Posts Tagged ‘literature’

High Five For Friday! 11-6-14

Happy End to Week 10! We’ve survived the start of Daylight Savings AND the end of First Quarter. It’s been a rough ride, people are tired and crabby, but High Five for Fridays is all about celebrating the silver linings 🙂 I hope you had a great week, and I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Charles Shirley Jackson

1. Charles – This week, we read “Charles,” a short story by Shirley Jackson. It’s an adorable, humorous story that any student can appreciate. I love the twists and turns in Shirley Jackson’s work, and I find them very appealing to middle school students. If you haven’t read “The Lottery,” it’s definitely a must read. We have such great conversations after reading that story!

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2. QRI-5 – This week, I ran a professional development workshop for our language arts department on how to administer and score the QRI. I’ve been using it for years to identify struggling readers and develop intervention plans, and I’ve come up with several tips and shortcuts. I think it’s an important tool to provide us with qualitative information – beyond just numbers and test scores – on how our students are reading and what we can do to help them progress.

SLO Submitted (c) Kristen Dembroski

3. SLO – I did it. I submitted my SLO and my PPG this year. Death by acronyms, right? SLO (Student Learning Objective), PPG (Professional Practice Goals), EEP (Educator Effectiveness Plan), and whatever else they can think up for us. This submit screen was pretty scary. All year we’ve been told, “For the love of pete, don’t hit submit!” Then the admins said, “For the love of humanity, hit submit, now!” So much tension. But it’s done for now!

Morning (c) Kristen Dembroski

4. Daylight Savings – I’m not a fan of Daylight Savings. It really messes with my brain and my sense of well-being. However, I have enjoyed seeing the sun in the mornings on my way to work. It reminds me that I am truly a morning person. It’s so beautiful and peaceful and quiet.

Christmas at the Mall (c) Kristen Dembroski

5. It’s Coming…. I went to Target and the Mall this week, and they are both already set up for Christmas. I know that sends some people into a homicidal rage, but this year I am choosing to embrace it (what can ya do?). I even bought some wrapping paper at Target and wrapped my first couple of presents. I’ve been making and planning for this Christmas since last Christmas. Second only to Thanksgiving, I think it’s the best holiday! I love giving gifts – it completes me 🙂

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Children’s and Adolescent Literacy Course

Children and Adolescent Literacy Course (c) Kristen Dembroski

I had a great time this week teaching a Children and Adolescent Literacy Course to graduate students in the Reading Program at Viterbo University. I met so many awesome, motivated, passionate, and knowledgeable teachers. I know I learned as much from them as they learned from me – what a win-win!

We started each day by reading a children’s book and discussing how we might use this in our own classrooms. We looked for concepts, language, intertextual connections, and how to use the literature to encourage joy and a love of reading.

As a class, we also read “Readicide” by Kelly Gallagher and “Book Whisperer” by Donalyn Miller as our textbooks. We had many discussions about the challenges we face in education today, and what we can do now to start a grass roots movement to begin a positive change.

Each day, every teacher took a turn sharing a favorite literacy resource. This was maybe the most powerful and informative thing we did all week. If you put a group of passionate, driven teachers together in a room and ask them to share their favorite resources, you are going to walk away with an amazing list of classroom-tested ideas to try. I have so many cool new tools to try in the fall!

Other topics we discussed this week included Independent reading, close reading, incorporating reading and writing, using technology effectively, multimedia, vocabulary, and encouraging a school wide reading culture. We put all of our resources and ideas on a wiki so that we could reference them throughout the year.

For their final project, my students had to create a literacy unit that they could use in their own classrooms next year. It had to include an anchor text, intertextual connections to another expository text, multimedia, vocabulary, close reading, prior knowledge, and text analysis. They made some really great units that they should be so very proud of!

It was an exhausting week, but in a really great way. I met so many wonderful people and I’m so very reinvigorating for teaching reading in the fall. I can’t wait to teach this course again!

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