Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quick Thoughts

Beautiful view in Charleston
I just got home from a weekend trip to South Carolina with our daughter.  I committed to three days away from twitter, blogging and Facebook.  A little detox program for me as well as my family.  But now that I am home, I can't believe all of the posts and tweets that I missed.  Two hours of blog/twitter learning-loving it!

First of all #cyberPD has been announced, and they chose Opening Minds by Peter Johnston.  I have not read this book but I have read Choice Words and really liked how he focused on words. "As teachers, we have to decide what to be explicit about for which students and when to be explicit."  I am thrilled to be actually joining #cyberPD this year instead of silently watching like I did last year.  Do you want to join me and the other members? 

Next, my friend Tracy at Teaching Stems is in the process of writing the Top Five Things she learned this year.  She has posted her Top 4 and all of them were insightful and made me stop and think.  But #3 Eyes on Print really hit a homerun with me.  I have never required my students to record the number of minutes they read or have to make connections/apply a strategy to their at home reading.  I am one of only or very few in my building that have this philosophy.  I feel strongly about this for many reasons, but it really is based on my own two children who aren't readers. I believe because they weren't encouraged to read for the joy of the story or allowed to choose their own books.  They both had structured reading:  set genre months, set pages or minutes to be recorded and finally must read number of books each month.  It saddened me and still today I am heartbroken that my influence did not change them as readers. I still encourage them and they still see me reading all the time. We'll see maybe over time they will enjoy reading-I certainly hope so.

Finally, I got caught up with my Wonder Year team, and they posted some great connections with wondering and wonderopolis.  Thanks team for some amazing posts. 


  1. I always enjoy reading your "quick thoughts"...keep them coming...honest and real :)

    Uh-oh...to participate in #cyberPD I will have to be on twitter???? This could be my turning point! :)

  2. I know exactly what you mean, I have been away for almost 6 months! So much has happened in my life and I feel like I am starting al over with my online life! So happy to have summer to jump back in!

  3. Maria,
    I am so glad you will be adding your voice to #cyberPD. It will be a great discussion I am sure.

    You and Tracy make good points. Tracy reminds us that the more kids read the better they become. However, I am thinking readers have to engaged in thinking about that reading. Like you, I try to stay away from required amounts of reading and especially timed reading. It seems if kids think they need to read 20 minutes they may stop at 20 when they would have read for 30.

    I must say I used a timer to keep track of my reading for 48 hour challenge. I don't know if I would always want to do it, but it was a little fun. Of course, I wasn't being required to do that. There wasn't a set time limit.

    Every reader is different in what motivates them. I suppose the secret is helping them find their place in the reading world.

    Lots to think about,

  4. Tracy: this is the time my friend jump in and join us otherwise just cross blog with us on the assigned weeks. Either way just join :)

    Deb: I totally am loving summer for getting caught up and really enjoy jumping back in after a few days off.

    Cathy: Your comment made me stop and think. What about that student that likes the time limit? I do have students who set individual goals for reading and use number of days in a week, # of minutes or pages but that feels very different than assigning my whole class the same expectations. I love your final line and I wrote it down---
    The secret is helping them find their place in the reading world.

    Thanks for your comments-always learning :)