Saturday, March 18, 2017

So many take-aways

Take-aways from the  Saturday Reunion at Teachers College

  • create a baggie of books - specifically series books -  that I have read and "marked" up.  I can use these to teach what readers need to do at each level.
  • instead of a book talk, book talk the series.  Introduce characters, setting, what kinds of problems they have, what tricky things the reader can be on the look out for.  This allows the reader to do the hard work that is required of them.
  • Everyday Diversity: I need more books in my library. I want to spend time this summer working through which books I will use to teach mini lessons and for small group instruction .
  • Expand my own writing and conversation to invite a wider world into our discussion.
  • Start books clubs during read aloud with partners.  Expand to read aloud communities.  Then branch out to partnerships reading same books.  Move into partnerships within series. There are many ways to facilitate and grow independence in book clubs.
  • reimagine units of study to build in my social injustice work for our younger students.  Implicitly teach through carefully chosen read alouds.
  • teacher collaboration: try learning walks and study groups
  • teacher collaboration should be teacher-directed; administrator supported
  • start with a short study group - meet every other week for 8 weeks
  • set specific goals and expectations of members; determine how to maintain accountability

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for the opportunity to share this slice of my life.


  1. So many good ideas! I like the idea of book talking a whole series. It's so nice to find a set of books that you are interested in reading.

  2. Sounds like this was a terrific day of learning. Like Andrea, I really like the idea of book talking a whole series. I regularly encourage kids to read series books, and I often book talk the first book in the series, but I don't think I usually book talk the whole series. Hmmmm.

  3. I love this list -- and only this weekend learned about the Saturday Reunion.

    I'm an National Writing Project attendee out of Texas. I hope to make it to New York someday for the big one!

    Thanks for sharing! I love learning from y'all (TCRWPers!)

  4. Great list, Phyllis! We should meet virtually to collaborate on some of these. Trying to remember which Cynthia Rylant book I marked up 2 summers ago. Eye-opening!!!

    Safe travels!

  5. Thank you for sharing these excellent tidbits. One thing I'm loving about this SOL process is that even as it encourages us as writers, it also gives us a great network of passionate teachers to share with!

  6. I love your list and there are definitely some here I could work on right away. My #10for10 list this summer was 10 books I could use to support our writing units- I should do the same with the reading units (and should mark them all- I started this, but have let it drop- ugh!).

  7. I love your suggestions and so jealous you were able to attend the reunion! I've heard they are powerful and you always learn so much. Thanks for the ideas!!

  8. If I could have been there, Shana Frazin's session would have topped my list. Thanks for sharing so may tips. Teacher collaboration is another hot topic. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I learned so much in those few minutes. Sorry I missed the reunion this time.