March 18, 2017 – TCRWP Saturday Reunion

What a day of learning!! Here are my highlights.

Keynote – given by Drew Dudley, founder of Day One Leadership  which helps individuals and companies to increase their capacity to lead. (We found out at the closing, he was a speaker that Kathleen Tolan wanted). In his very popular  TEDTALK  , Drew tells a “Lollipop story” which becomes a metaphor for moments when a person makes an impact on another’s life, maybe not even being aware of the extent of the impact. He shared how four people: a 7 year old, a man with a 6th grade education, the custodian at his high school and a swimmer are four leaders who he thinks of as great leaders in his life. A leader by his definition doesn’t have anything to do with salary, power, or title. Instead, you are a leader when you live a life that makes people smile when they think of you. He also commanded that we don’t lessen who we are as a leader. Don’t say, “I’m just a teacher”.   Respect your normal. And instead of thinking I have to change the world, think about changing one person in the world. He remined me that my job is to create my own “lollipop moments”. (When at the closing when Lucy mentioned Kathleen wanted Drew to speak, I thought Kathleen truly led according to Drew’s definition of a leader.)

Lindsay Mann – Using Digital Tools to make learning stick – 4 principals:
1. Children Learn Best What They are Ready to Learn – She suggests a way to know where a reader or writer is, to have a recording studio in the classroom. Schedule kids to record what they are able to do. EX: they record themselves reading and the teacher can view and know next steps to teach them.
2. …when they are engagement – Use tools to allow for ongoing self-reflection EX: have partners record how their partner helped them. OR take a photo of writing and use skitch app to annotate writing moves they made.
3. …when Given Physical Representation of learning – it can be the teacher making a video and flipping it or students that are experts on something can make a video to flip
4. ….when given lots of Repetition  – kids need routine and repeated practice

WHERE can you put your recording studio in your classroom? outside in my hallway or since each has an iPad, can’t it just be anywhere! 
HOW will kids share it with me? maybe I create a padlet for videos to be posted to, need to check to see if there is a limit to length that can be uploaded.

She ended by reading us a simple picture book called Wait – a good message to remember in this digital age, where everything goes so fast!

Hannah Kolbe – A birds eye view of 3rd grade Reading Units and Readers
(Discovery ES’s staff developer!!!)
Hannah went through each unit, book by book and shared the major learning progression skills of that unit and then the anchor charts. I found it helpful to see all 5 units shared in one hour, to view the year curriculum and the big ideas of each unit. This summer, I want to review this and think about how the notebook and/or padlets can be used to support each unit, as well as what bookmarks could I make and share with students and how best to display the anchor charts. 

Shana Frazin – No Money for Books / Don’t let that stop you!
She shared 4 minutes of Linda Sue Park’s Tedtalk and asked us to watch it with the lens to listen for words/phrases that resonate with me. WOW!! Seeing this and watching the whole 12 minutes on the train ride home, I am thinking I want to use it as part of a presentation with parents. It is a powerful video that asks, Can a book make a person a better human being? 

She also shared how Gene Luen Yang, our National Ambassador For Young People’s Literature has a great challenge. His platform is called Reading Without Walls and it is explained on his website: As National Ambassador, I issue you a challenge!  I challenge you to read without walls in one of three ways:
1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.
2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.
3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book.
If you really want to go for the gold star, read a book that fits all three criteria!

Right now, my students are doing the March Book Madness (thanks for sharing this idead with me, Erika!). This can be my next book challenge!! So glad Shana shared this challenge with me!!

Then she booktalked these 12 books, books to have!!
1. I Dissent
2. Stef Soto Taco Queen
3. As Brave as You Are by Jason Reynolds
4. Full of Beans by Jennifer Holms
5. The Seventh Fish by Kate Messner
6. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
7. Pax
8. Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks
9. Two Naomis
10. Pack of Dorks
11. Wild Robots
12. Rollergirl

Colleen Cruz – she has a new book coming out in the Fall! It is 50 paired lessons to teach writing by looking at reading and teach reading by looking at your writing. (Corwin Press). We got to peek at some of the lessons!!

Closing  – Lucy
A heartfelt tribute to Kathleen. 
“First Saturday in 25 years without Kathleen…unimaginable loss for us at the Project and the world.”
“Mentor of all mentors – Teacher with a capitol T”
Her parents mentioned that they knew Kathleen was a good teacher but were floored by all who came to the wake/funeral and all who said,  “I’m the person I am today because of your daughter.” She was described as a titan, a weather storm. She was complicated. She showed great love. She also told you honestly what she thought. She had a belief in sky-high potential. Nothing stood in her way to get the high expectations met. She’d tell a teacher that they taught that like a mist. Next time, do it to leave a mark.She named it and always pushed. 

Then Lucy told us to take a little of Kathleen with us today. Can you think of one thing you can do on Monday? Can you think of something transformational that you can do? DO IT!! What would you say if you only had one year left? What would you do?
If you had just 3 months left, what would you do? What would you teach?
Have the courage to see the unbelievable potential in your students and push them to do even more! 

She also talked about the health of a school and said, “The health of a school equals the number of elephants in the room.” Then she commanded: Have the courage to talk about them. 

I walked out of Riverside church, after a day of learning for 6 hours, a bit on overload. As I walked, I kept hearing Lucy inside my head: What are you waiting for? Be the change!

22 thoughts on “March 18, 2017 – TCRWP Saturday Reunion

  1. I’ve heard so much about these Saturday reunions. Thanks for sharing all that you learned. I’m glad the weather cooperated.


  2. I love going to the TC Saturday Reunion. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it this year. Thanks for filling me in. It must have been heartbreaking listening to the speech about Kathleen Tolan.


  3. WOW! Thanks for such powerful takeaways from the reunion. I’ve heard such great things about it. We watched “The Lollipop Story” as a staff when we returned for 2nd semester, and I loved it. I can connect with Drew’s thoughts. Thanks for sharing!


  4. I’m literally trolling slices to read all the reflections from yesterday’s reunion! I went to the fall reunion in 2015 and it was a transformative experience. I had the privilege to learn from Kathleen Tolan, whose small group sequence is something I practice to this day.

    Love the takeaways about incorporating digital learning in workshop… something I’ve struggled with.

    And I’m eliminating the word “just” from my vocabulary. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing. I’m grateful to you.


  5. Thank you so much for sharing all of that learning! I am going to have to bookmark this and go back and read it again in small chunks. What a powerful ending – be the change!


  6. I really needed to read this post today. I’ve been frustrated with how a new curriculum is going in one of my classes but feeling like I’m locked in for the rest of the semester. But you’ve got me thinking about what I would do if these were the last few weeks I’d ever be teaching. I definitely wouldn’t stick to a curriculum that’s boring me and my students!


    1. I too needed this Saturday as it has been a hard year. But now I am inspired to return to school tomorrow!
      I am ready and I still have lots of days to bring strong instruction to my students.
      So glad your not feeling trapped into a boring curriculum! Be the change!!


  7. You never cease to amaze me! This weekend had so much to digest. I caught myself reading through your words and my mind kick into the teacher. I caught myself and smiled. Thank you for sharing this so I could feel the teacher inside me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The challenge to read without walls is one I’m mulling over today. I’m guessing that redneck Iowa doesn’t count as a different type of character! Loved hearing about all of your sessions! ❤
    Such great learning!


  9. Thanks for sharing the details of your day, so much for your readers to take away.
    You are lucky to have the refresher courses to help with your units of study.


  10. Thanks for sharing. This was my first miss in a long while,but now I was transported by your descriptions. In my changing school in our changing world, I’m trying to provide more diversity in book choices.


  11. Thank you for your thorough debrief on the TCRWP Saturday Reunion. I remember the many times I went in. One of those times, I was in a very small workshop with Kathleen and was immersed in what she said. What a loss for the field.


  12. I’ve read a few other posts too about this special day, and wow, so much inspiration and knowledge from it. Thanks for sharing. Although I’m retired, I love hearing what people are saying!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s