Archive for April, 2010

Mentor Texts

For the last several weeks, many of you have been participating in the Wondrous Words book study.  In it, Katie Wood Ray talks about the importance of having mentor texts to help us teach writing.  WritingFix is another resource we have been using this year, and we now have the opportunity to help select the mentor text  and theme WritingFix will use next year. 

Here is a link for more information on how you can help decide what WritingFix will concentrate on next year.  http://writingfix.com/classroom_tools/MTY.htm#vote

If you haven’t used this year’s mentor text, here is the link to the mentor text by Ralph Fletcher and the lessons that go with it.  http://writingfix.com/classroom_tools/MTY.htm#this_year

The end of the year is a great time to do an author or genre study.  WritingFix is a wonderful resource!

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Spotlight on eBooks

Last evening I visited with some teachers who have been teaching for some time.  Along with the usual stories about students, MAP testing, and money woes came a new conversation: technology integration.  It was interesting to me how excited these teachers were, and how eager they were to share with me what they had been doing with reading, writing, and technology.  To hear us talking, you would think we were just beginning our careers.  Instead, all of us had at least 18 years in the classroom!  The energy we were feeling came from learning right along with our students, and not being afraid to try new things.

This week I want to highlight some of the great things going on with ebooks in our classrooms.  Take a look at what is happening with literacy in Mrs. Roweton’s Kindergarten classroom at South, and what is happening with literacy in Mrs. Walter’s Second Grade classroom at South.  

Our teachers all over the district are now trying out Myebooks with their students.  This site allows students to create and publish their own books, and provides an audience for their writing that extends way beyond the classroom.   See what you think!

                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                             

How Are We Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies

This morning I read an article by Ellin Oliver Keene that really made me think.  Ellin is a favorite of mine and I have used her reading comprehension work with many classrooms and many teachers.  In her article, Ellin talks about how we teach reading  comprehension–about the depth of the thinking we get from our students, and the need to push our kids to respond to the reading in a deeper fashion.  Our students “know” the reading comprehension strategies and can give us answers to the questions we ask.  But do the answers they give us really help them go deeper as a reader?  The article takes you through a conference with a reader and how Ellin Oliver Keene keeps pushing the student to deeper understandings of what he already knew that helped him comprehend as a reader. 

Here is the article.  See what you think!  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/mar10/vol67/num06/New_Horizons_in_Comprehension.aspx

(By the way,  the IPhone and Podcasts that I talked about last week have done nothing but make me sore!  I find I lose time walking and listening, just like I do when I’m online in front of the computer.  The nice thing about this is I may lose a few pounds!)  Happy Reading!

Exercise, IPhone, and Literacy

It’s easy for me to get lost in my online reading.  Early Saturday morning can turn into early Saturday afternoon if I am not careful.  And .  . . to make keeping track of time even more important . . .  the weather is beautiful–just right for exercising outside.  This morning I think I found the solution to my time management issue:  combining all three in the form of Literacy 2.0.

Literacy 2.0 is sponsored by the International Reading Association and is a series of free, downloadable podcasts about literacy.  I spent part of my morning downloading the podcasts to my computer and IPhone, and then listening to them.  Now I can keep up with what is going on in the world of literacy and exercise!  What a deal!

I am eager to see if I get as involved with the podcasts as I do reading online.  If I do, getting in shape will be much easier.  If you want to work out with me, here’s the link to Literacy 2.0.   http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/literacy-2-0-the-new-frontier/id357933877.

Happy Reading and Exercising!