Literacy Links – Volume 97

coaching, literacy links, professional resources
My first Pot of Gold of the 2021-2022 school year.

It’s nearly time to return to school here in Massachusetts, so I’ve been busy prepping some PD for the amazing teachers in my building. Some of it is ideas overload, some of it is a review of the basics, and some of it is reflecting on our best practices. Just realized that’s totally my style: ideas, review, and reflection. Kind of like how I taught.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 95

coaching, literacy links, professional resources, reading, writing
My Summer 2021 book stack

Reading is a huge part of my life. It’s who I am. My car has a bumper sticker that says “read”, and I have MANY reading-themed graphic tees. So I was devastated when my brain wouldn’t let me read during the pandemic. I would try and then lose track after a few sentences. Eventually, I was able to listen to audiobooks. Then, I could do graphic novels and novels in verse. It wasn’t until April 2021 that I successfully finished a chapter book. By June I’d made my list of books I wanted to read over the summer. I’m more than halfway through my book stack, and every book has been AMAZING! More significantly, it has felt like coming home to be reading again. The power of books is real.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 94

book list, coaching, creating, professional resources, racial justice, reading
Our rainbow runway for our end-of-the-year awards ceremony. The confetti (the remains of our scrap paper bin) was simultaneously my best and worst idea of the year.
But SO worth it.

Someone once doubted my ability to find the joy in teaching, and it was a very painful comment. How could they think that? Was my joy not enough? Or were the things I thought were joyful not obvious to an observer? With my joy-fidence rattled, I decided to infuse as much obviously, outwardly joyfulness into my teaching. We sang. We danced. We created colorful art. I’m pretty sure these are all things I would’ve done anyway, but that accusation practically made it my official goal for TeachPoint. Not such a bad thing after all.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 88

coaching, literacy links, math workshop, reading, writing
KV’s post box for our Connection unit in Impact Workshop (formerly known as social studies)

One of my favorite memories from my own kindergarten experience was a Valentine’s Day station rotation that imitated the process mail goes through to travel from one home to another. So when I started planning a unit on connecting with others as part of my Better Lesson coaching, I knew it would involve some kind of mail system. When my family got some new cabinets to DIY an island in our kitchen, I knew an empty box would make a perfect post office. It was kismet.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links -Volume 86

book list, coaching, early literacy, literacy links, math workshop, reading
One of my daily slides for our week of remote learning.

For the week after Thanksgiving, our district was remote. Remote is not the end of the world, but it is very different from in-person pandemic teaching (and light years away from teaching in The Before). The structure and routines that I teach students in class don’t necessarily translate to remote teaching. One of the biggest missing elements is turn and talk, an essential element of my classroom since I believe learning floats on a sea of talk. Remote teaching ends up being uncomfortably teacher-centered. But other routines could easily work in a remote environment, like using my name sticks to call on students to avoid Zoom chaos. I feel so foolish for needing a whole week to realize this, but that’s my brain’s processing speed in The Now. Here’s to a better online learning session next time.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

An Open Door to Teaching Poetry

coaching, poetry, professional resources, reading, writing
Walls that teach can be the doors that open our minds.

When I heard the adjustment counselors say that we all need outlets for discussion and expression in their hour-long summer PD, I *immediately* thought of poetry. Poetry is perfect for social-emotional work, and don’t we ALL need more of that? I agree.

So while I’m working with second grade this year (YAY!), I’m letting my office door do some passive coaching, and I’m going to focus on poetry this year. I’ve gathered some resources for teachers to peruse on their long, physically distanced treks through the Connector. The WHY, WHAT and HOW of teaching poetry is all there as well as some tips and tricks that I’ll continue collecting all year. I’m planning to share different mentor poems every few weeks. Right now, the poems are back-to-school themed: “Ready” by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and “To a No. 2 Pencil on May 1, 2020” by Kimiko Hahn. Teachers can even snag copies of these poems by taking one from the plastic sleeve. Anything to make teachers’ jobs easier!

I can see embedding poetry into morning meeting, replacing one Reader’s or Writer’s Workshop lesson per week, or even some asynchronous work during students’ independent hybrid times with some poetry exploration. It’s truly a wonderful way to develop students’ literacy skills AND their sense of self. It does it all.

Happy reading and writing!

Literacy Links – Volume 76

coaching, literacy links, poetry, reading, writing

Screen Shot 2020-08-21 at 9.04.12 AM

I may be a little late to the back-to-school-read-aloud roundups, but here’s my Back to School digital library! I kept it super simple so that you can copy the linked read alouds to put in your own digital Bitmoji library for your students or just have available for the first days of school. Clare Landrigan first introduced digital libraries to me back in the spring, and they’ve been a VERY useful tool that I can see using in the Now AND in the After. Here’s her, “Creating a Community of Learners” digital library to kick off the school year. #classroombookaday creator, Jillian Heise, also has a brilliantly curated book list of read alouds to launch learning that could easily turn into a digital library. Happy reading!

Here is another summer roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 74 *Bonus Summer Edition*

coaching, literacy links, professional resources, reading, summer, writing

Screen Shot 2020-07-20 at 2.33.15 PM

Hyperlinked docs and choice boards have been a really useful tool during quaranteaching and quarancoaching. Over the summer, I’ve been developing this coaching choice board. Each colorful dot links to a page that focuses on that option with a video of me explaining what it looks like and links to the supporting documents I use. Not only will this hyperdoc share coaching opportunities that teachers might not have considered in the past, but it also helped me clarify my role.

Here is this summer’s roundup of literacy links if you’re looking for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment: