Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm Thinking...

This week I'm in another class...this time, a great one!  In fact, my brain has been spinning a bit from all the new ideas.  Tiffany from the Teacher's College of Columbia University has been leading me and my colleagues in a week of reading workshop instruction.
Since it's already been a full two days, I'll give you my quick top 5 take-aways:

1. Especially in a district like mine, kiddos have access to lots of other things to fill their time- video games, sports, TV, technology, etc.  They need to see WHY reading deserves to be a part of their already full life.  It's our job to convince them AND their parents.

2. To grow as readers students need 3 main things: time to immerse themselves in reading, access to a variety of texts at a variety of levels, and to a knowledgeable teacher who is inextricably tied to the learning process.

3. Get kids on problem solving.  If coming to the carpet is taking too long or partners are disengaged or post-its are disappearing too quickly, have the class help solve these issues.  This creates ownership and responsibility.

4. Celebrate small victories and the close approximations.  It's a part of the learning process.

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5. From my brilliant colleague Jen came a metaphor I'm eager to share with students this year in regards to the first unit of reading workshop.  Sweet Jen said that launching reading workshop is like the Olympics opening ceremonies.  It is a preview of where we're going and a celebration of the learning ahead.

(I had to share that one as I watch the US women dominate gymnastics!  USA!  USA!  I'll share another Olympic connection I came up with soon!)

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