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Classroom management

Big trouble, written down

Something I never thought I'd hear...

"Joanne, this is Mrs. Z from school. Anna's bringing home a note today. I thought I'd give you a head's up."

Oh boy. It seems Anna had trouble including someone in a game on the playground yesterday. What a sad "backpack unpack" we had... Anna was distraught to have to show us the letter she wrote describing the incident. Here she was, fresh with new writing powers, needing to use them to write about her trouble at school. Darn it.

I like writer's workshop

I like writer's workshop.

There. I said it! I like writer's workshop. It's like a confession for me...someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about things like density of instructional time, explicit instruction in skills-based groups, and more. But, I'll say it again: I like writer's workshop. Good 'ol time to sit and think and write.

I've watched both my girls absolutely flourish when given the opportunity to write, share, and publish. Both started off tentatively and complaining that they didn't have anything to write about. And then, it clicked.

Ouch! Tough day for Four Block, aka Whole-Language High Jinks

A new report came out today, authored by reading expert Louisa Moats. In it, Moats takes a hard look at reading programs that market themselves as ones based on Scientifically Based Reading Research (SBRR). The report, "Whole Language High-Jinks," examines Reading Recovery, Four Blocks, Guided Reading, and programs that use a generic "balanced literacy" description.

"Level-Mania" and the Identity of the Reader

I read something interesting at the Edge of the Forest about leveled book systems in elementary classrooms. A small snip from the thoughtful piece:

In the name of "just right" books, we may be sacrificing real reading experiences that will last a lifetime.

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"You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me." — Strickland Gillilan