Friday, June 3, 2011

Getting Smarter this Summer: Reading List!

Even though I'm super pumped about my bad TV summer line up coming back soon, (True Blood? Pretty Little Liars? No? Ok, Shut it.) I thought I'd share my reading list. I really started to delve in today.


I feel like Lucy(Calkins- you know I think we are friends LOL) taught me how to really "do" a for real writer's workshop this year, because I followed her writing series very closely. That series is an EXCELLENT mentor to get you into the practice of a predictable workshop structure. It's in my soul now, and I feel ready to expand. After going through a whole year, I know that:
1. Workshops MUST be predicatable. The kids have to know what is coming.


2. Mini-lessons actually have an architecture! There are 5 parts that are critical to the execution of the lesson! (The Art of Teaching Reading by Lucy Caulkins is suuuuuuuper awesome)


3. Conferring is an ART. One that I currently SUCK at. I'm not coming down too hard on myself because I spent the year really instilling true workshop beliefs in my head- and you can't do it all in one year. This stuff takes T-I-M-E.


I went to see Carl Anderson aka the "Conferring Guy" this year (google him immediately. he is awesome), and I studied Katie Wood Ray's Study Driven with some teachers at school- and basically, I'm ready  to take writer's workshop to the next level.


Now. Reader's Workshop.


Did I do an actual workshop this year? Yep. Did I feel like it was as tight as my writer's workshop? Nope. SO....this summer, I'm jumping in to writing units of study with Candace- and I'm reading:

A lil Reggie Routman


Conferring With Readers 

Small Groups Help
 So if you haven't noticed, my next goal is to get REALLY good at figuring out the ONE thing the reader needs during our conference, and offering effective strategies to speak to that need. It's hard. I tried to get good this year, but I've got a lot of work to do with reading. 


I will still hit some more Katie Wood Ray this summer, I want to get into the whole inquiry part of workshop that she talks about in her book Study Driven. (you should check it out!)

I am working on some Back to School Balanced Literacy Units too but it's a lot tougher when I don't have to create something that my students need to do like....the next day! =)

Happy Weekend,

14 comments:

  1. Hi! I've been following your blog for the past couple weeks. I just finished my first year teaching, and just wanted to let you know your work continues to inspire me! I'm going to continue looking at the resources you post on your blog, and hopefully this summer will allow time to read through your archives as I prepare for next year.

    Thanks!

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  2. Thanks so much! It really helps me to hear that!
    All the best,
    Mrs tabb

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  3. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I haven't commented yet, but I have to tell you I think you're awesome! I love how you share your thinking and your learning process--I really relate to it, I'm on a similar path and how I wish you were teaching across the hall from me! I'm also so jealous you have the Lucy Culkins writing workshop books! Keep up the amazing work, I look forward to reading more!

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  4. Reading Workshop is quite amazing! Here is an awesome website:
    www.thelearningpad.net

    Along with your reading, you may want to check this website.

    Thanks-
    Delena from Learn with Me in Grade Three

    ahref="http://dallenfirstgrade.blogspot.com/">Learn with ME in Grade Three</

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  5. My district is switching to a balanced literacy approach next year. I am anxiously awaiting your balanced literacy units! I love what you have posted so far!

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  6. Hey, you are not alone. I think I SUCK at conferencing too. I ADORE the mini lessons but I feel like I fall apart during conferencing and it is my second year with it. I will have to make it a priority next year.

    I thought I would share my post on Lucy Calkins. You can find it here: http://msk1ell.blogspot.com/2011/04/writing-with-units-of-study-lucy.html

    Hope it is helpful.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

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  7. Ms. M I totally read that post when you first posted it! LOL I even left a comment- go look!! =)

    thanks everyone else for such encouragement!!!

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  8. I thought so, but was not sure and commented with out checking.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

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  9. Hi there! Check out The Cafe Book. It is excellent along the lines of conferring and knowing where to point the reader next. Totally opened my eyes this month! Love your blog!

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  10. I need to join the conferencing club! That is my weakest area by far, especially in writing. I may have to check out some of those books this summer.

    I love the blog!

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  11. I just found your blog and I am also a 1st grade teacher and I teach at a Balanced Literacy school. I had to share some things I have learned on conferring that I hope will be helpful to you! Carl Anderson has been to my school a few times and one thing that he said that I LOVE is this: "Stick to the same teaching point (with a particular child) until you see that they are doing it in their writing, on their OWN." For some, it could be spacing, and you could tell them every week for 12 weeks, but stick with that one point. I did this for the first time this year and it worked! One other thing.. a presenter from Teacher's College was showing us her conferring notes and I LOVED the way she does it, which REALLY helped me with conferring this year. I use a small binder and have a piece of paper for each week, the paper has a small box for each child, and I write my TP and maybe jot down some strengths/weaknesses I notice in that particular piece. I love this format because it helps you to easily see if you have met with each child that week, and also you can flip back super fast to the week before, see what your TP was for this particular child, and see if they are doing it in their writing. If you meet with a child twice in a week use a small sticky note to cover their original square. Ok, I lied.. one more thing one thing Lucy said that I always try to remember, when you are conferring make sure your TP is general and you could say it to any child in the class -teach the writing, don't teach to the particular piece of writing. I look forward to reading your blog!

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  12. Pennywells- i left a THANK YOU on your blog! WOW I wish you had a blog! I feel a little lonely in the blog world- there are a few teachers who speak my language but I knew instantly that you do! =)

    thanks for the wisdom!!!

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  13. Hi! I'm finally getting around to nominating blogs for the Really Good Stuff contest... and I wanted you to know that I nominated you. Keep your eyes posted for an email! :) I think you do a fabulous job... and as a fellow literacy junkie... I'm impressed by the depth of knowledge you possess! :) Thanks for sharing your expertise with the rest of us!

    Amanda
    http://www.oneextradegree.blogspot.com

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