Thursday, May 14, 2015

Professional Reading

As the end of the school year approaches, many teachers look forward to the summer to reflect upon their practices, rejuvenate themselves, and read professional texts that may impact their instruction for the upcoming school year.  I've been fortunate to have had an opportunity to read quite a few powerful texts this year and have pre-ordered a couple more that I can't wait to dive into once they arrive!

Check out the options below (click on each to learn more) to find the title that may impact your instruction!

Recently Completed

 In Defense of Read Aloud

 In the Best Interest of Students

 No More Independent Reading Without Support

 Notebook Connections

 Reading in the Wild

 Text-Dependent Questions

Currently Reading

 59 Reasons to Write

To Be Read

 The Reading Strategies Book

 Revision Decisions

 The Unstoppable Writing Teacher

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Digging Into Writing Workshop: Demonstrate, Scaffold, and Release


Throughout this course, Digging Into Writing Workshop: Demonstrate, Scaffold, and Release, we will take an in-depth look at best practices writing instruction.  We will begin by using research to develop our writing philosophies and beliefs and then transition into the instructional framework that is Writing Workshop.  Learning about the architecture or organization of effective minilessons will help teachers incorporate a variety of instructional strategies through modeling. Collaboratively scoring student writing samples will allow writing instructors to determine how to best serve student small-group or individual conferences.  These conferences will allow teachers to differentiate instruction for students based on their learning profiles and the strategies they truly need.  We will also model a student-led closing that teachers can implement in order to develop metacognition and self-assessment skills, and ultimately empower students to build independence as writers.  We will address each of these components of the course all while building our Professional Learning Community and improving our practices as writing instructors.  We hope that you will join us in Digging Into Writing Workshop; Demonstrate, Scaffold, and Release.


K/1 - Andrea Moon
2/3 - Lori LeVan
4/5 - Tim O'Neill


Session One - 6/15/15 - Face-to-face at Smyrna Elementary (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
Session Two - 6/22/15 - Online
Session Three - 6/29/15 - Online
Session Four - 7/7/15 - Face-to-face at Smyrna Elementary (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
Session Five - 7/13/15 - Online
Course Completion - 7/20/15

Monday, May 4, 2015

Reading Graffiti

I was first introduced to Donalyn Miller's "Reading Graffiti" strategy to engage readers in The Book Whisperer but just recently finished Reading in the Wild, where it was mentioned once again.  As many of us have often witnessed, frequently our students are more comfortable providing an entire retelling of the book they are reading than they are sharing a summary.  This "Reading Graffiti" strategy encourages students to lift a quote from their book that encapsulates an idea that portrays the foundation of the story.  Not only will this benefit current readers, but this will most likely also become a place in the room where readers venture in order to be led to their next great book.

As with anything I expect of my readers and writers, I would want to try this first so that I can learn more about the strategy and so that I have a model to provide to them.  After reviewing my Reader's Notebook, I pulled a few quotes from some of my more memorable recent reads.  Check out the Padlet below and feel free to add graffiti of your own!