{{Bursting}} With Knowledge!! :o)

Ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh!!!

I’m seriously bursting with all the knowledge I acquired at our Summer Literacy Institute. Have you ever felt that way after a workshop or really awesome staff development? You just can’t even wait to get started, but at the same time, you are overwhelmed with how to implement all the amazing stuff you just learned about…?

That’s me. And I taught a break-out session all three days, so I wasn’t even able to attend the other break-out sessions… I’m almost afraid of what I’d feel like if I HAD been able to attend other sessions too. My head might have exploded! 😛 What I’m sharing with you in this post came from our amazing keynote speakers we had each day! I’ll be sharing what my partner and I taught in our break-out session in a future post (or two) as well! 🙂 Of course, these are only just a few of the amazing things we were immersed into this week, but I hope you’ll find them helpful!

The first day, our keynote speaker was Dr. Marcia Tate, author of the books, Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites. She is all about using engaging instructional strategies to teach, and so am I! None of her strategies are “new ideas” to me really, but she was so positive and uplifting as she went through her presentation, it really pumped me up to ENSURE I use these strategies even MORE in my classroom.

(Background is by Clipart Cuties, the frame is by Lovin Lit, and of course, the font is by me!)

I’m going to print this to keep with my lesson plan book to remind me to incorporate these strategies daily, and if you’d like, you can, too! Click here to get this printout for free! 🙂

Our second day, we had Linda Hoyt for our keynote speaker. She is the QUEEN of non-fiction! She shared a strategy called VIP – Very Important Points. The students take a sticky note and cut it into smaller strips. As they read, they mark in the text the points they think are very important. Because they only have 3-5 (depending on how small they cut the sticky note), they must choose carefully to determine importance. After, they talk to each other to explain why they chose the points they did, and why they are important. I thought this would be a great help to researching, along with general comprehension of course. I will definitely be using this strategy!

Today was the last day of the Institute, and we ended with a bang! Dr. Douglas Fisher and Dr. Nancy Frey shared the stage to share about close reading and text dependent questions. (Click the links for articles written by these two!) I am going to share a video below that they shared with us today because whether you are a 1st grade teacher or a 4th grade teacher or a middle school teacher, this FIRST GRADE classroom should be an inspiration to you when it comes to close reading! If these first graders can take it to this level, we can totally do it in any grade! This shows the importance of setting high expectations for your students.

Some tidbits about the video:
*this teacher pulled the article they are reading together from NEWSWEEK. There is a push for complex texts in all grades, and we must not forget that we have to stretch their listening comprehension as their reading comprehension catches up!
*the teacher NEVER corrects “wrong” thinking. He keeps going so they can change their thinking later.
*I love the way he is constantly assessing their understanding having the students use sign language to demonstrate whether they agree or disagree with someone’s answer.
*I also love how he has trained them to speak politely when they disagree!

Get ready to be blown away by some smarty-pants!

There are lots of other videos on their YouTube channel if you’re interested! 🙂

I hope this post was helpful to you, and not overwhelming. 😛 I considered spreading this out over three days, but I just couldn’t hold it in! :o)

I’d love to know if there was anything that got you excited in this post!