Every literacy teacher’s goal is to help children become lifelong readers. Teachers work hard analyzing data to help plan for conferences, guided reading groups, and effective mini-lessons to help lift and push the readers in their classroom. A very valuable tool that teachers cannot forget about is the classroom library. The classroom library sends the message to students about what will be valued in a classroom. The classroom library is crucial in helping students develop who they are as readers and have a sense of ownership over their reading. As teachers, we need to be intentional and purposeful in how we set up our libraries so that every reader is valued and the library can help students learn how to develop strong reading habits. (more…)
Sharing in reading and writing workshop is a part of the workshop framework that we all intend to honor; but more times than not, the sharing part of the workshop gets trumped by another part of the busy school day. As teachers, we know that incorporating time for students to share their work and thinking is important, but yet it is usually the first thing to let go of in order to gain more time in the workshop. I was very guilty of this myself when I was in the classroom. I forgot to honor that time, which I will stand up and own! I let the business of the school day get the best of me, rushing from one part of the school day to the next. I owed it to my readers and writers to have a share time throughout each part of both my reading and writing workshops.
Lucy Calkins writes in Art of Teaching Reading, “In September, the challenge is not deciding what to teach, but deciding what not to teach. The art of teaching reading is always about selection, but is never more true than at the start of the year.” (2000, 342).
This time of year is magical in the reading workshop. Reading workshop routines have been practiced and are established. We have had opportunities to get to know our readers through conferring, assessments, and informal conversations. Students are engaged and understand expectations during those precious minutes of daily independent reading. Students are having honest and open conversations about their reading lives and getting to really know one another as readers. Our classroom libraries value the diverse readers in our classrooms. We strongly believe that if we want students to view themselves as readers and writers, we must slow down and be intentional with our decisions. (more…)
HCSD Foundational Goals: Looking at Learners
I imagine by now Dr. John has made the rounds to all of our schools and shared his diagram of our foundational goals that features: Academics, Interests, and Mindset.
I first viewed the diagram while having coffee with a friend this summer, discussing what my goals would be for this school year. As an instructional coach, I’m required to write goals for my literacy work, math work, and also for personal and professional growth. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, and trying to find a way to reduce the number of goals into something manageable and achievable, while still being specific enough to meet all the required areas. My friend asked if I had seen Dr. John’s graphic of foundational goals. I asked her to enlighten me. (more…)