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?)
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.
–You can also put the texts onto your interactive whiteboard, as well as your iPad.
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.