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Reading With Meaning - JES
Old 10-26-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Ladies in my PLC group - I wanted to post an initial message reminding you to read Chapters 1 & 2. Could you all please make a post with your comments from this reading? What did the reading do for you and what connections did you make?


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Chpt. 1 & 2
Old 10-27-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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First of all, as I read the preface of the book "It doesn't get better than this" I smiled and recalled how lucky we are as educators to be shaping the future.
*Chpt. 1 - I highlighted many things in the section regarding "Proficient Reader Research" This was a great reminder to me of the steps needed to guide our students to become accomplished readers.
*Chpt. 2 - A lot of good info regarding building relationships, paying attention to small things & building trust. I think asking a student about a game they played in or another personal interest question is a great way to show students we are a caring community at JES.
*As I thumb back through chapter 2 with blue and yellow highlights, the last thing to catch my eye is: "If we expect big things from children, we must expect big things from ourselves too". Good food for thought!!!

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Chapter 1 & 2
Old 10-31-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Hey ladies!
In chapter one I really liked the part on page 9 where it talked about us thinking about ourselves as readers. We model so much on what a good reader not only looks and sounds like, but also what they think about as they are reading. I think it is so important to model this thinking process for our kids and then most importantly give them the opportunities to share their thoughts while reading too. If we want them to be thinking and making connections as they read, then we must give them the opportunities to practice doing so out loud. I also enjoyed the short phrase on pg 12 that said "teach the reader, not the reading". Sometimes we get caught up in the reading and forget to simply teach the reader.

Chapter 2 reminded me of our first couple weeks of school. Pg 17 talked about building genuine relationships, establishing mutual trust, and creating a working literate environment where kids feel safe and wanted. This is our first goal as teachers for a new school year. We want to establish good relationships where kids feel comfortable and trusted. I agree completely with her about showing kids what is expected. If we want to teach them common courtesy and respect, then we must model it and show them what it looks like. We may be the only person who ever teaches them how to respect others, so never skip an opportunity to do so.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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I love your last quote from the book! So true...we can't expect it from them if we don't even believe it in ourselves. Nice job Libraryje!!
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Chapter 1 and 2
Old 11-01-2010, 06:30 AM
 
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Reading Chapter 1 I am reminded that you need to have an open mind about doing things in a new way. I also liked how she thought she was a proficient reader, but was amazed at what she learned about herself as a reader when she slowed down and started paying attention. Therefore making her a better reading teacher.

Chapter 2 talks about modeling relationships. We have to model, model, model. It reminds us that it takes more than one or two times. That is how kids learn right from wrong. Also, trust is a two-way street. We have to give it to get it. These are the building blocks to becoming a caring and successful person.


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Chapters 1 & 2
Old 11-01-2010, 08:36 AM
 
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I really enjoyed reading this text. When I read the prologue about the classroom I just envisioned a beautiful learning environment for children. It gave me the excitement of the first day of school all over again!

Chapter One really emphasizes the importance of a 90minute reading block for reading. I like how she recommend breaking up the 90 minutes into mini lessons, reading, responding, conferring, and share time. I never thought about how important share time really is until I read this book. It gives the students an opportunity to take ownership of their own work and gives them something to work for.

On pg. 19 in Chapter 2 when she was discussing the different scenarios and how the teacher could respond reminded me of the Effective discipline we use here at JES. Instead of demanding the student sit back down (or whatever) talk with them and explain when it is important for them to sit down. It's all about relationships!! Also she stressed trusting kids. I think too many times we (definitely including myself) want to have so much control over the actions that children do we put off a perception that we do not trust them to do the right thing. "Not when we trust kids enough to show them how"
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Chapters 1 & 2
Old 11-04-2010, 08:23 AM
 
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I liked the description of the excitement of getting ready for the first day of school. The letters from home was a good idea and were very unique and the parents put a lot of thought into it. It is a nice way to personalize and individualize each student.
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Chapters 1&2
Old 11-04-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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I liked the way it lines right up with our Effective Discipline. It also says it takes up to 6 weeks to set things in motion, some as many other PLC books we have read! Great to review!!!!!!!
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Ch. 1 and 2
Old 11-04-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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"When we know the theory behind our work, when our practices match what we believe, and when we clearly articulate what we do and why we do it, people listen. Once you've found what's true for you, stand up for what you know is right. Live it every day and be confident and clear about why you believe as you do. People will listen!" WOW! Doesn't that follow right along with our Effective Discipline Plan? I feel like I'm no longer saying what others want to hear, but what I feel. I agree with Ms. Miller - I am confident and calm in my language and actions. I also like how she states "teach the reader, not the reading." As we all know, students do not all learn in the same way. We have to find what works for them. In Reading Recovery, they tell us "if you think students can't learn, then you haven't found the right way to teach them." SO TRUE!

I like the idea of creating a "community". I feel like we do this at JES. We are not only a community, but a family. I like Ms. Millers quote in Chapter 2 - "Real communities flourish when we bring together the voices, hearts, and souls of the people who inhabit them." I also think that when we use our Effective Discipline, that we are clear about what we expect and why we expect that from our students. I also feel like we already trust our students enough to show them how. I think we are on the right track with what Ms. Miller has in mind on how to create life-long learners and citizens.
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Chapters 1 and 2
Old 11-04-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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How well I remember the many years I taught first graders to read and Chapter 1 brought to my mind the strategies I used. However, as I read I began to see how many of the concepts I was reading could apply to any subject including music. When I look at the four stages for guiding children to independence, that's my goal for my students - that they can follow my modeling and guided practice to become more knowledgeable in music theory and appreciation.
Chapter 2 was great in establishing a caring and respectful relationship with my students. I feel I am at a disadvantage in not having time to get to know all my students well enough to know who they really are, but there still needs to be time to build relationships between the students and myself. Some key statements that impressed me were "Teaching children how to listen and respond to each other in respectful, thoughtful ways also helps foster new relationships and caring communities." and "The best opportunities to show kids how occur at the moment." It is important to remain diligent, calm and never give up! I have to agree with a previous post that quoted, "If we expect big things from children, we must expect big things from ourselves, too."


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Text to Text Connections
Old 11-04-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Teaching a child to read can be one of the most rewarding experiences, and yet it is one of the most important responsibilities a teacher faces.
"A child who can read by the third grade is unlikely ever to be involved with the criminal justice system (while) four of five incarcerated juvenile offenders read two years or more below grade level. Indeed a majority of them are functionally illiterate." David Lawrence, 2009 quoted from "Failure is Not an Option."
The work you do is noble! "Indeed, what could be more compelling than undertaking a profession that literally places the future of children in your hands?" Alan Blankstein "Failure is Not an Option."

I appreciate the time each of you are taking to participate in this PLC!!! You are the difference that makes JES the great place that it is. This PLC and the depth you offer to our team will only deepen the strength of academic excellence. Many you have read and studied through the years and are enjoying this read as a review. Your posts connected with me and came to my mind as I read the following paragraph from FNO:

"The book study galvanized a lot of action around here as people started realizing that it wasn't so much getting outside expertise as it was having a methodology to tap the expertise we already have." Gail Cooper, Principal, Pottstown Middle School
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Chapter 1 and 2
Old 11-05-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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Chapter 1: I really liked how she structured her lessons around mini lessons. Which enabled her time to share, do a reader's workshop format, work with strategy and then the gradual release of responsibility to the student.

Chapter 2: Building Relationships I think back to my first day of school as a student. All the years later. All of my life and each and everyone of us has been building relationships with many different people. The main key is that we all listen and respond to the children at school or adults in our life. Which the author has pointed out to me.
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Chapters 1 & 2
Old 12-05-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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Lucy Calkin's quote that Miller keeps above her desk caught my eye: " It is significant to realize that the most creative environments in our society are not the ever-changing ones. The artist's studio, the researcher's laboratory, the scholar's library are each deliberately kept simple so as to support the complexities of the work-in-progress. They are deliberately kept predictable so the unpredictable can happen." After being in a primary classroom for the last few months, I understand the validity of this statement. I've found that young children thrive in a consistent environment. The most powerful learning moments have caught me by surprise...I couldn't predict they would happen. In the course of learning the eureka moments occur: for teacher and student. I appreciate the framework of the reader's workshop that allows for such opportunities. When she states, "Teach the reader, not the reading", it helps me refocus my thinking. I take a deep breath and realize the enormity of what is before me: a child's future success depends on their ability to learn to read and read well.
I see a common thread in Miller's comments for structure: plan but be adaptable. It's a constant in my life as a teacher. I am learning anew the benefit of being flexible within the constructs of curriculum and standards. My students and colleagues challenge me to think beyond the four walls of my classroom and dig in with a tenacity worthy of a bulldog to discover new ways of thinking about learning.
What Miller shares about establishing a culture and climate of thinking affirms what I do in my classroom. What she shares about establishing mutual trust taking time makes me realize that I need to give my students more opportunities to show they can be trusted as we develop the mutual trust needed to move us forward as a community of learners.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:25 AM
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Chapter 3
Old 12-08-2010, 07:34 AM
 
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So SORRY for the delay!!
I really enjoyed reading Chapter 3 and found that one of the most focused topics was procedures. As you review chapter 3 and the ideas of "Readers' Workshop" could you please share what works in your classroom or things that you would like to implement. The months of August and September are full of time spent setting the tone and establishing procedures in your classroom. We are all so extremely busy working with the beginning of the year and do not have the opportunities to visit and observe during that time. Think back to how and why we implement what we do in our own rooms. What are the things that consistently interfere with teaching and learning? What procedures can be put in place to lessen or eliminate their impact? If you are willing, please share what works for you!
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chpt. 3
Old 12-14-2010, 07:35 AM
 
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Chapter 3 reiterates the fact that a conducive learning environment can look many different ways.

Something that works for me is making a game with library skills. While it may look like we are merely playing a game, students are having fun while learning info about the library.

Last week I reviewed genres with 3-6th grade. The discussion was awesome! Listening to students discuss how some of them viewed a certain book as an “adventure”, while another student pointed out that it could be “realistic fiction.” Proving that we all think & learn differently.
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Chapter 3
Old 12-16-2010, 07:13 AM
 
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I have the students that I work with read aloud to me. I want them to get better at reading. It makes the student better at oral language, it also gives them the ability to use the new information to what they already know. Students learn at different levels, some need quiet in the room while others can read when the other students are noisy.
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Chapter 3
Old 12-28-2010, 09:15 AM
 
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One of the most important ideas I received from this chapter was for the teacher to take time at the beginning of the year to lay a foundation for students to fall in love with reading. By providing time daily for children to explore books, children go at their own pace and desire for reading. I love the fact that reading aloud to children is essential for children's growth in reading. (It was definitely my favorite time of the day when I was in the classroom.)

Another important aspect of setting the tone for learning to read is to allow children a chance to share what they are learning about reading and what content they are reading/learning about. By letting students find out that reading is a part of them they become more motivated to learn.
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Ch 3
Old 01-13-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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This chapter made me think about how much I enjoy reading and sharing some of my favorite books with my kids. I love to hear them laugh at the funny parts and point out things in the pictures. I always start my year with sharing at least 3 of my favorite books on the first day of school. I love sharing the "Kissing Hand" and letting kids know how much I love and care for them from the first day of school on. I think it is so important not only to model, model, model, when reading to kids, but also to show them how fun reading can be and is for you as a teacher.
Interruptions can sometimes kill a good story. I work very hard from the first day of school to teach my kids when it is okay to visit and ask questions and when it is not. I explain how important reading is to me and how much I enjoy sharing some of my favorite books with them, and therefore it means a lot to me for everyone to be able to hear and enjoy the story with me. As in any classroom procedure, it sometimes takes awhile for kids to understand and put into practice what is expected of them and when. Because of the need for discussions, questions, and needed opportunities to talk, I try using strategies that give my students the opportunities to do just that. I love the walk and talk strategy where students walk with a partner and talk about the story. I love rolling our question dice and having students ask their partner the question and give them each an opportunity to share with each other. Little things like this make a huge difference in their comprehension and their enjoyment of reading and our lessons.
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Chapter 3
Old 01-14-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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As I read over the chapter, what stood out most was getting the kids excited about learning to read. I also love to read to the kids. Talk about the books I read as a kid and still love to read today. If we are excited about reading so will they.
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Chapter 3
Old 02-15-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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The main thing I took from this chapter, is that your love of reading can evoke a love of reading in your students. Plus encouraging your students to suggest and share books amongst their peers spreads that love of reading even more. I find that if I make a big deal about how much I love a particular book or certain author, the kids look for that book/author to read independently. Read aloud and shared reading time is also a time to encourage reading. During these times I often stop and question to kids about the stories whether it is to predict what is coming next or to dive deeper into what the author is trying to say. This helps students to appreciate the story on a deeper level.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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That is so true! We do represent a great deal of what our kids in our classroom like!! We also make a big influence on their lives, especially in reading!
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Chapter 4-6
Old 04-14-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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Friends please post your thoughts for chapters 4-6. Pose a question or two that will cause some deeper thinking for the rest of us...Please!
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