Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Lessons Learned: Lester Laminack

At the All Write! conference I had the privilege of hearing Lester Laminack. Here are a few things that I thought would be beneficial for me. Perhaps you will find them helpful for you as well.

Lester says there are 6 opportunities for read aloud during the normal school day:
1. Opening Act: Reading just to enjoy a book and build community. Take 10 behavioral problems you have and make a list. Then match 10 books to those behavioral problems and use them for your opening.
2. Use books during transitions. Grab them when you have them and then move into the next subject. Make it a cohesive move, don't make transitions a, "stop this, and then now let's do this."
3. Poetry- Do this during down time, like washing hands, or using restroom. Kids will get done faster because they don't want to miss out on the poem for the day.
4. Use sections of previously read text to help with mini lessons. For writer's workshop, and reader's workshop.
5. Writer's Craft- Pick 10 books to really know as a teacher. Go through them and find the points that you want to teach from them. Pass them off to colleagues, have them find the craft that could be taught from those books. Use them often for teaching craft, and mentor texts.
6. Closing Out the day! (this is my favorite!) He says that we need to leave children hanging when it comes to reading chapter books them. Like a drug dealer, we give them just enough, but not too much. We want them to come back for the product that we are selling. Just like a drug dealer. We are in sales, our product is books.

Here are a couple of thoughts that I took from Lester that I am still mulling around:
- If we are selling a product:books then we must vastly know literature. We must be able to sell authors, illustrators, and different genres. Titles should roll off our tongue because kids will notice when they don't!

- We are in the business of raising human beings, not test scores. (Someone send this off to whatever moron made that No Child Left Behind Act!)

- We are like drug dealers, we must leave our students satiated with the books that we are reading to them. It keeps them wanting more. They become addicted!


Stacey Shubitz said...

In the words of Ginny Lockwood, who is also great (like Lester), allow the books you read to become the crown molding of your classroom.

Meaning: Put the covers up so the kids can make intertextual connections.

Taking it a step further (haven't done this though): Cluster them together by genre, by illustrator or by author

Jen Barney said...

We must have been separated at birth.... I have them same ideas in my teachers notebook-

Can't wait to get together to go over our books..... we need a date. After the fam is gone (Tuesday) let's do it!

Sarah Amick said...

Jen, don't we look happy with Lester? I have made this my happy place in my mind. Don't you just wish everyone could feel contentment in teaching like we do? I wish more people were driven for the profession. Lots of people in it for the wrong reasons.

Stateline Raceway said...

I was standing next to him.... hopefully some of his brillant thoughts floated on me! hehehehe