I spent the week of August 8th attending my first Reading Institute. My big ah-has were:
1. The power of reading independently in a partnership and in a book club. I plan to encourage my staff to embrace the Reading Workshop model and I look forward to helping them create the classroom environment so kids are reading and thinking and discussing books deeply.
2. The power of the read-aloud. I always read-aloud to kids but TCRWP showed me how to make it purposeful. I read and think-aloud (something I did before). Then I revisit parts of the read-aloud again during the mini-lesson to teach a point. Through revisiting, the teaching point become much more powerful! I plan to document this work as my Teacher Research project this year. I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me and my students!
I spent the next week attending for my 3rd time the Writing Institute. My big ah-has were:
1. I can write memoir (thanks to staff developers, Sara and Colleen, who showed me how). I’m looking forward to teaching this to kids now.
2. Writing assessments can drive instruction. Carl Anderson led my other small group session. I feel more confident now in reading student writing to find both strengths and weaknesses. I learned some record keeping tips, and learned that I should just have a few goals for each student and keep coming back to these to insure the kids master these goals.
3. Check out what Carl has written by doing to his website. I recommend buying ALL Carl’s books, especially his latest kit. He shared some of the videos and they are ALL worth watching and learning from!