IRA Conference 2014
Reading...The Teachable Moment
Highlights from the Keynotes
- Student choice in literature is epically important
- Innovation by subtraction. Take away the most important part of anything, create something new
- Putting a book into the hands of a kid is a sacred act
- It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. If we want kids to be expert readers, they need to read what interests them
- If we give kids choice, they will read
- Our job is to help kids discover clues to the universe in what they choose to read
- Don't be a "well meaning teacher" who keeps kids from reading because their choices don't match yours!
- A reading revolution is happening. We just need to get out of the way
- Knowledge begets comprehension, comprehension begets learning, learning begets new knowledge. It's a virtuous cycle!
- As a profession we will be judged on how we address accountability
and the relationship between poverty and the achievement gap
- We have a higher accountability then tests, it's to our kids and
- Instead of regarding what kids bring in to our classroom (SES, home life issues, lack of background knowledge, etc) as an inconvenience, we need to treasure what they bring
- The reason for productive struggle is students need help making
sense of difficult text
- Informational text is read differently.
- At the elementary level, 80-90% of texts read is informational
- Use mentor texts to teach text features (1 book per feature)
- Model, Model, Model
- Text feature wall (Kelly and Clausen-Grace)
- Text feature hunt/race: out books all around the room and in teams
students must list as many features as they can find in the text.
Coaching for Complexity: Promoting Deep Understandings of Self and Teaching:
- Learning is co-constructed
- Maximize time with teachers (Collaboration and support!0
- Focus on student learning
- A series of interactions
Teaching Students to Effectively Read and Write Informational Texts:
- Use mentor texts
- Read and coordinate information from a variety of texts (productive group work grafitti/connections poster)
- Use a variety of subject areas
- Have students: generate questions, research with an authentic purpose, evaluate online tools (WWWDOT), and seek experts in the field.
- From standing backstage and talking to well known reading minds like Doug Fisher, Frank Serafini, Dav Pilkey, and Maureen McLaughlin to name a few, to the new ideas shared at various sessions, this conference was full of outstanding moments! A huge highlight occurred after that second general session and as we walked up to Doug Fisher for a photo, he recognized me from the award announcement earlier and congratulated me!
- Another reoccurring event, was the ah ha's or pat on the back I was able to give my colleagues from a distance. The students in our building are extremely fortunate to have amazing teachers that are dedicate to continuing their own learning and giving their best. From technology integration to reading intervention examples that presenters shared, there were many times that I could say "Hey, we already do that!" We may have a small building, but thanks to the access to great teachers with a large tool box of instructional strategies, our kids are ahead of the curve!
- One other moment that I thoroughly enjoyed was walking into the first general session. The room was at least two football fields long and packed! To see so many educators fill a room at 8:30 in the morning, ready to learn from the keynote speaker and be reinvigorated in their teaching was inspiring. Knowing that whether face to face, or through the social media hashtag, I had an opportunity to collaborate and learn from everyone in that room was exciting to say the least!
I left the conference with more strategies in my toolbox, connections with educators and reading greats, and a renewed focus and drive for the teaching and learning that occurs in my classroom.
- Provide students time to read text of their choice (magazine, comic, how to's, etc.)
- Encourage collaboration and discussions (productive group work)
- Share ideas with PLN (blog, write articles, social media, etc.)
- New role as instructional coach (website with toolbox strategies, articles, and more!)
- Always set a purpose for reading (even during free reading time)
- Increase connections on social media
- Continue to present at conferences and encourage colleagues to do the same