Literacy Links – Volume 46

book list, graphic novels, literacy links, nonfiction, professional resources, reading

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At last October’s Saturday Reunion at Teachers College, Janet Steinberg, TCRWP’s data queen, talked about embedding academic language in our everyday discussions, instructions, and conversations with students. Academic language is Tier 2 words that students often encounter in directions, lectures, and other places of sophisticated talk. Instead of saying, “What is the theme in our read aloud?” try “Determine the theme in this selection.” By lifting the level of discourse, students would already be familiar with these words before encountering high-stakes situations and, more significantly, be more likely to use these Tier 2 words in their own output. I changed the topic of my Alphaboxes outside the Reading Lounge to showcase some of these words; stop by to see them up close. What other academic language would you add?

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

Literacy Links – Volume 45

creating, literacy links, writing

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Last week, I hosted my first Writing Clinic. Its focus was conferring, which I believe is the heart of Writers’ Workshop (looks like the blog, Two Writing Teachers, agrees with me in the latest post, “Conferring Notes: The Key to Unit Planning”). Entire grade level teams attended the first clinic, and everyone left with a tool to support their conferring. Some even realized the tools could be transferred to other content areas as well! That’s what I call high leverage tool action! After the clinic, I displayed all of the materials and supplies in the teachers’ workroom in case they missed it and wanted to DIY the tools. Can’t wait for the next session on November 25th!

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

Literacy Links – Volume 44

book list, literacy links, professional resources, technology

 

Inspired by all the amazing PD I’ve done recently at Teachers College and Literacy for All, I’m hosting Writing Clinics on all of Center’s teacher-led staff meetings. Each session will have a different focus, and no registration required. The first session is this coming Monday, and I can’t wait!

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

Literacy Links – Volume 43

book list, literacy links, reading, technology

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Last weekend, I took the train to Manhattan to go to Teachers College’s biannual Saturday Reunion with one other teacher from Center. This is a day of FREE PD for teachers and well worth the crack of dawn wake-up and travel. At one of the sessions, a staff developer shared that the anchor chart sticky notes are NOW AVAILABLE as a single page. Since teachers have been taking screen shots or adjusting printer settings to print four-six to a page, this news received an enthusiastic response from the teachers in the audience. I can’t wait to share it with Center teachers!

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

Literacy Links – Volume 42

Just for fun, literacy links, writing

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I’m devoting a lot of my thinking and attention to writing this year. How can I support students’ independence in writing? How can I encourage their transfer of skills from one unit to the next? How can I improve their awareness of themselves as writers? Reflection is a tool that I turn to again and again in my writing instruction. I want students to think “I’m here. This is where I need to be. This is how I will get there.” If they can navigate that metacognitive process independently, then I have no doubt that they will improve as writers.

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

Literacy Links – Volume 41

book list, creating, literacy links

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I get a book budget every year, and I alternate between updating teachers’ classroom libraries (with their input about what their students want!) and the school’s book room. Last year was a book room update. I focused on buying #ownvoices and #weneeddiversebooks titles. The books all arrived by the end of June, so I spent a good part of my summer volunteering my time to level and label all of the new books. I decided to put them in special bins for each level so that teachers would realize new options were available!

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

Literacy Links – Volume 38

book list, literacy links

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Back to school is one of my favorite times of the school year! As a coach, I schedule read alouds in every classroom to introduce myself to students and enjoy a great book together. Whenever I work with teachers, I always find a resource to share with them that supports the work I’m doing. For my first round of read alouds at Center, I shared the teacher’s grade level section about interactive read aloud from Fountas and Pinnell’s Literacy Continuum. During my second year, I shared Lester Laminack’s “Read Aloud Often and Well” from NCTE. This year, I decided to go with creating my own little cheat sheet about one of my favorite literacy practices: #classroombookaday. #classroombookaday is an initiative started by a teacher librarian in Wisconsin, Jillian Heise, to read aloud a picture book every single day for pleasure. No required curriculum connections, no higher order thinking questions preplanned, just a simple read aloud. My cheat sheet briefly describes the practice and provides resources to explore. I’m hoping it piques the interest of some teachers. Imagine if every teacher at Center did their own #classroombookaday!

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

Literacy Links – Volume 37

literacy links, writing

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Having students pick book nooks is one of my favorite lessons in Readers’ Workshop launch! We read aloud You Can Read and discussed the good book nooks in their classroom. One of my goals for my lessons this year is to plan the what, the how, and the WHY. WHY is it important for readers to have good book nooks? Sometimes I’m even explicitly listing the WHY on the anchor chart.

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

Literacy Links – Volume 36

literacy links

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Welcome back, Cardinals! Initially, I was struggling with what to post to launch this year’s Literacy Links, but when I saw this, I knew it was “the one”. Have you noticed that picture books are labeled “E” in the Dewey Decimal System? The “E” technically stands for “easy”, but many picture books are as or even more eloquent, poetic, and impressive than some chapter books. This is exactly why I used several picture books as mentor texts EVERY SINGLE DAY when I was a classroom teacher. I considered my day a failure if I read less than three. So when I saw a librarian’s Tweet about rebranding the “E” to mean “everyone”, I immediately shared it with our amazing librarian at Center School! What a great way to help remove the stigma that older kids  sometimes feel when they read picture books. I’m all about reading anything, and picture books are one of my favorite mediums to read. They really are for everyone.

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

  • Launching Writing Workshop with Passion and Purpose from Two Writing Teachers
  • Wordless News – Great for inferring in the upper grades. Be sure to preview because some may be too mature for kids.
  • Looking for some new back-to-school read alouds? Check out this list. My list would include #5, #7, #9, and #17. I just put #13 on hold at the library because I’ve never read it!
  • Time to rethink “What I Did Over Summer Vacation” writing prompts. Luckily, Whole Hearted School Counseling has provided some alternatives.
  • Don’t worry, Center teachers. I’ve already requested ALL of these and these from the library since we all start the year launching Writers’ Workshop and writing personal narratives.
  • Mental health break: Booking a trip on these the next time I’m down in RI!

Literacy Links – Volume 35

literacy links

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Today was the LAST Reading Ambassador meeting of the year. Sniff, sniff! What a tremendous first year. This group was so motivated and energetic. They had so many ideas, we didn’t have time to do them all! We celebrated with a slideshow, decorating book bags for summer reading (I *think* I got everyone to sign mine!), and a reflection. I can’t wait for NEXT year!

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