Tuesday Tidbits

Day one at the TCRWP Writing Institute was fantastic! Here are a few important take-aways I gleaned from yesterday’s keynote and sessions.

  • The TCRWP feels the same pressures all of us feel about getting kids to achieve as writers. Even though the CCSS places a greater emphasis on informational writing, the TCRWP still believes in the power of narrative writing. You should still start your school year with personal narrative writing in order to build a strong writing workshop.
  • Lucy Calkins’ keynote gave me goosebumps. I Tweeted many of the quotable things she said, but here’s one particular thing about conferring that moved me: “Concrete, clear feedback and clear goals helps people accelerate achievement in dramatic ways.”
  • Carl Anderson suggested digitizing mentor texts onto an iPad. You can do this by downloading an app like TurboScan if you don’t have a scanner. Shoot a picture of the text with your iPhone or iPad. Save it as a PDF and send it as an email to yourself. Drag it to your desktop then import the PDF into iTunes. From there you can put it into iBooks and sort by genre.
  • –I started using Evernote about a month ago. I’m pretty sure you can do the same thing with Evernote if you don’t use iBooks, though I’m not 100% sure. (Anyone want to weigh-in on that?)
    –You can also put the texts onto your interactive whiteboard, as well as your iPad.

  • Annie Taranto stated that any good teaching point for the kids is going to have the what, the how, and the why.
  • It’s important to get good at all four kinds of minilessons. The four kinds are demonstration, explanation & example, guided practice, and guided inquiry.
  • I’m going to continue live Tweeting (@raisealithuman) from the Institute. You can also follow all of the Tweets from the Institute by looking for Tweets that contain #TCRWP.

    7 thoughts on “Tuesday Tidbits

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the conference! It’s always so helpful and refreshing to hear about the learning happening there. I went to the writing institute in June and learned so much, as always.


    2. Sounds like some wonderful learning is happening at the TCRWP! (Of course, because NWP is awesome!) Thanks for sharing it with us, Stacey!

      I use Evernote all the time — it’s amazing, and I think it would work great for what you are describing! You can save PDFs in Evernote, so it would be easy to put them into notebooks by genre and/or tag them by genre. (You could also add tags for any other characteristic, so you could tag them for why they are a mentor text — figurative language, voice, descriptive detail, etc.) I can see that turning into an amazing and efficient resource!


    3. I followed some of your tweets, Stacey & will continue. The institute sounds amazing, like so many of our conferences! Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts about what you are seeing.


    4. Hi Stacey,
      I’m envious of you being at TCRWP. I plan to apply and hope to go next summer. I’ve just been looking at TurboScan and other scanning apps. Can’t wait to share that tidbit with my colleagues. It looks like some scanning apps don’t work as well with the iPad 2- which is what we all have. Do you know, or did anyone mention anything about that? I’m going to do some experimenting. This year we will focus on conferring for our in-house PD time for writing workshop. I’m going to save and share Lucy Calkins’ line. Thanks so much for sharing what you are learning at TCRWP. Enjoy your week.


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