their writing and decide quickly who to confer with using this data.

KEYNOTE - MARY E. on Argument in Reading Workshop
By using the argument protocol in RW, students learn to support ideas with evidence, deepen logical thinking, learn technical language of arguments, are able to defend position with fluency and grace and learn to not argue to win but to find common ground.

We do this work in READ-ALOUD so all can access the reading level. Mary followed this protocal:
* teacher sets up the argument and partner positions
* a close reading is done and text evidence is gathered by students
* one minute only is given to defend position
* calibrated feedback is given by the teacher
* the cycle is repeated

She read us Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
1. In a partnership, we gathered evidence for The airport is a good place to live VS The airport is a bad place to live and each had 1 minute to state our claim, reasons, and evidence.
2. We repeated this time thinking about theme - When times are tough, all you need is love OR hope. Again we had 1 minute to state our claim, reasons, and evidence.
3. During the final time, we thought about how the author used craft to develop the setting. She did this best using pictures OR using words.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 July TCRWP Reading Institute - Day 1

Lucy greeted us  - 1,300 strong from 41 countries and 43 states on a Sunday so we can end on Thursday and be home for July 4th. She reminded us how teaching today is different. Information is accessible to kids today as easily as air. So now our job is not to give them info but to help them construct meaning to such questions as "What will we do about the death of honey bees, bats, and the middle class."

Lucy suggested:  Three Ways to Lift the Level of Teaching

1. Work on your reading (and your teaching of reading)
To get better, I must resolve to get better - 10,000 hours of deliberate practice so perfect practice will make for perfect reading.  Then we practiced with Lucy.
We read To a Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan.
We thought about what kind of mother? What kind of daughter? What is the poem really about?
We reread it closely for vocabulary, structure and point of view.
Then we compared it to the song, Leaving on A Jet Plane

This work she had me do is the work I want - need - to teach my students to do. I need to decide how to make this shift to lead my students to read closely and deeply!!

2. Own Your Content
I need to feel at home with MY reading skills. I need to live differently as a reader because I am envisioning, predicting, synthesizing, etc. Lucy shared how buying her mother a present for her birthday involved predicting. Listening to JK Rowling speak at her niece's graduation from Harvard was listening to how that author lives using her imagination and her reading skills.
I plan to watch and listen as Lucy did that day!

Then Lucy recalled a story of when she forgot she was to attend a potluck so quickly brought napkins to the party, not a casserole. She reminded us that coming to book club is like coming to a pot luck. We need to come prepared and not be the one embarrassed only showing up with napkins.

3. Teach in a Community of Practice
Our student can't just have one good year with one good teacher teacing RW. They need many years! We must get together and figure out as a community what to say YES to and what to say NO to. What will be the practices we take up? and what will we not? We must have priorities, name them and name what we will NOT do. We can make this work when we pull together and teach in a shared community!

She ended by reminded the large crowd that this INSTITUTE is a BIG potluck!!

Day 1
Mary gave such great classroom management tips! She modeled getting us organized by using phrases like "I admire you for getting into clubs of 4 each and helping each other. She reminded me of how kids need to know what they are to do and receive clear feedback. Instead of saying "Good Job" , "It was about a 6. Next time...."

I am in a nonfiction book club reading about Rainforests.
And an adult book club read Goldfinch.

SMALL GROUP with KATHLEEN TOLAN - Social Studies Centers
Day 1
Kathleen shared WHY using centers in SS works - lots of talk helps kids hold onto the content.
She shared this video clip of kids in centers:
I am blown away by the WAY the kids talk. When asked how to get kids to do that, she simply stated, LET THEM TALK!!

She suggested a way to start a unit in SS is with a drumroll activity - it could be a song, a dance, a piece of art work from the time period. Then we did a WRITE AROUND.
Without talkingm she placed an image in front of 3 of us and we were to write around that image what we thougtht and saw. Then we rotated and rotated again. Then we got back with a group to revisit what we were all thinking and TALK about it. BRILLIANT STRATEGY!!!

CLOSING: 10 Books that Spark Great Grand Conversations
1. Each Kindness by J. Woodson
2. The Man Who Walked between the Towers
3. The One and Only Ivan and Home of the Brave by same author
4. Wonder
5. Flora and Ulysses
6. The Split History NF series
7. What Was the Gold Rush - a NF series
8. You Wouldn't Want to____ NF series
9. Vera William's Amber Was Brave, Essie was Smart poetry book
10. My Man Blue by Nikki Grimes poetry book
11. Every Living Thing
12. Fly Away Home
13. Angry Aztecs - Incredible Histories (also on YouTube)
14. Poems to Love by Heart collected by Caroline Kennedy
15. Dead End by Gantos

She also recommended Pixar short movies found on You Tube, songs, and video game trailers like Epic Mickey: