Friday, August 30, 2013

Classroom Set Up

I rearranged the setup of my classroom this past summer. It has been working out really well. There is plenty of table space for kids to work with partners/groups and a large area for meetings on the carpets (we use carpet remnants that I have collected from Building 19, Ocean State Job Lots and my sister in law! :-)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer Professional Reading

1. Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement
By Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth, and Christopher Lehman

This book was a quick read and very helpful. In our district, we have been working with the Common Core for a while. This book clarified the ELA portion of the new standards and provided a clear game plan for writing instruction, especially. 

2. How's it Going? By Carl Anderson

After the weeklong institute a few weeks ago, I jumped on Amazon to purchase some recommended books. This fantastic, thorough book by Carl Anderson was highly praised by our presenter and after reading it, I understand. 

Anderson leaves no stone unturned when dealing with the subject of conferencing with students. He focuses on one on one conferences being a conversation. He goes through the teacher's and the student's role during conferencing. It is fascinating when he shares the mistakes he made and the justification for how he runs conferences now. He has excellent chapters on mentor texts, gathering information for minilessons and classroom management. Valuable read!

3. Narrative Craft Unit of Study by Lucy Calkins and Alexandra Marron

I am about halfway through this unit of study. It is slow going because it is very thorough and I am note-taking with post its for my lesson plans as I go.

Lofty, hopeful plans for professional reading in August, a.k.a. Books on Deck:

- Finish Narrative Craft Unit of Study
- Independent Writing M. Colleen Cruz
- A Quick Guide to Struggling Writers M. Colleen Cruz
- A Quick Guide to Reviving Disengaged Writers Christopher Lehman
- A Quick Guide to Making Your Teaching Stick Shanna Schwartz
- Mentor Authors, Mentor Texts Ralph Fletcher
- Launch an Intermediate Reading Workshop Lucy Calkins
- Crafting Digital Writing: Composing Texts Across Media and Genres Troy Hicks