Friday, April 29, 2011

Anchor Charts

What are Anchor Charts?  Why would we use them?

Anchor Charts are used to hold our thinking. 
They serve to connect past teaching and learning to future teaching and learning. 
An anchor chart is co-constructed with students.  It has meaning for the students because they participated in the construction. 
The anchor chart matches the learners’ developmental level. 
The anchor chart supports on-going learning.
Notice how different this room looks with anchor charts as the primary tool.  I also want you to think about why this second-grade teacher doesn't reuse the charts.  Let me know what you think!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Words of Affirmation

Mark Twain once said – “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”  I don't know about you, but for me that rings true. When someone recognizes my contributions, I am affirmed, encouraged, and energized.   During this time of spring renewal it would be a great time to offer nuggets of encouragement to colleagues and students.  
Thank you so much for allowing me to work with you and help you grow in literacy education.  You are a blessing to me!  I love the children of our district.  I want them to "glow" as they grow to love books and reading.  You and I are the key to their success.  


Monday, April 18, 2011

Creating a Culture of Learning

"The nature of relationships among the adults within a school has a greater influence on the character and quality of that school and on student accomplishment than anything else." Roland Barth
I find this statement incredibly profound.  How we feel about each other is important.  What would that look like in a school?  Here are a few things Roland Barth says we should see:

• Educators talking with one another about practice.
• Educators sharing their craft knowledge.
• Educators observing one another while they are engaged in practice.
• Educators rooting for one another's success

The famous Babe Ruth said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime."  From his perspective, teamwork is what matters.

What do we need to do to create a culture that emphasizes collegiality, collaboration and sharing?  How can we all shine?  I think that we should time to think about this.  Share with me what you think!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Teaching Similes

I wanted to show you this great bulletin board and teaching idea!  This activity was part of a PLC that I am doing with K-2 teachers.  We read the book Fireflies, by Julie Brinckloe.  The teachers were asked to write a quick memory that was inspired by the book.  We added a simile to the quick write using examples in Fireflies.  This experience allowed us to showcase teacher writing, and provide a tool that teachers could use to teach similies.  Teachers were given the writing collection to use with students.  Thank you Mrs. Madden for the artwork!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Poetry Month

Calling All Poets.....It is National Poetry Month. has complied a list of celebration ideas that you can use in your classroom.  What I love about poetry is that there is always time for it in the classroom!  You can use it to teach so many different concepts.  The difficulty is laying your hands on it when you need it.  You will find a great list of websites here.  You can find examples of different poems with links here. This is a great lesson plan for grades 3-5!  Scholastic has a page for National Poetry Month. 
Don't miss Dr. Maya Angelou's responses on this page!  She gives insightful answers to important personal and cultural questions about her poetic inspirations, the importance of commitment to community, and more.