Thursday, August 2, 2007

Unexpected Phone Calls... - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
A colleague called unexpectedly last night. I was surprised to hear her on the other line. I remember going to the All Write conference with her and sitting through all the sessions. I remember recommending books to her as we sat through those three days. (Books like, Mosaic of Thought, Debbie Miller's Reading For Meaning, and Growing Readers) Now, she has questions, now she wants answers, now she is aching for community!
This quest is infectious. When my friend on the Korner was reading Mosaic of Thought I could tell she was changing. It has that effect. When my friend with A Life read this book she became obsessed with her book buying on other titles regarding the Reader's Workshop. It's infectious I tell you.
My phone call was so surprising! We had a very good conversation about what our classroom will look like, we discussed how she felt community was missing from her room last year, we discussed picture books, mentor and touchstone texts, and finally we encouraged one another about the upcoming year. She feels letting the students take control of the classroom will be freeing for her to focus on conferencing. She has decided to give the workshop setting a try.
I am so excited for her, it is contagious. Why? Here are my thoughts:
1. Who doesn't want to be a part of a community? If we have community behaviors will be different. I, as a teacher, can be learning from my students, and vice versa.
2. It allows students to take more control over their learning. Brain research has said that when there is an emotional tie to learning that the information is learned.
3. All things are flexible in the workshop. This creates work for the teacher because things are constantly changing, however, it is good for the students. They are not learning material that is unnecessary for them. They are also relearning material that is necessary, because I know them. I know what they need, because of conferencing.
4. It is cross curricular. Books I read that cross into Social Studies, Science, and Health can be a resource for better writing and reading. Science becomes observational, and poetry can be created too! There are natural transitions throughout my students' learning.
5. Have you ever heard a teacher say, "I wish that teaching were more like when I first started, when it was fun." I have heard this statement and wondered, "when did teaching not become fun?" Now I understand, workshop teaching is fun! It allows you to do creative things. Assessing students statewide has become something that we must do, but we don't have to teach like a test. Many teachers teach to the test, not fun for the teacher and not fun for the students. Beyond that no one is learning anything!

I am so excited for this teacher, she has caught the "bug!"

1 comment:

Jen Barney said...

ohhh Sarah- More people to share our ideas, thoughts, and teaching with!