Now that I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving and reviewed all my notes from #NCTE19 in Baltimore, I have a three more highlights to share. (Last week I shared three highlights HERE).
1. Chris Lehman’s group shared a presentation about Rethinking Reading and Writing Workshop. I especially liked their nudge to add more inquiry lessons. For example, instead of teaching a demonstration lesson on how to use dialogue in writing, this slideshow of 9 slides was shared. My partner and I viewed all the slides and then answered the Inquiry Question: How does the reader know WHO is speaking? Through inquiry, I came to realize their are so many moves authors make so the reader knows exactly who is speaking. This slideshow also nudges me to create more such examples of more literacy-related moves and have fun exploring with my students through inquiry.
2. I attended the ALAN Breakfast – I learned that ALAN stands for The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE. (I also learned that ALAN meets the Monday and Tuesday following the NCTE Conference. I think I may need to stay longer and attend next year!) At the breakfast, they gave an award to author, John Green and invited Newbery winning author, Meg Medina, to be the breakfast Keynote Speaker. As few favorite quotes:
John Green: He explained how some things are very hard to express and put into words. For him, “METAPHOR is a way to tell the abstract, a way to express the unexpressible. I felt like….” When talking about the benefits of reading stories – “Stories help us understand others. Stories can be a ladder out of a hole and offer real hope. Stories sometimes jump into the hole with me and stays with me.”
Meg Medina: She explained how when she writes for tweens, the adults in these books are somewhat more reliable. When she writes for teens, the adults are more suspect because in real life, pain can come from the adults in our lives. She also writes books with less happy endings for these audiences. Everything is not all tied up. It ends with more ambiguity because that’s how real life is. she also reminded us that this is the GOLDEN AGE of YA LIT and she reminded all to fight so kids can read more than just old canon of literature.
3. Kylene, Steph Harvey and Cornelius all talked about Activism in a very packed room. A few take-away quotes:
- We don’t need to teach kids to be curious. But we do need to model curiosity every day. We MUST foster curiosity with our students.
- Nothing is too trivial to wonder about!
- Inquiry is living in a manner that all questions matter.
- Care about finding the answers and teach how to use reliable sources as we seek answers.
- Cornelius suggested that as a teacher, we may get promoted for keeping the status quo and it may feel dangerous to speak up. Instead, teachers need to ask: “What practices at school allow kids to be treated unfair?” Ask and seek the answers in public because progress starts at the explosion. When avoided, it is a missed opportunity.
- A teacher’s duty is to create opportunities for kids. Anything that stands in the way of this, a teacher must speak up.
- Cornelius says, “I am radically pro-kid!
- When something is not working at school, hold an inquiry. Gather data. What can we do?
- Invent something to replace what is broken because kids are not broken!
- We often think of 2 words when we think of literacy –> read / write ; Kylene suggests we instead think of these 2 words –> power and priviledge. Literacy gives ALL power and with it comes a responsibility.
- Don’t expect kids to just extract from a text. EXPECT KIDS TO INTERACT WITH THE TEXT and in doing so, bring about change!
I see #NCTE2020 will be in Denver. I see the deadline for submitting Call for Proposals is Wednesday, January 15, 2020. I think I may want to go. How about you??