I am a Michigan girl at heart, but there is something special about the educators in and around the Dublin, Ohio area. I had the privilege of presenting and attending the Dublin Literacy Conference this past weekend. What a great group to share such a wonderful day of learning.
The day opened up with Chris Lehman talking about what close reading is really all about, it is about what you believe in. I found this interesting and had to reflect on that for a moment. He went on to explain three steps that helped bring the idea of close reading into focus.
- It’s not just about rereading, but about what you will reread. What will you look for as a focus of your rereading and why is this of importance? It’s not just about taking a text, rereading it and calling it “close reading.” It’s about much more and most of all, your purpose.
- After rereading, share your collection of ideas and details. What did you find yourself focusing on, what details did you notice? Make a list.
- Maybe your first idea about the text has now changed. Why did it change? How did you come to this conclusion? Share that new idea!
Next up for me was a session with Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan. They shared why assessment and instruction are inseparable. Each expressed the importance of collecting purposeful data through conference notes, surveys and observations of student work. They encouraged teachers to analyze this information and truly use it to inform their instruction. I loved Clare and Tammy’s style. They are truly teachers at heart and their passion shined through in this session.
My second session was my own. Here is the link to my presentation if you are interested! I will be sharing these same thoughts again at MRA (Michigan Reading Association) on March 29th.
Following lunch Lisa Graff shared the story of her writing life and how she found herself writing books for children.
My last session was with Chris Lehman and discussed book clubs with kids. He humorously compared book clubs for adults and book clubs for children only to come to the conclusion that they are basically nothing alike except there is a book involved. He drove home the importance of book choice for these small groups and my biggest take-away was that when having students do a book club they need to be in charge of deciding what is worth talking about. I think we sometimes make a lot of these decisions for children, but it would be interesting to watch conversations unfold if we left it a little more open for students to decide.
The day ended, my brain was full and I went on to have a great dinner with friends in the area. I love having opportunities to connect with fellow bloggers and respected colleagues. There is always something new to learn.
Left: Julie Johnson, Karen Terlecky, JoEllen McCarthy, Cathy Mere, Me
Right: Megan Ginther, Holly Mueller, Julie and Tony Keefer, Deb Frazier