Monday, July 10, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who links up.


Hello Friends!  These past two weeks, I've been reading picture books.  Stacks of them actually.  Funny story:

Last week we are at the library, and we are using my son's library card to get our books.  As we continue our check out, his library card stops working on all the books.  As I approach the librarian, she scans his card and informs me he has exceeded the 50 book limit.  Whoops.  (And I may have felt book shamed?!? If that's a thing...)  Not to worry!  We just pulled out another card and carried on...

I'm always looking for books to add to the classroom library.  So I'll read stacks of them in the summer.  But today I want to start with a cook book:
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If you have-know-Love anyone with food allergies, I loved this book.  On the left of the page layout, there are tabs that let you know what allergens have been eradicated.  On the right of the page layout, it gives the recipe, and another label on allergens and what to consider.  What I loved about this?  I felt like I could cook for the family without losing my ever loving mind.  If you are a Multiple-food-allergy parent, or love-support-have food allergy people, you know what I'm talking about.  :)  My favorite find was the pumpkin seed pesto.  (Nut-free!)  Seriously, very user friendly.

Now to the business of the stack of picture books:

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As I read this book, 3 boys watched with concern in our living room.  So I just passed it around.  They all read it.  As much as I don't want to, I'm glad to have another picture book to pull out when I don't know what to say.  
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As we continue to strive for peace, this is a great book.  

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I want to meet Flannery O'Connor after reading this book.  (I know...not possible.)  But she might be my soul sister.  The author's note is my favorite part of this book.
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I read this right after reading ida, Always.  Whoops.  More concerned looks from the living room.  Comforting and peaceful, with accessible text for all.

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I learned I'm a Vision Dreamer and Nature Happy.  I mean, could you imagine how empowering for a student to see themselves in this book?

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So at the beginning of the year, I focus on books that have rhyme and rhythm.  They also have to be accessible and fun!  Josh Funk writes books such as these.  :)

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I'm always looking for books that encourage creating and refining.  Here is a great one!



Happy Reading!
Joy!
Kendra

Friday, July 7, 2017

#cyberpd Week 2

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This summer I'm participating fully in CyberPD!  There is a great hashtag on Twitter.  There is also a Google+ community.  Come join us!


I want you to know as I get into this book, I am working not to simply summarize what I'm reading.  I too,  am making connections and looking for deeper meaning and implications for my own classroom teaching.  So, if you are new to this blog, feel free to ask questions if I seem to have gone astray!   Let's work on deeper meaning together!

As I began chapter 5, I was struck by work I have done around Marie Clay and her studies.  When we begin with what they know, we can increase their curiosity and increase their engagement and motivation.  In Reading Recovery, teachers are trained to Roam around the Known for several teaching sessions.  This is careful observation in which teachers are watching for known literacy patterns and then use these as teaching points to guide us.  This was encouraging to me because as I started reading, I wondered if this read would be relevant for me as a First Grade teacher.  

I keep thinking about the why.  Why would I begin to put such an emphasis on questioning this way in my classroom?  Because I want to put that spotlight on thinking.  I want the thinking to be a part of the culture in my classroom, as well as making that thinking visible.  How great would it be if students could get to the point where we are not only talking about why they are thinking a certain way, but how they arrived there as well.  

There is a sense of fear, if you will, about this line of work.   Maybe not fear, but apprehension?  What if they go off course?  How do I keep myself from jumping in and "correcting" their thinking if it goes off course.  I loved these words:  Hold onto your purpose.  If you slow the purpose down, students Can put the pieces of a text together to see connections, relationships and interaction.  I'm blessed to work in an environment that allows for slowing down.  

As I think more about the How behind this work, I was pleased to be reminded of Turn and Talk, as well as Low Stakes Writing.  As I consider other reading I've done this summer, I am seeing I need to renew a place for Low Stakes Work.  This doesn't mean low accountability.  It means a safe place to share curiosity and thinking without the apprehension of doing it right.  

Where are you at as you work through this book?  

Joy!
Kendra





Sunday, July 2, 2017

#cyberPD Week One



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This summer I'm participating fully in CyberPD!  There is a great hashtag on Twitter.  There is also a Google+ community.  Come join us!


I love to "talk shop" when it comes to literacy.  It's not uncommon for me to ask about reading instruction and what you are excited about in your classrooms.  There is no other motivation for it than I love to hear what other Brilliant Educators are doing.  So this is a fair warning to my local friends...get ready, I'll probably want to talk your ear off about this book.  :)

What struck me right away in chapter one was the idea of focusing on the whole of the instruction rather than the pieces.  In my reading instruction currently, there are all kinds of pieces!  This idea that when we teach our pieces to students, we rob them of the experience of figuring it out them selves!  When I'm focusing on the whole, I'm aiming to help students develop problem solving skills over all, not to simply "get" a skill.

Yes!  Now without reading on, this is a shift in learning for me.  Knowing I need to learn more, I am wondering what a schedule would look like.  How am I instructing emerging readers to read from a problem solving standpoint, rather than "workshopping" through all my teaching pieces?

I loved moving on to chapter two, because a bit of this was laid out for me!  On page 24, the reading on shared interactive read aloud had me thinking about complex text and empowering students to tackle complex text on a daily basis.

As I considered the reading process in chapter 3 and balancing the science behind why I do what I do already (workshop with mini lessons) as well as the art of teaching, I can't wait to read more.

Can I really approach this time from a problem solving stand point?  I can't wait to see how this journey goes!

Joy!
Kendra