Friday, August 3, 2012

The latest buzz...

As always, as we turn the calendar page to August, our minds start "buzzing".   It is the pace at the beginning of August that I always enjoy...going into the classroom when you are ready, taking a break to reflect (even if at 2 AM), meeting up with colleagues, giving ourselves permission to take "one more day" to soak up summer, and time to wonder about our future learners and their reading lives.  And, as always, there are changes that come up.  My change includes a journey back into the literacy coach role.  I am leaving the fourth grade classroom and heading back to focus on one of my passions...job- embedded professional development.

I have been fortunate to have many conversations with teachers in our building, with teachers in other districts, and other literacy coaches.  The latest conversations have been focused on reflecting on who we are as teachers, what we believe, and what we vision as we embrace the shift to the Common Core. Here are two resources that have developed from discussions during the "latest buzz"...

1.  Reader's Notebooks-  It is the time of year where we look for the "perfect" organization methods and tools for a Reader's Notebook.  Of course, we have not found it yet.  We probably never will.  Each year brings new readers, new experiences as a teacher, conversations that build new ideas and then... our vision changes.  Here are two anchor charts developed by fourth grade students that reveal ways that they use their Reader's Notebook.  Maybe these "ideas from the learner" will inspire this year's version of a Reader's Notebook.  Helpful hint:  Keep it simple.  This allows the readers room to bring their learning and needs into the notebook.  Leave freedom for your journey and your reader's journey to change.

2.  Common Core-  That definitely is the latest buzz word as districts begin to transition or complete the transition to the Common Core.  One resource I found helpful last year was A Curricular Plan for Reading Workshop.  I had blogged about it earlier, but it reveals a happy marriage between the a workshop model and the Common Core.  Definitely worth a look!

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