Share Your Reading Life

Mar 9, 2012 by

Are you an avid reader?  Many teachers are.  Some of us grew up with books and others became lifelong readers later in life.  If you are one of these people, do you use this to its fullest advantage as a literacy teacher?  If not, I encourage you to start!  When we share our reading lives with students we can: become reading role models for them model our own reading processes connect with our students as human beings, not just as teacher-student draw on our own experiences and use that information to teach during mini-lessons and individual conferences get kids excited about reading and the list could go on… This past week I’ve had two opportunities to share my reading life with some fourth-graders.  Their class just formed historical fiction book clubs.  On their first...

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Physical Therapists and Conferring...

Mar 5, 2012 by

I’ve been thinking a lot about conferring again.  I’ve recently read a couple of books on the topic and have decided it is an area I want to focus on for the rest of this school year.  Several posts ago I shared my epiphany about how much the daily work of a teacher is like that of a doctor in Doctors and Conferring.  Today…more thoughts on this topic.  My doctor ended up sending me to a physical therapist.  While having my neck manipulated by the PT, I told her I was going to write this blog about her.  She was sharing with me how much she loves the work she does and how her philosophy of treating patients has changed over the years.  She said, “I used to prescribe a pre-determined plan for my...

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Doctors and Conferring

Dec 13, 2011 by

I’ve been struggling with some neck pain for a little over a year.  Several weeks ago I finally went to see my doctor about it.  As I was waiting for him to enter my exam room, I was thinking about conferring with our students.  Weird, I know, but follow my line of thinking here.  I heard my doctor in the room next door and knew he would be coming to my room next.  I heard the door close, but it was several minutes before he came into my room.  Why?  You know the answer—he was taking notes about his previous patient.  Conferring notes! Think about what doctors do when they meet with their patients: Research: They ask questions and run diagnostic tests. Decide:  Based on their research, they make decisions. Treat: They prescribe a...

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Do Conferring Notes Really Matter?...

Dec 2, 2011 by

I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked this question.  Teachers who ask this are not questioning the value of conferring itself, just the notetaking that comes during/after the conference. Typical reasons I hear against notetaking: “If I spend time writing notes, I end up conferring with fewer students.” “I don’t know which is the right form to use or the right way to do it.” Even before I was immersed in workshop teaching, I always believed that it was important to keep anecdotal notes on my students.  That doesn’t mean I was good at it, but I did do it.  I am here to tell you that there is not one right form or method, but I do believe that notetaking is a non-negotiable.  Here are a few of my...

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This Seals the Deal!

Oct 17, 2011 by

I will continue to add to the series of blog posts on the importance of student choice in writing, but today I feel compelled to share on the topic of technology in the classroom. Recently I have been thinking seriously about purchasing an iPad.  It started about a year ago when a friend showed me her new toy.  With her new iPad she had constant access to her Kindle, her e-mail and Facebook, her to-do lists, and more.  I thought that was pretty neat but just couldn’t justify purchasing a new device when I already had a Smartphone that could do most of what she showed me.  But I still thought it was pretty cool! This school year, as I have attended many meetings, I have often found myself in the minority (sometimes the...

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