Friday, April 27, 2012

"Listening" to Chris Tovani!

My OLW was put to the test today...I had the privilege of meeting, observing, and LISTENING (not just hearing) to Chris Tovani!  It was a day full of authentic reading experiences, thoughtful discussions, and a passionate presenter...a big thank you to The Literacy Connection for organizing an amazing professional development opportunity!

The day was focused around two observations of Chris Tovani and eager readers hard at work.  The participants were able to observe Chris working with a grade 1/2 classroom and a 3/4 classroom.  We were able to view her opening structure, her mini-lesson, work time/conferencing, and debriefing with each group.  The students were brought in to the room with a "mock" classroom set up...carpet, chair, easel, clipboards, post-its, and document camera.  As participants, we were fortunate to sit around the students on the outside and "listen in".  My mind is still swirling with many thoughts about the wonderful observations of today.  Here are a few highlights...

"How do these strategies help kids comprehend the content?" (My thinking: Makes me wonder a lot about thinking deeply with text analysis and the Common Core)

"Strategies are a tool to access information to get smarter about the world." (My thinking:  A tool that will help them reach a more complex level of thinking.)

"Students use strategies to find their entry point into engaging with the text.  This allows them a way to access information to get smarter about our world." (My thinking: I was scribbling furiously on that one!)

The BEST part...I get to go back tomorrow and think, observe, and wonder some more!

I also had the opportunity to see students be curious with two texts that are new to me...

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