Time to Celebrate this week with Ruth Ayers. This practice is rejuvenating and centering. I recommend it. You can find this week’s posts and add yours here.
First off, this is my 300th post. And it all started here. Thank you, Ruth, and all who celebrate beside me. You have made me a better writer, reader and teacher.
Sadly, I “taught” writing for years without actually doing any authentic writing of my own. Writing in this space has opened my eyes and heart not only to what writing might be but also to what needs to be done to teach anything well.
My second celebration is the writing about reading Twitter chat, #WabtR, on Tuesday. We had read Cynthia Lord’s new book A Handful of Stars as a virtual club, writing and sharing our notebook jots on a Google doc. The intent of our chat was to talk mostly about our reactions to the process. I thought it might be a small group, so I offered to host. I had no idea. Oh my gosh. It was a wild party of reading enthusiasts. Wild and wonderful. If you missed it check out the Storify here.
And look who showed up!
Goosebumps, right? I’ve read all of her books and met her at NCTE, along with a long line of others waiting to get her autograph. What a thrill to see her on Twitter at our chat.
Our chat and my reaction to it made me think. And, leads to my third celebration this week, reading professional literature. Franki Sibberson and Bill Bass’s new book, Digital Reading, is a joy. In the spirit of Donalyn Miller, it authentically recognizes how the digital world enhances our reading lives. Franki looks at how she uses digital media personally and then takes that to her students.
Our teacher Google book club, Twitter chat and appearance of the author is just one example of how digital reading could go. It’s not just reading an e-book or doing research on the web or writing about reading electronically or connecting with an author. It’s all of it combined in a purposeful way to get more out of reading.
I’m also devouring Jennifer Serravallo’s new book, The Reading Strategies Book. Bottom line, if you teach reading K through 6, get this book. Serravallo does a beautiful job delineating what students need and how to get them there. I’ve taught reading to 5th graders for 11 years, boy I wish I had this book sooner!
Serravallo’s descriptions of text attributes by level help teachers understand the literacy journey our students travel.
Every year I have kiddos on the edges of that bell curve. This book will help target their needs with straightforward strategies by level and goal.
On deck: Colleen Cruz’s The Unstoppable Writing teacher and the new Reading Units of Study from Lucy Calkins et. al.
My fourth celebration is for the next round of virtual book club reading. After our reading and chat on A Handful of Stars, many wanted more. So we split off into smaller groups choosing books that fit our learning needs. I choose, what I hope is a “just right” read for me, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.
Some have taken the work to their schools. My school will reading on Honey by Sarah Weeks.
Finally, I’m celebrating a few more weeks of summer: to enjoy the fruits of the season, stretch out long days filled with sunshine, reading and connecting with others in this digital world of ours.
Learning together as we ask our students to do is the best kind of summer learning.